By Liv Rancourt, author of Forever and Ever, Amen
The other day I took on a project I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Pulling from my Pinterest Do I Know You? board, I printed off black and white copies of a dozen different men and turned them into a calendar for my girls at work. I mean really, there’s no reason for our shared office to be boring, right?
The men in question range from Cary Grant and Sean Connery to Ian Somerhalder and Ben Affleck. They cover a wide range in age and acting credits, but they all have one thing in common. Well, four of them (Alexander Skarsgard, Johnny Depp, James Marsters, and the aforementioned Mr. Somerhalder) are well-known vampires, so they all have one thing on common besides that.
They’re all heroes.
They’re all pretty much devastatingly handsome, too, although I’m not sure that’s necessarily a heroic quality. It sure doesn’t hurt, though. Good heroes rely on attributes besides their looks. They stand up for what’s right. They may break a few rules, but they get the job done. Whether they’re charming bad boys, swashbuckling adventurers, or deadly competent fighters, they face their internal and external demons to win the day.
And they win the pretty heroine, if she’s lucky.
They can also be counted on for romance, which is key for a writer to understand. It’s all well and good to create a hero who knows how to extract the one piece of critical data that will spoil the bad guy’s plot, but if he doesn’t know how to break down the walls around the heroine’s heart, he’s in big trouble.
The reader identifies with the heroine and so, on some level, falls in love with the hero as the story unfolds. If you could see my calendar, you’d realize how easy the ‘falling in love’ part is. A hero can be a strong alpha or a nurturing beta, or he can be dark (yummy, vampiric, super-sexy…oops, my bias is showing) character that the heroine longs to save. However you tweak him – and whichever actor you imagine playing him in the movie version – he needs both a solid moral compass and the ability to attract and hold the attention of the strong, independent heroine (and reader) who’s following his story.
Now let me tell you a little about the hero of my new Crimson release, Forever & Ever, Amen. You might guess from my preceding comments that I’d write a dark, tortured, undead hero.
And you’d be wrong. ☺
Cass is a green-eyed, blond angel who is assigned to help Molly after she gets marked by a demon and faces three trials. He has a weakness for cake and pisses her off when he keeps calling her “sugar”, but when things get bad, he risks his seat in the Celestial Choir to save her soul. Molly was married to Mr. Tall, Dark & Tortured, so for her, Cass is a wonderful change of pace. You can check out the first chapter HERE on my blog, or if the story sounds intriguing, click on the book link at the top of this page to buy it!
So what do you think? What makes a guy a hero? Name the actor that best personifies the hero of your dreams….
Liv Rancourt writes paranormal and romance, often at the same time. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, two cats, and one wayward puppy. She likes to create stories that have happy endings, and finds it is a good way to balance her other job in the neonatal intensive care unit. Liv can be found on-line at her website & blog (www.livrancourt.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt).