Holding Out For a Hero

linda-sig.jpgHappy April’s Fool Day! I regret that I don’t have any tricks to play on you to celebrate the holiday. Just can’t think of any and I’m too nice anyway. Ha! If you only knew me. I’m sure you don’t mind it though that I’m going to talk about a favorite subject–heroes and the different types. My Filly sister, Elizabeth Lane, touched on this subject a bit in her Thursday blog but I wanted to approach it from another angle. Besides, I already had this one written and it’d be a pure sin to waste it. lol

guns3.gifAll of us can agree that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. We have our dark brooding kind, the fun-loving ones, the ordinary men who have hero status thrust on them, and the professional men who are born heroes and can’t be anything different. A lot of heroes are a combination of several types and that’s interesting.

charles-bronson.jpgThe dark brooders are those who’ve seen a passel of grief and wouldn’t know a smile if it bit him on the butt. Life is serious business for these men, but he’s more than capable of handling whatever it throws at him. He’s had to learn things the hard way. This is my favorite kind of man to write. My hero, Duel McClain, in Knight on the Texas Plains was a brooder. But my ultimate bad boy was Brodie Yates in Redemption. Brodie was even more dark and tortured. Both Duel and Brodie had been through hell and back and didn’t see much sense in pretending they hadn’t. Yet, their spirit was unbroken by life’s trials. In fact, the trials had only served to make them stronger and more determined. They were men few would dare cross.

little-joe.jpgFun-loving heroes are interesting and a joy to write. They come across as men who are full of tomfoolery. They like to joke and laugh, but underneath all the merry-making lies a gritty toughness. Men of this nature can deliver stiff punishment to those who trample on their idea of law and order. Any man would be a fool to think these heroes are soft or weak. I’ve only written one hero that falls in this category. That’s Luke McClain in The Cowboy Who Came Calling. Luke had so much heart and a need to be helpful that it sometimes got in the way of listening to the heroine’s desires, especially when it came to taking care of her farm. Luke could charm the horns off a Billy goat in nothing flat. Fun-loving heroes are simply irresistible.

nathan-kamp-face.jpgOrdinary men who have hero status thrust on them are great characters to write. They can be shopkeepers, blacksmiths, ranchers, or plain old dyed-in-the-wool saddle tramps. They really have no desire to achieve glory or to be anything more than what they are. They only want to do their jobs and live their lives. It’s when they run up against bad men that they find strength they don’t know they have. Ordinary men can be formidable when it comes to writing wrongs. Payton McCord, my hero in The Love Letter of the “Give Me a Texan” anthology was this type of man. He had no desire to be anything more than a good cow hand, tend the cattle, and draw a fair day’s wage. But when everyone turned on the woman sheep herder and tried to run her off her land, he had to step in to help her. And he does it in fine fashion I might add.

clint-eastwood.jpgThe professional hero, the toughest and most rugged, is a man who hasn’t had to learn his skills. They were simply born to him. He’s not a brooder, although he does brood. To put it simply, he’s a doer and a seeker. It’s his job to fight injustice wherever he finds it and he feels his duty deep down in the marrow of his bones. He has a strength and power that is unequaled. No one is going to get the best of him without a heck of a fight on their hands. He can outshoot, outfight, and outwit the meanest of the mean. This kind of man is fun to pit against a stubborn, god-awful determined woman. Makes for some searing sparks. I use this type of hero in my upcoming story, Texas Tempest, which is part of a new anthology called “Give Me a Cowboy.” McKenna Smith is a gun-for-hire with a conscience. He can handle anything life dishes out. . .except for a beautiful widow who’s buried five husbands.

So there you have it without the April fool. What kind of hero are you holding out for? What kind makes your heart flutter and your knees go weak? Inquiring minds want to know. 

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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!
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32 thoughts on “Holding Out For a Hero”

  1. Good Morning Linda

    I have read all the described heros above. I love them all, but if I had to pick one it would be the fun loving.

    Great that you used Clint for the professional, he is a complete professional cowboy.

    I loved “the Love Letter” by the way

    have a great day

  2. Good Morning Linda Happy April Fools Day, I got my girls this morning I told them Schools were closed they decieded to have a Teachers Work Day then I came back to tell them April Fools My oldest daughter said I she didn’t think that was funny because it really was a teacher’s work day I almost believed that one LOL but she April fooled me. It would be hard for me to pick just one type I love to read to much to be stuck with one catagory of man, having said that i did see my childhood heart throb “Little Joe” up there but now since i’m older i like a little more ruffer cowboy that can handle whatever situation he’s up against take charge kinda guy but softens when he finds love he does what he has to do to win her over. But basically I just love the Spirit of Cowboys !

