Monday, April 23, 2007

Brenda Joyce GuestBlog: No Flesh-And-Blood Man Can Compete

Contest!!! Brenda's giving one Lucky Commenting Bella a Masters of Time t-shirt and DVD of both Masters of Time trailers!

Brenda Joyce's Devlin O'Neill, hero of "The Prize," is one of my favorite heroes of all time, and the type of guy many of us here at RBtheBook affectionately and unabashedly adore for his Old School "bastardliness." And his bro, Tyrell de Warrenne of "Masquerade" ain't deliciously far behind. They just don't/can't write em like that any more -- and Brenda just might have somethin to say about that. Yet today, Brenda's here (yippeee) to celebrate the release of her new paranormal time-travel series, "Masters of Time" with a subject near and dear. So won't you grant her a warm Monday buongiorno...

Come this May, in one more month, I will have been published as a romance author for NINETEEN YEARS. I take this business very seriously, but I love what I do. In fact, and after thirty-six books or so, I love what I do more than ever!

I am in a position where I could retire if I chose. Why on earth would I do that? I have a BLAST telling love stories, no matter which genre I write in. I vanish in the creative process. Every day I sit down at my desk and I time travel. If the phone rings, I am disoriented and confused, having been in medieval Scotland or some such other wonderful place, and it’s a moment before I know what year it is, and even what season it is.

Forget knowing the day! Even when its 110 degrees out here in Arizona I have wandered the grocery store in a total daze. I also become my hero and my heroine, in turns. I live every bit of dialogue and I experience every moment of tension, conflict, anger, joy, love, hate and passion, just as my hero and heroine do. Needless to say, I am exhausted when my first draft is done.

When I first got into the biz, a rumor was going around that Brenda Joyce was a man. I was pretty insulted, but when I write from the hero’s point of view—sometimes even in love scenes—guess what? I am the hero, and there is no way around it. (And it can be damned hard getting into his head, too.)

But I am a woman and I fall in love with every hero I create. This is a real problem in my personal life! No actual flesh and blood man can compete with Devlin O’Neill or Malcolm of Dunroch. Long ago I gave up on my hopeless infatuations with my own fictional creations. I need my heroes, and my life would be a bore without them.

I also don’t get why some readers prefer contemporary heroes to historical ones. Of course, I adore history (and have pure mainstream historical fiction on my agenda for the future.) And maybe my lack of real interest in contemporary men has to do with my having been a wild bachelorette in NYC for quite a few years; I have had my share of big egos and CEOs.

I will take an oversexed, medieval Alpha male who thinks the sun rises and sets on his time clock over an FBI agent any day. I only figured out why the other day. The more powerful, the more macho, the more Alpha the hero, the greater the challenge for the heroine—and the greater the struggle between them.

Do you prefer a contemporary or historical hero and why? I have other more personal reasons, which I will be glad to share, and I would like to hear yours.

Please visit Brenda and the MOTs at !


Stacy~ said...

Welcome Brenda! What a pleasure to have you here. I've read your books over the years, and have adored your heroes very much. They're bigger than life, sexy, and totally alpha. Love 'em.

I started out reading Harlequin Presents when I was 12, and even then, thought the modern man was a bit bossy and demanding, and as much as I loved them, I didn't want one for my own. I soon discovered historicals - McNaught, Garwood, Deveraux, Joyce, Robards, and completely fell in love with these heroes. These were the men I dreamed about marrying - warriors, Dukes, pirates. Men who would follow their women to the ends of the earth. Sigh...

Now contemporary heroes are a bit more relatable (unless of course, they're vampires LOL). Brockmann, Shalvis, JR Ward, JD Robb. So yeah, give me a Navy SEAL or a sexy pilot and I'm pretty happy because those men are closer to what I might find in reality, and mixing fantasy and reality is heady stuff.

So suffice it to say, I love them both - they each fill a need within me as a reader, depending on my mood. Am I wishy-washy? Nah, I don't believe I am. I consider myself to be a true Libra who admires both sides ;)

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Brenda

Many congratulations on 19 great years in print!

It's tough to choose between historical and contemporary heroes, but I think I've got to go with alpha males of the here and now. There's more fun for me in reading about how these dominant men interact with women who are free to meet and match them in every sphere of life on equal terms. I adore the clashes and the fiery dance towards love...



Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome to RBTB, Brenda!!
Mornin', Bellas!!

If I'm looking for a true bastard of a hero(which are yummy!) then I want a historical.
If I'm looking for a dominate alpha of a hero(equally yummy!) then I go to contemps.
If I want a bastard with a dominate alpha type personality, I run to the paras.

