Girls Write Out
Friday, May 04, 2012
I've been a romantic ever since I was three years old. I have no idea why. My first "boyfriend" was Mike. Then when I was five it was Johnny. So when I started writing my first novel, fourteen years before I was published, guess what kind of story I wrote...

Suspense. Yes, and romance, of course. I was on the second page of long-hand legal paper when I realized this romance wouldn't work without a spiritual plotline. Of course, I wasn't sure the novel would work at all, because I'd never before written a novel. And now I'm digressing. I'm trying to explain about the importance of having a wonderful hero in a romance.

As I said, I wrote for a very long time before I was published. The thing that changed my mail from rejection slips to eager interest from several publishers was actually having a hero to write about. He wasn't the typical overbearing macho male model I had been focusing on for so long. He had a great sense of fun, he respected me as a woman, he was kind and protective without being a jerk. I began to base my hero in my books on Mel, my new husband sixteen years ago.

Romance readers really went for this new man in my life. He wasn't a womanizer, he had a sense of honor that bonded his heart to one woman--that was a new type of man for me, too. His counterpart in the books I wrote at the time was Dr. Lukas Bower. After the series ended they wanted more of Lukas and Mercy, the love of his life.

What kind of hero do you like? Don't tell me about his beautiful blue eyes or his sexy smile or how tall and muscular he is. Tell me what kind of man he'll be to you five, ten, twenty years down the road. Tell me how happy the relationship will be when others have tarnished and rusted and died. Any good details you can share?

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 2:07 AM  
  Comments (30)
 
 
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30 Comments:
At 2:39 AM, Blogger Rockin' Ruby said...

I dont have one yet— wait thats not true. The ring on my finger reminds me that I do. I have Jesus. He's such a gentleman. Everything that a man should be. My 'purity' ring is a reminder of the commitment I made to Him. A lot of people think that its not possible to think of Jesus as a human now that He's in heaven but i disagree. I see Jesus in my dad. Sometimes i get so frutrated by how nice my dad could be and i'l tell him so. But ever so gently, with Jesus shining right through his eyes, he tells me; "would Jesus have done it any different than i?" it gets me every time. I want a hero just like that.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

It would cause so much less pain if more women were to see Jesus as their true Husband. He is the Husband of our eternity. Slow the kindness, the truth, the purity and the love of Christ in your hero and he will be irresistible.

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

I grew up with a steady diet of Mr. Darcy and Cary Grant. I suppose my hero is an amalgamation of the two. LOL

But Cary did say, "Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. I want to be Cary Grant." LOL

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Eliza said...

I like this. I want to read about men how are honorable and trustworthy. That's my hero. Honest, trustworthy and loves Jesus passionately.

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Eliza said...

I like this. I want to read about men how are honorable and trustworthy. That's my hero. Honest, trustworthy and loves Jesus passionately.

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

I love Rockin' Ruby's comment!

My hero is my husband. He is my gentle giant. I love that in a man. My dad didn't know the Lord until his final days. So growing up, I saw in my dad the macho type, low on gentility and high on self.

I didn't want that in my hero. My husband is everything I dreamed he'd be! He's not without flaws, of course--he leaves the toilet seat up--but he's my man and I am blessed!

 
At 11:01 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

LOL, Kris. I wish we still had actors like Cary Grant. We have some good ones. I like Hugh Laurie--but wait, he's older. Hmmm, can't think of a lot of young actors today who stand out in my mind. But that's because I'm of another generation.

Eliza, on my first self-chosen (not set-up) date with Mel, I told him I never wanted to date a man who wasn't a rabid Christian. When he found out what I meant, he said, "Shouldn't we all be that way?" I'm afraid I was hooked on my first date.

Diann, you chose very, very well. I can see why Mel gets along with him so well. We've got wonderful husbands.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

When I use visuals for characters, I usually use those in my Brit videos. They're unknown to Americans for the most part.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I use pictures and make a collage. I haven't taken the time to do that on my wip, but it does help when I do. And yet, a description of a person's character, I believe, is more important than appearance. Not that appearance isn't important. Readers need to see what they're reading about.

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I'm purposely pretty vague with the character descriptions. I'm better at the hero than the heroine, but to me, it's important how they're feeling. I use their looks as to how they're in the world, but not really for readers. Just a weird way, I guess.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

It works for you, Kris, so it's not weird. And getting into the feelings of the characters shows their characters.

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Mary-Louise said...

My favorite part of any story is when the hero endears himself to me by embodying patience, even though the heroine may deserve his wrath. This is especially so when it is unexpected. I'm thinking 'this is it' but the hero goes on 'as is'.
George Gentry and Luc DeForges are still walking around in my head. There is a lot of traffic in there.

 
At 7:40 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yes, I love that, Mary-Louise. There are a few patient men in this world, and I'm blessed to have several in my life, especially my husband. To me, patience embodies love.

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger jel said...

I loved reading your Suspense books!

but all ways wondered, if Mel slept with one eye open! :)

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

jel, Mel trusts me completely. I release all my angst in the novels. He's safe. ;-)

 
At 2:12 AM, Blogger Rockin' Ruby said...

I'm more of a James Stewart type. or Gregory Peck. Those men are just awesome. :)

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, James Stewart is in a class by himself. I also think Harrison Ford is great. James Arness was a favorite, too. And Pernell Roberts. Yes, I'm really dating myself now.

 
At 1:43 PM, Blogger Rockin' Ruby said...

I think Gary Cooper was amazing too. :)

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Okay, I can see I need to watch some old movies and remind myself who Gary Cooper was. I may be able to build a hero type for him. I can't make ALL my heroes look like Mel. They just have to be like Mel in their hearts.

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Rockin' Ruby said...

lol! i personally like Gary Cooper's 'the Cowboy and the Lady'

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Rockin' Ruby said...

that one and the orininal 'Mr.Deeds goes to town'.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Ruby. I'll look that up on Netflix now.

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger jel said...

Gary Cooper, was a very good in

Friendly Persuasion, and High Noon

 
At 3:53 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

He sounds like one of the all-time favorites, then! I've got to get those movies!

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger Belinda said...

Hannah, I found you as a result of a contest my friend bryan Ridenour is having-but i feel I have already won one of your books just by FINDING YOU!! I am so excited to follow this blog and purchase your books to read~ Belinda

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger Belinda said...

Hannah, I found you as a result of a contest my friend bryan Ridenour is having-but i feel I have already won one of your books just by FINDING YOU!! I am so excited to follow this blog and purchase your books to read~ Belinda

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Miriam said...

The older I get the description or qualities of the hero in storyline has changed slightly. Oh, he should still come to the rescue of the heroine, but he's not a super-human rogue.
He needs to be made of flesh & blood with flaws. One with honor and loyalty with a touch of humor that surprises the reader. Romantic.
I've also liked character heroes that have been viewed as "underdogs" and have overcome obstacles in their way.
Thank you for this post it is helping with my character building in my wip ~Miriam

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Okay, Belinda, that is so very cool! If you like Christian fiction, my friends on this blog--Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, Diann Hunt and Kristen Billerbeck will be a huge treat for you. Thanks for entering his contest!

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Miriam, I've found the same for me. I need a human hero, not superhuman. I can't live up to that. I realize that our characters need to be larger than life, but too large and you lose the connection.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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