Day 10 Connie Brockway – In Praise of the Gentleman Hero

 If I Have to Hear Voices

The problem with coming in at the middle of this wonderful month of celebrating romance is that everything worth saying has already been said; Romance novels are uplifting, transportive, and inspiring. They celebrate and titillate, invoking Songbirdlaughter and tears and everything in between.  They educate, illuminate, inspire and provoke.  Yup. I agree.

So, instead of repeating what others have so eloquently done, I’ve decided to share my particular passion: The Gentleman Hero.

This year, at the Romance Writers of America’s 2014 convention in San Antonio, I met a pair of authors who write edgy, dark urban romances with a paranormal vibe. We got into a debate about what the essential characteristics a hero needed to make our collective livers quiver.

Me: “He needs to be able to discreetly shoot his cuffs.”

Them: “He needs to know how to shoot.”

Me: “He has a rapier wit.”

Them: “He has a broad sword.”

Me: “He only wears bespoke from  a Seville Row tailor,” I receive blank stares and scurry to add, “but no one needs to enhance his shoulders.”

Them: “Ohhhh. You’re talking about jackets! And as for shoulders, if they’re so great, why cover them up? A bunch of serious ink and nuthin’ else.”

At which point, I stare blankly.

Now, while I can appreciate a Harley riding hunk and a set of pectorals that you could serve drinks off, to me a hero is only as good as his word(s). A hero can look delicious, move like warm wax sliding down the edge of a blade, have a violent, uber-sexy back story and be willing to walk through hell to be by my heroine side but if he isn’t articulate, masterful and gallant, I’m not interested. Give me a man who, as one character remarks about the protagonist in my manuscript-in-progress, “is that perfect combination of complete self-confidence without a single shred of self-conceit.”

I love a hero who risk his own happiness for a good cause, values another’s heart over his own, and is bound to a code of honor as well as civility.

Like every good author I know, I write what I want to read, and try to bring to life the characters who haunt my imagination, pestering me to give them a story late at night. Which is another reason I suppose that I love gentlemen heroes, because if I have to hear voices, it’s pretty swell that they sound like Alan Rickman.

What’s your favorite hero archetype?


JT Geissinger — Night Prowler series

Julia London — Homecoming Ranch (Read Julia’s RARM ’13 content here.)

Connie Brockway photoQuestions for the Author:

Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

Answer to all three is the same: Became a mother.

BUT in the spirit of empty-nesting I’ll also add tiger fish fishing on the Zambeze River.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I wrote a romance when I was in first grade. It was way ahead of it’s time, being a cross-species love story between a squirrel and a chipmunk. The die was cast.

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life.

Easy, peasy! ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHIN. Not only did it introduce me to a whole new world and new culture, but the adventure held me riveted while inspiring me with the ideas about independence, co-existing with nature, self-reliance and pride.

Connie is generously giving away three sets of her Montlake regency trilogy that starts with PROMISE ME HEAVEN, then ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT and ends in NO PLACE FOR A DAME  — 3 full paper sets + 1 audiobook per set. Two lucky U.S. readers (entry below) and one international winner (enter here).

BrockwayConnie’s early years are shrouded in mystery. What we do know is sketchy and incomplete but will be presented here in lieu of another way to fill space. Brockway claims to be a native of either Minnesota or New York. Neither has been confirmed. She also claims to be thirty-two. No one has even bothered looking into this.

We do know she was attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota when she became involved with medical student, David Brockway. At some point they apparently legalized the relationship because when next she surfaces, she is sporting a new surname and a daughter.

A decade of relative anonymity ensues– except for the infamous alien encounter photographs which have, of course, now been debunked. No substantiated records occur until 1994 when Brockway published her first book, PROMISE ME HEAVEN. Since then she has written over twenty full-length novels and anthology stories, bringing the current number of her books in print to over 1,500,000 published in thirteen countries.

Brockway has twice received coveted Publishers Weekly starred reviews and unqualified recommendations from Library Journal, as well as two starred reviews from the Library Journals organ, BOOKLIST. Her 2004 title, My Seduction was named one of 2004s top ten romance by that same industry magazine.

An eight time finalist for Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award, Brockway has twice been its recipient, first in 1998 for My Dearest Enemy and in 2002 for The Bridal Season. Her books regularly appear on national and regional bestseller lists and are frequent Doubleday/Literary Guild selections.

Today Connie lives in Minnesota with her husband David, a family physician, and two spoiled mutts.

Buy Connie’s Books:

 availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

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