Welcome to the official kick-off of my first blog event: a Tell-All Tuesday roundtable Q&A series called Romance Writers Tell All. First, take a peek at our “Meet the Authors” teaser from last Tuesday, where you’ll be introduced to all five of the fantastic writers who are participating in the discussions: Bella Andre, JJ Ellis, Kallysten, C. Deanne Rowe, and Susan Stoker. And now it’s time to get to it—here’s what kind of heroes we all want to write about—and read about!
Q: What are your favorite types of leading men to write about (i.e. military, cowboys, executives, athletes, aliens...) and what type of hero do you enjoy reading about?
Bella Andre: Oh, that is a great question. My favorite type of hero doesn't have a specific job, but he has to have passion. I love writing artists and executives both, because all that passion they put into their chosen career means they have lots to give in love too.
JJ Ellis: I’m all about the Beta hero! I prefer to read and write them. I write about everyday guys and if they have one of the typical romance occupations, I tone it down. I’ve had grocery store owners, restaurant owners, wilderness guides, marines, personal assistants, bush pilots, park rangers and firefighters. Don’t get me wrong, I will read just about anything but my favorites are the ones off the ‘typical’ path. My main criteria is that they be loving, helpful, and radiate confidence without being self-absorbed.
Kallysten: My favorite leading men to write are either vampires (the more tortured they are, the better!) or 'Special Enforcers', which is my version of vampire hunters. Heroes with the power of life or death at the tip of their fangs... or stakes. As for reading, I'm not difficult: if he has wit to match against his paramour and sex-appeal radiates from him, I'm ready to swoon!
C. Deanne Rowe: I love to write about strong leading men. Cowboys are my favorite. As far as reading, any type of strong male with a slight sensitive side will do for a leading man. I love a leading man who knows what he wants but is willing to make compromises when it comes to the woman he loves. I don’t want to read about a man who a woman can push around. I want both the hero and heroine to have their own beliefs and strength. I love to watch the story play out where the character’s strengths conflict, tear them apart and then bring them back together. I love a happy ever after.
Susan Stoker: I tend to write about men who are tough and strong…but totally cave when it comes to the woman who was meant just for him. They could be military or cowboy or just an everyday guy. And who do I enjoy reading about? All of the above. I have read some fantastic shifter and cyborg/alien books. Some of my favorites feature military or former-military men. I even enjoy billionaire and some stepbrother books. As long as the book isn’t too creepy (i.e. dark with 50-year-old men falling in love with 14-year-old girls after raping them…for instance, lol) and there is a HEA at the end…I’m good. The guy can’t be a jerk (he can make mistakes, but must atone for them) and the woman has to be strong in her own way. I love the “damsel in distress” trope, but prefer for her to actively be trying to help herself rather than just sitting on a floor crying about her situation and waiting for her guy to save the day.
NDG: How great that we all like to write about different kinds of heroes, because it means there is something for every taste out there—including our own, lol. Kally, I have to say, I wasn’t a vampire hero fan (a certain series which shall not be named kind of ruined that for me), UNTIL I read the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. So maybe now I’ll come over to the cold dark side once in awhile now. I do love to read the kind of heroes Susan likes to write, which is how I became a fan. As for my writing, Jack, the hero in my first book, was outwardly larger than life as a football star turned TV commentator. But he was altogether different in his private life, which I think makes him so appealing. I haven’t settled on a “type” though. In my next series, the love interests of my dancers range from private security experts, a bar tender, a stage manager, and a secret service agent. All of these choices were driven by plot.
Thanks to all of the authors for getting our roundtable off to a great start. Check out the links below to find out more about these wonderful writers and their books. Tune in next Tuesday when we try to talk about why love gets a bad name.
About the Authors
For more about Bella and her books, visit her here: