I read a blog post this morning from Virginia Heath entitled “Write What You Know, they said …” In it, she’s talking about borrowing some of her daughter’s traits, and events from history, for her latest novel. And it got me to thinking about heroes, and … writing what you know.
We’ve all seen it. When people learn you write romance novels, they automatically grin and waggle their eyebrows and ask that question. “Have you done everything in your books?”
Last week, we had a great answer suggested by Beverly Jenkins. “Hell, yes.” Which is way better than saying, “I found your nose in my business.”
But there’s also the suggestive question that really isn’t a question. “Your husband must be a very happy guy.”
And he is, but that’s because he’s generally a happy guy. Not because I base my romances on us. Honestly, he’d be embarrassed if I did.
But that begs another question … where do I find my heroes?
For looks? You can’t beat Pinterest. I mean, really. The guys on the right are my current romance models (my apologies, guys). And, seeing them all grouped like that, do I need to explain why I love daydreaming in my spare time?
However, heroes are so much more than good looks. The best heroes are honorable, caring guys who make sacrifices.
Last week in San Diego, I found a few:
- One man went to an awards ceremony with his wife and choked up with pride when she won.
- Another nominee’s husband went around the table and introduced himself to everyone and participated – rather than checking his watch and feeling out of place. The guy next to him spent the evening making his wife the star of his evening.
- One guy took the middle seat in an airplane and didn’t complain and didn’t hog the armrests. He spent a long, hot flight taking care of the distracted, sometimes sleeping. woman next to him, including making sure I didn’t miss out on snacks.
- And then there was my husband – who spent the week texting me (although he hates doing it) and taking care of his ill mother, yet somehow still found time to fuss over an issue with my car.
So, continuing Virginia Heath’s theme of “write what you know,” I’d encourage anyone to look around and find the everyday, unsung heroes and heroines and then make them larger than life.
And for those people who ask “have you done everything?” – I write suspense. I usually kill at least one character in every manuscript.
Are you sure you want to ask that question?