Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Hero From the Wrong Side of the Tracks - Annie West

I've written a few romances now. Well, okay, more than a few. More than twenty five published ones, in fact. (Yay!) And I'm in the process of deciding what story to write next as I've just handed a book in to my editor. The world is my oyster as I let my imagination run free to come up with a romance I'm burning to write. I'm also in the lovely position of having a book out now, called SEDUCING HIS ENEMY'S DAUGHTER so you can see there are some exciting things happening right now.
As a result, my mind has been drawn again and again to the sort of hero I'd like to write next. He'll be strong, I know that, and determined. Will he be tortured by a difficult past, or maybe happy with his lot in the world?
I confess that, because SEDUCING HIS ENEMY'S DAUGHTER is currently receiving reader feedback (positive, I'm glad to say), I've been thinking a lot about Donato, my hero in that story. He's a classic rags to riches hero. Born to poverty, he'd lived most of his childhood in places most parents would fight to keep their kids away from. To say he came from the wrong side of the tracks is an understatement. He understood the seamier side of life while still young, but a series of events which could have broken a lesser spirit, instead make him determined to succeed and make something positive of himself.
One of the things I particularly enjoyed about Donato was that he'd got where he was (with wealth, confidence and success) on his own merits. He didn't get a head start from his family but worked against the odds to succeed. That takes courage, determination and energy. I think too that appeals to the part of me that enjoys seeing the underdog win. He turned his life around after an early brush with the law and incarceration, which made him see the two different directions his life could take in stark detail.
So now I'm wondering if my next hero should be a hero with a dark past, from the wrong side of the tracks and past actions that have made him the man he is today. Or perhaps someone born to privilege, who's known success and has a golden touch.
What do you think? Do you enjoy seeing the underdog come out on top?  Or stories about a reformed bad boy? Or do you prefer stories (like the sheikh stories I enjoy) where the hero was born knowing he carried the weight of duty as well as privilege on his shoulders.
If you're interested in checking out SEDUCING HIS ENEMY'S DAUGHTER here's a taste

Donato Salazar can’t forget his tragic past and he has no intention of forgiving the man responsible. Jilting his enemy’s daughter will be the icing on the cake of his revenge, and beautiful Ella Sanderson is certainly sweet enough.

Except Ella isn’t the vacuous socialite he expected and she refuses to marry him! Her rebelliousness only makes Donato want her more, so he’ll have to persuade her…touch by breathtaking touch.

But soon Donato finds himself enthralled by their magnetic connection. As their fake wedding day approaches, one question weighs heavily on Donato’s mind: to love, honor…and betray?

and a few links:
Barnes and Noble
Annie's Website


Diana Tidlund said...

I loved this book when I read it and like all Annie West books I've read I couldn't put it down!!! Wonderful book written by a terrific author!!!

Laney4 said...

Oh, Annie. I'm sure I'll gobble up whatever you write!
I too am partial to sheikhs. There's something about their "I want you so I'm going to have you" way of life, I guess. A girl wants to be wanted....
Perhaps you can write about someone who doesn't find out he's a sheikh (or desert king, etc.) until later in life, and those earlier years were spent in poverty and/or "rising to the top of his field", so to speak. Perhaps he doesn't WANT to be a sheikh!
Such decisions.... There are worse things in life, LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Annie! What an interesting blog - you really do stack the chips up against Donato and it really makes us admire him when he beats the odds and comes out on top. He's such a fascinating character. I loved your Seducing His Enemy's Daughter - and I loved that you returned to an Australian setting for it. It was lovely having the characters wandering around Sydney and the Blue Mountains. I love your exotic settings too, mind you - but it was lovely having the local colour in this one. And congratulations on having 25 books out. That's such a major achievement.

Kim said...

Congratulations on having published 25 books.

How about combining the two themes? The hero was born into wealth, but through his family's bad investments, his trust fund is gone. He found a way to succeed on his own, but is he better for the experience when life was easy up until that point?

Annie West said...

Diana, that's so kind of you, thank you! I'm thrilled to think you've enjoyed all the Annie West books you've read so far - especially this one. Hoping you have fun with any others you pick up!

Annie West said...

Hi Laney,

A reluctant sheikh. I think I've touched on that a little. I love the opportunity to do that tug between love and duty and wondering which will win out.

You're so right about a girl wanting to be wanted. I love heroes who are absolutely focused on the heroine. So very appealing!

Annie West said...

Anna, you've made me smile. You liked some of the things I particularly enjoyed in this book. On the other hand, people from elsewhere would see Sydney as exotic. It was a secret delight to include some of the slightly less well-known places near Sydney that I enjoy while writing this one.

As for Donato - I figure fighting so hard against the odds in his youth and turning his life around is really admirable.

Thanks for the congratulations. I'm still basking in the fuss over 25 releases with Harlequin.

Annie West said...

Now that's a really interesting one, Kim. I wrote a book called 'Blackmailed Bride, Inexperienced Wife' where the family lost everything when the hero was a boy. He subsequently lost his family and his whole focus was on rebuilding what had been lost. Not quite what you describe but some similarities. It's worth exploring more. Thanks for dropping by.

dstoutholcomb said...

all of the above tropes

Annie West said...

That's terrific to hear. You sound like a bred in the bone romance reader!