Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Steph Tyler GuestBlog: 2 Good (Not) 2 B True

CONTEST!!! One LCB (Lucky Commenting Bella) wins a copy of "Hard to Hold," book one in Steph's hot new Navy SEALs back2back trilogy! Pls have your email avlbl in comment/blogger profile to enter. Winner randmly chsn.

From Michelle: Happy to have Stephanie Tyler back in the pink, not just because we loves her, but because her books -- including her alter ego Sydney Croft's hotties -- are just marv. Her new Navy SEAL rom susp trilogy is not 2B missed. "Too Hot to Hold" is out now." Please welcome Steph w/your fondest, "He exists if I say so" Bella buongiorno...
From Steph: Hello, Michelle, and thank you for having me today at RBTB! And a special shout out to the Bellas!

Today, I’m talking characters. I fall for mine all the time – I have to or else I can’t write about them. I fall for other writer’s characters too (can we say Sam from Brockmann’s Troubleshooters? Hello, the man had me from the first curse word he uttered! And although he scares me a little, Tig from Sons of Anarchy is another character I adore.)

My Navy SEAL trilogy, Hard to Hold, Too Hot to Hold, and Hold on Tight, centers around three brothers by adoption and the close-knit bonds formed over years of friendship and tough pasts. One of the heroes, Chris Waldron, begins his story in book 2 and it continues in book 3, which comes out Jan 26th.

I love all of my heroes, but man, Chris was just a blast to write about. The man sings whenever he can – loudly – and he delivers babies. And he’s a sniper. And he’s psychic. I mean really, he’s just damned fun, you know? And I’ve been talking about all the brothers on my blog for a while now, explaining how they’d come visit and tell me their stories, so readers got to know them long before they began to read their books.

Anyway, in the space of two months, three different women emailed me to ask if I had any information on Chris Waldron – where could I find him, did I have his phone number?

Um, well, he’s real to me, but he kind of only exists inside my mind, I told them.

They all wrote back and told me a similar story – they’d all met Chris Waldron – he was Cajun, from Louisiana, was in the Navy. He was superstitious. They even mentioned his height and his different colored eyes. They’d all dated him.

And they all wanted him back. Badly. They didn’t believe me when I told them I didn’t have any way to get in touch with him.

I mean, I could get in touch with him, but not exactly in the way they wanted. But with my trilogy, now the wait is over. All of you can have your own little piece of Chris Waldron.

So when I tell people that I feel like I channel characters rather than creating them, I often tell them this story. This usually think I’m a little crazy anyway, which is okay, because it’s the good kind of crazy that makes my job a whole lot of fun.

So tell me – what makes a memorable character for you? Is he tortured and angsty? Is he just a little bit crazy? Any character instantly spring to mind?

47 comments:

Kara said...

I love the tortured hero. How they overcome their past to find their "soul mate." I think the one that really sticks with me is Jacques from Christine Feehan's Carpathian series. We first get to me him in book one where he is fun loving, a bit crazy...then when his book comes along, he has been tortured and has to overcome that.

I like them a bit crazy too...Chris sounds great!!!

Oh, and you don't have to enter me in the contest...I just received this one in the mail and can't wait to get started on this series!!!

amy kennedy said...

Stephanie, I have to read these. I adore your (co-written) Sydney Croft books. All I can think of right now is a man singing AS he delivers a baby, and it's damn sexy for some reason.

I think what you said about Tig scaring you a little is key, we're so drawn to the forbidden and when someone (not real) scares us, it's like taking one of those virtual rides in a theatre -- you still get the thrill, but there's no real danger.

Scorpio M. said...

Those ladies who thought Chris was real sound a bit scary to me...

I like characters who are confident yet a little bit vulnerable. Too much Alpha + too much angst can get to be a bit too much.

I seem to fall for characters named Harry. I just love Connie Brockway's Harry Braxton (As You Desire) & Elizabeth Hoyt's Harry Pye (The Leopard Prince). Your Jake from Hard To Hold was a sweetie, too.

I'm up to chapter 9 of Too Hot To Hold...boy, oh boy, Nick is just something else - I didn't want to get off the subway this am so that I can continue reading. Awesome writing. ;)

Bellas, don't miss out. You have to try this series!

debbie haupt said...

