Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday Talk-Time with Jennifer Taylor

Join us in welcoming Medicals author Jennifer Taylor, here to give us her run down on the perfect man!

~ Holding Out For a Hero ~

Writer of romantic novels seeks hero, 28-40, for her latest book. Must be attractive, sincere, trustworthy and have GSOH. Must also love kids and pets.

Finding the perfect hero for your book is even more difficult than finding a hero in real life. Not only is he going to have to capture the heroine’s heart but the hearts of all your readers as well. This guy has to be someone really special, and I have to create him!

I write Medical Romances and sometimes feel a little guilty because my heroes already have a head start. The men I write about devote their lives to helping others and that gives them a step up on the ladder to becoming a fully-fledged hero. They deal with situations on a daily basis which would overwhelm ordinary men, and they are willing to put their lives on the line if the need arises.

So far so good. I can hear you thinking how easy it must be for me when I have so many potential heroes to choose from: General Practitioners, surgeons, physicians, emergency aid workers - the list is endless. I’ve used them all at some point, too, but the trick is finding the right hero for your particular heroine so let’s go back to the opening paragraph and check through that list of requirements.

Age is a key factor for the hero of a Medical Romance. It takes time to learn how to become a doctor and it’s important to get the facts straight. If my hero is a top-flight surgeon then he has to be in his thirties. He’s a mature man who has worked his way up and learned a lot along the way. Maybe he’s dedicated his life to making a success of his career, and maybe he’s done it at the expense of his personal happiness; that’s something I have to decide. One thing is certain, though, he has a lot of baggage and that will impinge on his relationship with my heroine.

It goes without saying that a hero needs to be attractive. He doesn’t have to be drop-dead handsome but he definitely needs to have that certain something that draws my heroine (and my readers) to him. He needs what one of my fans calls “the wriggle” factor. She describes it as the moment when the hero appears on the page and she suddenly feels the urge to wriggle in her chair. Watch out for it the next time you’re reading a book which has a really scrumptious hero in it.

Sincerity is another pre-requisite for my hero. I need to know that he isn’t just stringing my heroine along. He must put her interests first at every turn and never deliberately do anything that will hurt her. He cares about her even though he might not want to do so.

He has to be totally trustworthy both in the work he does and in his private life. By the end of the book, I need to be sure that he is going to care for my heroine for the rest of his life. OK, I’ll hold up my hands here and admit than I can be a bit mean to him by setting him all sorts of tests, but he needs to prove to me that he’s worthy of my heroine’s love.

A good sense of humour is absolute must for any hero of mine. I don’t want to lumber my heroine with a guy who can’t enjoy the lighter side of life so my hero has to show that he can laugh at himself. This is the man my heroine is going to spend the rest of her life with and I certainly don’t want her being bored to death!

Last on the list is a man who likes children and pets. This might seem a strange requirement but it’s the yardstick by which I measure my hero and decide if he lives up to my expectations. There is no better way to show the tender side of a hero than when he is interacting with someone, or something, more vulnerable than he is.

So that’s how I set about finding a hero. It’s an ongoing quest because every new book I write means that I have to start the search all over again. I’ve been extremely lucky so far and met some wonderful men who have fulfilled all my criteria.

So, what do you think are the not-negotiables for a hero in the books you love to read?

Check out the gorgeously sexy Harry Shaw in THE WOMAN HE’S BEEN WAITING FOR (NA Feb 07) and Christos Constantine, the brooding hero of Dr CONSTANTINE’S BRIDE (UK May 07). They definitely have “the wriggle factor!”

Jennifer is always delighted to hear from readers, so do visit her website at


  1. Great to read your post, Jennifer, and as a fellow Meds writer, I agree with every word of it! OK, so I am biased, but there is just nothing like Med hero! They are special. And you write great ones! You new book is on my TBR pile as a treat for when I finish my current wip.


  2. Jennifer, thanks for the great tips. Really enjoyed your post. Looking forward to reading your book.

  3. Really enjoyed reading your post. Very inspirational.

  4. Just popped in as I have been glued to my keyboard (and my latest hero!)and read the posts. Thanks so much for your comments. It's great to know that I didn't bore you all to death about my quest for the perfect man!