  3. Love this blog, Linda! And your heroes are like a box of yummy gourmet chocolates. I’d love to pick them all. I tend to like dark brooders. Ordinary men also have a lot of appeal. Thanks for a great start to my April Fool’s day. I will be on alert for the rest of it.

  4. I like the gentle fun loving type, sometimes the dark ones would be okay I guess we all have to be in the mood and then all the different ones would be okay.

  5. Hi Linda- Great post on different types of heroes. It took me a while to learn to write really dark heroes, they’d always want to smile and say something clever, but eventually I stuck to my guns and got it right. Having said that, my May anthology has a hero that I love who incorporates the toughness of a rancher, the tenderness of a loving father and the tomfoolery of a mischievous boy. I really love him. He was a pleasure to write and so much fun.
    I think all in all, I love to read and write about all kinds of heroes you have described.
    Just like a box of chocolates, like Elizabeth said – you can’t pick just one!

  6. Well, I’ve just thought and thought on this and I love’em ALL.
    I’m not going to be able to pick.
    I’ll got back and look again, though, maybe after a few minutes…or an hour or so…I’ll decide.

  7. Sherry, thanks so much for the compliment on “The Love Letter.” I’m really flattered and thrilled you liked the story! I love hearing from readers, especially the satisfied kind. 🙂

    Ah, yes. The fun-loving hero is good. A writer can do a lot more with that kind of character than she can with some of the others I think. He’s a bit of a rascal and always quick with a grin or a laugh. But, he even nature can be deceiving. He has a ruggedness underneath.

    Thanks for commenting and I hope you have a good day!

  8. Happy April’s Fool to you too, Lori! Yeah, your girls tricked you even better than you did them. Kids are really quick. Keeps us on our toes.

    Yeah, Little Joe is a good choice. He was something. Sure did make a lot of girls dream back in the day. But I think as we get older we kinda want a man who can take charge under any circumstance and handle things. We kinda want a protector at times when we get tired of being strong. I know I do.

    Take care and watch out for those rascally kids!

  9. Elizabeth, Happy April’s Day! Watch out for the tricksters. Yep, these heroes are like a box of yummy chocolates. It’s hard to pick when you have so many favorites. Your hero in “The Stranger” was definitely a tortured brooder. You made me feel his pain in a huge way. I loved that hero!

    I’m wishing you a wonderful day that’s full of pleasurable things. 🙂

  10. Hi Brenda! Glad to see you. Hope you’re having a good April Fool’s Day. The fun-loving heroes are special all right. They can be gentle and considerate. And for sure and certain, they can show you a good time. They’re always laughing and cutting up….whenever they have all the bad guys lassoed. Ha!

  11. Morning, Charlene! I think your Bodine in “Bodine’s Bounty” was a brooder. But he was also a bit of a professional. I thought you did an exceptional job in showing his dark side. But oh man, was he tender when it came to the heroine!! I agree that it’s hard to keep those kind from joking around and saying funny things. A writer sure has to get into the character’s skin in order to portray each type effectively.

    Happy April Fool’s Day! Keep an eye out. 🙂

  12. Mary, you can like ’em all. It’s no crime. Really. 🙂 But, I’m betting you’ll choose the fun-loving when it’s all said and done because that’s your nature. I could be wrong though. Maybe I’d better wait for the verdict.

    While you’re deciding, I hope you have a wonderful April Fool’s Day! Don’t believe anything anyone tells you today.

  13. I kind of like them all. I am reading Give Me A Texan right now so I know where you are coming from on the heros of this book. Although the fun loving one like Little Joe there was just something about him that was a turn on, then you had the serious one like Adam in that show. I think I just love them all.

  14. Can I have them all? 🙂

    And thanks for skipping the tricks–the heroes are much more fun to look at and discuss 😉

  15. OMGosh, Linda, what a fabulous and fun break down of hero types!!! I want to print it and buy a bulliten board to pin it on! I’ll tell ya–I love ’em all 😀 And Duel was such a great brooding hero, that opening scene, his reaction to the baby crawling around the dirty floor beneath the card table–how he felt so sorry for himself when he was stuck with the baby *lol* I was sooo instantly hooked on him 😉

    Although….If I had to pick just one, it’d have to be the profressional hero….”toughest and most rugged, is a man who hasn’t had to learn his skills. They were simply born to him.” That line alone makes my heart flutter *g* I had a blast writing one of these guys in GUNSLINGER…Juniper’s “gift” was his “curse” 😉

  16. I like the ordinary hero who translates to the reluctant hero to me. Totally my favorite, Bruce Willis in Die Hard, Jim Rockford, The Rockford Files, Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    At the end of the day you still have to remind them to take out the trash. lol

  17. I’ll take one of each, please! Thanks for such an in-depth look at hero-types and a fun topic. Oh my goodness.

    You know, I’d love to hear more about some of your previous books. This was fascinating.