Good morning Bellas!!!! Brrr it's still cold here in St. Louis, but they PROMISED it would be over 32 today for the first time since last year, YAY!
Now on to important things, first of all this trilogy looks yummy and who in their right mind can deny anything a Seal might want or need right.
Second to answer the question, my memorable characters the hero anyway are always tortured souls who have endured horrible things and come out of it with the help of his soul mate.
Thanks Steph, great article and I'm sorry to say that I haven't read you yet, but that is about to change.
Deb
dhaupt@falkharrison.com

jedisakora said...

Hi Stephine!
A memorable character for me is one that somehow touches me or excited me. Whether it's by his tragic past, his insightful words (or rather the authors ^o`) or something that he does. A character that stands out to me in recent memory is Duke of Fletcher (In An Affair before Christmas) by Eloisa James) who hires a street man or male whore to pretend to be his mother-in-laws lover to get her out of his house. If you've read the story you'd story how hilarious it is and why you root for him to do it.

amy kennedy said...

Oh, Scorpio...Harry Pye. Was he not fabulous? And yeah, those women were a bit scary, but not in a good way.

amy kennedy said...

Oh and the heroes in Stephanie Tyler's co-written Sydney Croft books are a bit scary, but in a really good way.

Scorpio M. said...

@amy
I know! I WISH Harry Pye was real *sigh*

Stephanie Tyler said...

Hey everyone!!!

Kara, I LOVE a tortured hero...the more so, the better :) I hope you enjoy HTH!

Amy, yes, the total lure of the really bad boy, you know? Gets me every time! And thanks for the Sydney compliments - Larissa & I have SO much fun writing those books, I can't even tell you. We're starting bk 6 right now, actually!

Scorpio, I could NOT believe it - I mean, 3 of them over a period of a few months. And they were different IPs and every thing & you could tell they were written by different people. Oh, & I'm so glad you're enjoying the series :) And yes to the vulnerable...b/c every bad boy needs that...that's what gets you all melty...

Stephanie Tyler said...

Morning Debbie - here in NY they promised 32 as well - it's like a heat wave :) And yes, it's about the will to survive for me in terms of character - absolutely :) And there is NO denying a SEAL :)

jedisakora -I haven't read that one by Eloisa, but she's so fabulously talented! I'll add that to the massive TBB list!

LOL, Amy - I didn't see this before I answered your last comment, but yeah, they can be. Ender's a particular favorite of mine - he can be such an ass, but that's why he fell so hard, you know?

Rebekah E. said...

I like heros that are a combination of tough and vulnerable.

Amanda said...

I like both heroes but those that are just a little crazy always stand out to me!

donnas said...

Sounds great.

The character has to have strong characteristcs to me memorable. Whether it is sexy and smart or mean and crazy. It doesnt matter they just need to stand up off the page and say look at me, not hang out in the background as just another name.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Pat L. said...

I like the tortured hero. But he must be strong and caring and a good sense of humor is a plus.

There are a lot out there and I think Ian from Virgin River Christmas it was - hope I have the right story was a tortured hero and I loved him. Also Jackson from Jackson Rule from Sharon Sala. Susan Mallery's last in Titan series were literally tortured and thru the love of his sisters and a good one redeemed himself as he was really rotten in the first few books.

patoct@yahoo.com

Stacy~ said...

Stephanie! It's trelaina from Twitter stalking you here *g* I absolutely love a tortured hero, and Hard to Hold was an amazing hero. I loved the little bit of crazy in Jake. He wasn't perfect by a long shot, but that didn't mean he wasn't worthy of love. He had his own code, and loved his brothers unconditionally. A very memorable hero in my book.

I'm dying to read Nick's book like you wouldn't believe. And Chris' too. Thank you for writing stories that make the reader "feel". I definitely hope you can make it to Cincy in June!!

Greta G. said...

A memorable character for me is one who is realistic...flaws and all. One that I can relate to in some way. If I can feel what they are feeling, suffer when they suffer, laugh when they laugh, then I know I have met a truly memorable character.

ggunselman@yahoo.com

Jane said...

Hi Steph,
Congrats on the upcoming release of "Hold On Tight." I do love a tortured hero and one of my favorite is Robert Knight from Gaelen Foley's "The Duke." He's out for revenge and uses the heroine as part of his plan.

Becke Davis said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to get here -- it's been a crazy day. These books look soooo good, I want to run out and get them right now!

amy kennedy said...

