I love men.
Seriously. All different kinds of men. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned to appreciate all the nuances and varieties that get my motor humming. And when I’m writing a new novel, I spend a lot of time fantasizing about my leading guy. A lot of time.
And like any romance novelist, I have my “types” that I like to write, and my two recurring men are front and center in various forms.
First, there’s the Alpha male – and he’s a big seller. Anytime I write a book with a very alpha male, it’s going to outsell his beta counterparts dramatically. Lots of women dig big, powerful guys with clear intent and borderline (or not so borderline) domination tactics. They are the Khal Drogos. The Thors. Maybe it’s just biology, but some women (okay, a lot of women) want a man who’ll pin them down (after we’ve clearly established attraction, of course) and use their own body as a weapon against them.
Then there are my “Beta males” – and for the record, I hate that word. Like they’re secondary, or weaker, when they are neither. They are the Captain Hooks. the Tony Starks. They’re wicked smart and sarcastic and funny and know that a woman’s biggest sex organ is her mind – and that’s where they gain entrance. These guys talk you into bed and then make good on their promises.
Two very different guys – and the struggle when writing them is to not let them become caricatures. Every Alpha needs his surprisingly sensitive moment (or series of growing-more-tender moments). Every Beta needs to grab a sword or a gun or swing a fist or stalk someone down with serious menace in defense of his woman. Those moments shade and color and define our heroes as more than the stereotype, and they’re important.
And the great part about the Alpha/Beta guys is that your women can be any combination of any of that and work with either of them. You can make her spunky as hell and have her fighting that alpha male every time he’s near her. You can make her shy and submissive but smart, with a few tricks up her sleeve that knock him on his ass. You can pair a ballsy female with a beta guy who’s simply blown away by her and has to double up his game. You can pair a quiet, closed-off woman with a beta male who’s determined to learn all her secrets. Oh, the possibilities are endless.
Now back to writing Seasinger, which features an outrageously Alpha Male who needs to get taken down a peg or two…