Crafting Heroes by Nancy Brophy

My husband and I are both on our second (and final—trust me!) marriage. We vowed, prior to saying ‘I do’, that we would not end in divorce. We did not, I should note, rule out a tragic drive-by shooting or a suspicious accident.

We love being married. We love being married to each other. Just not every day.

Amazingly enough—to all those who said it would never work—we have outlasted most of the betting pool as we stare 20 years of togetherness in the face.

We do not have a lot of rules at our house. But the one my husband clings adamantly to is this: I can no longer date. When you haven’t dated for a couple of decades, it is difficult to remember the details.

1) The Labor Day panic because New Year’s Eve was still open.

2) Thirty minutes into a blind date and knowing the outcome.

3) In a party of 100 eligible men, you attract the one man who’s a professional stalker.

4) The nervous small talk—the dreaded silences—the sexual dance of will-we or won’t-we?

5) The ex-related rant fueled by a third glass of wine, third martini or third beer depending on the guy’s pedigree.

6) The elaborate contortions required to meet a new man in public. The insistence upon a wing-woman (double-date) and an agreed safe-word for “this sucker’s over. Let’s get out of here.”

7) Finding a guy who looks good on paper only to discover he’s a serial killer. (Even Ted Bundy had a girlfriend)

8) How every family event from weddings to funerals include loving comments such as “still not married?” or “have I got a guy for you.”  

9) Thinking a date is going well until he offers to show you that penis tattoo he got in prison.

10) Agreeing to an evening out because he can fix your car.

I guess I do remember some of the fun things about dating. However, I write romance. And romance is about finding THE ONE and so we write about men who don’t exist. They are gorgeous, financially secure, perfect lovers and always say the right thing.

In Caught In The Middle, my hero doesn’t have sex with the drunk heroine because she believes in true love, and he knows she’ll regret it in the morning. Every man who has ever read this scene says exactly the same thing. “Guys don’t behave like that.” Or the abbreviated version. “Bull s**t.”  It is not a guy’s book.

I wrote Hell On the Heart because I wanted the hero not to be the pretty one. The villain has that role. His features are perfect, he flashes cash, has a limo and driver. He’s the guy with the great resume. He’s also the one who seduces women into coming home with him, never to be seen again.

Sherrilyn Kenyon, award-winning author said, “readers can like your heroine but they’ve got to love your hero.” In reality, I wouldn’t want a dominating alpha male, but my fantasy self does. She wants a man with all the answers who’s earned a gold medal in the sexual Olympics and who never worries about 401k’s or house payments or whose turn it is to take out the trash.

In reality, I love my husband and the way he can make me laugh when I’m really angry. And how, when I least expect it, he can say the perfect thing. But one last word of caution, if I ever take a swan-dive off a high building, investigate. Investigate. Investigate.


Posted on July 29, 2011, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. You are so amusing, Nancy. Your books must be one chuckle after another.


  2. /me has comedy writing envy.

    Why can’t I write funny????


  3. You never fail to make me laugh! You’re right, we’re all looking for that perfect mate, that one person to come home to after a horrible day at work and have someone to vent to. It’s also why we right fiction. If I was writing the perfect man, he would have said ‘Honey I booked a day at the spy for you’.

    We are not perfect beings, but sometimes … we meet that just-right-for-us person that melts our heart with a perfectly-timed ‘I washed and vacuumed out the car for you, since you said you didn’t have time’. And yes, that happened to me. Reminded me why I love my hubby so much.

    But if he disappears mysteriously, don’t worry, he just moved to Alaska to live off the land


    No, don’t check that new flower garden behind the house. 😀


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