Friday, June 5, 2015

Casting Call: Heroes Sign Up Here!

*What did you do last summer? I wrote this post! :) This is a revisit simply because it was too much fun!*

Calling all Heroes! Spineless, chauvinistic jerks need not apply.

Every girl has a type. And thank heaven our tastes aren’t all the same! Can you say global cat-fight? I myself tend to favor a more rugged, less polished type of man. A man’s man with callused hands, five-o’clock shadow, sun-kissed skin, and a certain country boy swagger. In other words, not a man that requires more upkeep than I do.

Brad Paisley’s Song “I’m Still A Guy” comes to mind and always makes me giggle…

These days there's dudes gettin' facials
Manicured, waxed and botoxed
With deep spray-on tans and creamy lotiony hands
You can't grip a tackle box
Yeah, with all of these men linin' up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized
But I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair
Yeah honey, I'm still a guy”

Not my thing though, to be fair, those are the just the initial things we notice on first impression. The true measure of man is determined by far more important things underneath. (And don't go gettin' all randy on me, I don’t mean what’s under his clothes!)

Sense of humor. Integrity. Loyalty. Compassionate. Strong. Honest. Brave. Sensitive. Intelligent. Suave. Loving. Tender. Oh, the list of attractive qualities could go on and on.


Since no man is perfect our heroes will naturally have some less than desirable flaws.

Arrogant. Temperamental. Jealous. Gruff. Stubborn. Proud. Unfaithful. Overbearing. Controlling. Indifferent.  

Now we may be married and monogamous, but as authors we get to take our heroes out for a test run in our imaginations. And more than likely, you will not be writing the exact same man over and over throughout the course of your writing career. Variety, in this instance, is the spice of our writing life. Ahh, yes, a fictional boyfriend. Who knew we’d revisit our 12-year-old starry eyed selves as adults. Good times!

But even though I favor a certain type of man that resembles my husband, whether I’m creating a hero or reading someone else’s, I can still start falling for a hero who colors outside my preference. Sure I love a laid back hunky cowboy type, ooo or say a firefighter with that charming yet arrogant swagger. But I’ve also written heroes that are the suit and tie kind, or the goof ball best friend type you might just overlook at first. The stoic hard-edged soldier. The smooth-talking bad boy. The antisocial intellectual. Yes, we take the good and the bad and despite our “type” we can still get snared in that hero’s web. 

I'm don't mean to "type-cast" because there’s always that moment when the country boy cleans up and WOWSA! But that’s neither here nor there. Forgive me, just picturing my man clean shaven in a suit and having a pre-menopausal hot flash. ;)

What about these examples of unconventional on-screen heroes you KNOW you swooned over…

Nick in The Wedding Date. Charming. Clean cut. And a PROSTITUTE. 

Benjamin Barry in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Tough. Competitive. And out of control egotistical.

Declan O’Callahan in Leap Year. Quiet. Playful. And opportunistic. 

Ben Wrightman in Fever Pitch. Quirky. Funny. And Obsessed.

George Wade in Two Weeks Notice. Successful. Self-centered. Needy.

Amazingly enough, NONE of those guys are my type. Shoot, if I’m being honest, I don’t find a single one of those actors attractive. And yet… they reeled me in. Had me pulling for them. And falling just a little.

Maybe we just root for the hero regardless. Or maybe there’s a special ingredient, that chemistry that makes you swoon in spite of your preference. The point is… there is no right or wrong way to write a hero. And you pair him up with the right woman your reader wont stand a chance. 

So let’s dish… What’s YOUR type? Also what type of hero are you currently writing and who would play him? Tell me about the two men in your life! (And er… if any men read this post turn the tables on us… tell us about your women. One real and one fictional, please and thank you!)

Amy Leigh Simpson writes Romantic Suspense that is heavy on the romance, unapologetically honest, laced with sass and humor, and full of the unfathomable Grace of God. She is the completely sleep deprived mama to two little tow-headed mischief makers, one pretty little princess, and wife to her very own swoon-worthy hero. Represented by the oh-so-wise and dashing Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Inc.


Pepper said...

It's about heroes, of COURSE I love it ;-)

I like a lot of types. Clean-cut and intelligent.

Rugged and sense of humor

Tender but strong

Geez Louise, there are so many wonderful heroes to choose from!
BIGGEST traits for me:
1. Humor
2. Tender (at his core, but may not show it at first)
3. Intelligent (which usually shows up in the humor ;-)
4. Noble, underneath a little-bit of naughty exterior sometimes ;-) LOL. Declan and Nick are DEFINITELY this one!

Rachel said...

brainy is the new sexy!

I like smart heroes! I like the unconventional type. No beefcakes for me. I like guys like Darcy and John Thornton (from North and South ) and in modern form Danny Castellano from the Mindy Project and Luke Danes from the Gilmore Girls. Gruff exterior, extremely smart and willing/ready to banter but soft on the inside. Willing to change for a woman.

I can do the bad-boy if it's Rochester in Jane Eyre.

I love guys who use their words. Whether they be fabulous writers or just have an engaging way of speaking. Benedict Cumberbatch is, of course, one of the ideals. I want a guy I have to mentally match wits with .

There is, of course, Neil MacNeill in Christy who pairs rugged Scotsman with a fabulous mind and a penchant for forcing Christy to confront who she is and what she believes. He draws out her strength and that makes me swoon :)

Angela Ruth Strong said...

