I know I've gotten my hero just right if I've fallen in love with him by novel's end. Chances are if the author is smitten with their hero the reader will be, too. One hopes, anyway. Before Lael took Ian Justus away from me in TFD I was quite besotted. Scotsmen have always been my weakness. And then there's Morrow's paramour in Courting Morrow Little, who shall remain nameless as his very identity is a huge spoiler. It took me a good hundred pages to fall for my Irishman, Colonel McLinn, in The Locket, and then THUD... I'm not advocating hero worship. Well, almost:)
hero worship n (1774) 1: veneration of a hero 2: foolish or excessive adulation for an individual
Silly me but I was so happy to find this word comes to us straight from the 18th-century. And I thought again how blessed I am to have an editor and publisher who encourage me to write in the century I love. If I had to make the leap and write in other time periods I think I'd lose a lot of heart/passion. The 18th-century has always been my first love and I have lots of story ideas simmering.
But back to my Colonel McLinn who won't make his debut until summer of 2011... Someone asked me how writers come up with characters. Are they based on people we know? Actually, Colonel McLinn is based on someone I wish I'd known. When I was in Kentucky last fall doing research for The Locket, I visited a two hundred year old house whose owner was glaring at me from an oil painting over a bedroom mantle. I was struck by how embittered and sad he looked and I wanted to give him a happy ending instead of the tragedy he lived.
So my Irishman is actually made up of my two favorite 18th-century heroes. Can you guess who these men might be? One clue is that they're both named George. First names, not last. Each was unusually tall for that time period. And both had red hair. Enough said:)
Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero's heart. -Proverb
Who is a hero? He who conquers his urges. -The Talmud
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have a wonderful weekend!