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An award-winning author of spicy historical and paranormal romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today.
Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me. She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin's Heart.
From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it's possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.
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As I sit here staring at the screen, I’m trying to think of what I can blog about. I suppose I could blog about heroes, nah, you’ve already read a host of those type of blogs. Heroines? Nah, they’re all over cyberspace too, and honestly, most of us want to talk men anyway. Hmm…what about heroes that haven’t been written yet? Now that might make for an interesting post. I could write about how I go about creating a hero from scratch. It’s really easy. NOT.
Okay, maybe it’s not that difficult, but there is some planning that has to go into the development of an awesome hero. First, you have to have an idea for a story. Something like, a guy who’s had a dark past. The problem is; you don’t know what sort of darkness is driving the hero. A writer’s brain is much like an ocean filled with ideas, but like fish in an ocean, they’re slippery little devils. We might catch a great idea, but not all ideas are perfect for the story we’re looking to tell. When all else fails, I fall back on eye candy.
The minute I have an idea, I start planning my hero. I always make my heroine for my hero. I like my heroes tall, dark and handsome like a lot of readers. So I sift through dozens of pictures to create an “image” of the hero in my mind. I have an archive of pictures that I use. Sometimes I’ll even use the same man in this book or that, but each time there’s something different about those men.
By different, I mean that the hero’s personality determines which photo to use. For instance, I might use a picture of Christian Bale, but I have more than a dozen of Bale in different poses and moods. That allows me to match a photo to the type of hero I’m writing. For instance, when I have a hero who is a bookworm I might use this picture of Bale. There’s a reflective nature to his face here with just a hint of a smile. When I want an arrogant male, I might select Bale again as an image of the hero, but it’s a different photo that reflects the hero’s arrogance.
The image might be of the same man, but as you can see there are three different moods and demeanors expressed by these pictures. Once I have the right image to look at, I can now flesh out the unique traits that define who my hero is for the story.
Those traits might be a man’s who reflective and thinks before acting.
He’s an honorable man who cares about people. But he might be afraid to show his feelings because his emotions run so deep. No matter what the trait, each picture I use helps me visualize and create a hero that is needed for the story I’m writing.
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