I got lucky with my real-life hero because he's a little bit of everything. Cowboy, jock, musician, artist, comedian, computer nerd, surfer dude--not to mention he's humble and has the biggest heart in the world. Jackpot!

As for the heroes in my stories, I have to be careful not to cast them all with Josh Duhamel. (Just a little bit of a crush there.) So anyway, this round my hero is a baseball player turned missionary, and self-proclaimed to be "better at chasing God than chasing women." He also has messy blonde hair and wears cargo shorts and a cross necklace on a leather strap, so he kinda looks like a beach bum. Named Levi, which the heroine finds appropriate as it symbolizes jeans as well as the tribe of priests in the Bible. My mom is reading the manuscript right now and has already fallen for him, so I'm pretty sure he's a lovable hero.

Thanks for the fun question!

Pepper said...

Oh Rachel,
I think we will get along JUST fine ;-)

Rachel said...

@Pepper : we already DO get along just fine :) tee hee

Susan Anne Mason said...

I definitely have a 'type' and that's dark haired with blue eyes (or brown eyes). I have to work hard not to have all my heroes sound the same! (Henry Cavill is my crush!)

The one I'm working on now is a challenge. Set in 1914, he's just been released from prison (an almost reformed bad boy with a huge chip on his shoulder). He has a long way to go to redemption but
my Irish heroine will help him do that! Oh and he's got auburn hair and a beard. Hmmm... But I'm liking him a lot...

Gotta run.


Amy Leigh Simpson said...

An excellent list, Pep! Have to agree, a little naughty goes a long way in making me swoon. Not so much of the uptight, proper types. Then again, you know this about me. ;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Rachel, you and Benedict! That just cracks me up but I can definitely see you with that type. Dang, he's good in Sherlock. He's not my type but I'll admit, that ultra deep accented voice doesn't hurt one bit. :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Angela, don't you just love finding all those hidden layers. When I first met my hubby I honestly thought he was a dumb jock... mainly because we were in college, he was a baseball player, and I had been forewarned against them. But not only was he smart and sensitive, tough and tender, laid back and playful, but he loved Jesus. He's not one for flowery words or grand gestures but he makes me laugh. He lights me up. Balances out all my crazy. :)

LOVE your new hero Levi! He sounds awesome! I've done the surfer dude type. Lots of fun to write!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Sue, I do LOVE writing the tall, dark, and handsome type! Sighs. But I have also branched out with a blond haired blue/green eyed hero in my second book, and a Hispanic hero in my third.

Coming up I've got a mid-thirties Navy SEAL with light brown hair and pale grey eyes. Very serious except when he's thrown for a loop by the grown up version of his little sister's best-friend. Tall and curvy hazel eyed honey blonde girl next door type who is actually anything but. Already so fun pairing these two up! Very combustible! :) I have yet to do a redheaded hero. Not sure I could swing it. BUT you go girl!!! The story sounds fantastic!

Glynis said...

I'm pretty conventional--love tall, dark haired and handsome just like my real-life guy :)

So my current hero is the same. Football coach, drives a truck, a real man's man, but funny and flirty too. Loves Jesus.

Fun post!

Carissa said...

In books my favorite heroes tend to be the cowboys, or country boys. But more often than not my hero types tends to be military. In my work in progress my hero is an Army Ranger.

I guess liking military heroes in books come from me being a Brat and my real life heroes being military man.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Glynis, That's my kind a hero!!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Carissa, I tend to favor the military heroes myself! Selfless, brave, patriotic... That epitome of a true hero!

Dana Black said...

My personal "type" varies widely depending on the guy I'm interested in at a given time...and since I'm not married or in a relationship, I can get away with that! ;) But one thing that I tend to circle back to is funny, tall guys (over 6-feet). I find this mildly hilarious because I'm 5-foot nothing, and my tall girlfriends find this infuriating because it's 'stealing' the hard-to-find tall guys away from them (but as I am still single, so I don't think that logic holds here. Ha!)

Actor types: Benedict Cumberbatch (I'm on the bandwagon, but that man can ACT.), Zachary Levi, John Kransinski. The list fits my tall stereotype, so there we are. And I did love Declan in Leap Year, too.

I have two main guys in my WIP as I have a bit of a love triangle happening, and they are quite different from one another. One is a clean-cut, rule-following, chivalrous ginger-haired gent. The other is a roguish mystery of a man with striking blue eyes and disheveled blond hair, scruff, and a very kind heart underneath it all. He may or may not have been inspired by a few too many episodes of Once Upon a Time featuring Colin O'Donoghue's Captain Hook... ;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

You know what they say, Dana... Nerd is the new sexy ;) love Zachary Levi!! And your two heroes sound pretty darn good! I find I write tall heroes too. Very tall. Like 6'3 6'4 on occasion. Strange since my hubby tops out at 5'11. But I gotta say, in real life, since I'm 5'5 (and only don heels on occasion) it works out real nice ;)

Laurie Tomlinson said...

One word. Sal.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Laurie... I still hear up when I think about him. Whew!!!!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Heat. Heat up! Darn phone!

Robin E. Mason said...

I do like me some Dermot Mulroney!! and Matthew McConaughey!!! sense of [warped] humor is big on my list, integrity, spontaneity, tenderness and compassion...