Watch Out: Guest Blog From Author Jane Beckenham

This year Watch Out is getting a bit of a remix. Not only will you be seeing interviews, but now there will be guest blogs. Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Jane Beckenham. She will be chatting all about creating her hero. Take it away Jane..

Savannah

 

CREATING A MAN a.k.a. MY HERO

 

You would think that creating a man, from this point onward known as my hero,– would be an easy task. I mean how many women get the chance to actually create the perfect man and mold him into perfection.  It’s a dream surely to give him the perfect smile, the perfect personality along with the body of Adonis of course.   But would that be perfect for my story?

Sadly no.

The perfect man would be boring.  He wouldn’t create the impact on the page nor would he be more than one-dimensional or give the reader that little flutter in the heart as they read of his turmoil and angst as he skips through the story.  Because that is what has to happen.  The poor man has to hurt big time and it’s my job to make sure that this man isn’t perfect – at least definitely not for the heroine.  Then it is heroine’s job to realise that he can and will be perfect for her – in the end – and that he is definitely the man she is prepared to put time and effort into making sure he becomes her perfect man.

So what do I need to start out with?

Height – well for me anything over five foot two inches (my height) is perfect, but then I think in probably most readers eyes/imagination perfect would be say six foot.  We’ve become conditioned by the Hollywood hero towering over us on giant cinema screens and so in our minds heroes have grown to superman proportions, so I guess a measly 5′ 2” hero aint going to cut the mustard.

Then there is his looks.  Now while appearance is personal to each writer I increasingly find my heroes have dark hair.  I did try to write a blond guy’s story once and failed miserably.  So for the most part my men are dark haired, or at least have the edges of their hair sun bronzed – of course this is because they’ve spent hours toiling under the sun and that too is where they developed the great six pack of muscles.  I mean he’s my hero and he might as well be yummy to look at – so there.

But why can’t a hero be weasely and skinny you ask?  No reason. Except as I said he’s my man and I can do what I like with him. LOL.  But then I’m not sure if George Clooney has a six-pack under his Armani suit – and yes I would be happy to check it out for you.

So we have tall, muscular, dark hair.  Oh and his eyes.  Now those have to smolder.  Bedroom eyes.  A tiny secret here.  I’ve met a man once with bedroom eyes -oh they were real smolders.   Just yummy.  And yes they crinkled at the edges and glinted too.  So it’s not really clichéd. But this make believe sounds a tad too perfect and one-dimensional at this point.

Personal traits are where we can rip the poor guy to shreds and make him as un-perfect as can be. He maybe successful, loyal to family and pets, but he’s gotta be hard as nails and uncompromising if he’s at some stage going to change and become perfect.  He’s gotta be ruthless, bold, critical.  Determined, but with a chink in his armor.  He has to be analytical enough to realize that if he gives up on his goal, that he gets the greater goal – the woman of his dreams.

In He’s the One Cade Harper is offered the chance to help Taylor Sullivan out.  She wants to lose her virginity.  Now what guy can resist and most would possibli8y be the wham bam thank you ma’am kind, but Cade, who is a love and leave ’em kinda guy, suggests they get to know each other first.  Then when things get heated in not the most of insalubrious surroundings, he halts this little game.  Why?  He has a conscience and for an Alpha male that’s a strong point.  This action makes Cade not so cookie cutter, and gives the reader a hint that this guy is possibly nobler than they first thought.

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In Secrets and Seduction, Mac is prepared to believe the worst of Leah because it eases his conscience.  His personality is harsh, bitter, and trying desperately to salve his reasons for abandoning his family long ago.  To make it okay.   But when he meets a woman who could lose the only thing that matters – her daughter – and Mac is the cause of it – it makes him begin to change.

And changing is what our heroes have to do to become the perfect man for their heroines.  Their personalities are flawed, dogmatic, one eyed, hard hitting.  Until they meet the woman of their dreams…but first they have to recognize that their dreams have changed.

So when you see that six foot, six pack, dark eyed and haired hunk who isn’t quite perfect – yet –  hands off – because he’s mine.

Here’s a small excerpt from one of my heroes.

Secrets and Seduction

Samhain Publishing

She’s hiding something.

Mac’s instinct kicked in, and he sucked in a low breath, letting the oxygen roll around his lungs and seep through his veins.

She’s guilty.

Just like you.

He pasted on his best smile and watched as the color drained from her face. All the while, her striking green eyes held him captive. They changed from light green and then replicated the shades of the forest as her mood darkened.

For more than a heartbeat, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Curtis had called his wife cold and unforgiving, and yet all he could see was passion and emotion. A spitfire.

Leah Talbot-Grainger was a beautiful woman, with a tousle of curls that created an auburn halo falling to her shoulders and eyes that had the capacity to bewitch. When the tip of her tongue slid across her slightly parted mouth, Mac’s body heated. Her actions taunted him.

But there were no tears, only a desperate fear in eyes that shadowed secrets, and without realizing it, she confirmed everything Curtis had told him about her, strengthening his resolve to protect his niece at all costs.

As the elevator leveled off with the thirtieth floor, the doors opened in silence, and she shoved past him and retreated to the far wall.

Without saying a word, he placed a foot in the doorway, forcing them to remain open.

Frightened green eyes stared at him. “What are you doing?” she demanded.

“Making sure you understand.”

She wrapped her hands across her middle. He recognized her desperation. “Oh, I understand, all right, but you won’t win.”

“We’ll see about that.” He removed his foot and stepped back. “I’ll be in touch, Leah.”

