A Hero’s and Heroine’s Top Five Traits by Olivia St. Vincent

CircleofDesire mm c[Reprint of my post on 08/15/2014 at the Romance Magicians blog; it was so much fun, I thought it worth repeating here.]

Carla’s busy for the next couple of weeks. So she wanted my help in writing her post, and I told her I would on one condition, that she write me into her latest book. Well, she did. Sort of. The tricky little bitch. She gave me a two-bit part in CIRCLE OF DISHONOR. And only a small mention in CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE. Talk about being gypped!

*sigh*

Okay, okay. I didn’t fine tune the agreement. I’ll know next time. Anyway, my name’s Olivia St. Vincent, and if the name is familiar, then thank you for reading my story in CIRCLE OF DESIRE and my cameos in CIRCLE OF DANGER, CIRCLE OF DECEPTION, and CIRCLE OF DISHONOR. Though the last one she wouldn’t even let me kiss ―

Olivia. Shut up and get to the post you promised to type for Carla.

That’s sugar britches, everyone. My hubby, Collin, who probably won’t live to see our third anniversary coming up this October.

Enough, Olivia!

*eyes roll*

He has a point. Now, the conversation we had with Carla the other day.

Carla: Olivia, what are the top five traits you look for in a hero?

Olivia: Well, let’s see. I never imagined falling for a man who talked in a near whisper most of the time. Though I must admit, when he talks, a room full of arguing operatives shuts up in seconds. That’s a man who can lead.

Carla: So number one would be a commanding voice.

Olivia: More like number five. The voice helps get my engine running, but it’s not number one.

Carla: Olivia, don’t forget this needs to stay PG. So no physical traits to be included in the list.

Olivia: I’m hurt. You don’t trust me?

Carla: Let’s say I know you too well.

Olivia: Very well then, let’s get to it. Trait number four: a hero must be comfortable with handling weapons of all types. You know how I love guns, especially sniper rifles, the more powerful the better.

Carla: So an expert in weaponry. I guess, when it comes to a trait, it would fall in the category of being protective. That would be number four. Three more to go.

Olivia: A hero must be honorable. He would never take advantage of those weaker.

Carla: Now we’re getting somewhere. I agree totally.  That would be number three. So you think Collin is honorable?

Olivia: Humph! Who said we’re talking about him? I thought you wanted to know about heroes.

Carla: Collin is certainly hero material. He could have killed you instead of bringing you into his organization, the OS.

Olivia: He could’ve tried.

Carla:  Olivia.

Olivia: Oh, okay. Yes. He handled it rather well that time I held the sniper rifle on him and accused him of betraying me to The Circle, though he did eventually hand me over to them.

Carla: You know he didn’t have a choice. Your ex-boss would’ve killed the two OS operatives he held hostage.

Olivia: Yeah, yeah. Don’t beat me over the head with it. Collin’s all noble and a bag of chips.

Carla: You sound almost jealous.

Olivia: Everyone thinks he’s God’s Gift to the universe and I’m evil incarnate. Wouldn’t you get tired of being painted like that?

Carla: I’m sorry. You’re right. Let’s continue on with our list.

Olivia:  All right. Number two. Hmm, this is getting more difficult. I can’t include body parts?

Carla: No. Physical. Traits.

Olivia: Don’t get snippy. What is it that you call a hero who’s a push over when tears are involved?

Carla:  Maybe you’re thinking compassionate.

Olivia: Sure. Compassionate. I like how it goes along with passionate.

Carla: Ooolivia.

Olivia: That’s not a body part. Geez. You’re no fun.

Carla: Let’s move on to number one. What’s the most important trait?

Olivia: Easy. He must be intelligent.

Carla: Smart. I agree.

Olivia: Collin was smart enough to fall in love with me.

Carla:  I thought we weren’t talking about Collin.

Olivia: Of course, the man’s got a big enough—

Carla: Oooliva!

Olivia: Now who’s being naughty with that dirty mind? Tsk, tsk, tsk! I was saying he had a big enough ego without me adding to it.

Carla: *sigh* Okay. Go over there while I talk with Collin.

Olivia: Fine. But don’t believe a word he says.

Carla: Shh! Behave, Olivia. Collin, thank you for being so patient. It’s only fair to ask you a similar question. What are the top five traits you look for in a heroine? Starting with number five.

Collin: Definitely confidence. A woman must know her own mind and be sure of her abilities.

Carla:  Much like Olivia, wouldn’t you say?  

Collin: She’s certainly confident in her skill with guns.

Carla: Why do I get a feeling you’re saying she isn’t always sure of herself?

Collin: At times, her bravado can be an act.

Carla: I see. She acts tough but is a softy inside.

Collin: That’s true though she hates to admit it. Number four is adaptable.

Carla: Uh, I’m not sure what you mean by that.

Collin: She understands the world isn’t black and white. There’s a lot of gray. Sometimes what you believe is true, isn’t.

Carla: Oh, okay. Like her believing The Circle were the good guys. That is, they were at one time, but had gone to the dark side you could say.

Collin: Yes.

Carla: I like how you’re up front about Olivia being the heroine you’re describing.

Collin: She can be when she sets her mind to it.

Olivia:  I heard that!

Carla: This is Collin’s turn! Go! Let us talk.

Collin: Number three is intelligence. A heroine needs not only brains but street smarts too.

Carla: I find that interesting. Would you like to speculate on why she placed it as number one for heroes?

Collin: No.

Carla: Would you at least explain the sexy grin you’re wearing?

Collin: No.

