Please help me welcome my guest blogger for this week, Kathleen Lutter. She has a unique hero, a man who harkens back to more chivalrous times.
Ah . . . the perfect hero. Of course, the perfect hero we create is in the eye of the beholder, but when I write a love story, I start with the heroine, and I think of the typical girl. What does she want in a guy? I mean . . . really want?
Fast forward to my current paranormal romance.
Profile of Simon Viccars. He’s my hero in Wild Point Island. First, I made him 420 years old so he would have all the old-fashioned courtly manners of the heroes most of us grew up reading—the heroes who populated Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice.
In the opening scene, when the hero offers his hand to my heroine Ella, she notes:
“Handshakes are common, but they are done carelessly. Most people are barely
aware of how they thrust their hand into the air. Simon’s hand waited, poised for
mine, harkening back to an earlier era when a gentleman really held a lady’s
Simon may be 420 years old, but he’s in remarkably good physical shape. In an earlier struggle for survival, he ate a poisonous plant and was changed physiologically into a revenant. He was given the gift of immortality, which means he doesn’t age. He has the body of a 35 year old. He’s in the prime of life physically. As my heroine Ella describes him in one scene:
“Expertly, his long slender fingers undid the buttons on his shirt and pulled the
fabric away to reveal his chest, toned and muscular. My fingers ached to feel the
texture of his skin, the warmth of his body.”
And he also has a certain level of maturity that’s attractive to the heroine. He’s an architect. An artist. Intelligent. And the heroine learns later that Simon was the one who designed a system that the other revenants on the island could use to recharge their energy safely in the walls of their own home.
But what else does a girl like to hear?
I believe in the ying yang of a relationship. A girl likes to feel pursued, but she also likes to feel that the man who is pursuing her is worth winning, and, perhaps, even out of her league.
In one scene when Ella learns from her uncle that he sent the hero to meet her, her conversation with the hero leads to this revelation:
“ . . . You know I am here on Wild Point Island to save my father. To bargain for his freedom with the Council. Did you mean what you said back there? Will you help me?”
His jaw tightened. “Yes. I will take your part and speak to the Council.”
“But why? You hardly know me.”
“That is true, but what your uncle said is also true. I have seen you, watched you for a long time. I feel like I know you.” He whispered, “I feel drawn to you.”
Curious now, my heart pounded. “For how long. How long have you watched me?”
“From that first day.”
It felt as if the air was being sucked out of the room. First day? “You mean the first time I met my uncle at the Blue Dolphin?”
“That was ten years ago.”
He stared at me now, as if he could see right into me, into my very core.
“Why didn’t you approach me?”
“I wanted to, but it was not my place. You were from the human world, and what could I offer you, Ella? I have known about you all your life. I have watched you come and go.”
What girl doesn’t like to hear that she’s been admired from afar for ten years? And by someone who had little or no hope of ever having her?
But the hero also has a secret. He was married and even though he lost his wife a long time ago, he hasn’t been with anyone since her death. Is he ready to let go of the memory and be with someone new? Can Ella really have Simon all to herself?
When Ella stumbles upon Simon in his backyard, visiting the grave of his wife, her jealousy comes through.
“Obviously he could see the look of foolish hurt on my face. He had belonged to
someone else. He had loved someone else. I would be the second woman in his
life, at the very least. I would always share him with a memory.”
My final demand of my hero is that he sacrifice that which is most precious to him in the name of love. Do you remember O’Henry’s The Gift of the Magi? The hero and heroine both want to buy each other Christmas gifts to show their love. Neither have any money. She sells her hair to buy him a watch chain for his watch. He sells his watch to buy her a barrette for her hair. They both sacrifice in the name of love.
In Wild Point Island, Simon sacrifices his chance of leaving the island that he’s been trapped on for 420 years to help Ella rescue her father. He defies the Council, even though it is not in his best interest to do so. That is the only way a hero can win the love of the heroine. That, to me, is the ultimate mark of a perfect hero.
Wild Point Island
Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants–immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island.
Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death. Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council. Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she’s ever met. But he’s been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom.
With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love.
Kate Lutter believes she was born to write. She wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing contemporary paranormal romances, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel, Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost famous cat.