I flat-out love men, they are such exciting creatures. They are simply fun to observe and appreciate even if it’s from afar. I enjoy men more close up, of course, and if they’re good-looking, so much the better. Rather than whistle the way construction workers do, I’m discreet and barely lift a brow. A writer of romance novels has to be an expert in her subject, right?
When creating a hero, examples are good to have, whether they’re photos of models or the workingmen on the UPS Calendar. The man has to be appropriate for the book. A dark mysterious vampire hero won’t resemble a rugged cowboy. I’m particularly fond of cowboy images. The men are usually fair-haired and lanky, and who doesn’t love a man in worn Levis, gloves and scuffed boots?
Perhaps you’ve noticed that romance heroes are usually tall. Do you remember Evan Lysacek, the Gold Medalist in men’s figure skating in the 2010 Winter Olympics? You’ll find him on You Tube. He’s 6’2” and his skates add another couple of inches. When he glides onto the ice, he already looks like the winner. He’s handsome, lean and perfect hero material. He seems like a nice guy in interviews, but using him for a physical prototype, I don’t expect to ever meet or know him.
I’ve created many heroes with fair hair and blue eyes, doubles for Brad Pitt. They fit in a Viking tale. They’d have built muscles swinging a broadsword and rowing a sleek ship through the North Sea. I’ve been to Scandinavia, and the men there are some of the best looking in the world. They’re also impressively tall.
People often say someone isn’t their type. I’ve never read any explanation of why both men and women tend to prefer one physical type over another. Tall, lanky blue-eyed blonde men appeal to me, but I’ve no idea why. I’m sure there are scores of dark-haired short men who are wonderful fun. We’ll never find each other. Do you have a type that appeals to you? More dark sexy men are on romance covers than fair-haired men. Perhaps they appear more intriguing, more romantic, and more dangerous.
My February 26, release, FIERCE PRIDE, has a hero who is built like Evan Lysacek. He’s handsome, tall, lean, black hair, brown eyes and a popular matador. He has a matador’s remarkable grace. Many romance heroes are described as moving like panthers, but panthers have a low prowl and then spring for their prey. No heroine wants to a hero who leaps at her. At least, none of my heroines do. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.
I hope you’re spending Valentine’s Day with someone you love, or reading a great romance novel that will warm you to the tips of your toes.