I’m currently working on the third and final book in my Wild trilogy and with MAVERICK WILD just three short weeks from mass release, my thoughts have been monopolized by my Wild bunch. My blog topic this morning is going to be a comparison of my Wild heroes – three very different archetypes, some of whom were more difficult to write than others. Something this series has taught me is to always look ahead—especially when developing secondary characters who could possibly take on a lead role in their own stories. I get asked quite often what draws me to a hero and what are my favorite characteristics in a sexy hero. My answer is always his smile, a telltale sign of his ability to bring humor, hope and a positive spin to an otherwise hopeless or dreadful situation . MUSTANG WILD started with a vision of Tucker Morgan lounged at a poker table, his lips tipped in a crooked grin, a mischievous glint in his eyes. That smile didn’t let me down–he proved to be a fun hero to chase across the page.
Despite my personal preference of hero, not every hero is quick to smile. That could not be more true than with Chance Morgan, Tucker’s straight-faced twin brother. In MUSTANG WILD, Tucker describes his twin as ‘truly my other half. My boring half.’. Compared to Tucker’s playful nature, there could be some truth to that statement from an outside point of view—which was all fine and dandy when Chance was secondary back-up to his light-hearted brother. But as a hero…I was suddenly asking myself, “What have I created?” I was crazy about Tucker, and Chance is nothing like his twin–nor did he have any desire to emulate his brother. How was I going to take this silent pillar of strength, caution and conviction and make him loveable? I had heard about this technique of sitting down with your characters for a little interrogation…or interview, if you will. So I figured I’d give that a shot with Chance. We sat across a table and stared at one another for hours…and hours, but I’m telling y’all, he was a tough one to crack. The man did nothing but stare and fidget. One cool thing about being an author is having telepathic powers *g* — the ability to get into our characters minds, and that was where I began to unravel this hero, to find his humor and wit, and the bruised heart he guarded like Fort Knox. In MAVERICK WILD, Chance doesn’t suddenly become chatty or playful–he’s his usual solid, silent self, and it’s through the introduction of his heroine that Chance is forced to remember a time when he was whole. A time when he used to laugh and find some joy amid the daily struggles of life.
I’m a true believer in opposites attract. My heroes and heroines, while they do share certain characteristics that give them a sense of understanding with one another, they are generally at opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Watching them spark, clash and finally meld is great fun for me. In MUSTANG WILD Tucker is wild and reckless, whereas Skylar is wild by her own right, but in a strictly no-nonsense, get-the-job-done sort of way. Together they bridge the gap in one another and bring out the best in each other. Chance needed a heroine who was as soft and gentle as he was hard, and Cora Mae Tindale is the epitome of feminine primness in a woman—everything Chance believes he hates in a woman. As he discovers, Cora Mae is hardly a pushover and far from hapless. She posses every bit of his strength and determination, something he identifies with. And for every one word that Chance utters, Cora Mae prattles off fifty. Because these two had so much shared hurt and history, MAVERICK WILD turned out to be my first real emotionally-driven story. While there’s certainly plenty of external troubles these two have to deal with, their biggest journey is finding a way into each others hearts.
The hero of INTO THE WILD (working title for Wild 3) is Garret Daines, Skylar’s younger brother, and he’s shaping up to be a good blend of Tucker and Chance. He has a light-hearted nature that’s visible in MUSTANG WILD and still strong in the beginning of MAVERICK WILD, but by the start of his own book, his light-hearted outlook has been dampened by heartache in his recent past. Growing up in the shadow of Tucker and Chance hasn’t been easy on his ego and he’s out to prove he’s every bit the man they are and is ready to fight the world to prove it. He’ll have to, seeing as mother-nature’s winter fury and ruthless cattle rustlers are out to take all he has. Readers will catch a glimpse of Garret’s wild-woman-to-be in MAVERICK WILD. But Garret was raised by a wild woman, so no matter the snark and attitude this mountain recluse throws his way, he’s along for the ride–and he’s going to fight for his woman whether she wants him to or not. This book promises to be a rip-roarin’ ride as Garret and Maggie spark, clash and ultimately meld 🙂
So, do you have a favorite hero archetype? The warrior? The romantic? The jokester? A certain feature or characteristic that really draws you to a hero?