Saturday, May 02, 2009

All About Alphas 15 - Kate Hardy Again but this time as a Medical writer

The final Mills & Boon romance line we need to look at is the Medical romance. Here again, the alpha male appears - and if you've forgotten what the editors said about the Medical hero then go back and take a look at that checklist. In a Medical there is plenty of scope for the powerful, proactive hero who is shwn at his very best in an emergency situation (there's that rising to the challenge again), a strong code of ethics, and of course he can - and should - show the softer side of an alpha personality when it's needed in his bedside manner etc.

So today we welcome back Kate Hardy, but this time she's wearing her Medical author hat and she's here to talk about the alpha male in Medicals and how she writes them.

The Medical Alpha
First off, the Alpha Male in Medicals is usually
senior (I have broken this rule and written one or two who are junior to the
heroine – but there has to be a very good reason for it, which usually underpins
one of his emotional conflicts). He doesn’t actually have to be a doctor – he
could be a nurse (hmm… I haven’t done a male nurse yet), or a firefighter, or a
police officer, or a vet; but he’ll be senior in his profession and, if he’s not
a medic, he’ll need to work closely with a medic. (I had great fun turning that
idea round and making my heroine the firefighter and the hero the medic, in The
Firefighter’s FiancĂ© …)

For years, I argued that I don’t write alphas
because my Medical heroes have softer edges than say a businessman alpha. Then
my editor pointed out that a Medical alpha needs to have a great bedside manner
and be compassionate AS WELL AS being in control of the situation, because what
he does makes the difference between life and death; he’s a man of action, and
he goes the extra mile to save a life. In a situation where a patient only has a
slim chance, he might be the only one capable of performing the high-risk
operation that can save the patient. And he’ll do it, even if it’s at a personal
cost. (I made my editor and my agent cry when Jake operates on Vicky in His
Honourable Surgeon.)

He’s dedicated to his work, and quite often my hero
chooses his specialty because of his conflict – maybe he’s lost someone, such as
Rhys in The Children’s Doctor’s Special Proposal becoming a paediatrician
because his baby sister died, and Theo in The Greek Doctor’s New Year Baby is an
obstetrician because his mother died as a result of childbirth. He has high
standards and he expects everyone else to be the same, putting the patient first
– and if they don’t, he’ll push to see if it’s inexperience or incompetence.
He’ll be kind and teach the inexperienced, but he’ll expect them to pay
attention; the incompetent however will go straight away because he will NOT put
his patients at risk. Everyone respects him in his field… though sometimes (as
with Charlie in The Millionaire Boss’s Reluctant Mistress, aka Her Celebrity
Surgeon) he has to fight against other people’s prejudices to prove himself,
because of his background. In Charlie’s case, he’s a baron – and the heroine’s
had a rough time from ‘posh’ docs during medical school. She thinks he got his
job because of his name, not his ability… and then she has to rely on him and
discovers the truth.

In short, he’s the fantasy doctor. Kind,
compassionate, highly skilled and with a bedside manner that makes everyone in
the hospital fall in love with him. Plus he has a deep, deep conflict that only
the heroine can help him resolve

Kate's latest Medical is The Children's Doctor's Special Proposal - published in March UK/April Australia

A special bride for a special doctor
New consultant paediatrician Rhys Morgan is everything the hospital grapevine promised: piercing blue eyes, perfect physique and a mysteriously guarded manner. He is also Katrina's boss but after a previous relationship with a colleague truly dented her confidence, she thinks she's safe from Rhys's charms. Until they discover a shared commitment to their little patients - and a heartfelt passion for each other.

For Rhys, Katrina is nothing short of a miracle. He has never believed in happy families, yet Katrina opens his eyes to what love and family really means - and her courage and vulnerability create a fierce desire to protect her. Enough, perhaps, to make Rhys risk his heart with the most special proposal of all...

Now we've covered all the Mills & Boon Romance lines - and some single titles - but I still have a few more authors who will givce you their slant on writing alpha heroes. And as the alpha is most often talked about in terns of theModern Romance/Presents line, then I have three of the newer Modern/Presents authors posting in the next couple of days.

1 comment:

Michelle Styles said...

Yes, I agree you write alphas in Medical. In fact, you write wonderfully caring alphas.
Your sr ed said yesterday -- all of M&B's heros are alphas.


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