by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large
How well do you know your hero? Is he tall, dark and handsome? Okay, so you donâ€™t want a cookie-cutter hero, but have you really thought about what questions to ask him?
(When you can take your eyes away from his sexy grin among other parts of his anatomy.)
This reporter recently interviewed heroines for a romance gig and got some very interesting answers.
Now, itâ€™s your heroâ€™s turn. Ready, ladies? Start your enginesâ€¦
Here are my 5 Job Tips for a great romance novel hero interview:
1. Donâ€™t ask him to take off his shirt. Tempting, yes, as you check out his muscular arms, but this is a sexist attitude that will get you nowhere. (But oh the fun youâ€™ll have trying!)
2. Schedule the interview in a locale where youâ€™ll both feel comfortable. Not in a sports bar where he can eyeball the basketball scores and the waitresses with the deep cleavage. Forget tea shops that serve lemon dainties, unless youâ€™re writing a regency and you want to see if he exudes the proper Mr. Darcy-isms.
3. Ask him to show you hisâ€¦wheels. Yes, I said, wheels. Is he a Harley guy? Jaguar? Or does he drive an old pickup? Does he keep half his â€œstuffâ€ in his car? Or is he a neatnik? You can tell a lot about a man by hisâ€¦wheels.
4. Whatâ€™s his day job? Or if heâ€™s into night work (and what hard-working vampire isnâ€™t?), youâ€™ll want to make sure heâ€™s a good match for your heroine. If sheâ€™s a lawyer, a police detective can make her life hectic; if she runs a cake and bake shop, how about interviewing a land developer who wants to tear down her vintage cottage shop? And letâ€™s not forget the city gal whoâ€™s just aching to meet up with a real cowboy. Just make sure he can rideâ€¦a horse.
5. And finally, donâ€™t ask him if heâ€™s a good kisser. Tell him to show you.
Evelyn Q. Darling is the alter ego of Jina Bacarr.
by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large
Is your romance novel heroine qualified for the job?
Did you interview her before you started writing? I donâ€™t mean where she went to school, what her favorite color is, etc. but whether or not sheâ€™s qualified for the job as a romance novel heroine.
For example, does she have the skills needed to perform her job: Can she shoot a Glock if youâ€™re writing an FBI agent? Lace up a corset if sheâ€™s interviewing for the job as a Victorian ladyâ€™s maid?
Or she may be overqualified for the job. For example, she can type faster than you or she has aspirations to leave the romance novel field and get a literary gig.
How long has she been out of work?
Romance novel jobs are hard to get and if itâ€™s been decades since she slipped between the pages of a novel, you might want to reconsider. On the other hand, experience between the sheets is important for every romance heroine.
A typical interview could go like this:
Miss Jones, Iâ€™m writing a novel that takes place during the Regency Period. Are you a fan of Jane Austen?
Miss Jones: Jane who? Iâ€™m so into Lady Gaga. Love her sunglasses.
Miss Smith, my next novel is about an FBI agent whoâ€™s very physically active to catch the bad guys. Can you drop and do twenty?
Miss Smith: the only thing I dropped was twenty pounds to get this interview.
Letâ€™s try again.
Miss von Rittenhaus, I need a romance novel heroine who sleeps all day and bites all night. Can you list your qualifications to be the vamp queen in my new urban fantasy novel?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Honey, I can snooze and cruise with the best of them. Iâ€™ve hit every vamp bar from here to
When can you start?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Tonight. As soon as the sun goes down. (Pause). You havenâ€™t mentioned a benefits package.
What do you mean?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Do I get overtime pay for all this night work? And how about a 401K? Iâ€™m not getting any younger and in this economy a girl, I mean vamp, has to look out for herself. What about my e-rights? And health benefits? What if I chip a fang and I have to see a dentist between chapters?
Jeezâ€¦Romance heroinesâ€¦you canâ€™t write with them and you canâ€™t write without them.
This is Evelyn Q. Darling. Till next time when weâ€™ll interview the romance novel hero and see if heâ€™s up for the job.
The Blonde Samurai: â€œShe embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.â€
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