Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Hero material? July 10, 2009

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 9:45 pm
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I’m reading the new Modern Heat guidelines on eHarl. They say –


Upmarket, glossy and sharply contemporary, these stories sparkle with lively dialogue and sizzling sensuality! They offer all the international glamour, passion and alpha-male heroes you expect from Modern/Presents, with a flirty young voice and a whole load of sass! Written by talented, original authors such as Heidi Rice, Natalie Anderson, Kelly Hunter, Kimberly Lang, Anne Oliver, Anna Cleary and Lucy King, these entertaining romances reflect the life experiences of today’s young women, within a chic, glamorous and usually urban setting. The heroines are often your twenty-something girl-about-town but there’s no compromising on the Modern Heat hero: he must be very alpha and absolutely to die for! There’ll be sparks flying when these two meet—and nothing short of fireworks once they get to the bedroom!

We are on the lookout for new authors who can convey that young urban feel with 21st-century characters, simmering sexual and romantic tension and, of course, that all-important hot sex!


Eek! “Very alpha”? Just when I got used to the idea that MH heroes were “alphas in training”!


I’ve already linked to the excellent thread on Alpha heroes on Kate Walker’s blog. Myself, I find the Alpha hero a bit scary, even though Kate writes them so well and they eventually show that vulnerability at their core they’ve been working so hard to protect. I’m more of a “highly successful beta hero” type girl. There’s a great discussion on the more beta hero here on eHarl.

Jeannie Watts, a Harlequin Superromance writer, says-

I don’t have a lot of hero groveling because that was what always happened in the 1970’s Presents and I want to escape from stereotype island.  I prefer to never have a hero in a situation where he’s been so insensitive that he has to grovel.  (Not that I don’t enjoy reading a good grovel every now and then-it’s just not an instinctive way for me to plot a story.)  Instead I have him confess more than anything.  He tells the heroine what he’s come to understand about himself.  She can either accept it or not.

I like that idea. The alpha can’t grovel and stay Alpha. Any more than the heroine should be expected to grovel. A strong man needs a strong woman. But he does need to change and grow and realise that keeping on going the way he’s been going will only lead to a sterile empty and loveless life. The problem I have is- does he have to be a total bastard first? Is it enough to be a mega-sucessful, part workaholic part playboy, living life only for himself, until he comes to realise that living like that will cost him the most important thing in his life- the love of the heroine?


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