Ooh, Greta, good point, if he's realistic in the way you describe him, not in a sit-on-the-couch-and-scratch-myself realistic point.

But, yeah, any character who can make me *feel* that's something.

Hiya Stace!

Becke...have you gotten them now?...how 'bout now? I know you (inet) and I bet you'll have them by weeks end.

Anonymous said...

This series looks really good; have not gotten to read any yet.
:o(

I like all kinds of heroes, funny, tortured, bright.

Helen L.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buona sera, Bellas! And welcome back,Steph! I think th elast time you wre here you were wearing your Sydney Croft superheroine garb! I'm w/Amy; those books are so flippin hot and compelling. and the heroines are particularly memorable. Yes, yes, that's coming from the woman who thinks heroines aren't all that necessary in romances (when I could so easily fill every one of those roles!), but that's a discussion for another day... : )

Steph, I'm LOVING "Too Hot to Hold" and can't wait to finish this trilogy! There's something so appealing about band-of-brother books to begin with, but that you've drawn these guys together through different kinds of trial by fire and made htem sibs is really neato.

I find the most memorable characters for me are the ones who've got really deep stuff they don't want to look at, and who work the hardest to cover it up -- who become the hardest, crazy scariest, most reticent, bastardliest -- yet manage to remain self-deprecating or disinterested in themselves.

When Scorpio mentioned Harry from As You Desire I nearly jumped up and yelled Yes! because he's awesome for how little he thinks of himself, yet how heroic he is at heart (though he's got the soul of a kind of bazaar merchant in some ways). Yet he's so scrupled in the way he fights 'tainting' the heroine with his 'shortcomings.' sigh.

I like how donna says: Whether it is sexy and smart or mean and crazy.

At least in romance -- because we allow for redemption, though hopefully not all the armor gets shined completely -- the guys can be really dirty and awful to appeal to our baddest bad boy fantasies and our 'oh, he did NOT just do/say/think that needs to be shocked. sometimes an author's having the guts to push the envelope to please herself ends up creating characters that wouldn't have been as memorable otherwise. they're not always the most popular across the board, but they can end up being the ones many readers recall as having loved for a long time. Or saying, 'i didn't like himm at first, but now I can't forget him..."

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Amy, remember when we first saw the first sidney croft, like, down to the moment? And you were all, ohhhhhh, wowwwwww.

Then we read it and were all. OH. MY. GAWD!!!

And then i saw the second cover and I couldn't stop looking at it in hi def, then totally pitched it to lifetime so they'd feature it big on the site even though it was so. flippin. hot. it's still one of the hottest covers ever. If ever there were a placeholder cover for me, that'd be the one. :) Those lovers are just so very, oh, wet.

Stephanie Tyler said...

Hey again! Hope you're all having a good day :)

Rebekah - it's a great combo, for sure.

Amanda, yes, b/c I guess that means they're not afraid to be different (aka crazy)...makes them unpredictable too :)

True, donnas - they have to stand out...it's also I think what you're drawn too, you know? The more well adjusted the character, the more I shy away - I like em tortured...

Pat, I LOVE the Virgin River series - Ian, yes, and Jack I think was nicely tortured as well...I actually just read Jackson's Rule this year!

{{{Stacy}}} I love what you wrote about Jake & his code! I also loved your review of HTH (I know I told you but it bears repeating :) And Cincy is actually looking more and more like a possibility - I'm really excited!

Stephanie Tyler said...

Hey Greta! I recognize you from the WM loop :) And yes, I hear you on the emotion - they have to make you laugh / cry with them.

Thanks, Jane! oh, I love that kind of plot, where the hero falls in love when he isn't expecting to at all and it changes his whole moral code.

Hey Becke! This day flew on my end...can't believe it's nearly 5PM!

Thanks, Helen!

LOL, Michelle - Larissa and I often say, oh, we need a heroine in this book?! *g* Thanks so much for having me on the blog today! And OMG, the Croft covers are SO nice...Bantam did us proud :)

Pamela Keener said...

I agree Sam from Suz Brockmann Troubleshooter does it for me. He has a heart of gold yet strong as nails.

You are a new to me author that I will certainly add to my TBR pile pronto.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290@comcast.net

chey said...

A memorable character to me is strong, dependable and consistent.

amy kennedy said...

Oh, Michelle -- the books are on my keeper shelf and every day I see it and every day I think of us being so blown away by it.

