Today's special guest blogger is Jennifer L. Hart, whom I met at Textnovel.com. To celebrate the launch of Jennifer's latest novel, Redeeming Characters, she's put together a fabulous blog tour with great prizes. Welcome, Jennifer! ~ Cheryl
Hello all and a great big thank you to my hostess for having me here as part of my Redeeming Characters blog tour. One of my personal guilty pleasures is watching brainless comedies. You know the kind when you laugh at toilet humor and people falling off high places to land in a whole pile of icky glop? Yes I know, how sophomoric, but I love to laugh.
Going hand in hand with that is the drive to make other people laugh too. I don’t have the personality for a stand-up comedian—I actually don’t like that much attention focused on my person. I’m more like the two old muppet characters snarking from the balcony.
In typical comedy, the one-liner character is invented for a single purpose, to say something pithy to ease the tension or sometimes to ratchet it up a few notches. After watching enough comedies though, I stop following the main storyline and my mind starts wondering what his story is, what makes a man so snarky and always ready to quip at another’s misfortune?
Popular culture has never really delved into that guy, the side kick, the wingman. Sure you have your comedic heroes—John Cusack comes to mind— but the characters he’s plays always have more depth right from first scene.
Unsatisfied at the offerings of snarky heroes, I made one up instead. From his very first line, “Did anything in the known universe suck as much as author day?” I knew this guy was exactly what I wanted, the kind I yearned to know more about. Absolutely nothing was sacred— anything in sight was fair game to Drue.
What I didn’t expect were the hidden depths, the dark and twisty places inside his head that not only explained why he became the one liner guy, but that he really had no other choice. Part nature, part nurture equaled a scary and difficult human being.
You see, the typical one liner guy, he’s a one trick pony. Pop over, unleash a zinger, or two and then fade away. A true romance novel hero needs more depth, more color. There were times when writing Redeeming Characters when I worried I was ruining my zinger guy, after all, who can laugh in the face of constant suffering and not look like a total lunatic?
Worse yet, the one liner guys aren’t typically fantasy material. They fit more comfortably in the role of the best friend’s older brother, like Paul Rudd in Clueless. Sure, he gets the girl in the end, but he went overlooked for a good portion of that movie.
So how to create a real Alpha hero who could be snarky and loveable at once?
After years of struggling it hit me. And man, did I feel like a moron when the dust finally settled. It’s not what he says, it’s what he does. You know the schoolyard rhyme. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me? Well, they do hurt, just in a different way. I had to make sure his actions spoke to the man, and made up for the words Drue wields like a weapon’s expert.
So, that’s the story of how I turned the sidekick into my leading man. Come check out Redeeming Characters available wherever ebooks are sold and in print now at Amazon.com. One random commenter, selected by my good hostess, will receive a Redeeming Characters keychain. Be sure to stop by www.jenniferlhart.com for a chance to win the blog tour prize.