Monday, May 04, 2009

All About Alphas 16 - Annie West

So, we've looked at a range of authors who write for different lines, and covered the different 'shades' of writing an alpha male in those. But I have three more authors' comments to share with you before we finally round off the All About Alphas discussion. I also still have a couple of questions to deal with specifically - if the answers haven't already been provided by the other posts.

I started this series with some of the long established authors in the Modern/Presents line - the line best known for its alpha heroes. And now I'm goping to round the discussion off by posting the comments from three of the newer authors, writers who have come to the lin e in the last couple of years and who are building a following for themselves.

The first of these is Annie West. Llike me, Annie loves a strong alpha hero - and like me she also emphasises the need for integrity and that vital code of honour that makes a man a hero. Without that essential element, for me, he could be richer and more powerful than any other man in the world, gorgeous and sexy as sin - but would never be a hero. Annie, clearly thinks the same.

Kate, as you know, I adore writing alpha heroes, and reading them too.
What's not to like? The alpha stands out from other men. He'smore capable, more
successful than his peers, whether it be in making money, saving the planet or
the people he cares for. He's resourceful, commanding, capable, respected or
possibly feared by rivals, a leader, a courageous man who shines in a crisis. He
will be intelligent, able to perceive threats and to counter them, whether in a
boardroom manoeuvre or while facing down an aggressor. He knows what he wants
and goes after it, which can be so exciting when what he wants is a woman who's
determined to resist him! He's charismatic, virile and sexy.

But, for me none of that alone would work. I love exploring the heart of the alpha male. He has integrity and stands by what he believes in - he's a hero after all!
Sometimes his code of honour doesn't fit with those around him and he dares to
do things others might not, but he holds to his beliefs. He's passionately
protective of those he cares for or even those for whom he feels unwilling
responsibility. When the alpha hero meets the one right woman he's capable of
falling deeply, devastatingly, completely in love, even if he doesn't want to.
And when he does it's for life, with every fibre of his being.

I love reading and writing about these strong men who who can sweep a
woman off her feet but who can themselves be swept away by love.

Annie has a brand new alpha hero in her latest book out this month - Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife.

Forced to wed… Hard-hearted magnate Dario Parisi will reclaim his stolen birthright – even if it means forcing the granddaughter of his family’s sworn enemy to marry him. …and share his bed! Alissa Scott is certainly not the biddable wife Dario wanted – yet he’s consumed by red-hot desire for his unwilling bride. So when she tries to change the rules, he demands she honour all her vows. Finally he undresses exactly the kind of wife he wanted: a virgin bride!
But American readers should look out for her other title - The Desert King's Pregnant Bride in Presents Extra for April.


Anna Campbell said...

Annie, what a beautiful summation of what makes your heroes so utterly delicious. I love your take on alphas - I always use them as examples when people start talking about 'alpha pigs'.

By the way, if readers are looking for a treat, don't miss out on BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INNOCENT WIFE. It's a corker!

Fiona Lowe said...

Annie, I am forever in debt to you for your brilliant workshop on Alpahas in 2007. You opened my eyes and made every preconceived idea fall away. Thank you!

And as you know, I have a soft spot for your Sheiks:-)

Authorness said...

Hi, Annie and Kate. Annie, I always think of your gorgeous heroes as Alpha+ heroes. They have heart and soul, and the capacity to love unashamedly.

Looking forward to reading your latest!

~ Vanessa

Annie West said...

Hi Anna,

Now that's great praise! Thank you.

I hate the idea of writing an 'alpha pig' and find it sad when some people talk about alphas as being solely negative.

He's got to be a hero for me to want to read or write him, even if he takes a while to find the way to true love.


Annie West said...

Ah, Fiona, I know you like my sheikhs and I'm very proud to have converted you to reading them, believe me! As for the workshop on alphas - that was real fun. Anna C and I had such a good time, just chatting about the variety of alphas to choose from. So glad to hear you enjoyed it. Your own heroes have that strong responsible streak that really appeals to me.

Michelle Douglas said...

Annie, I love your definition of an alpha hero. Like Kate I need a sense of integrity in a hero - without it he's not a man I could love, or a man I could understand (or want) the heroine falling in love with either. Ooh, and you do these heroes so well!

