Writers get to craft their stories, build their worlds, and develop their characters, right? So what does it mean when an author writes a little…edgy? About characters that might be considered a little…dark? What motivates a romance writer to pen a particularly damaged, flawed, maybe even slightly controversial, hero or heroine? What motivates me to do this?
The heroine of my very first manuscript was a female prosecutor who smoked pot and slept around as a teen. The vampire hero from Chosen By Blood, my first traditionally published book, was married to a good woman but in love with the heroine. And the heroine of my upcoming series for Random House is a former gang member trying to escape her past.
I think there are a couple of things that motivate me. First, I like a good challenge. Second, I like the idea of a happy ever after on steroids. If it works, talk about a cathartic ride and major pay off for the reader! And finally, just as in life, I like to play fair and be as real as possible. Sometimes I make mistakes and fail, but hopefully most of the time I succeed. Things aren’t always what they seem. The nice girl in school isn’t just “nice.” She’s more complex than that. (Maybe someday I’ll tell you about the cute boy who said I reminded him of a horse—not a bold, free, running wild kind of horse, but a tamed, easily guided one—WHAT?! Now, to be fair, I didn’t often show my bolder, wilder side in high school…But still…dude…who says that to someone?)
Most people are damaged and flawed in some way. Most have been misjudged. Most are dealt a bad hand at least once in their lives yet have to play that hand to the end…or walk away from the table. I like characters that play the hands their dealt the best way they can even if they risk complete bankruptcy.
My family just saw “Wreck It Ralph,” Disney’s new animated movie about the man assigned to play the “bad guy” in a video game over and over again. Every night he gets thrown off a building and sleeps alone in the dump while the video game’s hero “Fix It Felix” claims a medal and the adoration of the crowd. But of course there’s more to Wreck It Ralph, plenty that others don’t see, including a yearning to be loved and be “good.” The same’s true for Elphaba, the “wicked witch” that everyone loved to hate until they got to walk a mile in her shoes and see her through a different pair of glasses in the smash musical “Wicked.” I don’t think I’ve ever been more pleased to see someone get her man. Talk about a happy ever after on steroids. And when Wreck It Ralph proves his ultimate goodness and gets rewarded for it? Beautiful! An author who wants to provide that kind of pay off probably has to be willing to take some risks, and hope there will be readers willing to go along for the ride. So thanks to my readers for giving me a chance. I couldn’t do this without you!
Who’s your favorite underdog or redeemed romance character? Romance at Random will send one randomly chosen – US Only – winner – a random book – good luck!!
WINNER has been chosen – thanks all for blogging with us
A former criminal prosecutor and now national bestselling author, Virna writes paranormal and romantic suspense stories for Random House, HQN and the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line. She loves to hear from readers! www.virnadepaul.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
About the book:
WILL HE HELP PROTECT HER…
Carrie Ward understands dangerous men, and she’s got the scars to prove it. These days, the Special Investigations Group detective saves her risk taking for the job. But when she’s asked to pursue a high-profile serial killer, she’ll have to join forces with the last man she wants to depend on-Jase Tyler, an ace senior detective who’s as reckless as she is cautious. And despite her best intentions, the sparks begin to fly.
OR DRAW A KILLER FROM THE SHADOWS?
As Carrie and Jase race to try to save the next victim, the passion that simmers between them ignites. But a cunning killer at the top of his game is challenging Carrie to play to the very end. Now all she can count on are her instincts-and Jase, the one man daring enough to keep her safe….
And for readers who like their romances a little sweeter but still complex and super sexy? Check out my contemporary romance, This Magic Moment, an Amazon bestselling romance inspired by my husband, who’s a full-time lawyer and part-time magician.
“I’m in love with This Magic Moment! This story is beautifully written… an unforgettable hit!” -Joyfully Reviewed
About the Book:
She’s a small-town girl who wants roots and a family. He’s a world-famous magician who travels from one city to another, changing bed partners as easily as plane flights. Can a woman who’s always longed for hearth and home find satisfaction with a man whose entire life has been about moving on to the next big thing? With her belief in absolutes and his skill with magic, it’s the perfect formula for love.