One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received since I began writing was ‘ get the worst possible thing you can do to your heroine and throw it at her.’
For Robbie it was Nick. Without a doubt. What are you going to do with him? I said to her. Go on, try to keep to your rule book now. Your plans for the future that you’ve set in concrete. What are you going to trade for a year with Nick – Happiness for the rest of your life? She did try – but he refused to fit in the mould she’d set for him. He encouraged her to grow. Try new things. He was there for her, like the proverbial rock.
It was up to him to crumble her defences. One by one. And you have to realise he wasn’t there in Sydney, looking for a lifelong mate. He had plans too.
In Romance they say you have to create the alpha male hero. I first heard the term when I went to a romance writing course run by Lillian Darcy. That was a mind blowing, world changing day. You can’t deny there is structure in romance writing but it’s fun to challenge your characters. If you think about it, most really good heroes push the boundaries in some way. Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, really is a stuck up prude, isn’t he? Although I’m having difficulty separating him from Colin these days.
The hero had to be strong and big and powerful and rich.
So there was Nick, god’s gift to women, created to cause havoc in Robbie’s life.
I had no idea then, how a character grows and develops as you go along. Yes, Nick of the golden curls and blue, blue eyes was unbelievably good looking, but he didn’t know it. It had caused him some problems in the misspent days of his youth, and honestly, he could do without it. It meant nothing to him.
He was a rower, so yes he was strong, but that was his passion, and staying fit and strong was a job that he worked very hard at. And his aim – to get into the NSW eight got him out of bed at five every morning.
Rich. Yes he was well off, but he was enjoying his time in Sydney, where no one knew who he was. You’d have to say Newcastle was a fair bit bigger than Farrow but he was well known there all the same. And, just between you and me, Nick rather enjoyed the fact that Robbie didn’t know anything about him or his family.
That leaves me with powerful. Nick’s power came from understanding himself and being happy in his own skin.
So, much to my surprise, I ended up with Nick, who everyone adores. Guys want to be him, girls love him.
– You lucky thing, Robbie.