I can never speak to the ideas of other authors. But I can speak for myself and those I know well who also write. Fictional men make my world better. Make our world better. When I first started writing I wanted to write adventures full of suspense and chaos. But every time there was a man involved. (And if I know anything about men getting involved in my life or projects, it turns out unexpectedly.) The villain would be too handsome, the police officer too noble, and the scientist too cute to be allowed. And yet all I wanted was adventure. After five years, I gave up. I am forever going to write romance. Men have indeed come in and turned things into unexpected outcomes and fascinating directions.
‘At precisely the hour, the door to the side of the lecture hall slammed open with a bang and out stepped a man who was more presence than person. She watched as he walked to the other side of the hall and locked the door. “To be late is to be sorry.” he quipped as he turned and looked them all over.
From top to tail he was tidy. Near perfection. His suit was flawless and well-tailored, yet a color of soft brown or mauve. He even had the matching under vest on. Just above it was a white dress shirt that seemed starched almost too stiff to her and a purple paisley tie. A pocket square matched in color and pattern. Right then She thought the man couldn’t be serious about dressing like that on a daily basis. It wasn’t rational at all.’ – The Man Named Haunt by Bee, 2018
As you can see, those men show up for me time after time. This current muse is as issued as a man can get. He is not cruel or unkind. But he suffers from a need to have the perfect image. In fact, he is far from perfect. The man can’t get a date to save his life because he lacks charm and tends to be melancholy. He sports heterochromatic eyes. (Meaning his eyes are a mix of colors and not the same color at all.) And he might have a few ticks that make him compulsive.
As an author, I decided to stand firm with the idea that men should not be taciturn to the point of belittling in my books. Why would a man who insulted the main character win her over in the end? How mean can a man get before she tells him to take a hike she would prefer the villain? I am no longer a writer of the fighting to fall in love model. I prefer characters to do something new, like rescue themselves and learn coping skills.
‘Christian’s hand twitched like he wanted to punch, but knew better. The slamming of the door caught all of the students off guard. “If you are quite finished.” said a dead calm, ice-cold voice from the other side of the room.
Professor Mark Lawrence was an intimidating man. He was over six-foot and his presence even bigger. His eyes were frigid ice blue and colder than his voice. His dark hair was nothing to his dark mood. All of this force was aimed straight at Nell giving her the feeling that this class was going to be the worst class of her life.’
–Hidden Fame by Bee, 2005
That is the primary example of what men used to look like in my book . Tell me how that much temper is going to smooth over his outburst for the girl to fall for him? Now I know what you are saying, Bee? Girl, I think you have a thing for your professors. These just happen to have professors as the hero. And I promise I am not promoting student teacher relationships. That is why these are unpublished finished works. Every time I think to myself, ‘I think I will publish.’, some teacher couldn’t keep their hands off a student and the media explodes. Nell in this case is undercover and a grown adult. And the professor just happens to know that. (Talk about naughty romance!)
I will leave you with my last example, which has no professors to be found.
‘Jasper Davies sent a wicked smirk with his full lips at his co-star who looked at him mildly annoyed and slightly intimidated. For some reason he had no problem being a Norseman in a viking series. The king nonetheless. His light blonde hair was already to his shoulders, and his beard was the only new addition for the season. His blueberry eyes were wicked usually, but could be intimidating when he wished them to be. And his build? Well he spent several hours on it and he was cut, fit, large, and perfectly suitable for women to swoon over.’
–The Art of Confusion by Bee, 2017
Now if you, dear reader, know anything about the man above it is that he is in for a very rough landing. Not one character can stay that confident in my novels without me giving them an amusing and terrifying shake up. How will this man face a girl who puts no stock into his profession? How will he react when he fails to charm where he wishes to be charming? Add in a bad guy and some off beat family members and this book has the potential to ruin poor Jasper’s whole concept of reality.
As an author, I might be a bit of a sadist to my characters. I love to shake them up, teach them, create them into the best versions of themselves and smooth that all over with love and happy endings. Sometimes I am being so wicked to them my smirk lasts for hours. But one thing is certain in my life. I am a romance writer. I do not say that with shame, but boldly. I AM a romance writer and these men will shape my world and my future as an author.