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
So I don’t really know why I was so surprised when I fell hard for the hero of an unpublished novel by one of my favourite romance authors, Liz Fielding. Except that the book was not only unpublished, the story was still on the drawing board.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.
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
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
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.
So 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.
He’s published on Friday 13th but you can already order him.
So a question : which fictional hero have you lost you heart to?