Guest blogger: Louise Roberts
Where does one begin? Although each story differs in period and circumstance, the bottom line is more or less the same: hero and heroine fall in love. They encounter conflict of one sort or another that they will eventually overcome and they will reach a happy-ever-after ending.
But who is my hero? What does he look like? What are his characteristics? What is his history?
Well that certainly does depend on the story … although more often than not he is a strong person both in physical appearance and personality. He might start off being selfish, perhaps even arrogant due to personal circumstance or even his upbringing. These traits may be superficial however that only surface amidst other men, particularly if the hero is trying to disguise his true feelings. He may act as though uncaring or cold to save face amongst peers, whether for self-preservation, where he has to be seen a hard person to enable him to survive in the world that he dwells.
As with all nice love stories though, my hero will be eventually tamed by the heroine. She will draw out his true nature and expose his other hidden qualities to show the world who he really is behind his facade.
My hero is kind, considerate and understanding. He is protective of those he loves and he will never shy away from responsibility.
In my most recent story, Letter from a Stranger, my hero is Bill Brooks. Born in Holloway, North London on 20 March 1918 he is a tall, blond-haired, well-built young man by the time war was declared in September 1939. He had been apprenticed to his father, an electrician by trade, since leaving school at the age of fourteen. Bill is the eldest of ten living siblings. The next eldest, a sister, May stepped in to the role of ‘mum’ when their own mother had died at the young age of fifty-six. When war is declared, Bill, a patriotic individual, volunteers and joins the army. When he is evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk, France he serves as an anti-aircraft gunner on the south coast of England at the height of the blitz. During a period of six months from November 1940 to April 1941 Bill meets and falls in love with Jean White. When he is set to depart for foreign shores his love for his family strengthens his resolve to see it through so he can return to them all.
Letter from a Stranger published as an ebook by Luminosity Publishing, UK is the first book of a series of romance stories set in wartime. I have three more planned over the next eighteen months or so.
My current work in progress however is the third book in The Sword and the Rose series. The setting of these stories is Spain during the early part of the seventeenth century.
The Sword and the Rose* is the first book in the series and my hero … or should I say heroes, are twin brothers, Iago and Ferdinando. To be precise Ferdinando is the main character, but because his twin has the stronger of the two personalities Iago is easily confused to be the main character.
I would be the first to confess that as I was writing the novel I fell in love with Iago myself; so much so that I wrote the second book in the series, Embrace Amidst Orange Blossoms* just for him. Iago is tall, muscular, dark haired, brown-eyed, olive skinned. An excellent horseman, skilled in swordsmanship and soldiery—in short a ‘hunk’ to swoon over …
In my current story Iago and Ferdinando are not the principal characters. Passionate Harvest is a romance story in which Joquim Alvares who is wine master on the estates belonging to Iago and Ferdinando’s family. As with all my heroes Joquim too is good-looking, strong, hard-working, considerate, and conscientious. All the best qualities a person can have. Perhaps a trifle unrealistic as nobody is truly perfect, but there are enough villains in the world without making the hero of a story anything less than perfect … how else would I have you fall in love with my hero?
At the outbreak of the Second World War, in Britain, women were encouraged to write letters to the men on the front line. For Jean White this would lead to a friendship with Bill Brooks, an anti-aircraft gunner with the Royal Artillery serving on the south coast of England at the height of the Blitz.
As German aircraft drop their deadly payloads over London and devastate most of southern England, the relationship between Jean and Bill blossoms. Through their correspondence, at first and then when they finally meet. It’s as though the world has stood still. A quiet weekend away from London strengthens their bond and romance blissfully flourishes.
As the war intensifies and Bill’s impending departure to foreign shores looms ever closer their future together seems insecure, until a few days before his departure when Bill proposes marriage. Will Jean accept the proposal or will doubt keep them apart?
Letter from a Stranger is available from Luminosity Publishing
Note: *Books 1 and 2 of the Sword and the Rose Series were until 1 September 2015 published through Secret Cravings Publishing, USA. Unfortunately that company filed for bankruptcy due to the financial crisis. Both books are currently with another publisher for consideration.
Louise Roberts grew up and was educated in London, England and has always held a passion for history and English Literature. She has been writing since her teenage years, but only began writing fiction novels since the 1990’s having been inspired by her mother, Viviane Elisabeth Borg, who is a published author. In 1988 she immigrated to Sydney, Australia and presently lives with her family in the northern bushland suburb of Berowra, which is located a few miles south of the Hawkesbury River. She is currently a member of Romance Writers of Australia; Australian Romance Readers Association; and Australian Society of Authors.
Connect with the Louise online here.