Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Diane Craver Guest Blogs about Inspiration for her Heroes

Where I Get My Inspiration For My Heroes

When I post a hottie of the week for my blog, I enjoy reading the comments and of course, I love sharing my favorite hotties. Some of them have been the inspiration for my male characters in my romances.

The first one to come to my mind is Matthew McConaughey. He was one of my early blog hotties and was the inspiration for one of my characters in my newest release Whitney in Charge. One of Whitney's romantic interests is Jack Hensley. Whitney's older sister Regan tries to hook her up with Jack by saying how he looks like Matthew McConaughey. Both Jack and Matthew share light brown hair with a bit of wave to it, and sexy blue eyes. Jack is taller than Matthew but both have a rangy handsomeness.

David Conrad inspired the looks of Dr. Seth Whitman in my upcoming (January release) inspirational romance, Marrying Mallory. In fact, I'm drooling right now just thinking about my former blog hottie. If you don't recognize the name (come on, you have to know drop-dead gorgeous Conrad), he's on Ghost Whisperer and plays Melinda's husband. I seem to have a lot of heroes with black hair. Ben Spencer, another guy Whitney dates, and Steve Collins in Never the Same have black hair, too. Hmm…wonder if it's because my husband has black hair and that's why I'm drawn to that hair color for a lot of my male characters.

My hottie in my inspirational romance, No Greater Loss, is Luke Brunsman. He's not based on a movie star, but on my husband Tom. Both men are good-looking, spiritual, caring, strong, loving, and funny.

Although I've never made collages for my books, I know some authors use them for inspiration while writing the physical description of their characters, setting, and stories. One author said that when she makes the collages, she has few revisions. Even though readers have told me how real my characters are to them, I'm considering making a collage for my next book. I think this will be a great tool for inspiration whether I'm gazing at a hot guy picture for my main male character or useful in keeping focused on the story line.

As a reader, what do you like in your hero? Are there any special traits or a certain physical appearance you prefer?

I hope you buy my ebook, Whitney in Charge because reading it will provide escapism into another world where two hot guys are crazy about the very desirable Whitney. Believe me, Jack Hensley and Ben Spencer come to life on the pages while they pursue Whitney.


Whitney Benson is tired of her older sisters’ attempts to fix her up with every single male they meet. Shannon and Regan cross the line when they arrange for her to go skydiving with the simple excuse that more guys like to float in the air than women. Whitney needs to find something else to keep them busy.

When she suggests that the three of them start a family business, the fun begins in their small town. And she thought being a TV producer in New York had been exciting.

Without going skydiving, Whitney meets two eligible bachelors, Jack and Ben, who constantly battle for her affection. Which one will she choose? Both men make Whitney realize, even a heart shattered by her husband’s death, can once again be made whole.

But did she have to fall off a cliff to learn that?


When the fireworks went off to celebrate a Reds homerun above the Ohio Rive, the crowd roared and clapped. Whitney let herself be caught up in the enthusiasm, jumping up from her seat to clap and whoop, cupping her palms around her mouth. She sat down, laughing, enjoying herself more than she had in a long time. When Jack had invited Whitney to go to a baseball game on Wednesday, she’d hesitated even though she loved going to the stadium. They’d just gone out Saturday night. She wanted to take things slow and easy. But, in the end, she’d said yes.

And she was so glad she did.

Who was she kidding? She wanted to wrap her arms around him and kiss him until neither one of them could think or breathe. But she couldn’t smother his lips with hers during a baseball game. She took a quick glance at Jack. Regan was right – he did look a lot like Matthew McConaughey. She wondered if McConaughey also loved baseball.

Jack tugged on her visor. “Hey, you look pretty cute in this cap.”

She took a bite of her nachos and cheese. “I like the eating part a lot at games.”

Jack glanced at the boy sitting a couple rows in front of them munching on a box of popcorn. The delicious aroma of popcorn and butter drifted up to them. “I might have to buy popcorn, too.”

“Please help me eat the nachos first.”

He dipped a chip in the cheese, popping it in his mouth. He smacked his fingertips between his lips, licking off the melted cheese and salt. “I wish you hadn’t paid for the beer.”

“You bought the tickets. I wanted to pay for something.” She licked warm cheese off her finger. “So did you rescue any cliff climbers today?”

“Nope. I only rescue beautiful women on Mondays.”

“I’ll have to remember that. Since the pool’s open now and if it’s not too cold, we can go swimming after the game.” Why did she blurt that invitation out to him? Could she handle him if he got too intimate? She hated taking a step forward, then a step back again, but she was just confused about what she wanted from Jack.

“I’ll have to go home to get my trunks first.”

“I have several suits in different sizes.”

