Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guest Blogger - Clare Austin!



I'd like to welcome guest blogger Clare Austin, author of Butterfly. You can get your very own copy of her novel from the Wild Rose Press.
Stop by and say hi, we'd love to hear from you. Remember, the more you comment her and along the blog tour, the better your chances of winning! You can follow her tour at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2009/07/virtual-book-tour-butterfly.html
Enjoy! I know I am. : )


Hi Wendi, thanks for having me on your blog today.
I’ve been thinking about heroes. Why do we need them? Where do they come from and what do they look like? What do women really want?
I’ve actually given this last question a great deal of thought. I’ve asked it of other women and the men they love. Here’s what I’ve come up with. People in general and women in particular want a hero. This hero doesn’t always materialize as a hot and handsome hunk with a gentle heart, all the cash in the universe and a corporate jet. In fact a hero can be in one’s own heart…a talent, a belief or a spiritual truth. But since we are talking about romance fiction today, I’m going to stick with the hero of our stories.
Does he have to be hot and handsome? No. Must he be beyond moral reproach? Not necessarily. How about rich, famous or unusually well endowed? Not on this planet.
He does though, beyond any question, have to be attractive in enough ways to endear not only our heroine, but the reader as well. In my novel, Butterfly, I have a secondary character who is someday going to be someone’s hero. Frequently readers tell me they “love Jamie.” Why? He’s a fellow who runs a bar, skinny, not very tall, can’t see without his glasses and has stringy blond hair that really needs a good cut. He has a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth and his hands on the backside of Flannery when she’s busy balancing pints on a tray. But, I know why they love him. He has a breakable heart, a sense of humor and he loves Flannery enough to let her go when he discovers she is in love with someone else. By the end of that book, you want Jamie to tell one more dumb joke and you really want some woman to love him.
I like a flawed hero. He can be far from perfect at the start. But, he has to be redeemable and must learn to have a capacity for love. He can even be outside the law if it is for a gallant cause. He doesn’t have to like her cat. In fact he doesn’t have to like anyone! And, here’s an interesting truth, the reader does not have to like the hero at the beginning of the story. He can wheedle his way into your heart and the heroine’s. That’s what makes a story…growth.
Where do I get these heroes? Honestly, they come out my imagination. They are not anyone I know in entirety. Little of this…little of that and a lot of make believe.
I will admit my heroes will never have certain characteristics that I personally find repugnant in a man. This is a place where I allow myself freedom of choice because I have to live with this character for the duration of the story. I have to get into bed with him. If I find him repulsive for some reason…it’s going to be a hard book to write. He will never hurt children or animals, for example. That’s not to say that he wants them in his life…he just isn’t mean or petty. And, okay, even if he is a cowboy, he doesn’t smoke or chew…eech…would you kiss him?
One of my heroes is a bad boy, one a wounded warrior and another a really nice man who never seems to get a break. They are foils for the heroine. The characters need to be able to clash and blend. I often think of this leaning in and pulling away as the Italian phrase…Vento nel vento. As it was explained to me by an Italian friend, it means a wind that comes from two directions of the compass, twists, spins and battles.
Thanks for letting me visit today. I hope you will read Butterfly. Let me know what you think. Does Jamie deserve his own book?
Clare
http://www.clareaustin.com/, authorclare@gmail.com
Butterfly, available in print and e-book from http://www.thewildrosepress.com/, amazon.com, BN.com and Fictionwise.

10 comments:

Clare Austin said...

Hi Wendi! Glad to be here today.

Clare

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Thanks for stopping by Clare!

Wendi

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Clare,
Nice to read about your heroes. As you know, I already have a copy of Butterfly, can't wait to read it.
Best wishes
Magaret

Mary Ricksen said...

I love the cover Clare.
I wish you the best of luck with Butterfly, this one sounds like a winner!

LORETTA CANTON said...

I love a flawed hero too. There is something about the way they learn to love and accept someone into their life.

lorettaC,
lbcanton@verizon.net

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Great comments. I loved her post, didn't you?

Thanks for stopping by Mary, Margaret, and Loretta. Stop back soon!

Thanks for coming by Clare. Feel free to drop in an post again! Can't wait for your next book.

Wendi

Clare Austin said...

Thanks Wendi and all,
I'd love to come back and tell you about the next two books.
Clare

P.L. Parker said...

Great cover. Many sales.

Patsy

Clare Austin said...

Hello all,

The winner of last weeks PDF of Butterfly came from this blog site. Happy to announce that Loretta Canton was picked at random from all the comments this week. Butterfly is on the way.

Thank you all for your interest in my writing.

Clare

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Congrats Loretta! That's very cool. Thanks again for stopping by Clare!

Wendi