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Why is it difficult to comprehend a perfect hero in a novel, but not vampires or werewolves?

wrote that title as a tweet before my first novel published with 5 Prince Publishing after an agent turned down my book. 

Shockingly, she didn't reject my novel because the writing was poor or because I didn't have enough romance or suspense, but because my hero was—in her words—too perfect. 

She offered, "Men like him don't exist and don't think that way." Well, surprisenot only do men think that way, I know several, and they helped me to make sure the male POV was believable. I've spent twenty-four years married to a police detective and hanging out with other officers and firemen. Believe me, I know real heroes.  The story may not be real, but my main character's attributes are.

And, in case you are wondering, my male 'protagonist' is not perfect—he has many flaws. In fact, the person I patterned my character after doesn't even have the flaws I gave my male lead. And according to some readers, Jordan is far from perfect; he's possessive and controlling according to some readers, but again opinions vary greatly. Some readers think those same characteristics are strong and compelling. LOL!
So, why did I invent a flawed character? Because I know few readers want to read about a faultless male and a perfect relationship. Yeah, most of us want the fairy-tale ending. But if it doesn't start with murder and mayhem, distrust and misunderstanding, it's not as believable--and in my mind can become rather boring. Conflict is fun...and people can't tear their eyes away from a train wreck--physically or figuratively speaking.
I've read so many books I can't even remember all of them to load into my Goodreads' profile. And what I've discovered in those books is that best-selling authors get away with the things that we new and aspiring authors don't. For example: they get to use prologues if they want, start sentences with 'there was', use passive sentences, include dialog tags such as 'he asked' on average of twenty to seventy times in a novel, write in first personshall I go on?
One of my favorite authors does several of these—what we are told—writing taboos, and yet every book he writes still lands on the best-selling list. And, to top it all off, his male characters are usually darn close to PERFECT...too perfect sometimes.
But on the other scope, I cannot stand to read a book where a woman has to train a man, which is a common theme. Besides, most women know that is virtually impossible about a fairytale... LOL! Changing the way a man thinks is as likely as vampires and werewolves.

But, I do believe heroes exist and plan to continue to write about them. If you are interested in meeting my 'not so perfect' male protagonists who will sweep their woman off their feet, but knock any man standing in their way off of his, follow the links to learn more about my stories.

Until next time, happy reading!


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Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember, these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer.  


  1. Hi Carmen, Your book sounds really exciting.
    As for the agent turning it down, I believe that each and every one of us in this world is unique. And this is what makes the world such an amazing place. We don’t all think the same way (thank God for that) and we don’t all like the same things. So, I believe that whatever we feel strong about, we should write about. And if some agent or publisher likes it, that’s fine. If he/she doesn’t, that’s just fine too. There is a Greek saying that goes “if I can’t get oranges here, there’re always plenty of other places full of orange trees, that I can get oranges from”…
    I’ll share the link to this very interesting post on my blog. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Thank you for your lovely comment, Angel. Yes, what makes it so funny, which I may not have clarified as I tried. I had many offers and ended up publishing 'She Belongs to Me' with 5 Prince Publishing. Since then it has been on the bestseller lists many times. And though most readers love my male protagonist, there are several who find him too ontrolling. If I'd taken her suggestion and roughed him up some more, I honestly believe I would not have the bestseller I have today.

    Ultimately, I have to go with my gut and what I believe readers will really want. I hope you will download it while it's .99 cents and make your own choice.

    Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment. I hope it will assist you when/if you are ever in a similar situation.

    My best to you. :)

  3. Carmen, I read a book called Slow Your Prose where the author states we should not use "to be" verbs so much and that we should show and not tell. It is difficult for me to be not like that. After I read your first book, I regained my courage not to give up. I saw that you had used "To be" verbs and it gave me hope. I wrote a blog about it.

  4. Ruthie, I can honestly say I learned a lot since writing my first novel. Even my readers, as much as they liked 'She Belongs to Me', are enjoying 'Entangled Dreams' and 'When Noonday Ends' even better.

    One of the things I remind writers is to use a simple rule. Instead of writing "he was walking..." write "he walked". Amazing how that simple exercise will change your WIP.

  5. There are always certain authors who can buck the rules and get away with it. LOL. Honestly though, vampires and werewolves are more comprehensible than perfect heroes because they follow the rules automatically. They are flawed by design, and the dark, imperfect aspects of their personalities (that may or may not be redeemed by the end) make for an intriguing read. Contemporary heroes who appear to be Captain America and Superman rolled into one bore the heck out of me. But give me those quirks, those endearing flaws, the things I love to hate and I'll devour that book ravenously to the end.

    1. LOL! So true, J. Rose! Personally, it doesn't upset me when my readers lash out at my not-so-perfect hero; it means he is lifelike if he can bring out such powerful emotions.

      And honestly, I don't know what that agent was thinking... My character is loving and kind, but he's certainly not perfect and that's how I wanted him. Have a wonderful Sunday!


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