Monday, June 8, 2009

The Librarian and the Hunk

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Last time my post was all about the hero of my upcoming release The Treasures of Venice, charming Irish rogue Keirnan Fitzgerald. I thought it only fair today to give equal time to my heroine, American Samantha (Sam) Lewis.

Just as I always fall in love with my heroes, I also identify with my heroines, and I want my readers to do the same. Since I know far more about them than ever makes it to the printed page, let me share a few of those details about Sam.

The only child of a flighty and somewhat irresponsible mother (I picture Sam's mom being like Diane Chambers on "Cheers"), Sam found solace in books early on, so it was a natural for her to become a librarian. By the time she reached her teens, Sam had taken over the parent role and her mother stayed the rebellious child.

Choosing to do a complete 180 from her mother, by the time Sam graduated from high school she had her life all planned out with one year, five year, and ten year goals and objectives. When Treasures of Venice opens, poor Sam has recently had all her lovely life plans upset by her philandering fiance who broke their engagement and Sam's heart (or so she thinks).

Ever practical Sam goes on the non-refundable honeymoon trip to Italy by herself and she's gone so far as to think that maybe she should be a little more adventurous and spontaneous. Of course, that is when a certain dark-haired, blue-eyed, Irish hunk waltzes into her life and dependable, practical Samantha Lewis throws caution to the wind.

On the surface, Keirnan and Samantha seem like polar opposites. He's a brashly self-confident, fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants kind of guy, while she is methodical and turns to books or logic for answers. Like most of us, Sam is a little insecure about her looks, and she simply can't believe that a great looking hunk like Keirnan would be interested in her. But just this once, she decides to follow her heart instead of her head. By the end of the book, both my hero and heroine have each grown a little more like the other. I hope you enjoy reading about that journey as much as I enjoyed writing it!

When I first started brainstorming ideas for Treasures of Venice, a painting of a young Renaissance woman named Gianna Tornabuoni inspired me to create the dual storyline and the character of Serafina Lombardo. But for the reincarnation aspects of the dual storyline to work, my modern day heroine needed to have some resemblance to the girl in the portrait.

As I previously mentioned, Gerry Butler proved to be the perfect physical (and personality-wise too) model for Keirnan. I can totally understand why Sam (or any woman) would spontaneously go along with someone like him! But who would a guy like that find attractive? Probably not your conventional beauty, but someone with brains as well as good looks.

After watching the film "Waitress" I decided the actress Keri Russell would be the perfect physical model for Sam. Plus, her coloring is enough like Gianna Tornabuoni to make Keirnan (and several other characters) connect Sam to Serafina Lombardo.

What about you? What traits, both physical and personality-wise, do you like in a heroine? Who are some of your all-time favorite romance heroines?

26 comments:

  1. I loved Romancing the Stone's heroine. Catherine? She was it for me--a romance writer who lived alone and had no hunky guy to be there for her, who cried at her own sappy endings, and then went on a heroic adventure to rescue her sister with a ransom in South America. Everything was a new experience, and she dealt with it like a spunky heroine, even though she was way out of her element. I loved her and the hero she was pitted against!

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  2. Sam sounds terrific, Cindy! I can't wait to read about her and Keirnan. (Did I spell that right?) Haven't opened the second eye or had enough coffee to come up with a favorite heroine.

    I like all different kinds of heroines. I'm working on one right now who is so different from all my others. She's a deer-in-the-headlights type, no self confidence, an unearned reputation, etc. Can't wait to dig into her some more.

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  3. Terry - that was Joan Wilder. I just bought the DVD b/c I hate waiting for Romancing the Stone to show up on tv somewhere. Matter of fact, that's going to be my treat to myself once I turn the edits in on Catch of a Lifetime.

    Cindy - this story has my name written all over it! I can't wait to get ahold of it!

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  4. Ha! "Write your way out of this one, Joan Wilder!"
    I loved that one, too. Especially the way the bandits had all read her books!

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  5. A librarian is almost always a sure sell for me. Daisy, in Linda Howard's Open Season, has got to be my all time favorite.

    I'm looking forward to meeting your Sam.

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  6. I loved Joan Wilder's character, too. Thanks for reminding me of that movie. It was great. As to my all-time favorite romance heroine, I guess it has to be Jane Eyre. She was the "librarian" type, too.

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  7. Sounds like you have a winner on your hands, Cindy! Count me in the number who loved the movie RTS. As for heroines--when I'm reading or writing I always picture myself in the title role! :-)

    Amelia

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  8. Morning everyone!
    (Aunty pries open one eye and squints into the sunshine)

    Terry, I love spunky heroines too! I had more than one reader apply the adjective "spunky" to my heroine Rylie in The Wild Sight. Sam is spunky too, but in a different kind of way...

