Wednesday, February 18

Cowboys Need Apply!

One of my favorite reader questions is this: would you date a guy like the men in romance novels? My flip answer to that is yes – but I might not do it again. I really get why this question is asked a lot – because the men we read (and write) about are tough characters to love.

Alpha Males are autocratic, sometimes abrasive, large-and-in-charge men. They aren’t sensitive (at first), they don’t see both sides of any coin (at first) and they want things the way they want them and everyone else be damned (at first). That is a hard man to love, people. There are a million different types of Alpha males – businessmen, cowboys, doctors, sheiks, adventurers, pirates…the list goes on.

I’ve written (so far) cowboys (who doesn’t like a guy in tight jeans, driving a killer truck, right ladies?), reporters, a CEO, a photographer and a surfer (all of whom I call Cowboy). My next two heros are a park ranger and a construction worker...Cowboys, though, hold a special place in my heart. I love the sense of self, the sense of independence and the innate love for Mother Earth that a cowboy holds close to his heart.

A tight, worn pair of Levis doesn’t hurt, either.

Next week my Texas cowboys (and girls, obvs) get their very own box set. That's the cover up above..isn't is pretty? I am absolutely thrilled the books will be put together in one volume...and I'm just a little obsessed with the cover.

In my first book, What a Texas Girl Wants, Jackson is a reluctant cowboy – he was raised in Texas but ran away from it. He’s always loved the land, though, and that helps bring him back to Kathleen. My second book in the trilogy, What a Texas Girl Needs, stars Mat, a cowboy by choice. Born with a silver spoon of his own, he prefers the quiet life of a cowboy to the fast-paced life of the city. And my third cowboy? That would be Trick, from What a Texas Girl Dreams, and he's another cowboy by choice. Trick is a vet, so his love of animals carried through the book.

One other thing that sets Jackson and Mat and Trick apart: they’re ever so slightly not Alpha. Oh, they’re all about their-way-or-the-highway, take no prisoners. But they’re also a little bit over themselves. If no one notices Mat’s tricked out truck? No big deal – because it’s his. People don’t respect Jackson’s centerfold images or the Western art he’s now dabbling in? No big deal – because it’s his art, his vision and he gets it. Someone thinks because Trick spends a lot of time in a lab coat he's not a cowboy? Whatevs is his response.

So, tell me readers, do you like a traditional Alpha Male – they guy who wants the attention and gets it? Or the guy who gets the attention but is a little bit used to it…and so it doesn’t register quite as high on the radar?

6 comments:

  1. Well, I'm easy. Although I love some alpha heroes (including yours), my favorites kind of fall nearer to--what's the other one? beta? I like them to look really good, but not all cut and chest-shaven, and they look best when a baby's spitting up down their collar or they're being kind of goofy. Great post, Kristi, and that cover is cool!

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    1. thanks, Liz! You know, I think most of my heros fall to the beta side of alpha...and a couple have been full-on betas. :)

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  2. I like traditional Alpha males and have been married to one, going on 28 years. However, one of my contemporaries (won't mention title here), has been kinda put down in reviews because readers love the heroine but feel the hero is way too macho for her. It's interesting. Even though he's an ex-jock, over achiever and used to women falling all over him, he feels out of his element when he meets ex-girl next door, turned super model. He's actually quite vulnerable and afraid she's too good for him. I tried to show his development into a kinder, nicer person thru the book but I guess I did a poor job, as readers didn't get it. Soooo, long story short, I think in today's world, you have to be really careful with Alpha guys and how you present them.

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    1. I agree, Hebby. Alpha, Beta or...whatever! lol I think it's all in the characterization.

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  3. So, I'm kinda with Liz on the alpha male thing. I'm more into the nerdy geeks who try harder. The ones who are sexy, but have no idea that they are or how to capitalize on their sex appeal. So betas all the way with me. That being said, I've loved your heroes...so go for the alpha males, Kristi, you can totally make them work! ;-)

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    1. thanks, Nan! And a little geek is a LOT okay with me, too.

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