My Hunky Indigo Hero
Everyone knows the quintessential romance hero is a hunk. That’s changing with the growing popularity of non-traditional heroes and the acceptance of varied gender roles and sexual preferences, but readers still want a love interest who turns them on, and hunks do that.
Now I can hear you saying, “But I don’t like all those muscles” or “Those guys are too macho for me” or “I love a geek,” and that’s great. I can relate to that. A person doesn’t have to be a hunk or a vixen to be sexy. But if you want to sell books, you have to consider what the bulk of readers want.
Is this what readers want?
I’m not the type of person who generally gives in to peer pressure though. I’m weird and I’m stubborn, and I wanted my Indigo love interest to be different even if no one liked him. I mean really different. I wanted Jesse Peacock to be so different that from the get-go I decided he was going to be a dwarf.
Yep, you heard me correctly. My love interest was going to be hot but little, a Peter Dinklage of the page. Now if you don’t think Peter Dinklage is hot, that’s okay. I do though, and I felt and still feel that little people are way underrepresented in books and I was going to try to rectify that.
You won’t be surprised to hear that when I told my friends what I had in mind they acted like I’d got a concussion, and this is my open-minded, anything-goes friends. They simply could not understand why I would make such a choice, while I simply could not understand how they could feel that way. And so began the long debate. Would Jesse be an ersatz Peter D. or some muscle-bound alpha male?
Photo Credit: Christine Ring, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Or this guy?
If you’ve read Indigo you know the outcome, but if you haven’t I’ll tell you: Mr. Muscles won—for now—and I’ll tell you why. The reason isn’t pretty.
Getting people to read your work is difficult. Getting them to like and review it is nearly impossible for most authors. So in the end I took the easy way out in the hope that that might change for me. I guess I lied when I said I don’t give in to peer pressure. Oh well. I never said I was perfect.
If it’s any consolation Peter D. is still waiting in the wings. I’m not done with him. He will appear as a love interest somewhere, somehow, because he deserves to. In a certain way he already has. There’s a female dwarf in my Amanda Lester series who is a love interest—for a five-foot-eleven descendant of Sherlock Holmes, no less.
But I didn’t capitulate completely in Indigo. Jesse is hot, strong, and dangerous, but he’s not strictly an alpha male. He’s sensitive and vulnerable, just the way I like ‘em. So if you like hunky guys who are willing to fail and have a few soft spots inside, you might like him too. I hope you’ll give him a try.
Which type of love interest do you prefer? I’d love to hear from you. Just comment on this post.
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself mistress of an 18th-century plantation? – Indigo by What would you do if you suddenly found yourself mistress of an 18th-century plantation? – Indigo by @pberinsteinTweet
Esther Arrives at Brickle Hall
To say the estate was magnificent would be an understatement. Set high on a hill, surrounded by forest and lush grounds as far as the eye could see, it was every American’s vision of an English stately home. That it had been neglected and would require a huge investment to bring it back to life was also apparent. Dirty windows, crumbling stonework, chipped statuary, rotting putty all bedecked a gigantic, turreted, ancient-looking beauty.
To think that this lovely old dame was all mine was almost more than I could handle. I felt even more jetlagged than I had in Charleston, but I was so excited that I was somehow functional. I was a little nervous about sleeping in the house though. Would the beds be so dusty that I’d sneeze my head off? What about eating? I pictured a monster refrigerator filled with decayed food and had to stop myself from gagging. Silly me. I should have brought provisions with me. What was I thinking racing off like that with no plan and no supplies? None of this was like me. I was normally a calm, organized, logical person, and here I was acting like Indiana Jones. But I was here now and I had to make the best of it. This life change, from Los Angeles to South Carolina to England, was a growth opportunity and I would seize it with both hands.
I dug in my bag and pulled out the keys, almost laughing at the idea that a mere piece of metal could unlock a universe such as the one before me. As I inserted the key into the old, creaky front door lock my hands shook, and I couldn’t get it to fit properly. I wiggled it this way and that, shoving and pulling back and watching the rust fall out of the opening. Apparently my cousin hadn’t been in the habit of using this door. Perhaps I should try one of the other entrances, I thought. Wishing I had brought along some WD 40 I gave the key one last shot. The lock gave a choke, spat out more rust, and accepted it.
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