    AC

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  9. Hey Marie,

    Yes, you did spell Keirnan correctly, or at least the way *I* spelled it. ;-) Just like I spelled Rylie a different way than most. Hmmm, think it could be the unusual spelling of my own first name that has doomed me to alternative spellings?

    AC

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  10. Yes, indeed, Judi! That was Joan Wilder.

    I have very fond memories of Romancing The Stone. I rented the video to show my Chinese exchange student, lo these many years ago. Seems at that time in China, Kirk Douglas was a HUGE star. So big that even the Chinese actor who dubbed his voice was a big celebrity!

    I asked my Chinese "son" if he'd ever seen Michael Douglas and when he said no, I rented RTS. He LOVED it so much we had to buy the tape (yes, VHS in those days) and I think he wore the thing out. :-)

    AC

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  11. Cheryl,
    The scene with the bandits was one of my very favorites too! Goes to show that you never know WHO might be reading your books. ;-)

    AC

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  12. MM,
    I don't think I've read "Open Season" but I'll be sure to check it out.

    Hope you enjoy reading about Sam.

    AC

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  13. You're right, Libby, Jane Eyre was very much a "librarian type." Quiet and cerebral, but ready to rise to the occasion... An all-around GREAT heroine!

    AC

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  14. Amelia/Gloria,

    I think you're like lots of readers when you project yourself into the heroine. That's why, IMO it is very important to create a character with whom the reader identifies... like Joan Wilder!

    AC

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  15. I've loved Keru Russell ever since she was on The Mickey Mouse Club in the early/mid 90s--even on Felicity with her crazy curly hair. And I loved her in Waitress!

    I think one of my favorite heroines (and I know the one and only Nora comes up quite a bit in my posts, as well as this particularly series) is Maggie Concannon from Born in Fire. I don't know that it was how she was described physically that makes her my favorite, but just her overall artistic demeanor. Her sister, Brianna (Born in Ice) is a close second

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  16. Hi Danielle,
    La Nora creates so many GREAT heroines! I do think Eve Dallas is my fave, but there are many others I like almost as well.

    I don't watch much TV so don't remember seeing Keri Russell when she was younger. I do remember that her hair is quite curly and I picked a photo of her with straight hair on purpose, since Sam's hair is straight. :-)

    AC

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  17. Great post Aunty Cindy and I love a heroine who is strong and can stand up to her hero and have lots of fun along the journey to the HEA.

    Sam sounds like a fantastic heroine and I am sure that there will be lots of adventures with Keirnan along the way can't wait to read it.

    As for choosing a favourite heroine there have been so many and it is still very early in the morning over here in Oz, I am gonna have to think on this one.

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  18. Sounds a fun story and a fun location. I loved reading how you picture the characters.

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  19. Cindy~

    I can't wait to read your book. As for heroines, I love any kind of spunky heroine. Someone who stands up for herself and those she loves. Physically, I think all my heroines have been very different. Short, tall, chunky, skinny, it doesn't matter. My heroes on the other hand tend to all have great six-packs, a favorite of mine, broad shouldered, thin waist, nice butt and great personalities.

    Robin :)

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  20. Morning Helen!

    You've probably gone off to work by now, but wanted to nod in hearty agreement. It's the journey to the HEA that makes the reading FUN!

    Thanx for popping by,
    AC

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  21. Sheila,
    Glad you like the pictures, both verbal and literal. :-)

    And thank you again for the lovely review of TWS on Amazon! I truly appreciate it.

    AC

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  22. Thanks Robin!
    Hope you enjoy TToV. Most of my heroines seem to be on the short side. I think that's coz I LURVE very tall men (DUH! my DH is 6'5") and think the contrast of a small woman and tall guy is fun.

    And OH MY YES! Gimme that six-pack and cute butt to compliment the hero's personality. YUMMO!

    AC

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  23. Sorry, Cindy - Sleeping day for me so I am just getting a chance to read this wonderful post. I am so excited about Treasures of Venice! I know it will be great, no matter who the characters look like. Not that visualizing Gerry Butler doesn't add to the enticement! Hubba Hubba!!!

    I have many favorite heroines, but the first one who comes to mind is from a fantasy: Polgara the Sorceress. Literally the most powerful woman in the world, and immortal, yet she has a huge heart and eventually succumbs to the power of love. Wonderful!

    Thanks for the additional insight into your characters.

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  24. By the way, my husband calls my Joan Wilder all the time! Not because I am like her - or look like her, bummer - but because he always thinks of her as the "r-r-r-r-omance n-n-n-ovelist" LOL! Love that movie!

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  25. Hope you had a good sleep, Sharon.

    What book is Polgara from? She sounds AWESOME!

    AC

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  26. I too agree "Joan Wilder" was my all time favorite story Heroine. But Sam should be Sandra Bullock. And you really got Keirnan right. Gerry Butler is just the Man of every woman's heart.
    This book sounds so good.

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