Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why I’m allowed to lust for other men

In the last eight years, I’ve had torrid affairs with at least a dozen men.

I’ve gazed into their eyes and clutched their biceps and raked my fingernails down their backs.

My husband is supportive. In fact, he encourages it.

That’s probably because the men aren’t real. They’re the heroes in my novels, and every time I create a new one, it’s like falling in love all over again.

Or lust, if you want to split hairs. Usually, the two go hand in hand.

I’ve had people ask me if I have a favorite hero in any of the books I’ve written, and I always have to think about it. I mean really think about it. I picture them lined up in a row, all different ages and hair colors and body types and then I usually get a little dizzy and have to go lie down for awhile.

But the real answer to the question is that I always love the hero I’m working on at that moment better than any of the others.

Getting to know him is exhilarating and leaves me feeling tingly and breathless. I want to hear everything he’s thinking. I want to learn exactly how it feels to twist my fingers in his hair or sink my teeth into his shoulder. The deeper I go into the book, the more enraptured I become.

In those final pages, I am completely convinced that I’ll never adore another imaginary man this much.

And then I start a new book. And it starts all over again.

The last romantic comedy I wrote was BELIEVE IT OR NOT – the second in my three-book contract – and I remember falling so hard for Drew that I was sure I’d never write another hero who could compare. I loved his dry sense of humor and rumpled hair and cocksure attitude and his hands, ohmygod, his hands.

But then I met Clay. He’s the hero in my new book, LET IT BREATHE. And while he couldn’t be more different from Drew, I’m crazy for this guy. He’s rough around the edges and beautifully flawed, but with a sweetness even he doesn’t realize is there.

And I’ll be honest, he looks so good in a T-shirt that I don’t think I’ll dress him in anything else for the entire book.

Pythagoras came home the other day to find me gazing at my manuscript with a dreamy expression.

“You invented another man to lust after?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “Isn’t it great?”

“Totally. Want to go for a bike ride?”

Is it just me? Am I the only one who falls so head-over-heels in lust with men of my own creation? Tell me in the comments.

I have to go lie down now.


Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Nope, I love my leading men. Problem is, sometimes they're boys, which might legally cause me trouble. Like Cameron. He's the blonde haired, green eyed hunkorama in my current YA novel. When I think of him I have to stand up and say, "My name is Debbie, and I am a cougar."

Cynthia Reese said...

I have to admit, my mind slid right to the gutter when I read, I always love the hero I’m working on at that moment better than any of the others.

Linda G. said...

You are not alone--I totally lust after the men in my books. Hmm...writer's equivalent of the office romance? Only without the guilt. Pretty nice arrangement if you ask me.

Dan Krokos said...

I love the women I create. They always do what I say.

Harley May said...

"sink my teeth into his shoulder" "and his hands, ohmygod, his hands"


Yes, I love my man characters. I also find that I get massive girl crushes on my protagonists. They get to do things I don't.

Unknown said...

Drew, Clay- meet Aiden, Dennis & Vince. You guys could be the world's hottest construction crew.

LR said...

No, you're not the only one. Sweet love...(to be sung in Anita Baker voice).

Delia Moran said...

Oh yeah. I've got a hell of an affair going on with my leading man right now, and I don't even write romance. That should tell you a little more than you needed to know about me. But, really, he's so damned hot! And, yes...the hands... *sigh*

Patrick Alan said...

All my man characters are based on me. Of course I am hot for them. Have I looked in a mirror? Oh yes!!!

Michelle Wolfson said...

Nope. I totally fall head-over-heels in lust with the imaginary men of your creation too.

Anne Gallagher said...

I've only fallen for two out of the six. The others were already taken by the female MC's and I don't mess with another's guy.

Unknown said...

Not alone! I was insanely in love with Thomas, the hero I created for Border Lines. I know everything about him... where he has a cute little mole. How he smells. The way he likes his eggs. What his IQ his.

Let me tell you what he looks like. He stands over six feet tall, narrow waist but broad shoulders. His chest is bare; just the faintest of happy trails leading down, down, (OK, stopping there, since I'm at work and shouldn't moan.) He has long black hair he wears tied back. He speaks with a British accent, tends to tack on a "yeah" at the end of his sentences and has light hazel eyes.

After he was "born", I was flipping through channels one night and just stopped, jaw hanging, at Dancing with the Stars. A couple danced across the floor. The way he moved - it was Thomas. The way he looked - black hair (no ponytail, but close enough) - it was Thomas. My Thomas. Living, breathing.

