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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Cindy Spencer Pape

What Makes a Hero?

I’ve seen a bunch of chatter online lately about what attributes make a good hero. As I’m pretty much all about oddball characters, I immediately shrug. Stony, furry, scaly, horned, fanged, winged, tailed…whatever works. Not to mention skinny, muscular, short, tall, glasses, or asthma. Done each and every one of those too—in books of course—just in books. (Bats the big brown eyes innocently.) Age doesn’t bother me either way a bit. Gray hair can be sexy as hell. So can a hot younger man. I’m not even hung up on the concept of alphas. Sometimes those betas are the real winners and come through in a crunch.

Common features of all my heroes? Sex appeal. Duh. Nuff said about that one. Smart. They gotta have a quick mind—education level can vary, but they have to have cunning and wit. Courage. No cowardly heroes need to apply. Of course it might take an extraordinary circumstance to let him know he’s brave, but when it comes down to it, he has to have cojones. Loyalty. Okay, now I’m making him sound like the family dog, but it’s important. Humor. Because without it, all that macho posturing just makes you want to smack him upside the head. Absolute and utter devotion to the heroine—or the other hero AND the heroine, in the case of a ménage. And finally? They gotta have flaws. Perfect people are perfectly annoying. Even your rich successful, handsome, alpha male has to have something he has to get over, otherwise it’s just no fun to read.

So I’d like to introduce you to my latest hero, Marc Armel. Marc’s a gargoyle—and a prince—and even with all of that, his first thought when the book opens is I am such a loser. How can you not love a guy like that? Even if he does have wings and turn to stone? You can meet Marc in the final installment of my Heroes of Stone series. Stone and Sky comes out October 28, from Ellora’s Cave. You can read an excerpt at:

~~~Cindy Spencer Pape has been, among other things, a banker, a teacher, and an elected politician, though she swears she got better. She still does volunteer work in environmental education, when she can fit it in around writing. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two teenage sons, a dog, and a lizard. Her website is


Fran Lee said...

Excellent post, Cindy! Loved it! Heroes can be almost any guy...but one thing I insist on...he must weigh more than me! LOL! That narrows it down to the jolly green giant or the incredible hulk!

s7anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
s7anna said...

Hey Cindy,
You're right, Heroes can be any guy...I was actually speaking to Fran and a couple of others on Yahoo group chat just the other day...we were discussing Alpha males and how the romanticized version varies so strongly from the reality of it. Heroes to me are defined by many of the same characteristics that you included in your blog. Of course, the one thing that I insist in my ideal Hero is that he stand taller than me...which is easy enough since I'm about 5ft. tall :P

I'm looking forward to reading Marc's story. I'm not sure what it is about a flawed hero but they are infinitely sexy...I'll take a flawed hero anyday vs some perfect prince!!!

Happy Reading!!!
Anna Shah Hoque

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

You and me both, Fran! And Anna, Hello from another 5'0" female!