SURFING FOR A HERO by Charlene Sands




At Harlequin, once we turn in our books to our editors, we are asked to write up a six page Art Fact Sheet, better knows as AFS.  Some of you might have read about how we are asked to describe the overall theme of our story, paint a synopsis of events, describe the hero and heroine to the letter and set the scene with description as well. We are also asked to come up with three scenes from our book that would make a good cover for the art department.


The art department needs everything in great detail so that they can best portray the tone, characters and theme of our stories on the cover.  Most authors groan about doing AFS.  We do them months after the book is finished and turned in and we’ve already moved onto our next stories. I’ve learned to be better about keeping files on my characters, so I can remember them for the AFS, when I’m asked to do them.


Ah, but something new had been added to the mix at Silhouette Desire.  We are now asked to send in photos of what our heroes and heroines look like.  Initially, there were grumbles and groans from the authors as you might  imagine!  More work, more time to sift through countless pictures finding THE right one that suits your characters.


I have to say that what I once thought of as a chore, is now quite fun and challenging.  Needless to say, I have a legitimate reason for surfing the net in search of the Ultimate Hero!!  It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it.


For my upcoming Desire Continuity for The Texas Cattleman’s Club, I’m the third of six books and for my story, the Texan’s Wedding Night Wager, I was given my characters’ profiles and photos.


Meet Kevin Novak … does he look familiar? 



 And this is his soon to be ex-wife, Cara.


 Okay, so now I’m writing a trilogy called Napa Valley Vows, set in California’s famous wine country.  I’ll have no trouble finding gorgeous vineyards and backdrops for the books.  In fact, my daughter, assistant managing editor for Vacation Homes and the Robb Report, did a piece on a stunning Napa Valley mansion that I will fashion for the Carlino Estate. 


I have to find three hunks for my stories that are all wealthy men with agendas of their own. The last thing they want is to run their late father’s winery.


Tony Carlino, the oldest brother is an ex-NASCAR champion. 

There’s only one man I’d envisioned for his character. All through the book, it had to be HUGH.



Joe Carlino, the middle brother is a computer nerd/genius.  He’s more comfortable sitting behind his desk, crunching numbers.  Joe’s a hottie, whether wearing his wire-rimmed glasses or not. Think Clark Kent/Superman. Years ago, I cut out a picture of a man in an advertisement and kept it in a file.  I knew one day, he’d be one of my heroes.  He’s Joe!





Now Nick Carlino has me a bit troubled.  I’ve got three possibilities for my third brother, the playboy charmer and youngest brother.  Nick’s never gonna settle down. He’s having too much fun playing the field. 




Eddie Cibrian






 Tim Daly


Colin Farrell

I’m reading Angels and Demons at the moment, hoping to finish it before the movie comes out and I picture Tom Hanks (whom I love) as the hero in the book because of his role in the movie. Same held true when I heard Tom Cruise had the lead role in The Firm. 

So, do you envision actors when reading a book or do you let your imagination take flight?

I need your help … whom do you think would make the best ladies man charmer, playboy type for my third story?  Or do you have another man in mind for Nick? Cast your vote either way or fill in another hero’s name and I’ll pick a winner randomly from your comments to recieve any book from my backlist of titles!! 

Eddie Cibrian

Tim Daly

Colin Farrell


Hero Surfing at its best!!


+ posts

42 thoughts on “SURFING FOR A HERO by Charlene Sands”

  1. Tim Daly. My editor runs a blog on Wednesdays featuring a new hunk and yowza, she finds some good ones.

    This is definitely the way to surf especially since I don’t like getting my face wet 🙂


  2. Hi Lizzie- Wow you are up early this morning!
    Yeah, I love his dimples too. Did you see him in the Nora Roberts movie on TV last month? He made a great hero.

  3. Hi Tanya,
    Oh, I’d like the url to your editor’s blog. I would love to see who she comes up with! You’re up early too!

    I watched the season finale of Private Practice last night. I’ve always been a fan of Tim’s. And I know he’s a nice guy. He stopped to help my girlfriend’s daughter and her friends when their car broke down. Jumped the car for them and said he’d want someone to help his daughter, if the situation were reversed. My friend’s daughter didn’t even know WHO he was.

    I guess we’re both Tim fans. It’s a good name!

  4. What a way to start off my day Sharlene by looking at hunky men. Be still my heart. I love Hugh Jackman with a passion, and I will be putting these book on my tbr list for sure. I see Edie as the perfect Nick. Tim is too down to earth for me and I although I like Colin at lot, I think he would be a bit too edgy!!
    Good luck with choosing. If you can’t choose one, put all of the names in a hat and pick one out.