He spoke with a French accent rather than British, but hell - Gilles Marini IS the Thomas I thought I made up.

So, now I have TWO reasons to swoon.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I've definitely fallen for my leading guy. Last week I saw a guy on the train who looked exactly how I pictured my leading guy would look, and I felt tempted to follow him around and gaze adoringly at him. But I didn't, because you know, that might've been weird.

L. T. Host said...

I think I have elements of my fiance in every love interest I write for my MCs. He's what I compare love to, and how we go about our relationship is often times a bit how my characters go about theirs.

So this means I can fall for them without feeling TOO guilty. :)

Candyland said...

No. You're not alone. I've had dreams about my main dude. And then I felt a little guilty.

Lola Sharp said...

Nah, you're not alone.

And, I second what Cynthia said. ;)


Becky said...

I love this post! I've written fiction (for my own eyes) and have always loved the men I create.... after all, if I don't love them, why should a reader?!?! My boyfriend loves it when I lust after these men in my head, because I come up with all kind of new fun ideas that spice up our relationship... I'd say that's a win-win for all involved!!

Purple Cow said...

I am not a "creator" of men as I have never written fiction...but I have fallen in love with men just because of the way they write.


Jade said...

Yes, I have this problem too, but I write YA so my guys are like 17 so there's a whole other range of issues that I try and not think about!

Unknown said...

Most definitely. Right now, it's Adam. I'm completely pissed at my heroine because she doesn't see what an amazing man he is...or will be.

Anonymous said...

I like to picture my heroes as blooms in a garden. They're all so...darn pretty and I want to pluck them all, but there are some who move me more than others. The weirdest thing is, I had one character pop up in two of my manuscripts. He started out as a bad guy, then became a little better and by the time I wrote his story, I was in love. He's my favorite of all my heroes, although I still love the others. *sigh* So many men to love and lust over my mind is looking like a playgirl magazine.

Liz Czukas said...

I fall for mine, too. We're all the same flavor of crazy.

Although to be specific, I fall for them through the lens of my main characters' eyes. Because I love "being" those girls for a little while, too. I write in first person, because I "see" the action from their eyes--ALL THE ACTION.

My husband doesn't know about this part of my writing yet. I'm not sure I'll ever tell him. Not that he'd care, but he might wonder who I've got on the brain when I get fresh with him. Then again, he might like that...

Excuse me, I think I need to go take a cold shower.

- Liz


You guys are making me drool a little just thinking about all these hot imaginary men!

Debbie, ah, yes -- you YA authors are at a disadvantage, aren't you?

Cynthia, since when are YOU the one with your mind in the gutter? Your heroes always make me drool, too, BTW!

Linda G, you're right, it is kinda like an office romance! Only without the risk of getting caught trysting on the floor of the coat closet.

Dan, imaginary women are great that way. My imaginary men love to tell me how smart and beautiful I am.

Harley May, you know what's funny? I actually asked my husband if the "sink my teeth into his shoulder" line was too risque for the blog. He looked at me like I was baked and said, "isn't that tame compared with some what's actually in your books?" Good point.

Misty, trying hard not to make bad jokes about hammers and screws and nailing and...

LR, my theme is probably more Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On," but I hear you!

Delia, another woman with a hand fetish? Are we sisters? :)

Patrick, what a coincidence, all my male characters are based on you, too!

Michelle, kinda curious if you have a favorite!

Piedmont Writer, it's funny, I hear a lot of authors project themselves into the role of the heroine, which means there's no guilt in lusting after her man. I've never done this. The heroine is always a good pal, but the hero? He's secretly all mine.

Patty_writer, I'm swooning right along with you! Is it hot in here?

Neurotic Workaholic, what's wrong with stalking strange men and telling they remind you of your imaginary boy toys?

LT Host, aw, that's sweet. A lie, but sweet (kidding, kidding!)

Candyland, I loooove those dreams!

Lola, what is it with all the dirty minds on this blog? Nevermind, I think I get it.

Becky, LOL, there are benefits for men involved with smutty authors, no?

Purple Cow, oh, I TOTALLY relate to that! Can think of a few men whose writing routinely makes me want to take my clothes off.

Jade, and here's to you, Mrs. Robinson!

Jeannie, don't you hate it when heroines don't appreciate a great man when they meet him? Makes me want to add a torture scene.

danicaavet, bad guys who turn into good guys...oooh, those are the best!

Liz, yeah, I'm pretty sure your husband would like that!

Thanks for reading, guys!