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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

}Wistful Wednesday{
Making Mayhem with Cheryl Wyatt

First, I want to apologize to our guest today. Cheryl was supposed to appear on the blog yesterday, but due to illness, I didn't get the post up. So I am giving her my spot today. I hope you enjoy her post!

Bring on the Bad Boys

I love reading books that have bad boy heroes because I love to study how authors manage to make them likable despite the traits that earned them a bad boy badge. They can be dark and lethal, blonde and brooding, cowboy-tough, military-level-menacing, French and formidable, unremorsefully sexy, womanizing, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Insert your own favorite bad boy trait here. LOL!

Romance novel fanatics love to read about heroines they’d want to be and heroes they’d want to be with. Fact: women are attracted to bad boys. Why?

Do you think it’s the nurturing side of us, thinking we can tame them? Or the fantasy that we can be the one woman on earth to finally capture their mustang heart? Why do you think it is that readers are drawn to bad boy characters?

I love when an author does it right. If a guy comes off like a jerk and has no redeeming quality whatsoever, I never connect with or care about the hero. Bad boys still have to be likable in some way.

In Debbie Macomber’s Sooner or Later, Murphy, the lead male should not have been endearing, but he was. The fact that he cared about children in jeopardy smoothed out his rough edges. Also that he found himself helping the heroine even though every unmanageable thing in him flailed against it. Debbie did a wonderful job of showing this mercenary’s inner struggle. This character was very memorable.

Why did television viewers love Angel, a demon vampire? I mean really…a demon? But Angel mesmerized his audience. If you watched the series, what qualities do you think his character possessed that drew viewers?

Think of Doctor House in the award-winning TV series, House. He’s a total jerk and virtually friendless but readers can’t look away. Why do you think that is? Do you think it’s because the writers made him vulnerable by giving him a limp? Or because he’s great at his job? Or could it be because we can glimpse his private pain at times despite how he lashes out at those around him?

Study these and other movies and books containing bad boy heroes to see how that author effectively endeared them to us. Can you think of other examples I haven’t mentioned here?

Another example is Vince from my January 2010 Steeple Hill release, A Soldier’s Devotion. All along the Wings of Refuge Series (Steeple Hill-2008-2010) we know that he’s the stubborn, brooding, dark and deadly member of the Pararescue team. He’s a party animal and a player. So why did so many women, Christian women at that, write me begging for his story?

I don’t have the answer but I truly enjoyed writing his story. He didn’t change overnight and he was still tough and brooding. But he obviously had some kind of appeal or readers wouldn’t have fallen in love with him even as a secondary or ancillary character. I am anxious to see the reader response once his story finally hits shelves. I sincerely hope I have done his character justice and satisfied readers’ hunger to see him redeemed and having his own story while still maintaining his bad boy-ish-ness. He was fun to delve into and to figure out. And sexy? Oh, yes. And he knows it, but it’s how he uses it or not, meaning the restraint he exercises after his conversion that I think gave him the greatest strength as a character.

Do you like bad boy heroes? Why or why not? Who are some of the bad boys you remember most? Why do you think that is? At what point in the story did you come to care about them? How did the author engage you to them, meaning what did the character do or think or say that led to your liking them despite their flaws?

Have you written a bad boy character? What makes them bad? What is their noble trait or redeeming quality—the thing that is going to make them irresistible to readers?

Talk away!

I love Suzanne Brockmann’s (warning: explicit content in those novels) and Susan May Warren’s and Shirlee McCoy’s (no explicit content) characters because they often fall into this bad boy mold, yet we end up loving them very soon into the book. If you read these authors, I’d love you to analyze the story as to what the authors did to make the bad boys lovable. When you figure it out, I’d love for you to take a moment to comment or e-mail me with your thoughts.

Born Valentine’s Day on a naval base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers.

Soldier Daddy-Oct 2009

A Soldier’s Devotion-Jan 2010

34 Moonbeams (comments):

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thanks, Margay!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hey all, if I have enough interest, meaning at least one other person comments other than me, (LOL!) I will give away the first 6 books in my military pararescue romance series-Wings of Refuge in honor of Veteran's Day.