  5. Hi Kathleen- I agree about Colin being edgy. He’s got a real bad boy reputation. But he’s so handsome. My hero for Book #3 has a great sense of humor and is really a good guy, but has a rep with the ladies. That’s part of the premise and conflict of the story. He meets up with a woman he’d rejected in high school and falls for her and her baby (not his) I can’t wait to write this one. I love those transformation stories.

  6. What a fun blog, Charlene. Just going by the photos, I’d vote for Eddie, but they’re all cuties.
    I’ll confess my hero’s face is kind of a blur when I write the story, maybe I want the reader to fill in the face she loves best. But when I do have to pick a face I usually thumb through my catalog collection. Some of them have gorgeous men. I used to get this catalog of fancy sweaters and things imported from Ireland–way to pricey and impractical for me. But the men–OMG!!
    Unfortunately I’m no longer receiving it. Maybe because I never bought anything.

  7. Hi Elizabeth,
    You know, usually my heroes are blurs, all handsome, tall and dark haired. The only times I’ve written blondish men, were when my editors asked for it. I have a vague idea of what they look like, but they are more handsome in my mind than any one man can be in real life — thus the fantasy!

    But now that I have to surf around for a hero, I’m enjoying it. It’s helping me to define my heroes a little better.

  8. I LOVE Guy Pearce. He was in the Time Machine movie, a remake of the first one. He’s known for his role with Russell Crowe in their break-out movie about cops and Hollywood and I can’t recall the name of the movie. I’ve always thought him understated and handsome!

  9. Hi Mary – Study away!!

    Hi Vickie – Those dimples are getting a lot of votes… doesn’t hurt that I posted the “towel” picture, but gee, we’re all looking at those dimples!!

  10. Hello Charlene,

    I have to go with Eddie Cibrian because of those dimples as well. I’ll hear Colin’s voice in my head though. LOL Have a great day.

  11. Wow-ee. They’re all gorgeous,but I’m not a Colin Ferrall fan. Love Tim. Did y’all see him as a bad boy gunslinger in The Outsider? Naomi Watts played the heroine.

    My vote’s for Tim. Tim can be bad. Tim’s good when he’s bad.

  12. Hi Elizabeth – You’re right about Tim Daly in the Outsider — he was great. Who knew he could be such a bad/good gunslinger! I love what you said. Tim’s good when he’s bad.

    Hi Mary – Oh, thanks for reminding me. I haven’t seen much of Dean Cain lately, so I sorta forgot about him. I think he was great in Lois and Clark.

    Another cutie is Tom Welling, speaking of Superman. He’s Clark Kent in Smallville but he’s not right for this hero.

  13. LOL, Charlene! Sometimes we really do suffer as writers! Out of the three choices, I like Eddie the best. I don’t know a thing about him, but he strikes me as a real charmer. Orlando Bloom came to mind, too. He might be a bit too boyish.

  14. Hi Vicki- Orlando Bloom, hmmm, I think he’s hottie. but too young. Even though my heroes are 30ish, I like them to look more mature, because they sure act like it.
    Eddie was on Third Watch and a few other shows. I think he started out as a soap opera star.
    Happy Weekend!

  15. Really do like Eddie C. He was in one of the soaps
    I watch, in Third Watch, & in Ugly Betty. Loved his
    character in the first two, the last not so much.
    I think he would be perfect as the charmer in your
    story, he of the dimples that won’t quit!!!

    Pat Cochran

  16. Hi Pat
    Oh, I thought Eddie started out on soaps. He’s getting lots of votes. I don’t watch Ugly Betty so I didn’t know he was on that too.

    Hi Robyn – 🙂 Cute comment.. a rascal is just what I’m looking for!!

  17. I vote for Eddie Cibrian. Have no idea who he is, but he works for me. I usually don’t think of actors when I’m reading a book. If I hear it is being made into a movie or think how I might cast one if it were made, then I think of who would fit the character. I too like Tom Hanks, but after reading the book, would never have cast him for that role. He just didn’t fit the character as I’d pictured him. Most people I know feel the same way.

  18. Hi Estella and Jeanne – Thanks for your votes!

    And Patricia too – I don’t think I’d cast him as Langdon either. But now that he’s there, I can’t picture anyone else in the role!!
    Thanks also for your vote!

  19. Oh Yes,
    The Jonas brothers became famous for their appearances on the Disney channel. They are the “mouseteers” (sp?) of today. They also toured with Mylie Cyrus on the Hannah Montana tour.

  20. I LOVE Tim Daly!

    How do you manage to do your AFS so long after you’ve written the book? I’m always doing mine before the book is even finished!

    Cher 🙂

Comments are closed.