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?