And no, I don’t mean vampires. Although as I’ve brought it up, it seems rude not to post (another) picture of the newest vampire on the block—dear Johnny is an irresistible enigma more than an alpha conqueror, but maybe that’s what makes him so heroic. Because I have to say I’m not a huge fan of alphaholes. Stuck somewhere in the late 1950’s, insisting their women apologize for not pandering to their every need, these characters seem far less heroic than the dapper Mr. Depp and his ilk. (Sorry Geek Goddess, while I like your style, I’m a Picard gal – see Wendy Lyn Watson’s post on the 29th.) I may get lambasted for this when my readers start dissecting my books, but I’m new, start as you mean to go on, right?
As I’m down under, The Luna Goddess seemed an appropriate nom de plume to pick up, and with the moon comes the night. So what I mean by heroes of the night are men who sweep us off our feet for reasons other than their transcendental powers of persuasion, or because of our “need” for the strength they provide. I mean night shift Emergency Room doctors who deal with the drunk and disorderly, and even the dead. I mean those truck drivers that distribute food for charities so the homeless have soup for dinner. I even mean bartenders, they listen, and most of the time they don’t judge. That’s the sort of man I want carrying my feisty, career minded, independent and intelligent heroine off into the moonlight. She’s evolved, grown up and I think she’s even become a little picky. So I want her man of the night to match her convictions and her aspirations. I want him to be a little quirky, and plenty feisty. Working at night does wonders for your character I think. Maybe it’s the darkness. Maybe it’s just that if you have to squint to see, the edges of things become clearer.
Just yesterday I caught myself falling into the trap of having my heroine simper away, practically swooning as she imagined how her life would be so much better when her hero married her and ‘made everything okay.’ And I had to give myself a stern telling off and gave her a promotion at work instead.
It’s not that I don’t want my characters to fall in love. I do. I really do. I just don’t want my heroine to wait around for her man to fix everything for her. She’d never do that. (My husband would laugh at me if I tried to do that). She’d graciously thank the doctor for saving her neighbor’s brother, she might even entice him into bed for a real thank you. But she wouldn’t expect a marriage proposal the next morning. Or even the next month.
What do you think? Am I being too harsh? Should the heroines of romance novels be allowed more than a few simpers? And does Johnny make a good vampire…?