So now that I’ve written fantasy, contemporaries, Regencies, and I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing is sexier than a historical western hero.
Now, I should offer the disclaimer that when I say “sexy,” I don’t mean, “Let’s talk about sex.” To me, the quality of being sexy isn’t about how a man looks when he takes off his shirt or his sexual prowess in the bedroom. (You’ll notice the picture of my ideal hero is of a man who is fully clothed.) I understand that the word “sexy” is often used on a physical level. It’s like hearing a woman say, “Oh, he’s eye candy. I’d have sex with him.” What I mean when I say “sexy” hero goes a lot deeper than that. Sexy is about attractiveness in personality. It’s what defines a hero’s character, especially in how he treats the heroine.
The historical western hero, esp. the cowboy or farmer represent qualities that I find desirable in men, and these are qualities I like to give every hero I write about.
1. He works hard.
This is the kind of man who isn’t afraid of hard work. If it takes from sunup to sundown, he’ll put in the hours it takes to provide for his family.
2. He protects his loved ones.
He guards the wellbeing of his family and friends to the point where he’d sacrifice his life if it means keeping them safe.
3. He believes his word is his bond.
If he says he’ll do something, he does everything in his power to do it.
4. He stands up for what he believes in.
Even in the midst of adversity, this is the kind of man who stands by what he believes. The rest of the world may change around him and he might face persecution for standing his ground, but he remains firm in his convictions.
5. He shows respect to others.
He treats others the way he’d want to be treated. He’s polite and kind. If he sees someone who needs help, he steps in to offer a helping hand without thought to any reward.
6. He honors his father and his mother.
If his parents need assistance, he’s there to lend a helping hand. He remembers that they once took care of him, and in their old age, he returns the favor.
7. He’s tender in his affections to his wife and children.
He lets his wife and children know he loves them. He hugs and kisses his wife outside the bedroom, and he’ll hug and offer comfort to his children.
So those are the main qualities I think makes a hero sexy. I understand that no man is perfect, but these are qualities I believe are important for all of my heroes to strive for. It seems to me that historical westerns best portray the type of man I like my heroes to be. He’s masculine. He’s smart. He’s strong. He has integrity. He’s the head of the family, but he leads his family with gentleness and love (not with an iron fist).
Of all the genres I’ve written, it’s easiest to portray my ideal hero in historical westerns, mostly because the historical mindset of the United States best supports this type of hero. It’s why I love writing and reading historical westerns the most.