Oct 17, 2011


Reading: The Killing Place by Tess Gerritsen

Watching: The little bird that waits every morning for the biscuit crumbs left over by Boss (the dog).

Listening to: The absolute quiet that comes with sunrise in the Sounds.

Well, World Cup Fever is at a pitch here in New Zealand. Even if you're not a rugby fan you can't avoid it. Everywhere you go there are flags of all participating nations slung around houses, shops, cars and campervans. And what's this got to do with writing and writers?

Well, last week my editor rang to discuss my next contract and where I was headed with my career and we spent most of the time talking about - rugby. She is Welsh and hoped for a Wales/All Blacks final. Sadly that's not to be, but at least we'll still be talking after next weekend's final. We did eventually talk about books and writing, and it was even mentioned that unfortunately HM&B don't like sports orientated stories.

But they do like big, strong heros and where better to find those than on a rugby field. There are some seriously built guys in the many teams that have visited our shores these past weeks. I made the mistake of saying one of our players was quite short - he was when compared to his team mates. Then I saw him at the airport and if he was short then I'm a midget. Which only shows how big the rest of the team is.

As for strength, these guys have it in bucketloads. Some are goodlooking dudes, and the top players are earning quite nicely too. Many are accomplished and entertaining public speakers, are also well educated. Aren't these some of the attributes we use for our heros when we're writing?

So as I plot my next book which player am I going to hang my hero on? There are too many to choose from so maybe I'll have an amalgam of a few of them.

We love our heros, even the gentler, less imposing, maybe more realistic, ones we live with daily. We wouldn't read or write romance if we didn't. From the moment I could dream up stories at a very early age I've dreamt of my hero. His prerequisites changed as I grew up, but the basics probably stayed the same. The three L's. Love, loyalty and laughter.

What characteristics in your hero are the most important to you? I'd love to hear your answers.



  1. Sports heroes are few and far between in romance but they are out there. I always enjoy their books. I can only think of one reason why they wouldn't sell and that is women are tired of nothing but sports talk from their men. Other wise they are ideal heroes. They made good money, are in good shape and nowadays they are usually quite intelligent as well. Most know that they have to plan for a life after sports. I don't watch rugby much as it isn't one of the most known sports in Canada but I must say that I agree with you about the players. They are among the toughest in sports and some of them are wonderful hunks. The All Blacks are impressive when they first take to the field.

    Now back to your question about heroes. I agree with your three L's. I also like caring for others, compassionate, and passionate. It doesn't hurt if he's reasonably good looking and fairly well built. I know the first two sound the same but in my mind caring for others means he's willing to think about what his heroine likes and try to give it to her and compassionate means he can relate to other peoples sorrows and not be afraid to show a soft side. I don't think I need to explain passionate.

  2. Love, loyalty and laughter...that sounds pretty right to me. Intelligence too. (Can I slot in big shoulders?)

    My dh is rugby (sport) obsessed. He was soooo disappointed last night when we (Aust) lost =(

  3. Agree with your 3 Ls, Sue. I'd add protectiveness too -- I want a hero prepared to do anything to protect the heroine from harm, be it physical or emotional. And Robbie's right, he must be intelligent.

    A nice smile doesn't hurt either. ;-)

    Kaelee, I love your summation for why sports heroes may not appeal to women. Sometimes, where sport is concerned, enough is enough. :-)

  4. Kaelee, sports people are usually in excellent condition, aren't they? I like the idea of compassionate. As for passionate, that goes without saying for me. Otherwise might as well get a cat.

    Robyn, definitely can have the shoulders. Can't say sorry aboutlast night's game without being disloyal. And it was a great game.


  5. Hi there
    I'm having difficulty posting here so you'll either get two or no posts.
    Michelle, I like protectiveness.
    And in the sportsman debate, I wonder if sometimes some of them wouldn't always know when to stop talking about the game.


  6. Great post Sue.
    I love a hero with a sense of humour (But not a practical joker!) and one who has integrity. Although my heart does flutter a little when Cameron Smith (Captain of the Melbourne Storm) runs onto the rugby league field.

  7. Helen, Yeah, humour is really important.
    I guess we really want all the good points in our heroes.

  8. I want a hero who put others first. To be man enough to admit when he is wrong & to be willing to fight for his lady love.

  9. Your three L's are spot on, Sue!

    As for the sportsmen... I think the problem is that we see far too much of the ones who behave badly. I guess it takes a very healthy ego to be able to play sport at an elite level and there is no doubt that their skill, determination and dedication is admirable. But it seems that some behave like brats when the ego takes over to the detriment of commonsense - which is so far from heroic...

    mmm... must have taken a grumpy pill this morning! LOL

  10. I want the hero to have integrity. I also agree with the others that love a man with a sense of humor.

  11. Marybelle - I like your thoughts. Hope you got a hero to put you first.

    Sharon - LOL too. Some sportsmen do behave like brats but there are a fair few great ambassadors for their codes.

    Jane - Humour can certainly save the day sometimes.


  12. I have to confess I too am a sucker for a man who can make me laugh. A happy, optimistic character also goes a long way - which is funny because I like brooding heroes in literature. In real life, it's like 'enough already of the dark looks. Lighten up will ya.'

  13. Zana - love that answer. It is so you. I always associate laughter with you.
    I'm married to a bit of a hardcase and he's always asking if he's in my stories.

  14. Sue, great post! I love all those qualities in a hero - can I have one with the lot, please? =)