Sunday, 6 April 2008

Of Men and Mr Potato head…

Am I likening men to Mr Potato Head? Sort of but stick with me as I have a point. The thing is, I have been thinking about this feedback I got from a fan. I still think it’s bizarre that I even have fans. Me? Seriously? Shucks…anyway I love reading the feedback they send – the good and the bad. I take it all under advisement as readers know what a book should and should not have. This one reader said she liked how my heroes were all ‘incorrigible’ in that bad boy way. Okay, I’ll admit, I like incorrigible, bordering on shameless men so I tend to write that kind of man. I did go through a phase where I had this thing for wild, Latin men but they’re exhausting…or probably more two
like forces exhaust each other. Anyway, I snapped out of that phase. Now I like quirky men. I’m not big on what someone looks like. I am attracted by what they say, how they laugh and the look in their eyes. Why do mention this? Am I shopping for a man? No. I mention it because I was thinking are all my heroes alike? The answer is probably yes. As a writer it’s hard to completely break free from your own beliefs, ideals, preferences etc. I know my heroine’s are all smart arses…can’t think why -but there it is. So preferences in men follow my own.

Anyway, my point is - what is the ideal man? I know - stop laughing – and I caught that eye roll…why I ask is that how do you write a man that is going to appeal to a broad cross section of women without coming across like every other hero? This is where the Mr Potato Head theory comes in. So, we start with a potato…I’m not fussy what sort – sebago or idaho – up to you – what do we put on the potato/hero to make him irresistible to women? I believe women always go for eyes first. There has to be that knowing, sexy look and sense of humour. But what colour? Blue, green…steely
grey? What the hell – give him hazel – that covers the spectrum. Hair? Does blond appeal most or the standard raven black? What about auburn? I know – give Mr Potato Head a mohawk and make it all the colours of the rainbow. This would also give him a quirky, bad boy edge. Nose? I know some women who swear that nose size, and not feet, is an indicator of penis size…not going there…so we’ll give potato boy an average snoz to avoid issue of inadequacy as heroes are never inadequate. Lips? Two I think – but thin, indicating an edge of bad boy or a thick suckable bottom lip indicating sensuousness? Do we give him piercings or tatts? How much can a potato stand before he becomes ridiculous in the quest for the perfect potato…er, man? And we haven’t even gotten the important stuff like feelings, thoughts and emotions. Do you stuff the man…I mean potato with extra cheese? Salt him? Pepper him? Slather him with sour cream? Mash him or fry his arse off in the deep fryer?

It’s bloody hard making up a man that is not real but you want to come across as real. Everyone sees something different in a man. So what do you want in your hero that will make him the one you want to fall in love with for a couple of hours? Writers –what do you do to make up a hero? And yeah, I reckon I do tend to fall back somewhat on my own preferences when it comes to potatoes… men I mean. What do
you think? Do you build a man using the Amarinda potato principle or do you write what you know? Can you ever go wrong with that? Is there a perfect man? I think not…only women are perfect. Okay, you’re right – not all…only 98% are.

Just finished reading….

Daffodil by Anny Cook – holy snapping ducks! What a book - funny, hot and amazingly I was agog at parts of it. I am rarely ever agog. Anny, I no longer believe your story about babies coming from cabbage patches now. Buy the book and get an education.

Rose Quartz by Sandra Cox – no one writes a sexy, lonesome, cowboy quite like Sandra. What I loved about this story is the contrast between the two main characters. This is what I would call an ‘aww’ book because you feel really nice at the end of it.

Contest you would be crazy not to enterAshley Ladd and Jacqueline Roth/Elyssa Edwards have excellent prizes up for grabs on their blogs. Hurry over and put your name down to win.

Lastly…what the?

I have a reminder in my email calendar thingy for today. It says ‘cone’. Yes, how very deep and meaningful…I just wonder what that means? Probably it’s an existential statement of something but stuffed if I know what. Ice cream cone? The cone of silence? Cone like breast ala Madonna in her Jean Paul Gautier phase? I generally like being cryptic but not with myself – then its just annoying….hmmm…cone…what does that mean? I just know someone is going to say something like “You have the cone right?” And I’m going to go “Well yes, like I could forget it…”

I suspect Anny and Kelly are not talking about potatoes so rush over and see what amazing words of information they have to impart.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


barbara huffert said...

Wow, you put that much into designing your characters? I'm impressed. Must be exhausting. Fortunately for me mine always appear in my mind fully formed and ready to get on with the telling of their tales.

Molly Daniels said...

One of the most helpful comments I ever received from a reader was the fact that both my made up men looked and sounded alike. And then I realized that halfway through the book, I had switched their names, but forgot to switch the personalities! So hopefully I'm doing better now...

And I agree; I tend to base my heroes on men I admire.

Anny Cook said...

Heh. I must be weird. I start with the hair and the rest follows that. I don't care about the size of the man parts...don't think I ever describe that as a matter of fact. Hmmm. After that, they're just who they are. I like them to have a sense of humor and a moral code.

Sandra Cox said...

Loved the analogy of men to potato heads. Only you Amarinda.
I want a hero. He can come in just about any package but he's got to be strong enough on the inside to take care of who and want is important to him and the hell with the rest.
Thanks for the honorable mention. Much appreciated. I really, really hate the word flog.Its just too descriptive for me, which I guess makes it a good word.

Phoenix said...

Hmm. I think it's an anagram C.O.N.E. for something odd like: Complete Outward Nocturnal Existentialism or a shopping list: Carrots, Onions, Nectarines, and Eclairs.

Anny Cook said...

Just wanted to say that I'm always happy to share my knowledge. Glad you liked the book.

Unknown said...

Ummm...what type of potato do I like in her heroes?

Most days I can't tell my hubby from a potato anymore, especially when he plops his arse in front of the tv and vegetates.

But if my Mr. Potato head were to go off into potato head land for real, or when I make up heroes, I like men who I can talk to easily, who make me laugh, who are responsible, who like to do fun things, not vegetate in front of the tv or spend the rest of their lives on the ball fields.

I tend to be attracted to tall men with nice voices, but looks don't matter. I do tend to prefer dark haired, dark-eyed men, but again, I've dated cute blonds with blue eyes, too. When I write a hero, I try to make them each different as everybody has their own idea of sexy. My grandpa had bright red hair and my grandma obviously married him and had 3 kids... :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for mention of my contest on your blog.

I've put up your entry. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm .. Ashley you hubby sounds a bit too similar to mine LOL! If he's not sitting in front of the tv/computer he's either in the pool, playing squash, on the football field.

Jacquéline Roth said...

My characters are "born" in my mind and slowly reveal themselves to me. Sometimes they make choices I definitely wouldn't agree with. My first hero, James, was definitely not your typical romance hero.