One thing about changing time periods as I seem to keep doing is that the nature of the heroes alter slightly. In the past year or so, I have written books set in ancient Rome, Viking Scandinavia, Victorian England and currently the Regency period. And with each time period shift, I have had to think about how the hero has changed and how best to show the hero.
Although basic human nature does not alter with the passage of time, the veneer of civilisation does. A Roman hero is a bit more civilised than a Viking hero. A Victorian hero operates by a slightly different set of rules than a Regency hero -- even though they all may have the same inner integrity that I need in all my heroes.
For example, I find it far easier to imagine Christian Bale or Eric Banna playing a Roman, then playing a Viking. Whereas I can easily see Sean Bean or Daniel Craig playing a Viking but have a much harder time envisioning them as Regency dandies. I could however see them as Romans.
It is not their physical characteristics, but their mannerisms that really help to make the final decision.
It was also not quite what I expected to happen when I started changing time periods. I had this long discussion with my editors about the fact that many Norwegians have dark hair and I really wanted a darked haired Viking. And they agreed. The cover does show a dark haired hero. initally I thought I could go through my stock of dark haried heroes and reuse one of my favourites. But I found that I could not use the first actor I had envisioned in the role and eventually had to envision Gerald Butler for it.
As today is the official publication of my first Viking book -- Taken by the Viking, I have a copy to give away to a lucky Tote Bag reader. Simply email me with the answer to the following question: in what year does Taken by the Viking take place (hint it is in the blurb on my website). Totebag contest should be the title of the email. I will draw the winner on Friday 12 October.
UPDATE: THE WINNER OF THE CONTEST IS
I HAVE CONTACTED HER AND WILL BE SENDING OUT A SIGNED COPY OF TAKEN BY THE VIKING.
MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED.