Bookish Question of the Week

BookishQu250Connecting with the characters is a crucial element for me when reading, and it’s the characters that usually make or break the story for me. I want characters that are authentic and that I can relate to. They don’t have to be like me or even share the same experiences, but there has to be something about them that makes me empathise with who they are or where they are at. I want to feel their emotions, good or bad, and be invested in their journey throughout the book.

Maybe it’s my personality, the fact I was a tomboy, or that most of my friends in my formative years were boys, but I often find myself connecting with the male characters more than the female ones! A few I’ve really enjoyed getting to know recently are:

John Lawson in Becky Wade’s True to You

Max Jacobs in Ronie Kendig’s Nightshade (I’m re-reading this for Ronie before she re-releases it and I’m remember why I loved this story so much the first time around…Max!)

Beau Hudson in Jenny B. Jones’ Engaged in Trouble

Paul Elliott in Katie Ganshert’s Life After

Marc-Paul Girard in Jocelyn Green’s The Mark of the King

Levi Harding in Nicole Deese’s The Promise of Rayne

I might add there are a number of male characters I would love to have included here, but they are currently the subject of INSPY Award judging so I’m not disclosing them here! In reminiscing over the men I have in this list, I realise they are all wrestling with their identity in some significant way – either because of a past experience, a moral/ethical dilemma, or their perception of how their main squeeze in the story views them. I’d love to say more on this but I don’t want to give away some of the best parts in these books!

I’ve also limited this to recent stories (otherwise we’d be here all day!), so no hassling me about Red Shirt or Garr, Jennifer Major 😉

And before anyone complains, it’s not the pretty face that gets me in 😉 I really love the male POV and understanding their strengths and their vulnerabilities, particularly the latter. It makes them real.

So, who’s with me?

Do you like your male characters to be more than a knight in shining armour? Who have been some male characters you have connected with?

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11 Responses to Bookish Question of the Week

  1. I am HONOURED!!!
    I think Becky did a great job with John Lawson. He really was a gentlemen, even when he was torn to shreds. And umm, REALLY swoony.
    One that really stood out was Charlie Lionheart from Joanne Bischof’s The Lady and the Lionheart. WHOA. Charlie was really complex, and so well drawn.

  2. I, too, seem to connect more with the male characters than female. I’ll blame it on growing up with two older brothers and having to be more ‘rough and tumble’ than ‘sugar and spice’. :-). Since we’re limiting it to recent stories, below are some that have stood out to me so far this year and the qualities I like about them and that speak to me:

    * Sir Bennet (Jody Hedlund’s “For Love and Honor”) – Willing to sacrifice his own wants/desires to protect his family and falls for a girl that’s an outcast.

    * Dylan Roberts (Terri Blackstock’s “If I’m Found”) – Believes in the heroine when no one else does and is willing to help her reveal the truth no matter the cost.

    * Adam Stone (Irene Hannon’s “Sandpiper Cove”) – Living the consequences of past choices, but is quick to help others and longs to be accepted as the new man he’s becoming.

    * Wulfrith brothers & brothers-in-laws (Tamara Leigh’s “Age of Faith” Series) – I’m re-reading all of these this year in anticipation of Sir Durand’s arrival and all of these men are strong and honorable, yet humble towards God and trying to become more like Him.

    • Nice choices, Amy :) I’m very keen to read Irene’s story because of Adam’s backstory. That drew me to the book immediately! Must get on to that.

      As for the Wulfrith’s, you know I’m with you but I didn’t want the post to be the longest ever written – haha!

  3. Rel, Interesting post. Some of us write with both male and female protagonists, and I’m often asked how I can do such a good job with the female leads in my novels. The answer, of course, is that my first reader (who is also my wife) keeps me straight in that respect.

  4. Marylin Furumasu

    There’s just so many to choose from! UGH! I like your list and I would add to it all the wonderful Wulfrith men from Tarama Leigh’s book!

  5. The measuring stick for all men honorable and worthy is . . . Garr Wulfrith!!! I mean really . . . medieval knight, chain-mail, sword, chain-mail, war horse, chain-mail, Wulfrith dagger, chain-mail, castles, chain-mail. . . . somebody stop me!!! But I do agree with you Jennifer M. that Charlie Lionheart was a sweetheart of a man.

  6. Max… *sigh* That was the first book of Ronie’s I ever read and part of what hooked me was how well she wrote his character. His struggle was so real! I love that whole series <3 And those Wulfriths, well, they're all on my mind at the moment as I gaze longingly at 'The Vexing' waiting for me on my Kindle!

    I will add Roseanna White's Brice Myerston from The Reluctant Duchess. Quite a different character from Max and the Wulfriths, but no less memorable to me.

    I heartily endorse all of the others on your list too. Even the one I haven't met yet (Beau Hudson). Based on the rest of your list, I'm sure I'll feel the same about him :-)

  7. Great question! There are three that come to mind rather quickly…

    Although Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade wasn’t a favorite read, main character Bo certainly was. BTW…I very much enjoyed all of her other novels.

    Carl Van Reichart from Jody Hedlund’s A Noble Groom and Robert Truax from The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray are also stand-out main male characters.

  8. Ooh! Some of my favorite male characters are Dane “Cardinal” Markowski from Ronie Kendig’s Talon, Colonel Cass McLinn from The Colonel’s Lady and Colonel Aric von Schmidt from Such a Time. One would almost think I have a thing for men involved in the military. But I really love a tortured or reformed bad-boy hero. Not in real life of course, but I can enjoy them to my heart’s content in book form. I agree with others’ choices of the Wulfrith men and Charlie Lionheart. Swoon!

  9. I’m going to have to pay more attention to this angle! I really like how Richard Mabry writes women’s parts seamlessly! I guess I should thank Kay! Great job Richard!

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