As part of Author in the spotlight our featured Author is doing a guest post for all our readers today! Enjoy!
As a reader, I can never decide which kind of hero I like best.
Sometimes, I prefer the traditional alpha hero—powerful, handsome, always in control, with a weakness only for the heroine. But then I’ll read a great book with a different sort of hero, and I’ll change my mind and decide the best heroes are those slightly outside the norm, maybe a little geeky, not always master of the room, but still strong in all the ways it counts.
Writing Word and Breath was a great opportunity to explore both kinds of heroes and compare how they think and act with the same woman.
Mikel is my traditional alpha-male. As a Soul-Breather, he’s naturally the most powerful person in any room he walks into, and he has all of the typical characteristics of an alpha-hero, including the way he gradually softens as he falls in love.
Connor is also a hero of the series—but definitely not a typical alpha. He’s a book-nerd, slightly clumsy and unassuming. He has also been in love with Riana for years without ever pursuing his feelings.
I’ve had some readers tell me they prefer Connor and others tell me they prefer Mikel. I’m always fascinated by which hero will end up more popular.
Here’s a short excerpt from the first time the two characters meet.
Mikel didn’t like Connor at all.
He wasn’t disposed to like bookish sort of men anyway, and there was something about Connor’s quiet, self-deprecating manner—and the way everyone else still looked at him like he were someone to respect and admire—that bugged him.
His real aversion might have more to do with what he sensed between Connor and Riana.
Riana and Mikel had come together to the basement of a grungy drugstore where they were holding the illicit meeting. Everyone else was already present when they walked in.
Tava he’d already met and respected. Kelvin had been one of the armed men in his apartment the previous afternoon—a competent man if not a particularly articulate one. Donn and Posen were unknown quantities, both men holding low-level positions for the Union in offices they might need to access to find Jannie Cole.
But Connor he’d disliked immediately. As soon as he’d seen the look Riana and Connor exchanged.
It wasn’t a romantic look or a passionate one. It wasn’t even a particularly happy one. But it revealed a history between them, a bond that went farther back than he’d expected. A knowledge and trust that was so ingrained as to be unconscious.
She knew Connor and trusted him in a way she’d never trusted Mikel.
And Mikel was evidently petty enough to resent Connor for that.
It was a surprising part of his nature he’d never suspected before. He wished he’d responded in another way.
But there it was.
He didn’t like Connor.
And Connor was obviously in charge here.
Guest author: Susannah Noel
Part of our Spotlight feature
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