First, I want to thank Heather for inviting me over to hang out with you guys. *looks around* Ah, it's so nice and pretty over here. *tamps down blog template envy* :)
Alright, so Heather didn't give me any guidelines on what to talk about--which is always a dangerous thing to do with someone who writes erotic romance. So I thought, how about a post that requires pictures of hot men? You with me? Okay, good. :)
I read a lot--mostly romance (all subgenres) and some YA--and I've started noticing a pattern. We always hear the cliche "tall, dark, and handsome" which of course is a good combination of adjectives (and I'm not giving up the tall and handsome), but I wonder if we may have taken the "dark" too much to heart. It seems like at least nine out of ten romance novels I read have the dark-haired hero. And apparently, I'm not immune as a writer either. Here are the inspirations for the heroes in my last two manuscripts:
Lex, my hero in my novel Wanderlust (romance about a rockstar), was a combo of Jared Leto (actor/lead singer 30 Seconds to Mars) and Tyson Ritter (singer All-American Rejects):
and then Reid my hero in my latest novel Exposure Therapy is a combo of these beautiful guys: (Rob Lowe and Ian Somerhalder)
So clearly, dark works. BUT here's my worry--what of the good-looking blondies out there? If I'm lucky enough to sell either of these books to publishers, the second in each of these separate series would feature a blond hero. And I love those characters too, and in my mind, they are just a sexy as the dark-haired heroes. I mean, consider the blond hotness below:
Alexander Skarsgard and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood)
Josh Holloway (Lost)
Yum, right? Clearly, blond can be hot. So why aren't there more blond heroes out there? Do we have certain characteristics we assign to blonds that don't work as heroes? Will readers not be as into my characters simply because of their fair locks? And God forbid someone write a red-headed hero. (The only time I've seen it done--and boy it worked that time--was Jamie in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.)
I don't know the answers or the reasons, though I have my theories. That's why I'm putting the questions out to you guys.
As readers, do you have a preference for what color hair the hero has? Do you think differently of a character based on their hair (i.e. dark hair means brooding, mysterious - blond means light-hearted, fun-loving?) Do you think there is a bias out there? And are any of your fave book heroes blondies (mine is Eric in the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood books)?
Thanks for letting me stop by!
Roni Loren is a romance writer whose goal is to write sexy (okay, sometimes downright naughty) stories that make readers laugh out loud, hold their breath, and fall in love--all before reading "happily ever after." She blogs on writing at Fiction Groupie and tweets like mad woman. Hopefully, you'll see her books on the shelves soon!
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