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My Guy: Leonardo da Vinci

If you like your heroes strong, creative and smart, I don't think you can get any better than Leonardo da Vinci. Which is why he gets top billing in my November release, Dating da Vinci.

I first started studying the real da Vinci in 2002 when I read a series of Genius books - How to Think Like A Genius followed by How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. Honestly, the Mona Lisa and Last Supper paintings were about all I knew about the guy up until then. So to discover that he was also a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, astronomer and even event planner for god's sake, was a thrill. There seemed to be nothing the guy wasn't interested in. He carried around a notebook everywhere he went - much like writers do. (I have a copy; it's amazing.) He noted how people walked, how birds flew in the air. And, yeah, he even carved up cadavers when the nice docs would supply him some. Remember, he lived in the 15th century - and his curiousity made him one of great leaders of the Renaissance. (There was that guy Shakespeare, you know.) Even though the Church kept da Vinci in robes and oatmeal, he was skeptical and wanted proof. Yet he was also born tremendously gifted.

As a chick, I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that Leonardo was avid about fitness, was a vegetarian and was a skilled equestrian. Supposedely he was so strong he once stopped a galloping horse with one tug on the rope. Nice. So I made my modern da Vinci unabashedly hetero, a 25-year-old thinking hunk who makes all the girls swoon and sends my widow on a wonderful renaissance (awakening) of her own.

What do you like to see in your heroes? Whether you are reading them or writing them? Any real-life guys you think fit the bill?


  1. In Da Vinci's day, people didn't specialize so much as we do now. We know so much more now, that discoveries tend to be on a more intricate scale. One does wonder why there are not more people like him today. Or perhaps there are, we just don't hear about them. I suppose Stephen Hawking would be one, Einstein another, but not the range of interests of Da Vinci.

    I think it is key for a hero to be intelligent and really good at something he cares about, in addition to affairs of the bedroom, of course.

    I do tend to gravitate toward the strong silent type with lots of angst for the heroine to fix, as long as they are worthy of fixing. He also has to have depth, so they can be friends as well as lovers.

    I only want one hero in my real life, and I married him. lol.

    Malena, so looking forward to reading your novel.

  2. Malena, I had to smile when I read this. I have always thought brainy creative guys were the hotties, though Leonardo himself was one in a billion. A couple historic entries in my list of brainy dreamboats (looks are not a factor) are Michaelangelo and Rembrandt Van Rjin, basing these crushes on their work alone. In a romantic hero, I go mushy for drive that borders on obsession. What that says about me, I don't know.

  3. I'm not sure any one man can have it all in this day and age, and if he does, he probably doesn't have time for love, which is a disappointment if you happen to be the one who falls for him.
    Me, I like my men intelligent and able to earn a decent living, but they don't have to be supermen, except when it comes to passion! In that respect, I want them to be over the top!

  4. Hi Malena,
    It was interesting to read about the inspiration behind your hero. I have to agree with Cheryl's list of attributes, although I also find the ability to fix ANYTHING (aka my DH) to be very attractive! Looking forward to your book!

  5. Great post, Malena!

    Da Vinci was definitely a hero of mine, mostly because he was left-handed! LOL! However, I'm afraid I agree with Cheryl about the man who does it all. He probably has no time for real love, and I don't think I'd enjoy being in a relationship with him.

    I prefer the hunk with a good sense of humor who can carry on a conversation on a topic other than sports or politics.


  6. And I agree with Aunt Cindy!!!! A good sense of humor is an absolute must! Can't think how it managed to escape my list....

  7. How cool, Malena, that your da Vinci was inspired by the actual!

    I think I like it when heros (both fictional and real) have flaws. It makes them seem more human or relatable. :)

  8. Ladies: Thanks for your comments. I do think today's men with a lot of drive tend to become workaholics. I do love the shy guys - perhaps because I'm outgoing and I do so love a good mystery and challenge in bringing them out of their shell. :-)

    And my da Vinci does have plenty of flaws - he is 25 after all. Ha.

  9. You are so right, a high IQ is sexy as all get out. All heros have to be very intelligent, and even if they're shy, they're witty, hot and loving.



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