Jack smiled at her. “Do you collect trunks from your guests?”

She laughed. “No. Unless my mom did. People used to drop in a lot, and she’d invite them to go swimming with us. They didn’t have their suits. Mom bought a few girls’ suits and women’s and men’s in different sizes.”

“Bases are loaded. Bring them home.” Jack patted her knee. “Isn’t this fun? I love the Reds.”

“You’re right. This is fun. I’m glad you─”

“Hey, the kissing cam’s on us.” Jack wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close, covering her mouth with his.

She’d forgotten how they had a kissing camera to zero in on couples and when it happened, the pair usually waved or kissed each other.

She enjoyed kissing Jack back and hated it when he stopped. “You didn’t need to stop because the camera’s no longer on us.”

“I don’t want to spoil you.”

It occurred to her why he wanted her to switch T-shirts before the game. “You gave me a Reds’ t-shirt to wear to increase our chances of getting on the kissing cam.”

He shrugged. “Ben already got you on TV when you fell. I had to get you on TV again. I didn’t want you to think I’m a slacker here. And I managed it without you falling out of your seat.”

“We can’t have you being a slacker.” She glanced down at her red shirt. “Do I get to keep this shirt?”

“Only if you get me a baseball cap like yours?”

“This one was my dad’s, but it’s a deal.”


Diane Craver said...

Hi Nicole,
Thank you so much for hosting me today. It's great being here with another Desert Breeze author! We have the best publisher.

I'll be back later today. I'm looking forward to your comments!

Dina said...

I like your inspiration ideas, next time I read your books, I'll try to think of which one it may be. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Diane, I'm so glad to host a fellow Desert Breeze author! You're welcome here any time.

Denise Patrick said...

Fun post, Diane. I'm afraid, though, that it was wasted on me. I rarely watch TV and I haven't been to a movie in so long, I have no idea who's hot and who's not.

Carol North said...

Hi Diane:
Great idea for a source of heroes. I'll be watching TV more often. Might even try making a collage for the book I'm just starting.

Diane Craver said...

Sounds good to me. :)
Thanks for visiting this blog and mine today!

Diane Craver said...

That's okay - you can use your imagination instead. I probably watch too much TV. :)

Diane Craver said...

Hi Carol,
I have heard authors swear by the collages they make helping them with writing their books. I want to get busy and make one when I decide which project is next. Can't make up my mind.

Judy said...

Very interesting post. I often wondered how a writer decides what a character looks like. I am sure everyone does it somewhat different, but I like your way. My only problem would be the men characters would all come out TALL DARK AND HANDSOME:):)

Edgy Inspirational Author said...

Hey, I love this segment you published! Looks like a fun read. :)

Diane Craver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane Craver said...

Hi Judy,
Will try again (deleted previous comment)- typing while one daughter is talking to me and another one is singing H.S. Musical or trying to sing it. :) I should be used to the noise level here.

I seem to prefer tall, dark and handsome, too, for my heroes! I do vary it some though.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Michelle,
Great to see you here! I had fun writing about Whitney and her sisters.

Asylumgirl said...

Oh boy, I sure do love Matthew McConaughey. Any character that looks like him is one I could snuggle up to. LOL


Diane Craver said...

Hi Deidre,

I know - Matthew McConaughey is so cute! Did you see his last movie with Jennifer Gardner? Ghosts of Girlfriends Past - I think was the title.

Nancy G said...

Its interesting to see where writers get their inspiration for certain characters. I love to read a book and imagine my favorites in certain roles, then find out if the writer was thinking of the same person.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Nancy,
I'm glad you shared how you imagine the characters while you read. I like hearing a reader's viewpoint.

Martha Eskuchen said...

Hi Diane - this book does sound good! I like rugged and honest heros - and ones who aren't too full of themselves!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Wow, look at all the wonderful comments, Diane! Your post really got people talking about heroes and their looks, always a hot topic. Congrats on your release! Wishing you many, many sales. Thank you for guest blogging today!

Diane Craver said...

Hi Martha,

Thank you! Great comments - I like heroes who aren't conceited, too!

Diane Craver said...


It's been so much fun being at your blog. Thank you for hosting me. I want to have you at my blog sometime soon.

Deb said...

Diane, I've never really tried to visualize my heroes in such a concrete fashion. Think I'll give it a go!

I keep posting on my blog and elsewhere that I'm ready for a hero who is NOT tall, hunky and brunet--but I keep writing ones who are at least tall and hunky, LOL. Is it time to put my writing-money where my mouth is?

Diane Craver said...

Hi Deb,

I have noticed that lots of cute guys are actually short - so go for it. You can write a hero who's not tall and not a hunk. :)

Thanks for your comments! I'll visit your blog sometime.