Monday, July 25, 2011

Where Have All The Good Guys Gone

Where have all the good guys gone?  Why are they so hard to find? 

Here’s a joke: What do Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and a romance novel’s alpha-male hero have in common?----They are all fictional.

Many novels feature an alpha-male type hero, and I must admit I like reading those books too, but let’s face it, that kind of hero isn’t the sort of guy you’d take home to mama.  He’s the type of guy you dream about, but know you’ll never meet.  Why? Because he doesn’t exist in real life.  Women wish he did, all muscle, brawn, compassion and tenderness, and sublime sexuality.  Perhaps that’s why romance books sell, but in actuality, females close their novels and go back to their boyfriends and husbands who are so far below the fictional bronzed Adonis she’s freshly read about, who I don’t need to remind you doesn’t exist.

What we need are more believable decent good guys in novels.  Stories with a believable hero who doesn’t let others walk on him?  A man who is compassionate and feels the need to relieve suffering, yet doesn’t like showing mushy emotions—but will at all the right moments.  A good guy who accepts help when he knows he’s in over his head and learns from his mistakes.  A man who would stop to help if you were stranded on the side of the road, and a good guy who is able to control his manly tendencies—not ruled by them.  Also, a man who is angered when those he loves are threatened or harmed and doesn’t have a problem defending himself in a fight.  And is handsome to boot!

I’m an author who writes about everyday good guys in extraordinary circumstances.  My fictional hero, Paul, from Scars of Defiance is one of them.  He’s inexperienced with life and girls, loves his mother, tries to be responsible, is compassionate, abhors mistreatment of women, learns from his mistakes, and doesn’t even think twice about putting his own life on the line for those he loves.  He’s all man with normal arousal, yet puts his own gratification on hold at a moment when the Bronzed Adonis wouldn’t have.  Paul’s example of a good man came from his father Zachary, and he from his father.  Paul will pass his good guy qualities down to his sons who are featured in The Dictator’s Daughter, book two in the “Scars” series.

I’m fortunate to have been married to a “Paul” for 22 wonderful years.  My good man is Larry.  He’s not perfect, but he’s a damn good man and a fantastic example to my son who is a good man too.  Goodness gets passed down from generation to generation, I know, I’ve seen it. 

What I’ve also witnessed are boys who haven’t had good examples in their lives rise up and become good men due to outside influences.  An example of this is a man I’ve known for fifteen years who grew up in an abusive home, yet mastered his temper and raised great kids to adulthood.  Two are men now and good men at that.  I don’t know what his driving force was exactly, but something or someone pushed him along a polar opposite path and he’s succeeded in life.

Where have all the good guys gone?  Nowhere, they’re right before our eyes, we only need to realize it.  Most men out there are good men with great qualities.  They don’t stack up very well to the alpha-male found in romance novels, nor should they.  They’re not perfect and they do make mistakes, but the same goes for most women.  Us women need to become aware of our significant others qualities and strengths and try to make an extra effort to show appreciation.  If the good man in your life is your father, tell him.  If it’s your son, tell him too.  It might be an uncle or brother or grandfather, all of which need to hear from the girls and women in their lives that they’re appreciated.

Maybe, just maybe the everyday good guy hero will become increasingly popular in the fiction world giving girls, who haven’t had a good male role model, a fresh type of hero to crave.

Scars of Defiance and The Dictator's Daughter ebooks found at:

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Scars of Defiance review:  "I really didn't know what to expect when I started, but Lorena hooked me on the first page. The characters have depth, and the world she created has such texture that I even found myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading it." 5 stars from Carolyn Arnold-author of Ties That Bind

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Everyday Heroes and Heroines

      The best heroes and heroines are those who rise above insurmountable odds displaying bravery, courage and sacrifice, even in the face of death.  They are the examples we admire, the protagonists we emulate—but wait, I’m not talking about fictional heroes and heroines, I’m talking about the real people in the real world.  They are far more motivating and inspirational.
Larger than life heroes rise up and take a stand, making it into our history books.  Average everyday heroes make it into our hearts.
Take my friend ‘Pam’ for instance.  She and I were enjoying a glass of wine on a beautiful summer day talking about mundane everyday topics.  ‘Pam’ reached for her glass which rested nearby and my eyes were drawn to the scars on her arms.  Years ago she was in an abusive marriage held in place by traditions and the needed financial support for her children.  She bears many more scars that most people will never see due to conveniently placed clothing.  Each permanent mark has a violent story behind it representing physical struggle and never ending pain, and yet the deepest scars are emotional, leaving no visible marking for people like myself to notice.
If she’d been a fictional character in a novel, some hunky hero would have swooped down and rescued her in the midst of her darkest days.  Unfortunately, ‘Pam’ lives in the real world and no one came to rescue her.  So, what did ‘Pam’ do?
She rescued herself.
It wasn’t easy, and it took a hell of a long time, but she rose above her traumatic past, shucking off the ‘damsel in distress’ mode of thinking. Many of her scars, like the ones on her arms, are from surgeries needed to repair the damage sustained during her ‘submissive life’.  They are her scars of defiance, reminders of what she now fights against.  Her negative experiences in the past have made her who she is today; a strong woman.  Years down the road, I’ll bet she leaves behind a legacy of helping others in similar situations.  She’s already on that path.
She’s a hero. 
She’s ‘been there, done that’, and she’s the first person to jump and help others.  ‘Pam’s’ fighting spirit is the inspiration for the strong women in my Scars of Defiance series.  My heroines emulate her!  
“No one is born a hero. A hero rises from the ashes of subservience.”—author unknown.
But, why do some people rise above oppression while others languish beneath it?  It’s the million dollar question, really.  If we had the answer, there’d certainly be less suffering in the world, and fewer bullies.  I believe we need more examples of real life heroes to teach us how to be strong.  We need support groups to foster change, and we need courageous heroes like ‘Pam’ to prove it can be done.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”—Mark Twain.
As ‘Pam’ and I sat there sipping our wine, I mulled over the long difficult journey she’s been on. “You’re a hero, ‘Pam’.”
She knew what I was talking about, knew I was looking at her scars. “I’m not,” she said on an exhale, “I’m just a survivor.”
I rest my case.

Scars of Defiance and The Dictator's Daughter --ebooks 1 and 2 of the "Scars" series are available in multi-format on