And I lurve them all equally !!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the historicals. I agree with you on the medieval alpha male. It's the time period and the fact that they are a duke, laird or a knight. And that women didn't really have any rights then and the women in these romances stand up to them. It certainly makes the story more entertaining.
Congrats on the 19 years. I really get into reading your books. They can be emotional, passionate and exciting.

kerri1973 said...

Could the cover to "Dark Seduction" be any hotter? Oh my! (pant, drool, moan) Hi Brenda! I adore your work and aren't you just the cutest thing ever? Welcome on this beautiful Monday! I'm determined to make this day a fabulous one. So, do I prefer a historical or contemporary hero? I have to say that either one works for me. When I think of novel heroes it is all about the fantasy. Can I see myself with him in that time and place? If I can, then it works. The time period and location are not as significant as the type of hero. Just my humble opinion. Chow!

CrystalGB said...

I like both.
I have always been a big fan of the historical hero. The more alpha he is the better.
With the paranormal craze that has been going on, I have been reading a lot of contemporary alpha heroes.

tetewa said...

Congrats on 19 years and looking forward to the new paranormal series. I also enjoy both as long as he's hot and sexy!

Monica Burns said...

Welcome Brenda Morn'ng {{{Bellas}}}

Brenda, The Prize was the very first book of yours that I read. A friend recommended it as a must read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I'll take a historical hero any day over a contemp hero. That's not to say I don't like contemp heroes, I do. But the historical heroes are MUCH more romantic. True they're romanticized and in most cases nothing like the actual men of their era, BUT I can't resist a man who actually has manners, a man who treats a woman as something special, who makes a woman like me (I am NOT a lady) feel like a lady. And what gal could resist a man in snug fitting breeches that emphasize every lean muscle, every delicious bulge, every wonderful curve of a tight butt...ok, ok, I'm getting out of control. I'll stop. LOL

Then of course, in a historical I get to visualize wearing all those wonderful gowns. Dresses that so often could hide just about any body defect (big butt, big hips, etc.).

I too am a lover of history, so that's another reason for loving historical heroes and the women they love.

It's the romantic way a historical makes me feel that I love so much.


Brenda Joyce said...

Hi, bellas!
I am surprised that most of you "go" both ways. the end, I guess it is the hero who comes to life, larger than life and to die for, and that is up to the author's skills and voice.

I guess for me, I am handicapped by my bachelorette days. Stung too many times. I have a hard time finding contemporary heroes in suspense genre at all credible! When I read those heroes I'm like, has this author ever met a FED? I have, and he was just your average guy packing heat! I wan tbetter than average...

I think Julie in Ohio's comment was amazing and maybe dead on.

Hey! Come to and check out the Dark Seduction movie trailer! Tell me if you think it is worth using or not...

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda! I first want to say that I absolutely love your Deadly series. I can't wait for the next book.

I guess you can add me to the list of those who can "go" either way. But, I do have to say that many of my favorite heroes (if you don't count contemporary paranormals) are from historicals. So, I'm thinking I lean that way...but I couldn't explain why. ;)

amy kennedy said...

Brenda Joyce! Let me just have a fan girl moment...

Okay. I can remember wondering why anyone would ever even read a contemporary romance, but now the contemps are so wide ranging--yeah, Stace, I'll take a Navy Seal too please--that are some dreamy, and by dreamy I mean bastard dreamy contemp heroes out there.

However no one can be a bastard hero like an historical bastard.
On a horse, in a carriage, during a waltz--all scrumptious.

Julie was right and those paras are just as yummy to me. I usually go back and forth, historical--para.

I just have to say my favorite Bastard is Calder Hart, even saying his name I get a visceral reaction, a lovely visceral reaction. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Brenda, I'm so with you on preferring historical men. *grin* In most contemp romances the whole conflict frequently comes down to "he's a peter pan" or "she's been done wrong" (or something along those lines). There's no REAL conflict (hence all the romantic suspense out there, and the rise of paranormals which injects some real, vital issues/conflicts).

sharon said...

the Historical heroes are always an enigma to me, but they do have charm in spades and a way with words. They are gentlemen with breeding and intellect. I would love to meet up with any of those refined charmers any day of the week.

flip said...

I love contemporary and historical heroes. I like alpha and beta heroes. I understand why you fall in love with your heroes. When a writer creates a really great hero, I fall in love with him myself. One of my most passionate attachments was to the hero of Trade Winds by M.M. Kaye. I ready to abandon my husband and kids for him. BEG

Anonymous said...

I prefer historical, only because I have to use my imagination more, contemp heroes I really dont have to imagine, I date one :) (he is a firefighter)

principessa said...

