F-bombs and Boobs and Himbos… Oh Myyyyy!
Hi All! Hope everyone recovered well from their long Memorial Day weekend and are weathering the short workweek well. (How’s that for alliteration? )
One of the questions I get from readers of my Seven Seals Series is how do I, as a female writer, get inside the heads of my male protagonists. And the answer is… quite easily. Sometimes. Other times it’s rather like trying to nail gelatin to a tree.
I always try to keep in mind that humans are humans, no matter the gender and we all share similar goals and wants and needs in life. But it also requires an understanding of the fundamental differences between the sexes. At the risk of showing my age, it seems men really are from Mars and women are from Venus when it comes to how they gather and share information. Men tend to be more tactile, more visual, while women talk. We communicate. About everything.
When I first started writing, I fell into a trap I find many new writers do when trying to write from the perspective of the sex opposite sex. My male characters ended up neck deep in the “guy-talk” crater—you know, where every other word is an f-bomb or a twitch of their junk or a lust-filled glance.
Please don’t get me wrong. I love a good f-bomb as much as the next person and stiffening body parts most definitely have their place. But in my case, I was using them as a crutch instead of getting into the real core of what was making my characters do the things they do.
My men were walking around like that annoying guy at the gym who divides his time between ogling the women and drooling over his own reflection. Not exactly bestseller material.
This continued until I took an online class with an agent who reviewed the first ten pages of my then-current manuscript and kindly but firmly told me to stop it. She informed me I was writing about warriors who were hundreds, if not thousands of years old, not a group of Soprano rejects on a three-day bender. Profanity is fine, but if every other word is a four-letter nuclear warhead, they lose the punch they’re intended to have.
Same thing with raging hormones.
Guys happily admit that they think about sex at least twenty times a day. But if someone is holding a loaded gun to their head with an itchy finger ready to pull the trigger, I doubt the hero’s going to be contemplating the fullness of the heroine’s breasts. Let’s be honest.
First they’ll disarm the weapon and eliminate the bad guy, and then they’ll stare at her boobs.
So, in conclusion, my answer is to keep it real.
My Scion warriors are one tough bunch of mofos, but they each also have their own personalities, their own pasts and pain and perspectives to draw from. With plenty of hot, steamy sex and f-bombs to go around too, of course… 😉
**GIVEAWAY** Traci is graciously giving away one e-copy of Seal Of Surrender to a random commenter here! Giveaway open internationally until June 7th @ 11:59pm EST with the winner announced shortly after
Type: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Love, like War, will always find a way…
War has shaped every aspect of Irena Soldan’s life—her childhood, her work, her DNA. Unaware she is the genetic host of the second Seal of the Apocalypse, Irena battles for those who cannot fight for themselves. As a top human-rights operative for The Omega Consortium, her company provides both the financial backing required to undertake her task and a charismatic, publicity-loving boss to promote her cause. Life proceeds on plan for Irena until a mysterious, sexy stranger arrives claiming to be her guardian and Irena’s path takes a sudden, inauspicious turn for both the erotic and the lethal.
Chago has always been the quiet one amongst his warrior Scion brethren—the brooding, Spanish combat expert with a hidden soft side. A member of Divinity’s covert special forces, he’s protected humanity for more than a millennium. Still, his greatest joy comes not from the battlefield, but from tending the cattle herd on his remote Montana ranch.
Irena’s new assignment takes her straight to the heart of a bloody civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa and Chago’s mission demands he follow. Expecting a seething cauldron of female whoop-ass, he instead discovers a harbinger of peace amidst a world of ever-increasing violence. The explosively tense situation is further magnified by the cunning Omega Consortium leader, his ambiguous personal agenda, and an ancient foe whose audacious rise to power threatens the world’s very existence.
Despite the cataclysmic circumstances, an undeniable attraction ignites between Chago and Irena. Together, they must unravel the ancient puzzle of the Seals and discover her employer’s ulterior plans before they both become casualties of War. Soon, both are forced to choose between a past riddled with old torments or risk everything they treasure on a love capable of defeating evil incarnate.
Kagan reclined against a streetlight across from The G Spot, hidden in shadow while observing the line now snaking down the block. Brutal frigid air smacked him in the face and he huddled inside his wool coat. For all its appeal, the Windy City was too far on the polar side for his taste. A century living in the remote Tuscan countryside had transformed the ancient Latin of his mortal Roman life into a fluent tide of Italian and rekindled his love of the sun and sand and heat. Chicago lacked all of the above. Here chill invaded his bones and people struggled with his accent. Kagan was now a man without a country, without a home. He ignored the slow burn of loneliness eating at his gut and flipped up the collar of his coat, squinting through watery eyes at the gathered.
The weather didn’t seem to affect the odd assortment of people waiting to enter the non-descript club attached to the liquor store. Mini-skirted women with no coats at all flirted with the bouncer and guys in the latest designer hip-hop wear talked on their cell phones. Goth rockers waited next to men in suits who’d finished up a hard day on the financial markets while the ever-present college horde laughed and carried on, out to party.
Kagan shuffled to increase his circulation and surveyed his target. Whatever he’d expected, Mira Herald wasn’t it. Though difficult to see exact details, her legs dangling high off the ground from atop the not so lofty perch of her stool hinted at a petite frame. Otherwise the girl remained a complete mystery, well barricaded within her voluminous outfit. No, voluminous was too polite a description. The mass of fabric surrounding her was nothing short of a circus-tent monstrosity — all fun-house shapes and baggy clown flounces. Except for her feet. The shapeless jeans were shoved deep inside a pair of boots more inclined to kick some ass than walk away.
Suspicion niggled as he eyed her footwear. This target may not prove as easy to secure as he’d first anticipated. Merda! Kagan’s gloved hands bunched and the wind howled. The fact he’d practically begged for a summons, any summons, did nothing to improve his temper. Divinity’s words echoed in his head. The most important summons of your career. Kagan snorted, kicking ice chunks down the curb with his frozen toes. Not likely.
A gust caught the edge of his target’s craterous hood and tipped it backward. Chestnut curls tumbled out in riotous chaos. The long strands blew wild, and his mind dredged up a line from a favorite Yeats poem: Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams. Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round. Kagan shook his head and snorted. Cristo! He was getting senile. A strange tingle drifted through his gut and his lips pursed.
Not the buzz of another immortal. Something different. Odd.
Traci is the author of paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.
Traci is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her stories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of Seal of Destiny won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.
Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series and a new futuristic suspense series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.