Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Writer's Wednesday - Big, Strong Heroes!

HelenKay Dimon is here to talk about her favorite part of writing - those big, tough heroes!

Readers often ask me to describe my favorite part of the writing process. Honestly? It's finishing the book. But, while I'm writing, the part I love the most is learning about the hero and then capturing his essence on the page. I love writing about big, strong men who are brought to their knees by the love of a good woman. I love writing about alpha guys who are tough on the outside but vulnerable in other ways. I totally love writing about men and the bonds they have with each other.

I blame the HBO miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS for that last one. The miniseries was about war but it was also about the deep connection formed between these remarkable men. They fought together, developing this rock-solid loyalty. That's pretty sexy. It's also very telling. You learn a lot of about a man by watching him with other men. There is a cadence to their talk, an unspoken comfort, a back-and-forth needling and banter. It's a bond that transcends blood relations. It's why Linda Howard's Mackenzie family heroes still touch me. Why I've read the series over and over. They relate to each other in a certain way, whether they are fighting or joking. They respect and love their women and each other. Again, very sexy.

I tend to write these tough-guy, loyal heroes for Harlequin Intrigue. They're alpha and protective and sometimes step over the line in the rush to rescue. They tend to be loners except for a small group of trusted friends. They are flawed and in some way not quite whole. Whether I shoot them and make it so they can't fulfill their need to rescue (UNDER THE GUN, March '10), fire them from their jobs and take away the thing that matters most (NIGHT MOVES, June '10) or make them claustrophobic and then stick them in a cave (GUNS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, January '11), I push them from their comfort zones.

My plan for my Intrigue heroes usually goes like this: take a man who is protective by nature and then make it impossible for him to live up to who he is. Injure him, drag him into a situation he is desperate to avoid, dredge up his past, and put a wall between him and what he needs. Overcoming obstacles brings out his hero qualities and makes him worthy of the heroine. And, really, isn't that the point?
What about you - are there any flaws/problems/issues you hate to see in a romance hero?


  1. Hi HelenKay

    I'm a huge fan of Linda Howard's Mackensie men too! Have reread the books countless times... And now you've reminded me I might just have a quick flick through again!

    Your Intrigue heroes sound very intriguing too, I must say! I love the idea of an injured hero struggling to fulfill his protective nature against the odds. Very sexy.

  2. Thank you!!

    I just re-read the Mackenzie series. Love those heroes.