  18. Oh, and I’m reading The Letter right now and loving it. There just isn’t enough time. I stick the book in my purse for when I’m waiting somewhere and can sneak a few minutes. I was going to read it while getting a pedicure this morning, but then they did my nails at the same time, so I had no hand to hold it! LOL

  19. Virginia H, I hope you’re enjoying The Love Letter as much as I enjoyed writing it. That was a lot of fun. Payton McCord was a dreamy, wonderful hero. Yeah, Brodie Yates of “Redemption” was more like Adam Cartwright. He had a lot of demons.

    Thanks for coming by to comment on this April Fool’s Day. Hope you’re having a good one.

  20. Fedora, yep you can sure have ’em all. We don’t have to settle for just one. Besides, it’s too hard to choose. It’s even better when we have a real in-the-flesh one. Have a great April Fool’s Day!! 🙂

  21. Hi Stacey! Hope no one’s playing any tricks on you today. Professional heroes are special. They can be as tough on the outside as you can make ’em, but inside they’re gentle as lambs. If you catch ’em with the briefest hint of smile you know you’ve really tickled their fancy. Thank you so much for the kind words regarding Duel McClain of “Knight on the Texas Plains.” He made a great hero. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.

  22. Hi Tina, I was beginning to wonder if anyone’s favorite was the ordinary hero. I like an unpretentious man who just wants to do his job and get paid. They’re very dedicated — both to their work and to their women. Can’t hardly beat an ordinary hero. They’re usually very kind and considerate, even if they have to be reminded to take out the trash. Ha!

    Hope you’re having a fantastic April Fool’s Day. I ran to the store a minute ago and a strange man came up and told me I had a flat tire. I almost had a conniption fit and imagined all the problems that fixing it entailed. Then he smiled real big and told me it was an April Fool’s joke. From the look on my face he was probably thinking he’d better do something fast. 🙂

  23. Hey Cheryl! Glad you enjoyed the topic and a brief look at the heroes in my books. In my first one, “Knight on the Texas Plains,” Duel McClain wins a baby in a poker game and then has to decide what to do with her.

    In “The Cowboy Who Came Calling” Luke McClain gets shot accidentally by the heroine. Of course, then she has to take him home and patch him up. It’s the only right thing to do. But then once Luke sees the disrepair of her farm he can’t leave.

    “Redemption” featured Brodie Yates, a man who’s hunted by the U.S. Army for being a spy during the Civil War. Brodie has a lot of problems, one of which is falling in love with his brother’s fiance. Brodie oozes with sex appeal, honor, and integrity.

    That’s it in a nutshell. Hope you have a great April Fool’s Day without the fool. 🙂

  24. Cheryl, I got the idea about the poker game from a John Wayne movie I once saw where he and another guy run across a lone wagon out in the middle of the prairie. The father had died or gotten killed I don’t remember which. But the mother was dying when they found her. She’d just given birth. John Wayne and his partner took the baby. Somehow they find a bottle and some milk. It has a funny scene where they’re fighting over who gets to feed it. That was a good movie. But, I got the poker game part from a true story and the little girl who lived next door to us when I was growing up. She’d been won in a poker game. I couldn’t believe it. Still have a hard time with that now.

    Yeah, a P&P Filly anthology would be the icing on the cake. That would be so much fun!! Well, doesn’t hurt to dream.

  25. Hi Linda!

    “The Love Letter” was a wonderful story and so much fun to read. Where is my Payton?! 🙂 Which leads me to pick the “Ordinary Man!”…and b/c I think the picture you chose for this category was the cutest 🙂

  26. I have “read” all these heroes and I don’t recall
    any hero I didn’t enjoy! Keep ’em coming!!

    Pat Cochran

  27. Kathleen, bless you, dear woman! I’m overjoyed that you liked “The Love Letter.” It was such fun to write, but writers always have doubts niggling in their heads. We never really know for sure about a story until we hear from the readers. Thank you so very much. Yeah, Payton McCord was an exceptional character. He had that dry kind of humor and an honor that wouldn’t let others drive out his lady.

    Laura, how nice of you to stop by! This is great. I enjoyed your blog so much Saturday. You found a passel of cowboy sayings and learned a few new ones I think to boot. Hope you had a good April Fool’s Day! 🙂

    Patricia, you sure know how to make a girl smile. Thank you! Yes, I’ll keep the heroes coming. Shoot, I’ve used them all so I’m going to have to start over now. lol Won’t be hard.

    Mary, I agree that Little Joe had the best laugh I ever heard. Just the sound of it had me in stitches and giggling.

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