Sunday, June 13, 2021

Book Boyfriends

Every female reader of romance novels has at one time or another, developed a crush on one of the dashing heroes in the books they pick up. Do you remember your heart pounding over one of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton brothers? How about Jamie Fraser in Outlander? Or, if you're like me and go way back, how about Nicholas Stafford from Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor?

It's one thing to develop a crush on the hero when you're reading the book–that means the author has done her job well. But it's quite another thing when the author develops the crush on the hero she's writing about. 

Here's my tale...

For the last several years I've been ghostwriting a series of books for someone else. I turn in the story and it gets published under another name. I hold no rights to it and can never claim I had anything to do with it. This has been a nice setup so far. I get paid for my work up front, and I don't have to spend any of that money promoting the book, or take time away from my writing to try to push sales of said book. For my latest endeavor, I needed to develop a hero who had survived the Civil War. 

My first idea was to have my hero be a spy for the newly-formed Pinkerton Agency. However, every able-bodied man in his 20s or 30s would have been expected to fight unless he had some kind of disability. What kind of disability could I create for the man to keep him from the battlefield so he could do his spy business, but also would have appeal to the ladies? After pondering this for several days, I invented Eye-Patch Guy. Since I'd worn an eye patch as a child as a cure for amblyopia, I was drawn to my invented hero. Which got me to thinking about other men over the years who wore eye patches. Sammy Davis, Jr. came to mind, as did Dan Crenshaw, now serving in Congress. Yes, men with eye-patches were sexy, at least to me. The more I thought about creating this man's story and then giving him away, the more I realized I couldn't do so. 

What to do? 

I couldn't abandon Eye-Patch Guy. So, I created another Civil War hero for my ghostwriting tale, and he's coming along nicely. I'm holding on to the one who makes my heart flutter. I'll write his story and publish it under my own name. Whether I get paid for writing it is not important at this point. What is important is I'll be able to point to him with pride. 

Once I give him a name other than Eye-Patch Guy. And come up with a heroine worthy of him. 

Any ideas?

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