Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday Talk-Time - The Historical Hero

This Thursday at The Pink Heart Society we continue with our Blogs from the RNA Romance Prize finalists as part of the run up to the prize giving at The Savoy Hotel, London at the end of this month... This week, finalist Anne Herries talks to us about the Historical's Hero...

When you pick up a historical novel what are you looking for? Period detail that isn't intrusive, of course, a feisty heroine who is prepared to overcome all the inevitable trials thrown in her way, but most of all you want a hero that makes you long to find him in your Christmas stocking. You want to feel the curl of desire as the heroine first sees him, witness the growing tension between them, and the way he sets out to seduce her (you)! In a book of this kind the reader must feel that a wholly delicious hero is seducing her.

So how do you set about creating a hero who fills your reader's mind with lustful thoughts, making her thrill every time the main characters meet? Tall dark and handsome is too much of a cliché. Quite often my hero isn't perfect. His features are sometimes harsh, but for me he must always have the kind of smile that sends flutters down the spine, and the kind of body that makes you want to tear his clothes off. His eyes should be penetrating so that when their eyes meet she feels a jolt, similar to picking up a live wire. More important than looks is strength, of body and character. A historical hero must be larger than life. He is never defeated by small problems, taking them in his stride. His enemy might capture him; he might lie near to death after a dastardly rogue has stabbed him in the back, but you just know that with the heroine's help he is going to make it through. Heroes are virtually indestructible. They can be hurt and it is great to bring them low now and then, just for the pleasure of seeing them fight through the pain, but you know that like the phoenix they will rise from the ashes.

In Nicola Cornick's book Lord Greville's Captive, the hero and heroine are thrown together in time of civil war. Simon Lord Greville is determined to subdue Grafton, a stronghold for King Charles 1 and must be ruthless even when dealing with a woman who fills his senses and his dreams. Can Lady Anne make him love her despite the fact that they are enemies?

In Michelle Styles book The Gladiator's Honour, Julia knows that the gladiator Valens is forbidden to her. She should have nothing to do with him, but his strength, courage and splendid body hold her spellbound. Yet how can she ever give herself to such a man? Only if Valens passes the final test of courage and valour can he hope to claim his love – who wouldn't fall for a man like?

And in Anne Herries book An Improper Companion, Elizabeth has become companion to one of her Mama's best friends. When Daniel Earl of Cavendish comes to stay with his Mama, Elizabeth is caught in a dangerous web of mystery and deceit, drawn by the mocking charm of the Earl as she falls in love. Can she discover the truth that lies behind his enigmatic smile?

Three heroes, three different stories, but all have that one magical factor – a hero that makes the reader melt inside. These three books are amongst six short-listed for the RNA Romance Prize. It is good to see so many of this genre on the list this year.
We agree Anne! And we wish all the Historicals Authors the best of luck! Next week we'll be looking at Contemporary Hero's...

Anne Herries is a firm favourite among historical readers. She won the 2004 RNA Romance Prize for A Damnable Rogue.
Her latest North American realease -- Forbidden Lady is out this month, and in the UK it is the final part of the trilogy that started with An Improper Companion -- A Worthy Gentleman.
To learn more you can visit her Website.

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