I think that historical heroes are exceptional men who principles and values are important to him. These men carry themselves with dignity and have the aura of power, strength and would help any damsel in distress. They are irresistible.

Maureen said...

Hi Brenda!

I have found heroes in both contemporary and historical romance that are my favorites but I think I have more favorites in the historical romances.

LizbethSelvig said...

Hi Bellas - Welcome Brenda!
I've been traveling and writing for the past week and just got back to find this great discussion and an even greater author! So glad to read all these comments - it's such a treat to have a topic that's fun and insightful but not too serious because there's no wrong answer!!

I put myself in the camp of those who adore contemporary heroes. I guess it's because I CAN relate to them, and when I write them I can "fix" with fantasy all the things that, in my mind, are unattractive and worrisome in the world! Plus, I love watching and creating the ways modern women deal with their desires and fantasies -- especially women who are struggling with feelings of right and wrong, good and bad, faith and rules in this world of today where almost anything goes.

Having said that - there's absolutely NOTHING wrong in my mind with a great historical or certainly with a hot historical hero - as evidenced by the fact that I love your books, Brenda! Thanks for blogging today.

anne said...

Historical heroes have an ability to attract me with their clever wit and their magnetism. Contemporary heroes such as cowboys are attractive in a completely different way. Both are appealing due to their masculinity and charisma.

Julie in Ohio said...

There is just something about a historical Rake that can get the juices flowin'. They are completely fantasy. You are very likely never going to meet one but the man's manners and way of thinking back in the day is waayyy sexy... :o)

But when you look at the hotties of today (cops, firefighters, the executive in his corner office, a mechanic, etc...) there is a more realistic fantasy about them because they really do exist. Maybe not with the same qualities as a novel hero but maybe.
You have a better chance at meeting one of them than you do a handsome duke with a bad reputation. That's the allure to me. :o)

As for paras, well, what can a girl say? Sometimes a little nibble on the neck or snugglin' with a wolf really hits the spot... :p

amy kennedy said...

I was just thinking, Brenda that of course if you were involved with and or just had to deal with the men who are "contemporary heroes" all the fantasy has been taken away--like you said, "Have you ever met a Fed?"

Since I've never met one, they can still be a fantasy for me.

Brenda, I'm excited about the new series--but I gotta ask, when will we see a new installment in the Deadly series?

Please. Pretty please.

catslady said...

I have to say I'm more a fan of the historical hero. I think since it's a different time and place I can totally suspend my beliefs and it puts me into another world. Everything is then possible and believable.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Amyskf writes:I just have to say my favorite Bastard is Calder Hart, even saying his name I get a visceral reaction, a lovely visceral reaction. Thank you.

May I just add that Amyskf once described a Calder Hart scene to me in the middle of the library, in full daylight, surrounded by lots of people, and I was mesmerized.

Don't forget to check out Brenda's "Dark Seduction" trailer at She wants to hear what you think.

flip, I love that you wrote that out loud. I so totally crush on historical heroes and have to remind myself not to be disappointed in my husband because he's not a bastard who treats me poorly. You know what I mean.

Oh, well, I've probably not mentioned it before, but I adore historical heroes, especially medieval knights, the more errant the better. :) I can't really say it better than most of you, but it has something to do with the rough, arrogant exterior that allows the guy to fight and acquire land.

Then, he's got to be brave and smart to keep the keep, as it were. Best of all, you just know he's gonna be so rough around the edges that he's gonna treat the heroine really poorly -- except when he's wooing her with outrageous sensuality -- then end up under her spell once she takes whatever power she can for herself w/in the confines of the period.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Funny, but the contemps I like best have heroes who are kinda "boy next doors" whom the heroine never noticed til he did something helpful. But then, he only grows a little more wily, not too alpha. The best is when he's a little bumbling, too, cause then he's more of a real guy.

Julie in Ohio said...

I have tried a number of times today to see the trailer but for some reason my comp isn't cooperating. However, if the trailer is anything like the cover, I can say that it's HAWT!!!

Brenda Joyce said...

I think Flip nailed it. "When a writer creates a really great hero, I fall in love with him."

However, my all-time fantasy is to actually wake up one morning myself and find myself in medieval times in the north of England. I can think of NOTHING better! (Yes, not Scotland.) I mean, time travel and really be back in that time when there is war, rivalries, murder, political conpiracy and Alpha knighs in bloody armor. Yes, it would be culture shock and hell. I would have to be at least 20 years younger. But what an adventure!Including the sex and falling in love and having the ruthless lord claim you forever....:)
I cannot help myself and I do not know why that fantasy strikes so deep, but I dearly love medieval history...I did past life regression long ago and believe I had a tragic life back then---guess that's why I have to keep writing about super Alphas, except now they're in a paranormal medieval world and they're even more Alpha than before (because of the super powers.)

