The thing about romance writers is we’re fickle creatures. Twice a year, I ditch my hero— “It’s over, babe. Thanks for everything.”— and start trawling the Web for another. I ask my Facebook fans for suggestions and spend an hour (cough) or so checking out their suggestions.
It’s hard. I really need to feel the feelings for my guy. I don’t like men who are too pretty or perfect (Henry Cavill, sorry, darling. You do nothing for me). The face has to be interesting on some level, and usually, I gravitate toward one particular feature.
In the past, I’ve used these guys for inspiration. (You’re welcome, by the way!)
When I was writing my latest book, I had the worst time finding a face for the hero. Finally, in desperation, I emailed my friend Jennifer. She sent me a photo of a man I’d never heard of.
Sometimes, it’s hard to move on. I whine to McIrish: “I’ll never love anyone the way I loved Levi!” (McIrish, who is half saint, murmurs sympathetically; he’s a very secure man.) Then I inevitably find someone else. Levi is forgotten. I can barely remember what I saw in him in the first place, because I’m in love, baby! I start my writing day by opening iPhoto and sighing appreciatively.
Inevitably, the original inspirational face fades. The character becomes less RDJ, for example, and more Nick (from MY ONE AND ONLY). I no longer need to stare at photos on my hard drive to remember what the hero looks like. By the time I’m finished with the book, I’m convinced I’ll never love anyone that same way.
And then it’s off to the internet again.
Do you ever “cast” the hero of a novel you’re reading? Are you ever disappointed when a book is cast, and the hero is so different from the guy you’d pictured?