Leave a comment to be entered.


Audra E. said...

Cheryl, I'd love to win the books! =) I also loved reading your post... for me, I think the thing that is so alluring about the bad boy type, is as you mentioned, being that one woman that tames his heart... those are probably my favorite stories. =)

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thanks, Audra for your feedback. I appreciate you stopping by and you are officially entered.

The deadline to enter will be this Friday the 13th, Midnight CST to honor the Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem blog.

Thanks to the blog owners for featuring me here.


Winter Peck said...

Hey, Cheryl, I'd love to get one of your books too! I haven't the chance to get any or read them and I'd love to.

Funny how the bad boy is talked about today, and in a way I married one. <};^) And he loves to remind me of that.


EllenToo said...

Cheryl~~I just finished reading the latest of your Wings of Refuge-A Soldier's Devotion-and really enjoyed it. They have all been great stories. Are you planning any more?

Just wanted you to know but since I have them all don't enter me in your contest.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

LOL! Winter, too funny. My hubby reminds me that he married the Bad Girl. I tried to warn him off...but he stuck around like Velcro. LOL!

I'm sure glad he did too.

You're entered. Thanks for stopping by.

Be sure to tell those in your sphere of influence about this great mayhem blog. LOVE the name. Thankful to be featured here.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi Ellen, yes, I'm hoping all the guys on the PJ team will have their own story. Vince's releases on Jan 1 of this year and Chance's releases June 1 of 2010. Then I just turned in Brock's story and hope the eds love it. There are two other PJ teams that I may bring in later, but for now, I'm switching gears and featuring other ancillary characters from Refuge such as Officer Stallings, etc since readers have written asking for their stories too.

I'm tentatively titling that new series Heart of Refuge and am about to submit the proposal to Steeple Hill and hoping they love it. Will keep you posted!

Hugs and thanks so much for your readership. I'm very thankful.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Ellen, forgot to mention titles.

Vince's story is A Soldier's Devotion and is included in today's giveaway.

Chance's story is Steadfast Soldier and releases in June 2010.


Anonymous said...

I have absolutely loved this series from the start. I like many others would love to see you get to expand it. Just as Ellen I have read all of the previous books. I think the only one I haven't gotten to read is Vince's story.
Thank You so much for continueing to write such awesome stories for us to read!!


Sheila Deeth said...

I'm glad you included House. I think it's the nurturing thing. If there's something vulnerable about the bad boy hero... not House's limp, but how he seems wounded inside.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi Jessie! Great to see you here. Thanks for dropping by. Thanks also for supporting my books with your readership. Much appreciated!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi Sheila,

That's so true about House. Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts! :-)



Anonymous said...

HI Cheryl,

enjoyed reading today's post...would love to read this amazing story...thanks for the opportunity.

karen k

Merry said...

Hi Cheryl,
There is just something exciting about bad boys! I loved Julie Lessman's character Collin in A Passion Most Pure. He was such an intriguing mix of charm, waywardness and vulnerability. I'd love a chance to win your books. Thanks!


collettakay said...

Please enter me in your drawing. I just realized this will be Friday, the 13th. oohhh...


EllenToo said...

Cheryl - I just finished Vince's story and am looking forward to Chance's story. I will also be looking forward to the stories of the ancillary characters espcially Officer Stallings who seems like a really interesting person. Sure hope Steeple Hill with love the proposal and let you write the new series.

Virginia C said...

Hi, Cheryl!

I love bad boy "wounded heroes". We all know that underneath the tough, scarred exterior there lies a heart of gold. What could be more romantic than a bad boy hero reformed and redeemed by the love of the right woman? The love of my life was such a man. Unfortunately, we did not have the HEA. Once you are loved by a "bad boy", however, no one else ever comes close!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi Karen, thank you for your interest and for stopping by! Your name's in the hat as is everyone who comments by Friday Midnight.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Merry, Collin is a GREAT example. Thanks for mentioning him.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Yes, Colletta...Friday the 13th...(insert creepy music...LOL!)