As for the Deadlies, I agree Calder Hart is a great hero. I have t say that I got burned out on the series, it is really hard sustaingin romantic conflict across 8 or 9 books. How does Nora do it? But my publisher lost interest n the series because it didn't sell as well as my hsitoricals, and they own another book,but haven't asked me to write it. I haven't pushed because I need a break. So I do not know when the next Deadly will be written, much less published.

Don't kill me!

amy kennedy said...

I would never kill the woman who created Calder Hart and all those other bastards.

But could ya maybe write a little epilogue? I seriously need a consumation scene, and how does Francesca's brother finally end up with the poor woman with all the kids AND what about Bragg and his wife--I guess this way I have the ending I want, because it's what I think it should be. But I think you did a marvelous job keeping the romantic conflict.

I guess it's Masters Of Time for me now.

Brenda, the first time I went to a Rennaisance Fair--I knew I must have lived and loved long, long ago--is it a girl thing? I know Michelle used to (maybe still does) fantasize about being transported back to medieval times.

amy kennedy said...

I forgot--I wanted to ask you about something I read where you said you didn't want to write Regencies anymore because they were "butter soft, watered down and politically correct."

I think that's part of the allure of paras--the heroes really are "different" with different mythologies etc and can get away with so much more.

What do you think?

Playground Monitor said...

Since I only recently read my first historicals, the contemp heroes are still my favorite, but I did enjoy those guys of old.

I've been gone all weekend and playing catch up all day. It's the downside of having a weekend getaway. Hopefully starting in May I'll have internet access there and not get so far behind or miss Saturday blogs (if there are any more).

Hi Bellas and Brenda! Congrats on such a long career in writing.

Off to watch Dancing with the Stars.


diane said...

Since I love historicals those are the heroes that I crave for. Mature, capable and definitely men. men with character and who believe in right and wrong.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Fan here, Brenda!

Historical heroes do it for me, because I know those poor contemporary guys have to be weighed down with all the crap I see every day. There's more of an "escape" factor for me in reading a historical. The heroes get to be unapologetic uberalphas...whereas a contemp hero would just be a macho jerk!

Kammie said...

I like the bad boy heroes found in contemporary stories and the dashing, daring ones found in historicals. Too hard to choose. I want them both. lol

amy kennedy said...

Maggie--I was just thinking the same thing. Some contemporary hero bastards just come off as asses and I almost get mad at the heroine who falls for them.

Marilyn, where do you go? And is it getting away if you do have internet?

Brenda Joyce said...

Th Perfect comment--"unapologetic uberalphas!" Couldn't have said it better myself.

My last regency is The Perfect Bride, which completes the five brothers-and steps. I admit that I watered down the Stolen Bride and A Lady At Last, wrote PB because my fans asked me to pair Rex and Blanche, but was doing tremendous soul searching. And I made a decision. It was painful.

I am going back to writing hard historicals, that are not correct. Stron stories, with bad things happening, because my mottoe was, and is again, there is no triumph without tragedy. No ballrooms! In fact, I recently finished A Dangerous Love, the hero is half gypsy (Rom) and tremendous tragedy occurs in the book--but he survives, and finds love HEA! And it is Voctorian, not Regency. I simply cannot do a Regeny hero again, nomatte rhow Alpha, they have to be gentlemen or they are sociapaths. Mt Regency days are over, its uber Alpha Masters of Time and the next generation of de warennes, but with major crosses to bear.
Sigh of relief.
I will even add history to my stories again!
So wiritng historical had become exicting again, but nothing right now is as exciting as my oversexed Highlanders...

As for a conclusion to the Deadlies, I know the last book I want to write, and I am hesitant to put it in an epilogue or short story, Fran and Calder deserve their due. We all need patience, to see where the chips will fall. I have nevr said no to another book. But I do need my muse to return to me or their story won't be worth anything!

And back to the hero toss up--for me, it is credible for a historical hero to be a macho jerk. Claire calls Malcolm a macho jerk quite afew times in DS. But when a contemp hero is a macho jerk, it's so not acceptable. The historical hero is aproduct of hsi times, the modern one a throwback.

amy kennedy said...

Brenda, what a pleasure chatting with you--sorry about all my whining. But, yes, you absolutely made the right decision for you, and frankly I love having my heart wrenched--as long as there is a (an)HEA.

Went to the MOT website--how cool is that?

Can't wait to read them.