Barbara Vey of Publishers’ Weekly asked those attending Lady Jane’s Salon in New York City for three words that describe a hero. Many of the respondents went for the superficial (tall, dark and handsome was one answer and yet another said “Sexy, handsome and luscious”): sexy and strong.
One author appeared to be stumped and said that at the spur of the moment all she could think of was the covers. Blogger (and aspiring author), Kate Gabbarrant gave intelligent, brave, and sense of humor. Another author (Sara Lindsey maybe?) said loyalty, strength, and courage.
One author said “my dad.” Only one author said “loving”. Some of the authors gave competitive, dangerous or mysterious as one of the three adjectives describing a hero. Kathleen O’Reilly said “Funny, confident but not arrogant, brunette.”
I’ve always thought the perfect hero is described in this Trisha Yearwood song which is admittedly more than three words:
I like a man who will lay down beside me
Stand up to me, cry on my shoulder, crazy about me
Can live without me too
That’s what I like about
Can’t live my life without
That’s what I like about you
I figure that the sexy and handsome traits materialize in my imagination once other elements are met. After all, we love the Beast stories. Some of the most unattractive heroes are the most beloved such as Stan from Suzanne Brockmann’s Over the Edge, who had a face “only a mother could love” or To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt where the hero made women scream in horror and young kids cry.
What makes the perfect hero for you? What qualities are must have in a hero? Alternatively, what traits do heroes have that are flaws to be overcome or a trait that automatically disqualifies someone from being a hero (ie incest, cruelty to animals, children or something less extreme).