Do you think part of their mystique is because they're complicated and they don't reveal themselves all at once?

Kate, this discussion has been fascinating! Am sending you a belated thanks for the discussion.

Annie West said...

Hi Vanessa. It's lovely to see you here. I'm so chuffed with your take on my heroes, especially the bit about them having the capacity to love unashamedly. That's a big plus in a hero, don't you think? I love it when a strong hero loves and admits he loves, and tells the world how he feels. Sigh. That's one of the great parts of reading romance, I think.

Hope you enjoy Alissa and Dario's story when you pick it up.

Annie West said...

Hi Michelle,

I suspect you're onto something there with your comment about complicated heroes who don't reveal themselves all at once. That hint of mystique really appeals to me. And sometimes of course they don't realise they're falling in love, do they? I really enjoy the way it can sometimes creep up on them!

Your own heroes are fascinating men, definitely with integrity. I've fallen for several of them now and am already looking forward to your next release.

Christine Wells said...

Annie and Anna, I would definitely have been in your alpha workshop if they hadn't made me give mine at the same time! I heard so many good things about it.

You do a wonderful job with your alpha heroes, Annie. The best part is always when they're brought to their knees by their love for the heroine. Sigh. The bigger they are, the harder they fall!

Anonymous said...

Kate - thanks so much for doing this Alpha-male-author-masterclass, it's such a treat, especially when you've missed reading most of it and catch up all in one go! And Annie - love your post, because I love your Alpha males, they are so memorable. And Anna is right, Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife was one of my favourite Alpha males... and books. Very hot indeed. And heart wrenching - perfect!
x Abby

Annie West said...

Christine, it was sad we had workshops on at the same time, wasn't it? I have to say it was great to work with people on a subject so dear to my heart - sexy, lovable heroes!

I think you've hit the nail on the head when you say the bigger they are the harder they fall. That's part of the joy of reading about extraordinary men. They don't just meekly submit to love, do they? The repercussions reverberate right through the book. Speaking of which, I'm eagerly awaiting your next alpha hero. Soon now...

Annie West said...

Hi Abby,

Isn't it great to have this continuing blog about alpha heroes? As you say, it's like a master class. I've loved reading everyone's take on this. So many common threads and so many individual tweaks. Great idea, Kate.

I'm so glad you enjoyed Alissa and Dario's story. Hot and heartwrenching sounds wonderful to me (G)!

PRiley said...

So much wonderful information to read. Thank you Kate for this master class on alphas. Annie-I haven't read your latest but hope to soon. I love your sheik stories. It's great learning from the masters of the craft.

Kate Walker said...

Anna - I totally agree. I am constantly defending the alpha male against that 'alpha pig' accusation. It's not being alpha that makes a man a pig but being a pig. and if he's a real pig then he's no hero for me.

Hello Fiona, Vanessa and Christine - thank you for dropping by. I wish I'd been at Annie's workshop too - I just know she'd have been great. I remember her asking for a contribution to that from - jus as I've loved her contribution here.

Michelle - I'm glad you've enjoyed the discussion. And yes - YES - to the need for that sesne of integrity in an alpha - we are talking heroes here. Some writers may believe in a suden 'conversion' - the transforming power of love - but I'm afraid it never quite convinces me without the awareness of that integrity from the start.

Hello Abby - lovely to 'see' you here. And of course your own contribution is up next. And I'm looking forward to reading Annie's latest as my reward when I've sent my 'tweaked' Greek off to my editor. Hopefuly today.

Patricia - I'm so glad that you've foud a lot to help and interest you here

And of course Annie - thank you so much for a great contribution

Annie West said...

PRiley, thank you! It's great to hear you enjoy my sheikhs. I hope when you read my next (non-sheikh) you have fun with that too. I fall for each of my heroes in turn. What - me, fickle?

Annie West said...

Kate, thanks for having me to visit. It's been lovely and I feel rather special being included with all these great writers.

Excellent news that you're tweaking your Greek hero ready to send off. Another book on its way...

Yes, Kate, I remember you being very generous in sharing your expertise on heroes when Anna and I put that workshop material together. The feedback we had from participants was fantastic!


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