Looking back over my romance novels, I don’t find a typical alpha hero in many of them. Dan in Secrets of the Lotus and John in Winter Solstice were the closest I came, and that was because as I started out I thought that was what was required.
Since then, the men of my stories have been pretty much quiet intellectuals or devoted professionals. A physics professor, a family lawyer, a chef, and now…a magician.
Now, keep in mind that most of my life I’ve been a quiet, devoted geek. I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek (original through Deep Space Nine, anyway), and certainly every movie (I love the new ones!). My favorite authors in high school were Anne McCaffrey (dragons!) and Piers Anthony (Xanth!). My favorite hobby? Reading. I’m a librarian for heaven’s sake. (Speaking of which, I’m seriously considering writing a novel with a librarian as the hero.)
So it makes sense that my heroes would tend toward the geek side of the scale, too, doesn’t it?
But is there a future in writing heroes with a geek factor? I may not have found my answer, but I did get a little bit of encouragement the other night while watching Big Brother (another sign of my geekiness!). If you’ve been watching, you know there’s an unlikely showmance going on between houseguests Amanda and McCrae. Amanda is a gorgeous, brash, successful businesswoman. McCrae is a pizza boy…well, I guess you’d have to say pizza man. He’s certainly old enough to have a real job. (Sorry, McCrae!)
Anyway, the two have struck up a relationship and are undeniably cute together, even if they are totally mismatched and would never have gotten together (like, in a million years! I mean who would be caught dating a pizza boy? Really?) in the real world. And McCrae says to Amanda the other night (at least something to this effect), “I don’t even really get it why you like me.” And Amanda starts giggling and just for a second, I got it. I saw it. McCrae’s a geek, but there’s something about him.
Of course, my next hero isn’t going to be a pizza boy (man), and he isn’t going to look like McCrae, but just the fact that I actually could see something in him for a second there made me feel better about my heroes. I mean, hey, why shouldn’t a sexy, devoted, sweet, slightly geeky magician get the girl?
Even in this day and age of fifty shades of twilight, there’s room for a nice guy, too, isn’t there?