The elevator doors slid closed, and for a moment, he simply stood there.

What next?

Happy reading

Jane Beckenham

Jane Beckenham discovered dreams and hope, stories that inspired in her a love of romance and happy ever after in books, then found her own true love after a blind date, marrying him eleven months later.

Life has been a series of  ‘dreams’ for Jane.  Dreaming of learning to walk again after spending years in hospital. Dreaming of raising a family and subsequently flying to Russia to bring home her two adopted daughters. And of course, dreaming of writing.

Writing has become Jane’s addiction – and it sure beats housework.

Contact Jane via her web site www.janebeckenham.com or email her at neiljane@ihug.co.nz

 

 

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Comments (26)

Shelley MunroMarch 20th, 2012 at 4:57 am

Hi Jane! I’m going to have to quiz you on those smoldering bedroom eyes next time I see you :)

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Savannah ChaseMarch 20th, 2012 at 7:39 am

Jane, thank you again for being my guest this week..I really enjoyed your guest blog. I think the way you create is great.We all want to create the perfect hero for our readers to fall in love with and it is interesting how we all do it…

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Betty Ann HarrisMarch 20th, 2012 at 9:09 am

Ah yes, smoldering bedroom eyes. I LOVE Jane’s sexy heroes! Keep writing about them, PLEASE!

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Savannah ChaseMarch 20th, 2012 at 10:35 am

Betty, thank you so much for taking the time to stop over and show Jane support..

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Ciara KnightMarch 20th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I love a sexy flawed hero. I’ll be checking Jane’s books out.

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Savannah ChaseMarch 20th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Ciara, thank you for coming by to support this weeks guest…

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eden bayleeMarch 20th, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Intriguing excerpt, thanks for sharing ,Jane.

Savannah, great interview as always,

eden

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JaneBMarch 23rd, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Sorry for not popping in before, but hae overseas visitors and a mother turning 88! SHelley lovely to see you here, Jane

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JaneBMarch 23rd, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Clara and Betty tks for popping in. Betty, glad u like my men! Of course my husband thinks they’re all modeled on him! (Cough cough)

Jane

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JaneBMarch 23rd, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Eden, lovely for u to pop in, thank you and Savannah, many thanks for having me.

Jane

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Shirley WineMarch 23rd, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Oh Jane.
Smoldering bedroom eyes. I just love sexy flawed heroes but what I love most of al is seeing them brought to their knees by a little four letter word. L. O. V. E.

When creating a hero I always remember my mum’s advice. She gave me two gems.
“Remember dear, there are four dangerous animals on a farm. A bull. A stallion. A boar. But most dangerous of all, A man.”
Now that makes me wonder if she saw a side of my Dad I didn’t know. LOL.

Her other gem I always use when creating my heroes

The higher you rise, the harder the fall.

Great interview Jane

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JaneBMarch 23rd, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Thanks for popping by Shirley. Your mum’s wisdom is hilariously great.

Jane

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SharynMarch 23rd, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Great piece Jane. I have to say I LOVE the cover of Secrets and Seduction! x Shar

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SerenaMarch 24th, 2012 at 12:30 am

I just LOVE Jane’s sexy heroes! Great blog, Jane.

Thanks for having Jane as your guest, Savannah,

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LaVerne ClarkMarch 24th, 2012 at 1:57 am

Oooo – you just described my perfect man Jane! And he really is my husband! :) I think it’s so funny you tried to write a blonde hero. I tried that once too to mix it up a little – but like you – it just didn’t work. I guess its easier to write about what attracts us to be true to our genre and readers. I’m heading over to buy Secrets and Seduction now. It sounds great!

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Sandy BlairMarch 24th, 2012 at 8:25 am

Nice blog, ladies. I’ve a fondness…or weakness…for tall, dark, chisel-featured heroes as well, Jane. Looking forward to reading Secrets and Seduction. (BTW, great cover!)

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Savannah ChaseMarch 24th, 2012 at 9:05 am

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to come on by and support Jane. I can’t thank you enough..

Jane, again thank you…

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Phoebe ConnMarch 24th, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Great post, Jane. I love men with blue eyes, so many of my heroes are fair haired and blued eyed. You may be underestimating the Nordic male if you haven’t met one!

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JaneBMarch 24th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Shar, thanks for popping by, when i got the cover of Secrets i had to look 2x to realise it was actually Auckland!

Jane

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JaneBMarch 24th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Hey Serena, tks for the compliment. My fave hero still is Cade Harper from He’s the One. Very drool worthy
Jane

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JaneBMarch 24th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Laverne it’s funny because my hubby is blue eyed and was once blond, and definitelynot my dark eyed, dark haired heros of my books LOL, but he is my hero and had done some really romantic things. We met on a blind date and we’re celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary next year.

jane

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JaneBMarch 24th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Sandy good u could pop in. We obviously have great taste in heros! And Phoebe, maybe i better research those Vikings!

jane

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Helen LaceyMarch 24th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Hi Jane – smouldering indeed! Some great tips too :) And I’ve read Secrets and Seduction and loved it! Great post.

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JaneBMarch 24th, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Helen for popping by. Glad you liked Secrets it was a good book to write and i had fun researching the olive growing here.
jane

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Lalo LevitMarch 24th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Jane is very much more that I have read here. I know her since long time ago. I can assure it. Keep writing, Jane.
Lalo

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JaneBMarch 24th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

LOL, Lalo – many thanks for popping by, yes Lalo is an old friend from the wondeful days i spent in Israel.

Jane

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