Tall, Dark, and Imaginary?

I recently posed a question to a few of my favorite romance writers. I received some unexpected answers from a couple of non-romance writers as well. The question is this:

Have you fallen in love with the lead romantic character in your book?

Judging from some of the responses I’ve received, writers don't just fall in love with their romantic heroes. A little love goes into all our characters. Here’s what authors have to say about their character-crushes:

M.A. McRae, author of Not a Man, says…

“I fell in love with my hero mostly for his courage. He is pragmatic, accepting things when he has no choice, cunning when he has to be, ruthless when he deems it necessary, and when he acts, he is almost always very effective. Shuki has none of the faults that some men have. He is not arrogant, he is not domineering, and he knows that women are people too. Shuki is a person to fall in love with, even if he is not a man.”


From Lisa L Wiedmeier, author of Cheyenne, A Timeless Series Novel, Book One

“Who me? Did I fall in love with the hero(s) in my book? Why would you ask such a thing... is it that obvious? *blushes and turns away* Yes, I have to admit that I've fallen in love with the heroes in my book and yes I said heroes. You see, it's a bit odd I know, but I married one and well...

Crazy... someone should have stopped me, but heck what would be the fun in that? Callon, aka, He who must be obeyed, The Doctor and Mr. Evasive, came into my life almost 24 years ago. At the time I didn't know he was all these things, but now... there's no denying it! I'll let you in on a little secret... Callon married She who doesn't listen. It makes life exciting in my stories, he, he, he.

As for the other two heroes.... I didn't marry them mostly because I can only be married to one man at a time and well Callon is about all I can handle. However, with that said I still managed to fall in love with Daniel and Colt. *deep sigh* They're just so stinking cute!”


From Nichole Sotzek, author of Revealing the Revolution:

“Have I ever fallen in love with my characters? What a deep question. I feel as though I'm committing a bit of incest and self-gratification when I think about it. I've put so much of myself into my characters. How could I not love them? My main character from 'Revealing the Revolution' is Cam Tylar, and I've entrapped myself in the typical female stereotype of falling for the bad boy who I feel needs me to fix him and bring him from his darkness. He's this ego-centric, narcissistic young man who can't be bothered with anyone but himself. But he's so broken from his dad abandoning him and his mom. He's broken from his mom dying from cancer years afterwards. He has so much to prove to the world, to himself, that I feel like I need to be the one to stand beside him after he's pushed everyone else away. I'm his writer, after all. I can't give up on him. 

Then there's Ryan Hampton, and he's everything Cam isn't. He has a big, happy family and he's just so genuine. You never have to guess with him. You never have to wonder what he's going to do to push you away. He's just...Ryan. He's that guy friend that you know is amazing and can't figure out why he's single, but never think of actually dating. Even though he's perfect for you. Despite his own insecurities, he makes sure to take care of others in his life first. Have I ever fallen in love with my characters? Unfortunately, I have. That's the problem with writing, I think. You get sucked into your own creation and before you know it, your creation has control of your emotions. Life just isn't fair.”


Ellise Weaver, author of The Governess, says:

"What's not to love? Yes, of course! He's got to be lovable at some point and, with Creighton, we eventually get there. He's a tough nut to crack, but glad to see readers enjoying the romance build between he and Carly."


Melanie Dent, author of The Lynchcliffe Cuckoo series, Eye of the Storm, and Divided Loyalities says:

"It is kind of difficult NOT to fall in love with Lewis Franklin. He is a kind, caring and attractive man who knows how to treat women. He is also an enigma to his wife,Margaret. I got to know him really well from writing Eye of the Storm. I laughed and cried with him as he faced tragedy. I am definiteky in love with the guy and just wish there were more men like him." 


Sam Dogra, author of The Binding, has a somewhat dissenting opinion:

"The answer for me is no, and that's because it takes the plot of the book for Ryan to actually learn what it means to love someone. Although most readers gripe at Eliza for being so stubborn, she is actually the voice of reason in Binding. Given the short amount of time they've known each other and the secrets they kept, it's hardly anything to base a relationship on.

The reason Ryan claims to love her is because of his character, which stems from his troubled past. He blames himself for his mother's death, never really got along with his father, and hated all the social politics that went on with being a noble's son. Hence he always avoided these situations whenever he could- he runs away often from conflict. Thus he's very much an introvert with no friends, and he feels very uncomfortable around people. With Eliza though he felt he could act like himself, and he appreciates her honesty and upfront nature. She is his first ever friend. So when that is threatened (learning she is Bound to him but there's no way they can stay together in happiness), he uses any excuse he can to keep her close. It's not love- it's his selfishness, and fear of not wanting to be alone again should Eliza leave him if she can break the spell.

And if you compare Ryan to Adam- who's more practically minded, has known Eliza a lot longer, thinks on a similar wavelength to her and is generally more chirpy and quick to put her best interests at heart- well, what choice is there, really? I'd take Adam without a second thought!

However, that doesn't mean Ryan can't develop into someone who Eliza can fall in love with...

So I guess my answer is initially no, as Ryan still needs to grow as a character. But by the end, there is some potential...I suppose." 


Michel Prince, author of Chrysalis and The Frozen, has this to say about both of her upcoming novels: 

For The Frozen..."Yes, I love my heroes. And I've fallen in love with my villians. I'm always in love with my heroes, but the demons I write are the good sexy bad guys that need a good woman to straighten them out and since my heroines get the hero I take the naughty one."
In regards to Chrysalis... "Oscar is my idea of perfection, a recovering bad boy that focuses on saving others to keep him on track. Plus there's the whole amazing package he's wrapped in and that when he loves, it's never halfway." 

Thank you to everyone who participated: M.A. McRae, Lisa Wiedmeier, Nicole Sotzek, Ellise Weaver, Melanie  Dent, Sam Dogra, and Michel Prince. If you are interested in learning more about these talented authors, please visit the links listed below. And, for everyone out there who has ever fallen in love with someone tall, dark, and imaginary, this song is for you...

M.A. McRae


  1. Oh my! I've been caught out many times daydreaming about one of them or another. Sometimes? I will go re-read something he did or said, as if he were my old boyfriend who I still yearn for...Yep, They get me every time.Can you be in love with fifteen men?Could you even handle fifteen men? I still attempt it...every lovely day. (giggle)
    Leanore Elliott

  2. Nothing wrong with a day dream...or fifteen.


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