Saturday, April 25, 2009

All About Alphas 9 - Julie Cohen

It's the weekend so let's have a bit of a change of pace. Because knowledge of how to create and write a great Alpha hero is not confined just to category romance authors. This hero is a great character to have in a single title too.

Today's blogger is Julie Cohen who - in a nice segue from the Modern Heat authors of the past couple of days - started out writing Modern Extra (as the Modern Heat line was then called ) and now she writes for Little Black Dress.

Here's Julie's response when I asked her what her thoughts were on the Alpha hero:

An alpha male, to me, is a take-charge kind of guy. He's
powerful—maybe it's because he's wealthy or physically strong, but more often in
my books it's because he's very talented, very intelligent, very competent.
He's a natural leader, the centre of everything, fiercely protective of
his world. He often finds it difficult to trust, because that implies
losing control in some way. I love alpha male heroes, but when I write, I
find myself being attracted to the idea of an alpha in trouble—he's lost his
power for whatever reason, and because alphas identify themselves by their
power, my hero's sense of himself and the world is shaken. (Like Dominick
Steele, the failed alcoholic rock star in HONEY TRAP.) Or I'll put an
alpha in a situation that's completely new to him, and his usual straightforward
"my way or the highway" of dealing with things just doesn't work. My alpha
heroes' journey is always to understand what true power is—the cooperative power
of trust, and the authentic power of self-understanding.

In GIRL FROM MARS, I've got two alpha males, of different types: one,
the strong, gorgeous guy, is actually quite laid-back and alpha because of his
charm, wealth, and talent. The other is fiercely protective, brave,
willing to fight for everything he believes in—and is also a Trekkie computer
geek. Both of them are totally honourable, and they both have to learn the
value of compromise and trust.

I love Julie's comments about writing an alpha in trouble - there's that challenge again. The way that life jups up and bites this guy on the bose and forces him to find new ways of thinking, acting, new approaches that will deal with this situation because he finds that the old ones just won't do.

Julie's newest book out is Girl From Mars which is published in June.

I, Philomena Desdemona Brown, do solemnly swear to forsake all romantic relationships...

It's not like the vow, made by Fil and her three nerdy male best friends, seemed much of a big deal at the time. Frankly, Fil wouldn't know romance if it hit her in the face, and with her real love being her artist job at Girl from Mars, the comic whose heroine has never had a love interest, she doesn't exactly mind being relationship-free anyway.

Until her world is rocked to its core when one of her long-standing quartet and Girl from Mars herself both unexpectedly fall in love. Is it time to give in to temptation and finally fall in love?

1 comment:

Julie Cohen said...

Thank you for having me, Kate! This is a great discussion and I'm honoured to be part of it.

Quite honestly I was very surprised when I heard my editor calling any of my heroes "alpha"—it led me to do some thinking about the term and how it has very many different possibilities.


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