Thursday, August 30, 2012
Romance novels fall under the category of fantasy. Impossibly handsome, successful, alpha men sweep us off our feet and bring us to unbelievable orgasms using techniques we’d slap any real guy silly for even suggesting. Naturally, if you’re writing these books, you want to create a hero who fulfills the readers’ every fantasy. Physically beautiful, rich as hell but still cooks you dinner, IQ in the 200s but never makes you feel like an idiot, who loves your cat even though he’s allergic, and could have any woman in the world but wants you and you alone. Not to mention he has a schlong bigger than Tommy Lee’s, and he knows tricks in the bedroom even Ron Jeremy never heard of. We as writers use all the tropes with abandon, and throw in our own personal preferences to help make our fantasy men stand out.
Which is wherein my problem lies. It’s a darn good thing I was drawn to paranormal, because my character crushes over the years have been consistent and all point in the same direction. Namely, I dig the freaks.
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My first big-time crush on a TV character grew out of my favorite show, Star Trek. I realize Captain Kirk was the designated sex symbol, but he never did much for me. I fell for Spock. Pointy-eared, alien Spock, with the astronomical IQ and emotionless demeanor. No throwing punches for this action hero: he had the Vulcan nerve pinch, which was cooler than cool. Spock himself was cooler than cool. Yeah, okay, Shatner was easy on the eyes in those days, and artfully ripped his shirt in quite a few episodes. But put Kirk in a scene with Spock and my attention switched allegiance. Spock set the tone for my fictional hero crushes: tall, slender, intelligent, cool, loyal, with a dry sense of humor and just a hair off the norm. Sorry, Captain. Bring on the aliens!
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If watching big, overdeveloped males in combat is your thing, I recommend professional wrestling. I was a big fan for quite a few years. All those muscle men in spandex engaging in soap opera plots! Of course it’s all choreographed. That’s half the fun. I got more laughs out of wrestling matches than I did from sitcoms. And you can’t fake those physiques. Those guys work out, and it shows.
So, with literally dozens of fine physical specimens to crush on, who did I fall for? Kane. The silent, seven-foot guy in the mask. They built a whole
mythology around him. He was Undertaker’s younger brother, hideously scarred in a fire and bent on revenge. He never spoke. He was insane. He had long, stringy hair and a beautiful butt spandex was just made to mold to. The mask just added to the mystery. What was under there? What horrible secrets was he hiding? (Other than the fact he’d been wrestling for the WWE for years as other characters before he hit it big as Kane.) He was the perfect gothic hero, big and brooding and damaged, waiting for the right woman to save him with her love. Eventually he lost the mask (and that hair! NOOOOOOOOOOO!) and became just another big-muscled dude. That was the point I lost interest in wrestling. I notice he’s back in the mask now. Don’t mess with success.
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About two-three years back I discovered Supernatural. I came late to the party; fortunately, the library had seasons 1, 2, and 4, so I was able to catch up in a relatively short time. The heavy marathons probably contributed to my obsession with the show. And who did I fixate on? Castiel, angel of the Lord. Cute, cool, powerful, emotionless, dry sense of
humor, total badass, doesn’t quite get us humans. His only drawback is that Misha Collins isn’t as tall as Leonard Nimoy. Fortunately Jared Padalecki is. I can get my tall, slender guy fix watching Sam. Between the
two of them, I’ve got my perfect fantasy man. Dean? Nope. Sorry, Jensen, you’re too Captain Kirk for my taste. Try artfully ripping your shirt.
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My pattern of crushes continues. I started watching Grimm last season. The lead, Nick, is your standard TV paranormal hero: cute, competent, boring. Yawn. Right off the bat I was drawn to Monroe the werewolf. He’s funny and loyal and looks out for his friends, and he’s not
all that hard on the eyes. I’d date him in a second. As for Nick, I don’t think even ripping his shirt would make up for the lack of personality. Better luck on your next show, buddy.
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No wonder I don’t date much. I look for the weirdoes, the oddballs, the freaks, the folks on the edge of normalcy. My kind of people. With nice butts. Looks like it’s back to cruising SF conventions. In the meantime, I’d better write another book. My hero will be tall, intelligent, and inhuman. That’s the way I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.