Since she's already answered our Minxy questions, she's doing something a little different for us today, and chatting to us about...
Dark Heroes of Romance by Lindsay J. Pryor
What constitutes a hero in romantic fiction? I’ve always found this an interesting topic for discussion amongst writers and readers. Does the hero always have to be the good guy? Does he need to shine as such from the very beginning? Is there any set ideal or formula?
Fortunately not. There are readers and writers alike who readily embrace the amazingly diverse and eclectic genre that is romance – and that includes its heroes too.
I write the Blackthorn dark paranormal romance series. I began my journey into romance with the classics. My first romantic hero was Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. At the age of 17, I remember participating in discussions in my English Literature classes about what could constitute him as a hero. We had many a debate as to whether Heathcliff could be referred to as such, and not least because his behaviour was so despicable at times. That’s not how they were supposed to behave! They’re supposed to be good and kind and self-sacrificing, let alone gentle and tender with the heroine and those she cares about. Heroes have to be almost super-human, even better than everyone else – that’s the whole point, surely?
I guess it was those types of debates that first made literary characters so fascinating for me – not least the influence of reader perceptions and belief systems on how a hero is received.
I’ve always veered towards the darker heroes because, as characters, they intrigue me the most. I love flawed characters. I want my hero to work for his title. I don’t want him to come ready made to save the day. For me, characters need to develop and evolve, no matter how subtly. I like glimpses into their pasts, to appreciate how they present themselves in the present and also see their potential in the future. I want to be able to understand them, not necessarily agree with them.
It was inevitable I’d write my own dark heroes. Kane Malloy (Blood Shadows) was risky enough, but Caleb Dehain (Blood Roses) is being deemed even darker. But they have to be to survive in the cruel world that has been inflicted upon them. They have to battle their hearts and their beliefs, let alone the system they live in, to justify their feelings for their heroine. My heroines pose huge risks to my heroes not just because of what they are but who they are – heroines who make them question the very nature of what they are.
I don’t want my heroes and heroines to have an easy time. I want them to fight external and, more importantly, internal conflict to be with the one they love. I find it even more powerful when there is every reason for them not to be together, but they still manage to pull through. The higher the stakes, the better. There’s nothing like falling in love, let alone staying in love, against the odds.
Each Blackthorn romance is part of a series, a bigger picture, which allows all my characters to grow at different rates. Some of my heroes are just too much pleasurable hard work for anything less. But, of course, I have the advantage of having glimpsed into their futures and knowing they’re worth it.
If you enjoy the sound of thes ebooks, you can find Blood Shadows on Amazon and Amazon UK, and Blood Roses on Amazon and Amazon UK.
Looking for a real paperback version? Blood Shadows is also available on paper from Amazon and Amazon UK, and Blood Roses here from Amazon and Amazon UK.
You can find out more about Lindsay on her website, Facebook, or chat to her on Twitter.
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