Yesyesyes, what you said about authors who push the boundaries with their characters end up being the ones we talk about the most -- so true.

Man, I have to get this series. Hard to Hold is the first right? Stephanie, Michelle was the woman who taught me the true importance of the Hero -- silly me, I used to like the heroines better...

Princess Bumblebee said...

I think the most memorable characters are definately the ones that seem a bit crazy, like Nix from Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. As for the males, it's usually the brooding type or the type that's just a little unexpected, who seems hard-bitten but is really a softy. And who doesn't love Suzi's Sam Starrett. He's a great character!
Other characters I love are Royce from Judith McNaught's 'A Kingdom of Dreams' and Lachlain from Kresley Cole's 'A Hunger Like No Other'

booklover0226 said...

I enjoyed reading the post.

I love my heros to be a little bit crazy. It's easier for me to relate to them!

The one who comes to mind is Z from J.R. Ward's Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3). Hmmm, maybe he was a bit tortured, too...

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

Stephanie Tyler said...

Thank you, Pamela! And yeah, Sam...I feel a reread of The Defiant Hero coming on...

Chey, dependable, yes! OMG, so important...

LOL @ Amy...seriously, heroine optional!

Princess Bumblebee - Sam is so hard-bitten yet softy type...

Thanks, BookLover! Z is my second fav, but my heart belongs to V! *sighs*

Anonymous said...

I love the funny heroes as well as the tortured ones and Garth in the Titan Series by Susan Mallery was really tortured by the love of the wonderful funny heroine and his sisters turned him around. I can never remember which title goes with which story. Sorry.

Karen T.

chelleyreads said...

i've been wanting to read this series for a while. unfortunately, i can't buy any books yet due to my NY resolution.

the most memorable characters for me is the unusual ones: tortured by unusual past (like some already mentioned J.R. Ward's Z), a character i really get to know through the story (Judith McNaught's Matt Farrell from Paradise) and the bad boys with the best comebacks (Lisa Kleypas's Sebastian from Devil in Winter).

robynl said...

a memorable character to me is one who is there for his loved ones(protects them), is fairly level headed most of the time but can be over the edge on occasion, is sensitive to others feelings, has a sense of humor, believes in hard work.

Gannon Carr said...

Did someone say tortured hero? Yes, please! LOL Gotta love a tortured man healed by the love of a good woman.

mariska said...

Tortured hero with smart brain, and at the end knows that he deserves to be happy too. that'll be my memorable characthers.

Sir Gideon from COS is one of my favorite Hero.

uniquas at ymail dot com

Becke Davis said...

Amy - If I hadn't been on the phone with my mom for two solid freaking hours, I would have the books by now!

Sue A. said...

I've love stories with lots of angst, so tortured heroes often figure as key in these stories. Sheridan Drake, in Laura Kinsale's "Seize the Fire" is a book so well written I can read it over and over again and still feel my heart clench. The last chapter to the last line is really emotional.

Victoria said...

I love the hero with a tortured past that doesn't realize it is consuming him until he finds "her."

Julie said...

Characters that make me laugh are memorable to me...the crazy ones, too. In fact, the more off-beat the character, the more I enjoy reading them.

julieguan AT gmail DOT com

Spav said...

A memorable character for me would be Z from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. He's tortured and sometimes a little crazy (not without reason) but that's what makes him likeable to me, that he's not perfect and has problems.

spav05(at)gmail(dot)com

iheartbooks said...

Zadist is my most memorable tortured hero. He was kidnapped and tortured.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

suehussein said...

Oh yeah, a tortured hero is good!! But, the heroine has to help him with his problems. I like this story with the Seals, they all have something to overcome from their past. Good luck with your series!! Thanks, Sue



suehusseinAtAolDotCom

jcp said...

Love a tortured hero.
alysap@hotmail.com

Sue A. said...

I go for the tortured and damaged hero, with a vulnerability few get to see.

Anonymous said...

I love ALL kinds of heroes! They all have their reading enjoyment.

Rose G.
auntrg@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I must say the tortured hero is my favorite. But he has to also have the complete package. Looks, sexy, kind, gentle and considerate.

Lynn R.

Anonymous said...

From all the characters I read about "Jack Reacher" has been my favorite....he's just so "American"...tall, dark-haired, blue eyes, rugged!!!! U-m-m-m!!!!
Mickey Mac
Mickey3214@aol.com