What is it about a hero that appeals to us, not only as writers, but as readers?
I like to read to escape the insanity of everyday life. When I read I want to go on a mini adventure. As both a writer and a reader, I can tell you about my preferences. First, I want an imperfect man…a human being. By no means does he have to be gorgeous, in fact I personally don’t trust a gorgeous man. What I happen to be attracted to is a smile, a laugh, the eyes of a man who sees humor in things.
John Wayne is one of my all time favorite heroes. He’s not gorgeous by Hollywood standards, but what appeals to me is several things. He’s a big man. In ANY of his movies he makes me believe if I were in trouble, he’d be there to save me, might be just in the nick of time, but he’d be there. He also has a very expressive face. Whether he’s hollering orders to a platoon of men or shouting orders at someone or ready to knock someone on their keester…you know what’s on his mind. JW isn't the mushy type...he’s gruff, intimidating, but at the same time his appeal is so strong you can’t deny he’s all man. Without a doubt he’s brave, courageous, knows the meaning of valor and sacrifice. This is why I think of him as the perfect military man.
Give yourself a treat…click on the two links below and have a listen:
John Wayne’s version of "The Pledge of Allegiance"
John Wayne’s version of "America, Why I Love Her"
He’s my type of hero.
There’s the strong silent type…who doesn't say much but then again, he doesn't need to. He has goals and aspirations, he knows what it means to be honorable, to be trustworthy, I don’t ever want to worry about where his eyes are when I’m in the room or nowhere in sight. I want to admire him, what he stands for. I want to believe in him. At the same time I want him unafraid to whisper sexy taunts or to let me live out my own secret desires with him. I also want to see that he’s human with the ability to grow as time marches on. Believe it or not there are men like this who still exist. I even know a few.
There's also the real life hero, someone who does something noble and self-less. I wrote an earlier blog about Cody Walker, Paul's younger brother in an earlier blog. This guy is so impressive. The more I learn about him the more I like him.
And finally there are the ones we make up for our books. I'm kinda partial to cowboys...go figure, and I like to believe my heroines have my same general likes in men. Give me boots and jeans over suits and ties any day (my one caveat here is I love a man in uniform). I'll take hunting and fishing over tennis and racquetball. A man who can do a physical days work instead of pushing papers. Let him take me on a picnic near a creek instead of a fancy restaurant. Let him share his interests with me, not make me arm candy. Let him offer to help me with the chores, not tell me if it's indoors it's my job and outdoors is his. In my opinion, there is nothing sexier than a guy willing to help in the house. I want to share a life with him, not just be married to him on paper with nothing of substance to hold us together. And finally let him love ONLY me, be true to me, and never be afraid of showing me what I mean to him. I don't want a relationship in name only, where's the fun in that?
In real life or on paper, give me a hero to love.
What makes up your hero?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.