Why you’re going to love my hero.
Gee. I really wish I could tell you why in 25 words or less. I have to work on that.
You see, the problem is, I’m not even sure of all the reasons yet.
But do I know there are many reasons!
Jeremy, the hero of GotH, is a bit of an enigma. When I started the book, his character was not very fully formed. His body … always been nicely formed. But his character has taken quite a bit of work. It’s basically taking me just as long to figure him out as it takes Lucy. She may even be a step ahead of me at times.
Part of my problem is that I have trouble shoving him into one of those hero categories.
- He’s titled, wealthy, in control, hard to crack – but he’s not a total alpha jerk.
- His childhood was marked by tragedy – but he’s not really tortured. (Unless Lucy pestering him counts as torture, in which case he’s very tortured.)
- He’s had his share of women – but he’s not a jaded rake.
- He’s (gasp!) a decent guy at heart – so he has some beta leanings.
The fact that he refuses to be neatly labeled doesn’t bother me so much – it means he’s complex. Lucy deserves more than a label, anyway. But it does worry me in terms of marketing and pitching my book. I suppose I should sell him as an alpha, because alpha heroes sell, right? And he definitely has his alpha moments. Here’s one:
(Before you read this, you should know that Lucy has recently forced him to take her
Jeremy raised his gun to his shoulder, took aim at a distant tree stump, and fired. Chips of rotten wood exploded into the air. Henry, Toby, and Felix stopped in their tracks and stared at him as though he had suddenly burst into song.
“There was a pheasant,” Jeremy said.
Three heads swiveled in unison to regard the cratered tree stump, then turned back to face him. Henry opened his mouth to speak, but Jeremy silenced him with a look.
There were few aspects of his father’s demeanor Jeremy found worth imitating, but The Look was one of those few. He had inherited his father’s ice-blue eyes and heavy brow. With a bit of practice, giving someone The Look came as easily as flexing a muscle.
The Look meant different things at different times, depending on the recipient and the occasion. It could mean, “Hold your tongue.” It could mean, “Lift your skirts.” On one particularly memorable occasion, it had meant, “Put down the damned candlestick before you embarrass us both.”
But whatever The Look meant, it conveyed authority. The Look said, without equivocation, I lead, and you follow.
There was only one person in Jeremy’s acquaintance who remained utterly impervious to The Look. And damn, if she wasn’t leading him around by a satin ribbon.
The candlestick thing is pure FanLit. I can’t resist. The whole book is riddled with FanLit references. I’m sure I’ll end up editing many out – and that one’s a prime candidate – but many will stay. And when (note the optimism) it is published, I’ll run a contest to see who can find the most.
But do you see what I mean? He sounds pretty alpha there, right? Even if he isn’t purely alpha, should I sell him that way, for simplicity’s sake? What do you think?
Okay, so sometimes just writing this stuff out really helps. I realized I forgot to answer the original question: Why are you going to love him?
And there’s a simple answer to that question: Because of all the women he could have, he’s smart enough to want Lucy. And not only want her, but care for her. Sure, the “smart” parts of him aren’t exactly the ones making the decisions for most of the book, but …