What can I say-- I love writing about heroes. Oh the heroines are okay too but the heroes, they make my writing a joy. It might even be one of the flaws that some might find with my books. They are not chick lit where it all revolves around her problems. They also aren't about weak women who need a man to save the day. The women in my stories are as likely to save the man's life as he is theirs. It's not that they are Amazons but more that they will do whatever is required to get the job done.
Recently it dawned on me that I probably do write about the same hero over and over-- and that includes the historicals as well as the contemporaries. Oh yes, the hero will come from different backgrounds, might speak differently, won't look the same, dresses differently; but in basics, he's the same stripe of man. If that doesn't work for readers, I don't quite know what I can do about it either as my stories, the book I just finished editing (the one I am still unsure of when I will publish), they all have the basic type of man as their hero.
They are set into different kinds of problems, careers, lifestyles; but their characteristics are strong men who will do whatever it takes to get the job done. They aren't mean. I don't want to write about the bully who is softened by the love of a good woman. My heroes might be curt or short on patience, but they aren't brutal and I don't want to spend months writing about any man who is, even if he redeems himself; nor do I want to write a story that will convince some vulnerable woman that all it takes is the love of a good woman.
I think of my father and maybe he, along with other men I've known, is the prototype for these heroes. He was a tall man, strong, rough featured, and probably had a good bit of arrogance in his strength. When he was young, before he met my mother, my father would leave whatever manual labor job he had had during the winter to travel around the Northwest with the carnival. He was what is called a carnie who put together the rides, a kind of roustabout, I suppose, who loved the travel, the life of what amounted then to almost a traveling circus without the big tent and animal acts.
They dated awhile; but in the spring, he stood her up for a date when he took off for the carnival. One of the stagehands told her he'd never amount to anything; so don't put her heart there.
Dad came back in the fall and when he did, he had decided he wanted something different. He courted her and convinced her he wanted a life with her. They were married the following May and he never went with the carnival again (though I think he still felt the tug of it).
Dad wasn't changed by her. He wanted a real life with a family, and he changed himself to get it. He was that rugged hero type though who was always a supportive man to his kids and his wife. If it needed to be done, I could know he'd be the one there doing it. In many ways he was a gentle man, emotionally vulnerable even, but he looked like a brutal one.
With my heroes, in a lot of ways, they are that kind of man. Oh, some speak smoothly and know how to turn a phrase while others find language not their gift but for them all, who they are shows through their actions. Still they are the same basic guy-- the hero.
They don't need a woman to fix them. They don't want a woman they have to fix. It might be the failings of my books where they come to romance readers. But in the end, we have to write what is true to our own truth. Writing just to sell a book to someone else, no thanks. I understand how some might, but it would not be worth it to me. I like my heroes to be heroes. I want my romances to have happy endings.
My parents got one and stayed married (with some turbulence off and on) until my father died at 70 of a heart attack while making love to my mother.