You can learn more about Cathy and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter.
More Than Looks
What makes a character heroic? What sets him or her apart from all others? What makes me, as a reader, fall a little in love as I travel through the story?
Good questions. Here are just a few of my must haves:
- Courage. I’ve found it takes great courage to live my life on my terms. I make mistakes but I am determined to carry on and I expect that in my Romance heroes and heroines as well. I guess some folks would call it “spunk” or “guts” or “perseverance.” Whatever the name, characters who refuse to give up, even when everything is going absolutely wrong, make the story for me.
- Flaws. Who wants to be perfect? Not me. I’d bore myself. Plus, I don’t think flaws stop a character from being heroic. The most interesting stories are the ones where a person rises over her flaws to succeed, especially if she learns something along the way.
- Kindness. Let me also throw in the word “generous” as well. This one is close to my heart. My late husband was one of the kindest people I have met. It made him easy to live with. Not only do I look for the quality in every guy I date, but since I expect my Romance novels to be that forever kind of love, well, kindness needs to be present.
- Humor. I could not live without laughing. Life would be so drab. Plus, I think the best sort of love is where we can laugh at ourselves. Whether the humor is smart aleck or genteel or slapstick, I must have it in my characters. Otherwise, they are not believable to me. By the way, some of the best scenes I’ve read are the ones where the characters are being completely caught up in the moment but I laugh because I recognize myself. You know, where they are done in by their own shenanigans (I love that word.)
- Health. When the heroine has glossy hair and the hero has white straight teeth--or vice versa—what we are really talking about is health. Healthy people can enjoy life. I don’t want to read about a character with rotting teeth. Awck! Can you imagine the kiss? (No, please don’t. I apologize for putting the idea in your head. However, I do know a great zombish joke along those lines. So, someone could make it work, right?)
Those are just some of the characteristics I’ve enjoyed being celebrated in Romance literature. There are many more and because you are a fan of The Romance Dish and a discerning reader, I bet you have a few fave characteristics, too. So what makes a meaningful hero or heroine for you? What hooks you into a character? Care to share?
And I should tell you, that I used many of these characteristics in my latest THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL. This is the second book of the “Marrying the Duke” series. I’m having a great time writing this trilogy. A DATE AT THE ALTAR will be out the end of October. Oh, and the first book is THE MATCH OF THE CENTURY.
Now, let’s yak about what makes characters special.
by Cathy Maxwell
Release Date: May 31, 2016
The penniless orphan of a disreputable earl, Lady Charlene Blanchard thrives on the adventure of picking the pockets of unsavory gentlemen to survive. But due to her extraordinary beauty and prized bloodlines, she is hand-chosen as a potential bride for the Duke of Baynton, who is on the hunt for a suitable wife to provide heirs. All Char has to do is act the part she was born to play and charm a duke she’s never laid eyes on into proposing. Except the duke turns out to be the tall, dark and sexy stranger who just caught her red-handed as a thief!
Or is he? Jack Whitridge is the duke’s twin who had “gone missing” over ten years ago. Now back in England, he knows that the supposed Lady who has his brother’s love is hardly duchess material—except he needs her to save his adopted country from war. He is willing to bargain with her heart, until he finds himself falling for Char . . .