I think it's kewl.

Thanks for coming by!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Ellen, thanks for your thoughts. You're the first person I've heard from who has read Vince's story. I'm glad you liked it and look forward to more.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi Virginia, sorry you didn't get your real-life HEA but there's still time for another.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

Enormous thanks to my blog hosts for having me here. I had fun.

I'll keep checking back in for more commenters until Friday Midnight then I'll post the winner's name here.


Carla Gade said...

Great post, Cheryl! I think a bad guy is redeemable if he has a conscience. His inner thoughts must be revealed even if he doesn't act on them. Everyone is redeemable and sometimes it's the worse of them all that make the best stories.

carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com

Gracen Miller said...

Thanks for joining us, Cheryl! It was a pleasure and an honor having you with us. Great post, btw. Got me to thinking.

As for bad boys we can't get enough of, my add to that list of TV bad boys is Dean Winchester from Supernatural. He's tough, cocky, and rough around the edges, but he's a closet romantic and a softy when it comes to the ladies. Like most of the romantic novel bad boys, he loves the ladies a lot too, as frequently as possible. LOL And he's a hero, saving the world by killing one ghost and demon at a time. LOL I'm a bit addicted to the show, but, as you said, we love the bad boys and he's a bad boy with layers.

Why do I like the bad boys? Hmm...that's a good question. For me I think it's because, like Dean Winchester, most of the bad boys we watch or read about, there are layers to them and beneath that gruff, bad boy exterior, there is a redeemable man with a big heart just waiting to be set free. And, in real life, I'm married to a sweet man, no bad boy at all. But in real life, I don't want a bad boy, but in my fantasies--isn't that what books and TV are after all?--the bad boy is so much more fun, he makes our hearts race faster...and, heck, I don't know, they're just sexier and more entertaining somehow! *sigh* My husband would probably bore my socks off my feet if I watched or read about him because he never does anything dangerous or exciting or improper, which is great--but not great in my daydreams. If you get what I'm trying to say anyway.

Again, it was a pleasure to have you with us. Best of luck to all the entrants.

Gracen Miller

Margay Leah Justice said...

Cheryl, it was wonderful having you here as our guest.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Carla, I think you're right. Great thoughts! Thanks for coming by.


Cheryl Wyatt said...


Now you have me itching to watch that show. I haven't seen it.


Thank you for having me here. I love your blog and your hospitality and felt honored to be here.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I love this series. WOuld love to win a whole set!


Terri Grimes said...

Hi Cheryl, Please enter me in your V day contest. I'm a big fan of novels like yours with a Miltary setting. My daughter and son in law have been on an Army base in Germany since 2005. In fact, he left Iraq for Kuwait on Veterans Day, ending his 2nd TOD. He stays in Kuwait for a week, then flies to his homebase in Schweinfurt where my daughter and 2 grandpugs are waiting for him. Anyway, I would LOVE to win one of your books. I haven't won anything since 6th grade, so end my losing streak and pick me! :-)

Terri Grimes said...

Oops, was I supposed to leave my email?

terrigrimes (at) gmail (dot) com

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Eileen, thanks for coming by!

Terri, you too. On my behalf, thank your loved one for serving.

I appreciate you all stopping by.

Okay...winner's name will be drawn soon and announced today...

Drum roll please...hehe!

This is fun,


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Okay....all names went in the "hat" and hubby drew a name....

(Drum roll please....)

TERRI GRIMES....CONGRATULATIONS. You've won the first 6 books in my Wings of Refuge series.

I will e-mail you privately to snag your address and get these books to you.

Thanks again to everyone for stoppin by and for your interest in the books.

Again, gracious thanks to the hosts.

Bye all!

terrigrimes said...

Thanks so much Cheryl and thank the hubby for me! I am beyond thrilled. You made my day!!!