Monday, January 09, 2012

Male On Monday with Merrillee Whren

Please welcome to The Pink Heart Society, Love Inspired author Merrillee Whren as she takes a different view of our Male on Monday, looking at the heart of a hero.
When I get ready to start a book, I look through the collection of pictures I have accumulated over the years. They come from magazine, catalogues and calendars. The picture above came from a calendar that featured pets, and it became the inspiration for the physical description of Parker Watson, the hero for Montana Match, my January 2012 book from Love Inspired. Not only was the picture the inspiration for my hero, but it inspired part of the story. I’m an organic writer and start with the barest of outlines for my books. I never planned to include a dog in the story, but one day I pulled out the picture to remind myself about the hero’s appearance. While I studied it, the idea of including the dog blossomed, and it fit seamlessly into the story. 


There is definitely more to a hero than what he looks like. I want my hero to be someone my readers care about as much as the heroine does. Some of my favorite heroes are guys with troubled pasts. Parker is no exception. If he is going to win the love of the heroine, he has to forgive the people who hurt him and made him a near recluse on his ranch.

The idea for this story came about because I wanted to write the stories of the three teenagers who were secondary characters in a couple of my earlier books, Love Walked In and The Heart’s Forgiveness. Brittany Gorman, the heroine of Montana Match, was the petite red-haired cheerleader who captured the interest of the heroine’s son, Max, in Love Walked In. I knew when I started to write Brittany’s story that she wasn’t going to wind up with Max, so I had to come up with the guy who could help Brittany get over the recent breakup of her eight-year relationship with Max and a guy who would make her think again and reconsider the things she wants out of life.

Who would bring them together? And why would this troubled man capture her interest?

Brittany’s best friend brings them together for a fun ski weekend in a Montana resort, not far from Parker’s ranch. He is a single dad, and his love for his adopted twin girls makes it hard for Brittany to say no when he offers her a job as nanny for his children. She sees him as hero material when she learns the story behind the adoption.

What is your favorite kind of hero?

Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes for Harlequin Love Inspired. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of thirty plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Chicago but now makes her home on one of God’s most beautiful creations, an island off the east coast of Florida. When she’s not writing or working for her husband’s recruiting firm, she spends her free time playing tennis or walking the beach, where she does the plotting for her novels. Please visit her Web site at http://www.merrilleewhren.com connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/merrillee.whren.


17 comments:

  1. Hi Merrillee--What a great hero photo. It shouts out "caring guy". I like to write and read about heroes who overcome troubled pasts. I also like very together guys in tough circumstances, who are hanging on, trying to keep the family together in spite of the odds. It sounds like your hero is both.

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  2. Very informative,Merrillee,and the handsome hero's image will be with me all day!
    I like heroes who are tough when they need to be,yet are really loving toward others especially their loved ones,and aren't afraid to show they too have faults and problems.
    Now since you mentioned previous books,I am going to have to try to dig them out of my bookshelves so I can reread them before I read the new one.
    Thank you,Merrillee,and have a great day!

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  3. Jeannie, thanks. You are so right about the picture. I think that's what drew me to it. The hero of my book is definitely caring, but has a troubled past.

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  4. Aunt Cheryl, I'm so glad you like my hero. I think you will find Parker tough, but still vulnerable. I hope you enjoy Montana Match. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. My heros are the 7 leaders of my Faith (Baha'i), who are imprisoned in Iran. Unfortunately the current publishing climate makes their stories & romances based on any faith other than mainstream Christian impossible to find or sell. Yet we could learn so much from reality-based heroes, just as Merrilee's examples given above.

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  6. I must try your method of gathering pictures for my stories.

    Beth Szabo

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  7. Beth, keep trying to sell your stories. You never know when the market might open up for such a story.

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  8. Beth S., I have a good time going through all the pictures to see what I might come up with. When I picked out this particular one, I wasn't looking at the dog. Funny how it played into the story later. And who can resist a hero who loves dogs??

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  9. Beth, keep trying to sell your stories. You never know when the market might open up for such a story.

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  10. What a good read this would be.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Wendy
    wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  11. Ah, we do love our heroes, do we not? My favorite are a mix of a little alpha and a little beta, but always heroic!

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  12. Thank you for sharing Merrillee. Love your organic writing process. Sounds like the right way to grow a story. Great to be connected on Facebook too.

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  13. I love the picture of the hero with the dog. I really like heroes who connect with animals.

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  14. Kaelee, I also like heroes that connect with animals. With the internet, it's sometimes hard to keep the days straight when people are commenting from all over the world.

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