Alpha Male or Nice Guy? #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge, Week 19

mfrw blog challenge badgeIt’s Week 19 of the MFRW 52 Week Blog Challenge, and this week’s prompt is “The Ideal Romance Hero” which leads me to ask Alpha Male or Nice Guy?

iStock man

Stephen Chaplin, my lawyer hero from Lady Elinor’s Escape looks like this.

I’m sure all of you have your own ideas about this question, but I think there’s room for different kinds of heroes. Like a lot of things in life, one size doesn’t fit all, and not every romance plot calls for an alpha male.

In the Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFeber, and Sue Viders, the authors analyze eight hero and eight heroine archetypes and how they interact with each other. This is one of my favorite writing tool to help with character development.

The eight male archetypes are the Chief, the Bad Boy, the Best Friend, the Lost Soul, the Charmer, the Professor, the Swashbuckler and the Warrior. The Chief and the Warrior are definitely alpha males, and the Best Friend is a beta. The others, I’m not sure, but all seem to be valid hero archetypes.

Rogue's HostageThe Bad Boy is a fun archetype to write and fun to read about, though not always in real life. Can a bad boy be tamed outside romance novels? I think so. My dad was a bad boy until he grew up and married and had children. But in his youth, he was always in trouble, and he never took orders readily. He raised his only daughter to think for herself and stand up to unfairness, maybe because life is seldom fair for the bad boy. As a kid he was always the first one blamed if something happened in the neighborhood, and he was demoted twice in the Army! So I gotta love those bad boys, like Johnny in Dirty Dancing. Big sigh. And Jacques Corbeau, the bastard hero of my historical romance, Rogue’s Hostage.

Warriors can range from military men to crusaders for justice, as shown by the Sir Rolf, the werewolf knight of Ilona’s Wolf, and Stephen Chaplin, the crusading barrister of Lady Elinor’s Escape. Both are honorable men but fight in very different ways.

Lily and the GamblerThe Charmer is another fun archetype to write. King Calloway of Lily and the Gambler was largely inspired by Bret Maverick as played by James Garner. King can charm his way out of nearly any situation, but has a commitment problem. A recent review described him as “enticingly rakish.”

In short, for me there’s no one ideal hero. What do you think?



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Living the Dream #MFRWAuthors 52-Week Blog Challenge Week 16

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Today’s prompt for the #MFRWAuthors 52-Week Blog Challenge is My Biggest Dream in Life. Problem is I have had three big dreams in my life: travel, write books and live near the ocean.

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California beach

I got the travel bug honestly, from my father. He, too, had the wanderlust, though he was always content to take driving trips in the US. When I was a kid, we traveled from Pittsburgh down to Miami and back, then out to Nevada to visit my brother who had settled in Las Vegas. When i was 14, we moved to Southern California, and alternated duty trips back to Pittsburgh with road trips around California and other Western states like Arizona. My dad was a big Western fan and loved to search out ghost towns, like Columbia, California. As an adult, I expanded my travels to Mexico, Australia, Canada, the British Isles and Europe, but continued to travel with the USA.

Welcome To Alaska

Welcome To Alaska (I’m the one on the right)

The second big dream was to one day be an author and write books. It took a long time, but I finally published. I put my love of history into most of my books, starting with Rogue’s Hostage, set during the French and Indian War in Western Pennsylvania, my home state. Two other works, Lady Elinor’s Escape and How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, take place in London, and my last historical novel, Lily and the Gambler takes place in Northern California, an area I toured with my husband.

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My third big dream was to live near the ocean, which I now do. I’m not sure why the ocean fascinates me, but it did even before I’d seen one up close and personal. Maybe it has something to do with my wanderlust. I do enjoy cruises. My travel and writing dreams haven’t ended, though. There are still lots of places to see and books to write.

What are your big dreams?


Click on the linky list before for more author’s big dreams.