Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let's Talk Heroes

How exciting to be here with our new chapter mates! Love the name of the blog. The only thing better than being called a magician, will be getting to know all of you!

The we that is Alicia Hunter Pace (Jean Hovey and Stephanie Jones)
Might as well get that we business out of the way right off. Yes, there are two of us—Jean Hovey and Stephanie Jones, writing as Alicia Hunter Pace. We write contemporary and fantasy, but somehow it always turns out to be romantic comedy.
Regardless of the genre, our stories always seem to start with the hero—whether it's a magic casting elf or a smooth talking southern fraternity boy, damaged from the wrong kind of living and loving. We fall in love with our heroes, right along with the heroine and, of course, we want our readers to feel the same way.

That much we agree on. It's our tastes in heroes that differs. Consequently, some characters end up being definitively Jean's and some Stephanie's. There is always so much talk of how to define a hero—alpha male, beta male, gamma male—whatever that is.

We seem to have a never ending problem. Jean just cannot get what an alpha male is and Stephanie is always on a quest to make her understand. Is he a control freak and a jerk or is he just determined to take care of business as he covers up how broken he is? No one wants to fall in love with a jerk. Do they?

It's a quandary.

Of course we are going to always have a soft spot for the hero from our first sale, Sweet Gone South.   He's an uptight, rule-following, straight laced judge.  We see him grow through the story as he realizes that he simply can’t control everyone and everything.  He started out with some very definite ideas about what was and wasn’t acceptable. Unfortunately, they weren’t always the same plans that we had for him.

Sometimes he won; sometimes we did.  But it all led to happily ever after, and that's what counts.  Here is the cover for his story, Sweet Gone South

What characteristics do you think makes a hero an alpha male?


Chris Bailey said...

Jean, I'm with you. I have a terrible time distinguishing between alpha male and male chauvinist pig. Must be my age. :-)

Heather said...

Loved the post! My favorite alpha is Rhett Butler. Doesn't get better. Just doesn't.

M.V.Freeman said...

Glad to see you here :)

For me an alpha male is someone who has a good sense of self--and his own set rules he follows.( They may not be the ones you agree with.) An example would be Wolverine from X-men, or King Leonides from the movie 300.

I adore writing alpha heros. They are fun. I understand that this is not everyone's taste. ;)

Louisa Cornell said...

Welcome! The line between Alpha Male and Complete Jerk is a fine one! I do love a self-confident, take charge hero who has his entire world turned upside down by a woman who confuses him completely!

Carla Swafford said...

An alpha male will take charge when situations go bad to worse. He may be bossy, but he doesn't think of it that way. He just believes when it comes to protecting the one he loves, he knows what's best. How much of a jerk he is while doing all of that varies by his back story and current situation/career and the author's style.

Anne Stuart's alpha heroes are rather dark in some of her books but I like them a lot. Ain't that right, Mary?

M.V.Freeman said...

You are so right! Anne Stuart, makes the most delicious alpha heros! :)

Katherine Bone said...

Hey Jean and Stephanie! Wishing you success with Sweet Gone South!

I love the definitions of an alpha male here. Louisa, Carla and M.V., you're right on the money! And the comment about Anne Stuart's heroes being the epitomy of Alpha? Fantastic!! I'm getting to know her heroes and I LOVE them!

What authors have influenced your writing, Jean and Stephanie?

Stephanie Jones AKA Alicia Pace said...

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome!
Jean and I look forward to being part of the blog.

Chris, I don't think it is an age thing. I think it is just a very complex issue.

Heather, thanks. Ohhh yes, Rhett is a great example of an alpha hero. He could fix anything AND bring you a bonnet!!!

M.V., I like your point that an alpha hero has his own set of rules. Good point!

Louisa, you are right that few things are as much fun to read as an alpha male whose world has been rattled.

Carla, I will have to check out Anne Stuart. I have not read anything by her. They sound right up my alley!
You make a great point that the situation and voice have a lot to do with how the hero comes across.

Stephanie Jones AKA Alicia Pace said...

Katherine, Jean and I are both avid readers so I am sure we have been influenced by many folks through the years. One person who has influenced our writing has been Rhonda Nelson. Her sassy humor with her southern style heat are always winners with us! She is also a great role model for aspiring writers.

Cari Hislop said...

I've never found domineering men particularly attractive myself and that's how I sum up Alphas; domineering. Most domineering men infuriate me because they're usually not as bright, handsome or talented as they think they are.

That doesn't mean Alphas don't occasionally step into my stories and try to take over. My most Alpha male character (who is still impatiently waiting for me to write his story) summed up his position, "There's a pecking order; and I'm at the top." I've met his heroine. She's going to turn him inside out. He sets himself up to suffer! I think Alphas have to be shoved through an emotional meat grinder to soften up their hearts so they can really love.