Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Writer's Wednesday - The Hero at Home

This Writer's Wednesday, celebrate your own hero at home with Terry McLaughlin!

I discovered the romance genre the year I turned forty. Looking back on all that's happened since, I suppose I could identify that delightful encounter as the onset of my midlife crisis. Not only did my reading habits change overnight, I began to write for the first time in my life. I found a new group of friends (other writers) and a new way to spend my vacation time (at writing conferences). I also found, within the pages of each love story I eagerly devoured, a new way of appreciating the hero I live with.

Yes, I'm married to the hero of a romance novel–the hero of all the romances I've written, at any rate. I may rely on my imagination to create fictional characters, but facets of the man I love continue to seep into every story. Whether it's a wise-cracking charm or a heart-squeezing shyness, a set-jawed determination or a wry acceptance of fate, I can't resist adding touches of the qualities that appeal to me. And I couldn't do the hard work of writing my stories without the solid and steadfast support I get from my hero at home.

I'm not the only writer who thinks so highly of her personal hero. Each year I hear wonderful testimonies to these men as I listen to the Golden Heart and RITA awards acceptance speeches. I've heard other real-life stories, too...about the husband who flew to New York and back in a single day to deliver his wife's manuscript...about the husband who offered to sell his treasured motorcycle to raise writing conference funds...about the husband who postponed his surgery so that his wife could accept an award in person.

We romance readers and writers are, on average, a happily-in-love group. According to the 2009 Reader Survey posted on the Romance Writers of America Web site, romance readers are more likely than the general population to be living in a romantic relationship. We certainly spend more time than the general population considering the qualities that make a man desirable, don't you think?

What heroic qualities do you find in your personal hero? Have you ever read about a hero who reminded you of the man at home? Have you ever gifted a story's hero with a spouse's characteristic?

When Terry McLaughlin's husband granted her wish for a stained glass window, he unwittingly launched the plans for her December Superromance, A Small-Town Reunion. Check out pictures of Terry's heroic husband on her Web site.

link for RWA survey info:

link for Terry's Web site:


  1. What a lovely post. Bits of my husband find their way into my heroes too. I think the best thing my husband ever did was take on working an extra day away from home so I could quit my job, write fulltime and try to get published. The man is a small god. Not to mention the fact that he is also very understanding, intelligent, makes me laugh, and we never, ever run out of conversation. :-)

  2. I just had to comment on this post too! Gave me goosebumps. My man is not the typical romantic type in that he doesn't do traditional romance gestures all that well. But he's funny, hard-working, a fabulous dad and he does more than his fair share of the housework so that I can spend the days when my kids are at kindy or daycare... writing! What a man!

  3. Aww, Jackie, you make me teary. You're right--your husband is beyond wonderful :-). And I'll bet he adores the fact that you give him all the appreciation he deserves.

    Conversations--happy, happy sigh :-). Those are some of the best times, aren't they?

  4. Rachael, I think housework beats flowers and candlelight hands down, and any man who showers his wife with vacuuming, or dishwashing, or time, is the most romantic kind of man there is ;-).

  5. That's lovely, Terry. And what a fabulous cover. The artist really did you proud.

  6. Hi, Liz, and thank you! I've always wanted one of those about-to-be-kissed covers, and I finally got one :-). I have to admit I spent a lot of time sighing over it when it first arrived ;-).

  7. Hi Terry. I guess bits of my husband probably do end up in my heroes. I love that my husband is content for me to follow my dream of becoming an author. At night when I sit up typing away, being a hero is never questioning why I feel the need to write, and always showing support. I feel so upset when a writer comments that their husband/partner resents the time they spend writing. So here's to all those hero hubbys who love that we write!


  8. Hear, hear, Soraya :-).

    When I'm on a deadline, my husband will often make a cup of perfectly sweetened tea and quietly set it near my elbow. On other occasions he'll stand in the doorway, watching as I tap-tap-tap away. When I glance up to see what he wants, he'll grin and say, "Sounds like money."