Last night I was watching an episode of the MTV show, Teen Mom. Let me start by saying, this show is a like watching a never ending train wreck. You want to turn away, flip the channel and forget you ever saw what just happened and yet, you can't. I can't. These girls, these kids, have made horror shows of their lives and I can't seem to stop watching it. Anyone watching will immediately see the patterns of low self esteem, neglectful or more often than not, missing fathers and drug abuse.
Almost all of the teen moms, whether they knew it or not, went looking for hero's in their high school boyfriends and are shocked, SHOCKED I tell you when it is revealed that they are nothing more than teenage boys. So, this show got me to thinking about hero's and in particular the types of hero's found in the world of Romance literature. I've been reading romance novels since I was 13 and even though I have grown up I'm not sure my hero preferences have. Sure, it's a fantasy but not every hero is as good as another. Let's be honest, we aren't reading about balding problem solving hunks with great bods, powerful positions and bad teeth.
Obviously the Cynsters, Morans and Jones of the world don't exist (at least not to my knowledge), and if they did the divorce rate would be way down and there would be no need for women to fake orgasms. Like, ever. So, what makes a hero a hero to the reader? As an aspiring romance writer, my hero's are flawed but desperately desiring to escape their inadequacies. They have hearts aching to love but afraid of what that might mean. They are determined, emotionally and physically strong, reliable and have an ingrained honesty. Most importantly, they have a great sense of humor and with right woman they show the sillier side of themselves.
I don't know what either of those hero preferences say about me since my current hero is my adorably plump cat, Sir Leonidas Periwinkle.
What makes a hero, a hero to you?