Tag Archives: English village

Falling in Love with Someone Else’s Hero

We all do it — fall in love with someone else’s hero. We always have. Robin Hood. Ivanhoe. Mr Darcy. John Thornton. Raoul de Valmy.

Also, in my case, Brian de Bois Guilbert, Humphrey Beverley, Faramir and Captain Carrot. I like geeks, loners and oddballs. Even those with the occasional dash of villainy, at least as long as I could redeem them. What can I say?

Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that a heart-stopping hero constitutes a good slug of the fun of fiction.

Liz Fielding’s Hero

Royal Bodyguard heroSo I don’t really know why I was so surprised when I fell hard for the hero of an unpublished novel by one of my favourite romance authors, Liz Fielding. Except that the book was not only unpublished, the story was still on the drawing board.

But there was something about the way she talked about her Fredrik…

He had that inscrutability. Something was going on underneath his supremely controlled competence. I could feel it. My fingers itched to get at him.

It felt faintly shameful. I recognised it. I had hero envy.

Essential research

Manor of hero

For I had joined three stunning authors to write a quartet of linked books set around a royal wedding in an English country church, published by Tule.

The four of us got together to talk about our characters and the world we were going to create. 

Visiting Castle Combe, a perfect English village, and having lunch in at the Manor House Hotel was just necessary research. Tough job, as Jessica said. But it had to be done. 

Jessica Hart’s Hero

Baronet heroSo we all went back to writing our books. I told myself that Fredrik belonged to Another Woman. And I needed to stay loyal to my own Prince Jonas. Concentrating hard, I managed it too.

Until Jessica Hart (she also writes as Pamela Hartshorne) sent me the first draft of her story.

And up came Max. And he was this wonderful, practical, grumpy, responsible, inarticulate Englishman who drank terrible coffee and worked all hours and loved his children and his dogs and his decaying stately home…

Yes. OK. In love. Again. 

And he wasn’t mine either.

Anne McAllister’s Hero

Bridegroom heroNow, Anne is the writer who convinced me to look again at cowboys, which was no mean feat. They really weren’t my fantasy until her skilful, principled, competent guys crossed my bookshelf.

So I knew I was going to love her hero. Well, of course I was. He was my hero’s best friend and best man at the wedding.

But did Jack have to be this much of a heart-breaker?

He gives up ranching to play his music. Even exhausted on tour, he can give a Greek god a run for his money. And he’s lost the woman he loves.

And there I go again, handing over my heart.

My Hero …

… had some competition, as you see.

Normally, while I’m writing contemporary romance, I will read biography or crime or adventure stories, for just that reason. But this time I was, as Anne’s Jack would say, hog-tied. I had to read those books to make sure I was staying consistent with our world.

hero on Pinterest - JonasSo how was I to keep my focus on my own guy and not get seduced by these itinerant hotties from my colleagues’ books?

Well, I could already hear Jonas and he quite often made me laugh.

Also, I knew that he has this quicksilver charm which some people might not even see because he keeps it banked down unless he is with people he really likes and trusts. And a whole lot more intelligence and passion than he is quite aware of himself. It takes my heroine to wake him up to both!

We authors had agreed to share images on Pinterest that reflected our main characters and I found just the right one for my prince who was also a volunteer forest Ranger.  Whenever I felt Jonas slipping away from me, I would go and have a look to remind me.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, I did stay loyal to His Serene Highness Prince Jonas. Just.

He’s published on Friday 13th but you can already order him.

So a question : which fictional hero have you lost you heart to?

The Amateur Sleuth: Guest Blog by Lesley Cookman

crime writer Lesley Cookman on the amateur sleuth

Lesley Cookman
creator of amateur sleuth Libby Sarjeant

Today our guest blogger is Lesley Cookman, an author who is probably most widely known for murder mysteries featuring her amateur sleuth, Libby Sarjeant.

But Lesley also writes in lots of other genres.

Lesley is the author of seven pantomimes, a Music Hall Musical, two romances and sixteen books in the Libby Sarjeant series. She has also written the first in what she hopes will become a new series about an Edwardian Concert Party. In describing her professional life, Lesley says she “writes a lot, reads a lot and occasionally acts a bit.” Sounds like a typically tongue-in-cheek description!

Libertà hive members know what it’s like to keep trying to find new plots for romantic entanglements, but Lesley’s challenge is probably even greater. Her sleuth is established, but how do you find yet another scenario for an unexplained death that your amateur sleuth can solve?

Over to Lesley…

frustrated crime writer seeks plotNew Ideas for the Amateur Sleuth

 

New ideas for the amateur sleuth?

“If only,” says the beleaguered writer.
“Can’t wait,” says the eager reader.

Suspension of Disbelief

murder will out

I sometimes think that, apart from Fantasy Fiction, the amateur sleuth mystery is the one genre in which readers are the most determined to suspend disbelief. Take my own Libby Sarjeant. How could one middle-aged woman actually fall over murders in sixteen novels, one novella and a short story? That’s eighteen crimes she has managed to investigate. Continue reading