I'll talk about collaboration when I have a drawing for DOGS AND GODDESSES. This time around here's the treat -- post a reply (and don't worry if it doesn't show up -- I have to okay them and I don't know how to change that) and I'll do a random name generator. And if you want to wait a week I'll get Crusie to sign them too. Here's what it looks like:
I'm halfway through the 40 days of celebrating 40 years, and enjoying myself, thinking about writing, about careers. I should give you more history, and I will but first I need to talk about heroes.
I should tell you that the hero I decided (on a purely instinctive level) that I would want to spend my life with was Killian in Ice Storm. I know other people found him as dark and dangerous as some of the others, but I crushed on him big time. Sigh.
But I write heroes who really cross the line sometimes, and while my sensible self would probably run screaming, the romantic inside me goes all gooey. Bastien from BLACK ICE is one of them. Here's something you'd never guess -- even though Bastien is French, I based him on a conglomeration of Japanese actors and rock stars. Yoshiki and Gackt and Etsushi Toyokawa were in my head as I created him (which goes to show how you start with one (or three) avatars and your character becomes someone of his own creation). Peter Madsen and Taka are pretty dark too -- all three of those Ice heroes are actively considering murdering the heroine (for her own good, of course. Or maybe simply for their own good).
At least they have a semi-political agenda. It's like the great line from True Lies, where Jamie Lee Curtis asks Ahnult if he's killed anyone. And he says "yes, but they were all very bad." The Ice men kill bad people, but there are times when the line is blurred.
And there was Dillon Gaynor from INTO THE FIRE, the book PW called "troubling" and one I adore. It taps into all my fantasies, and Dillon has no hesitation about doing what he wants when he wants. Very few people got to read it, but if you want a dark trip that's one to get.
Moonrise and Nightfall were possibly my darkest. I consider Richard Tiernan a borderline psychopath for most of that book, made that way by tragic circumstances. He has no conscience, and hasn't had one for a long time. He's totally ruthless, but by the time you know why you can accept it.
And in Moonrise James is an assassin who's had to do terrible things. Part of him is dead, and the heroine brings him back to life, despite what he's done.
It's funny, because sometimes I don't see my heroes as dark as other people. For instance, the wicked Rohans. While I thought they were definitely wicked, I didn't see them as dark and tormented as my contemporary ones. None of them would have considered killing the heroine.
But believe it or not, I write charmers as well. Patrick Blackheart from the Catspaw novels is a cat burglar, a wicked, sexy creature Christian from The Devil's Waltz is cheerfully amoral but delightful, and many of the heroes in my Harlequin books are naughty, not nasty.
I have a key phrase that comes from an old old song by the Shangri-las, a girl group from the sixties. Their big hit was "Leader of the Pack," and their second was "Walking in the Sand." My favorite was called "Give Him a Great Big Kiss" which has a call and response bit (though I doubt it was considered that at the time). The chorus says "what color are his eyes?" and the lead responds "I dunno, he's always wearing shades" and it goes on like that until the key line. Chorus: "Yeah, well I hear he's bad." Lead: "He's good-bad, but he's not evil."
So those are my heroes. Good-bad, but they're not evil.
Oh, my, did I really manage to embed something? Oh, the possibilities are endless!
Anyway, in the Unfortunate Miss Fortunes my hero looks like Howl, from Howl's Moving Castle and talks like Alan Rickman. It was very disconcerting.
But in the end heroes are the reason I write. I'm a romantic - I want love stories, I want beautiful mean and happy endings, and if the men are a little dark (or a lot dark) then it means that there are no unhappy surprises. If the heroine can survive the hero at his darkest then, as Crusie would say, "nothing but good times ahead."
So this time tell me your favorite hero of all time, not one of mine (we'll just happily assume your true favorite of all time IS one of mine but we'll go to the second best). And depending on how many books Richie can find, I'll do the random generator thing and send out five (or ten) of THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES, which, trust me, is a hoot and a half. And where else would you get Howl crossed with Alan Rickman?