The second question we get asked is “how do you come up with your heroes?” When we sat down to write Yesterday’s Shadows, we talked about what we wanted see. Our pet hates in romance novels were a) alphas males who “punish with a kiss” as the hero and b) alpha females as the heroines who turned to mushy girly giggly stammery princesses the second they encountered said alpha males (but more about that next week).
So we wanted a SNAG. Well, maybe not a SNAG exactly – he still had to be hot, sexy and manly. We just also wanted him to be an equal partner, not a dominant one. And so Sam was born. We considered briefly making him a romance novelist, but decided that History Professor (and I’m sure there were only a few Raiders of the Lost Ark thoughts in our heads at the time) would be perfect. He gradually evolved from a tweed and spectacle wearing teacher to a fairly hot and athletic snow boarder.
He had an excellent sense of humour, and although he was pretty confident, he had a deep seated fear that he was always second best. So a SNAG.
Then along came Noah. What a dick. He was alpha male personified. Unreasonable in his opinions, thought he was God’s gift to womankind, quick tempered, judgemental and oh my god, the sexiest thing on two legs!! Before we knew it, he was steaming up the pages snogging Verity at parties, giving her a love bite and trying really hard to take over our story. And you know what? He was actually more interesting than poor old sweet Sam.
This was good in a way, because it made us give Sam a bit more backbone, charisma and interest. And when we came to write Noah and Verity’s story, we decided we wanted to keep the awesome, hot alpha traits, but show that even alpha males can change and grow, especially with the love of a good woman.
Daniel, the hero of our third book, is a good combination of the two, with some extra dimensions thrown in.
I think what we’ve learned is that it’s not so much how alpha the male is, it’s about keeping our heroines consistent and strong. And finding the points of vulnerability in each couple that make them work. Regardless, in our heads at least, they are all extremely hot.
More next week on our heroines!!