I knew at some point in my adult life my addiction to Superhero's would have a payoff. And you need to understand I'm an avid follower... from an early age... Christopher Reeve as Superman started me off... Finally, in 2007 I found not just one excuse - sorry - JUSTIFICATION for the addiction but TWO. And today I bring you the first of them...
Because it turns out I developed a bit of a thing for men dressed in green leather last year.
Now before any of you jump in here with a lewd comment on that one, let me explain. It's a SUPERHERO in green leather - and those boys can get away with wearing pretty much anything while saving the world. Look below the leather - STOP IT! - and you'll discover more than a little hero inspiration in there.
Born on January 29th 1977 in Knoxville, Illinois (Happy Birthday in just over a week Justin!), Justin Scott Hartley was raised in Orland Park, Illinois with his older brother Nathan and younger sisters Megan and Gabriela. He attended Southern Illinois University and The University of Illinois in Chicago majoring in History and Theater and played various sports from high school up including baseball, basketball and soccer.... still listing his favorite pastime as baseball and playing basketball avidly to this day.
'All I could think was that I went to college-I can't be a waiter! But the bottom line is, that's what you do. If you work nights in a restaurant, you can go on auditions during the day. I got hooked up with a manager out here and got into an acting class. The first audition my manager got for me was for "Passions." I tested for a role and didn't get it. Then, I came back...'
This one he got - the role of Nicholas Foxworth Crane (Fox) not only gaining him a loyal following of fans along the way but as is the way of the business, leading him into roles in a movie called Race You To The Bottom and a pilot episode of Mercy Reef where he played his first Superhero as Arthur (AC) Curry aka Aquaman. The pilot wasn't picked up unfortunately (cos I've seen lots of pics of him swimming and it's a shame really even before I take into account my Superhero addiction...) but it was popular when it was put online and what it DID DO was bring him to the attention of the producers of Smallville; the TV Show telling a continuing story of a certain young man called Clark Kent...
And it was here he truly made his mark and where he came to my attention - cos anyone who knows me will know I'm a huuuugggeeeee Smallville fan (And yes, I am just enough of an addict to catch all the little clues to Clark's future persona as they're threaded through the seasons and to debate the free-license taken with the mythology and to... welllll don't even get me STARTED on the subject of flipping Lana Lang!) But Justin playing Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow, ( he's a sort of Robin Hood hero and Justin is the only guy to ever play Green Arrow on screen btw...), the new superhero in town - well - ladies... My little muse went INSANE with excitement - especially with the Justice League episode! She bounced off the walls.... pressed her little nose tighter to the screen.... insisted the volume was turned up and all the repeats were watched and the DVD box sets were ordered for further *study* and then she wanted to visit youtube and... my appreciation of a Superhero both in and out of green leather grew with each episode...
Lemme tell you why, apart from the obvious. For those uninitiated to the Superhero world - Oliver Queen is a CEO/millionaire - tick box one in muse's list of favourite hero inspiration requirements - add Justin's smooth, suave, confident performance as the edgy Oliver Queen and a glimmer of a lightbulb is appearing over my head. Oooohhhh this is how a young millionaire should be. Aha! I feel a Modern Heat coming on...
(As fellow Smallville fans know, The Green Arrow is no Boy Scout. He has a dark side and a guilty past. He's fought an addiction, for example, to a substance that causes instant healing but has very nasty effects on a Superhero's personality. And Oliver Queen, as a prep school bad-boy, was partly to blame for a school mate's death - the incident that's caused him to try to do greater good ever since... all of which adds a depth to the character that Justin plays so terribly well! A millionaire hero with a troubled past and a need to do good deeds secretly a la Darcy when he helped out...oooohhhh I DARE YOU TO watch this guy in action as Oliver and NOT have an idea or three jumping straight into your head demanding attention! And remember we talked about adding edgy to tall, blonde and handsome heroes recently? Nuff said.)
Then they added a touch of romance. With Lois Lane - but we'll not debate or explain that one cos this blog is only so long. But we had the accidental meeting when she assumed he was a delivery boy, belittled the millionaire she thought had sent him and actually tipped him. Which he found highly amusing. And then she had to go grovel to him. Which he knew she would. Two very strong personalities butting heads? Muse is now rubbing her hands with glee! This is like a study aid!!!
And as if that wasn't enough they added conflict. Cos Lois Lane couldn't really discover she was falling for a Superhero, could she? Clever writing that I thought; setting up her future conflicts by having her heart broken by someone who couldn't tell her the truth... Of course Muse snorted at that point and said she could write a clever story too. She even stuck her tongue out at the screen. And started plotting like crazy when Oliver did his wonderful goodbye scene with the classic line of; 'This is it, the moment, right? The moment that I'm gonna regret for the rest of my life - isn't it?'
To see what I mean by that and the very moment a hero was born in my head you can go see at Youtube here
So I had my hero inspiration for His Mistress: His Terms. Of course that's where I parted ways with the Superhero and attempted to create a super hero of my own. Did you see what I did there? Clever writing straight off the bat really ;) So if you read the book and Alex bears a remarkable physical resemblance to any of these lovely pics then I will unashamedly hold my hands up because Justin Hartley and the Green Arrow is where the initial spark of an idea came from. After that... well that's what Male On Monday is all about, isn't it?From that spark of inspiration came a fully blown hero straight out of my head and Alex is now Alex. And oh my... well the fact the book was written in three weeks with the help of the cheering squad at my Blog says it all really, doesn't it???
But back to Justin. His Smallville appearance was swiftly followed by appearances in both Cold Case and CSI: NY in 2007 and he has the movies Spring Breakdown and Red Canyon in 2008 while he returns for (hopefully) a couple more episodes as the Green Arrow - maybe more - writer's strike settlement willing. PLEASE. So you mark my words - if you haven't seen this chap around before then you will do. He's the kind of hero we love to write put on the screen in my opinion.
Trish's latest release (featuring the hero who *physically* looks incredibly like Oliver Queen aka Justin Hartley despite the dark haired chap on the cover) is on the shelves in the UK and Ireland RIGHT NOW!
You can order His Mistress: His Terms from both Amazon and the Mills & Boon website and for more info on what Trish is up to and her books you can visit her Website or her Blog...