Carla: Alrighty then. Let’s move on to number two.

Collin: Number two is a heroine must be loyal.

Carla: Loyal? Do you want to explain that one?

Collin: A heroine will sacrifice herself for the greater good.

Carla: Oh, no, you didn’t. You didn’t pull the Buffy card.

Collin: I’m not sure of what you mean, but a heroine will stand by those she loves even when it might endanger herself.

Carla: Okay. You can have that one.

Collin: The top one is independence. There’s nothing sexier about a woman, than one who knows her own mind and doesn’t need to lean on others, including a man, to achieve her goals.

Carla: Wow! I love hearing a man say that. When a man isn’t threatened by a woman knowing her own mind … wow! That’s sexy.

Collin: I’m taken.

Olivia: You tell her!

Carla: Uh-huh. I wasn’t … I didn’t mean …. Oh, heck.

Olivia: Come here, sugar. So I can show you one of my goals.

Carla: Uh, anyway, thanks to Olivia and Collin for helping me out. Quit that, you two! For goodness sakes, get a room!

Okay. That’s all of the interview. I think it went well. Don’t tell Carla this, but I think she has a crush on my sweetie. Actually, all of the Circle guys. The woman can be such a slu ―

Olivia, you need to wrap it up now. 

Sure, sure. *leans closer* His voice has gotten all soft and heated now. That means he’s pissed or turned on or both. I do know I’m in trouble. See my knees shaking? NOT! Want to wrestle, lover boy? *laughter* Come over here and try to pin me to the floor!

Ladies and gentlemen, ignore my wife. Carla would like to warn you her books are very hot, and the world her people live in is violent. A world filled with assassins and betrayal. But two lovers can find a sanctuary from all the craziness by loving each other.

Ah! Isn’t he sweet? I do love that man. Now, drop those drawers and let’s have fun. What? What? Don’t glare at me. That’s as romantic as I can get.

*door slams*

Website: www.carlaswafford.com
Twitter:  @carlaswafford
Facebook: CarlaSwafford, Author
Amazon: Carla Swafford Books
Barnes & Noble: Carla Swafford Books

How Do You Know You’re A Writer?

Surprised WomanYou know you’re a writer when….

10. You have a reputation at your day job of being a workaholic. What other reason would you grumble and talk to yourself as you type on your computer during lunch?

9. You write your child’s excuse for an absence and the teacher begs for the last three chapters. She wants to know how it ends.

8. You stir up trouble wherever you go. A story is only as good as the conflict.

7.You get pulled over for a ticket and the officer finally tells you no more questions.

6. You hear some good juicy gossip and then start thinking of a way to use it in a story. “I swear, your honor, I changed their names.”

5. You keep paper and pen on the nightstand. Did you know your relatives think you have a kinky sex life because of it?

4. You eavesdrop in conversations, swearing it’s research. It has nothing to do with the deep spine-tingling voice or his five-foot wide shoulders.

3. You have problems handling small talk. You’re always looking for motivation in the dialogue.

2. You catch yourself wanting to takes notes while someone chews you out. “She bobbed her head as one hand waved in the air.…”

1.You critique your spouse…in bed. “But, baby, there has to be better reason for us to do it now.”

[reprint of my post from Romance Magicians’ blog 2/2/2011]

Website: www.carlaswafford.com
Twitter:  @carlaswafford
Facebook: CarlaSwafford, Author
Amazon: Carla Swafford Books
Barnes & Noble: Carla Swafford Books

Things That Turn You On

naked-heat-cover

To be Released February 21, 2017

The other day, I was re-watching a simple video (click here to go to my Facebook page to see it) I had made of a ice hockey netminder warming up before the second period of play. The way he skated back and forth to the beat of the music was so hypnotizing. I find myself going back and watching it over and over again.

Yeah, yeah, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know how much I love hockey, but still there’s nothing provocative about it. Sure, the guy is 6′ 5″ and in great shape, but with all the gear on, it’s hard to tell anything.

Other people watch it and don’t see anything of great interest. They maybe say, “cool,” but not much more.

Becoming fascinated by something that’s nothing really remarkable happens to me on occasion. *shrug*

Several years ago, it was a music video by Reba McEntire titled Cathy’s Clown (click here for music video). In the video, Bruce Boxleitner plays the mistreated lover/husband of Cathy’s. Reba’s character is a prostitute singing about her love for him despite his being emasculated by his wife. The part I love, besides the way Reda sings, is how Bruce’s character notices Reba’s intense stare and gives her a wary smile as if he’s unsure how to react to her attention. There’s something about that smile that got to me. I freaking watched that video over and over again. Even just hearing the song remains me of that scene.

There’s a Leann Rime song, Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way (click here for music video), that I loved so much, I wrote a whole book based on that song.  The book isn’t published yet, but I plan to find a home for it, or self-publish it one day.  Heck, I have another book I wrote from listening to I Shot The Sheriff by Eric Clapton (click here for music video). Same thing for it, find a home or self-publish one day.

Obviously, writing a book is how I get rid of that song replaying in my head.  HA!

At times, certain books and movies have done the same to me over the years. Thankfully, this craziness of watching or listening to something over and over again is spread out over a period of time and keeps me from worrying about my mental heath. *smirk*

So what is about these little things that fascinate me? I believe it sets my imagination on fire as you can tell with the songs. Makes me want to write that perfect scene with that moment or feeling I get from watching or listening to that certain part.

For that favorite book I love to read over and over again, until a new one takes its place, it encourages me to work harder at being a better writer. I want to write a book that someone wants to visit again and again.