Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Destination: Life : : Holding out for a Hero

lifes journey bigger_thumb
Anne McAllister is enjoying the search for a hero. It’s her own Male on Monday sort of thing – and it doesn’t end on Tuesday unless she wants it to!
If my husband had agreed to naming a son Brendan, I would probably never have written books. There is life and there is art; and if one is perfectly satisfactory, why waste time trying to create a substitute?
But. after naming four sons and getting no closer to Brendan, I decided I need to take matters into my own hands and create one without his help. Sort of an immaculate conception, if you will. So, I had a Brendan of my own. Finally. He didn’t turn out to be my first hero. I went through Colin and Joe and Jake first. Dunno why. The time wasn’t right or something.
But eventually I had Brendan, and since Brendan I’ve had sixty odd more heroes. And I’ve had to come up with sixty-odd more names. And personalities. But generally I start with the name.
Sometimes they are names I really like – like Brendan. And sometimes they are names I’ve named minor characters who suddenly start knocking over the furniture and thrusting their way into scenes they don’t belong in and generally creating havoc until I promise them a book of their own.
Cmackenziesbaby_usarter was like that.
Carter showed up in Imagine as my hero Jack’s best buddy. Carter drank beer and ate junk food and generally created difficulties. I didn’t see him as hero material at all. Fortunately neither did he.
But then I ended up with a book suggested by The Powers That Be (first, last and only, I am confident). I needed a guy to not get the girl, and Carter was just standing around eating junk food, so I drafted him.
He turned out to be pretty broken up when he asked the heroine to marry him and she said no. The world was no longer his oyster. He looked around and realized that life might take a little bit of effort.
“Almost there,” I told him, and gave him his own book, MacKenzie’s Baby.
The last thing Carter wanted was a baby on his doorstep. Especially because it wasn’t even his doorstep! Or his baby!
But he coped. He grew up. He turned out to be a great guy. He got the girl.
A lot of heroes are like that. They don’t start out all that heroic. They have to grow into the role.
Yiannis, in my most recent book, Savas’s Wildcat, was definitely that sort of guy.
So is the new guy on the block – Lukas.
I’m more careful what I name minor characters now (though I admit Yiannis was probably not well-thought-out). So I’ve been waiting for Lukas. But now I’ve got to figure out who he is.
Unlike Carter and Yiannis, he hasn’t been around in earlier books. Oh, I mentioned him now and then. He’s Martha Antonides’s twin brother. So he figures in the back story. But other than going walkabout now for the better part of six years and coming home for one wedding – his brother Elias’s – he’s been off the radar.
I’m not exactly sure what he looks like. But I’m getting an idea. I’m not exactly sure what all he’s been doing while he’s been out walking about, but a few things seem to be thrown his way and he’s grabbing the ideas that stick.
I’ve been trying my best to put together a collage because Anne Gracie insists that it gives her a window into her characters’ world. And I believe everything Anne Gracie says.
I even did one for my last book, and it worked out well, if you don’t count the fact that I set the book in the summer and made the collage to reflect it, and was so late with the book that it is now a Christmas story. But we won’t talk about that.
So, if you have guys you’d like to suggest for my perusal, just let me know in the comments. I’m very willing to make this my work for the week – or two.
I have a couple of ideas – which I’ve included. But I’m not wedded to any particular one, yet. And I’m always willing to window shop. So bring ‘em on. It’s one of the best parts of getting ideas for another book.
Watch for Savas’s Wildcat. It’s on the shelves now.


  1. Great post. I can't wait to read about Lukas! Have fun discovering who he is!

  2. Thanks, Melissa. I think he has hidden depths I haven't begun to tap yet. Should be interesting!