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Monday, March 7, 2016

On Writing a Damaged Hero by Lindsay Downs @ldowns2966 @RebeccaJVickery #romance

Writing a Damaged Hero
When Karen Nutt invited me to submit for the Be My Everything anthology I was ecstatic. My next problem, come up with not only a story but the hero and heroine. For those of you who are aware of my work I write regency cozy mysteries and romantic suspense. With that said, the story line came easy. Either a murder, kidnapping or some variation on one or the other.
The two main characters or at least the hero gave me problems. How can I created a damaged hero, Guy, Earl of Tining Abbey, while at the same time make him believable. Through a little backstory at the beginning of the book you learn of and how he was injured. Then you, my dear reader, learn why he retreated to his primary estate.
I should point out with his wound writing several scenes proved to be more difficult than I first thought. In particular, while at a ball and requesting a waltz from the heroine, Lady Julia. Once I was able to overcome this initial dilemma the scene became very easy to write. I will point out though, when many of the grand dames and matrons of the ton watched them waltz they weren’t happy. As you can plainly see from the following passage Lady Julia is a strong, determined young lady. (I put it in italics so as to separate it from the rest of this post.)
"M' lord, I've heard some of the ladies had been vicious in their words about you. When I first arrived from the houseparty several, who shall remain nameless, were still gossiping about your venture into the ballrooms. As I hadn't made your acquaintance yet I held my tongue. Now that we've met and I am under your protection, but not wishing to cause problems, if I hear anything untoward I shan't be quiet," Julia declared.
As you can tell from Lady Julia’s words she isn’t put off by the earl’s injury. This continues to puzzle Guy until he meets with her father, The Duke of Shamton. The duke suffers the same affliction, caused by the same enemy, French artillery, but in a different war.
Would I write another hero with an injury-yes. I believe in doing so adds strength to the character. 
About me-

I’ve been an avid reader ever since I was old enough to hold a red leather bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake in my lap.

So it only seemed natural at some point in my life I take up pen and paper to start writing. Over time my skills slightly improved which I attribute to my English teachers.

My breakthrough came about in the mid 1970’s when I read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened my eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots which kept me hooked. Of course, being a man, I had to keep my reading hidden from others as that wasn’t appropriate reading for men.

With this new found appreciation of the written word I took up other books and devoured them as a starving person would a plate of food. I them attempted to write again. I still wasn’t satisfied so I put it aside for years as other events entered my life.

Finally, in the early years of the new millennium I tried again to write and once again met with limited success. At least now I was able to get past the first page or two. Then, in 2006 a life changing event brought me back to my love, I took a job as a security officer. This allowed me plenty of time to read different genres.

My favourite was regency. As I poured through everyone I could get my hands on I knew this could be something I wanted to attempt.

Since 2012 when my debut regency romantic suspense released I was hooked and have, except for a few contemporaries, focused on this genre.

Since 2012 I’ve lived in central Texas. I’m also a member of Romance Writers of America and their local chapter.
Where you can find me-
Facebook Pages-         http://tinyurl.com/nresq5j
Twitter- @ldowns2966
Lindsay Downs-Romance Author- http://tinyurl.com/kvfz468
Amazon- http://tinyurl.com/ktem76c


  1. Hi Lindsay. I was glad to see your post today. I was beginning to think I'd broken the blog as no one had followed me until now! I've enjoyed meeting you today and learning about your work. I'e like to write a Regency myself but haven't gotten the courage to try one yet. I'm told Regency fans are hard critics and the author who gets any of the facts wrong are crucified. So I hesitate. But I do enjoy reading a well-written story in this genre and I'm sure your would be.

    1. Yes, regency readers can be "hard critics" but no harder really than in any other genre.

  2. I love to read about characters that aren't so perfect but still find their happily ever after. Flawed heroes and heroines are the best.

  3. Hi, Neighbor! I live in San Marcos--have for 42 years. I thought you were English and lived in the UK...why, I don't know. Now I discover you're just "up" the road from me.
    I have always said, "I don't read Regencys" but yes! I do. Mary Balogh is my very favorite and I have read some others. I looked you up on Amazon, and wow...your covers are gorgeous. I'm glad you didn't give up. I didn't begin writing until I was in my early 60s--no, don't try to guess my age! I'm glad to meet you--hope to see you around a little more. Keep writing.

    1. Hi Celia. Nice to meet you.
      A great many people think I'm from England. Not only that but with my name they think I'm a woman. Guess my parents always knew I'd write romance. I do have a awesome cover artist. She does both my self published books and the other publisher. I started writing in my late 50's but didn't switch to regency until much later.

  4. I think readers are always open to characters with disabilities as long as the affliction is period-appropriate.


    1. And his affliction required a great deal of research.

    2. I'm sure it did. I know how important it is to get the details right. :)

  5. I think writing a hero or heroine with a disability would be quite challenging, and I do imagine it would take a lot of research, especially for a historical. Characters who overcome disabilities are wonderful to read about. It's impossible not to cheer for them and rejoice in their happy outcome! Kudos to you!

  6. Thank you Vicki. Yes, he was fun to write and definitely does deserve a cheer. Not to mention Julia for not being frightened off. Sorry, that's all I'll say. You'll have to read the story to find out.

  7. Lindsay, I loved your snippet and I adore your heroine. I like injured heroes, too. I also like Regency stories and envy those of you who can write a mystery. Writing a mystery that can keep a reader guessing until the end and throw in a big surprise ending...well, I just wish I could do that.
    I wish you the very best.

    1. Thank you Sarah. Writing a mystery into a regency romantic story, for me at least and I suspect you also, helps to bring not only the story but characters to life.

  8. Lindsay, I write (and read) the same genres as you do. I'm really pleased to see a male writing in those genres. With regard to 'wounded' heroes, my tagline is "Wounded heroes and the women who cure them." I prefer to read about wounded men in all my reading, whether the wound be physical or mental. My books have contained heroes debunked by their fathers, shell-shock sufferers and sufferers of domestic trauma. It lends interest and gains reader empathy, I believe.

    1. It's always interesting when people find out I am a male writing this genre. As for wounded heroes/heroines I enjoyed writing this story and might, in the future have more. Then again, if you really dig deep into the characters you will find a wound of some sort.


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