When I first pitched Simple Man I was told the title was "not sexy" and almost changed it to Unsung Hero, but the song Simple Man spoke to me and that was what I was going for so I kept it. Then I was told Shane was simply "unredeemable". You see, he's very irresponsible in the beginning. He's also selfish and burdened by financial problems and the like. He isn't the typical "book boyfriend". His priorities are beer, making sure no one smokes his stash, and getting laid. He thinks like a man. Us women like to fantasize about our heroes being perfect, but real men aren't. They aren't built like gods, they can't last forever, and they hardly say what we expect or hope. Yet, we direct our real lives around love, love for the real man. My characters, not just in Simple Man, but in other books I've written, have a tendency to be "real". My latest bestseller (SKIN) is about an obese woman who hates herself so much she can't recognize genuine love when it's staring her in the face. I've had more success with my "real" characters than my "fantasy" ones and my readers now look for them in my work.
I watched men and thought long and hard about what makes them tick, what motivates them to grow and mature. There is a need to work, to provide, to be self sufficient. Where romance seems to motivate females, men are directed by the simple power of pride. The male ego seems to be the driving force in all decisions, yet there are hidden vulnerabilities woman may not see or want to see.
Simple Man is a romance and as such, I played on those insecurities. Is he making enough money? When he's laid off is she judging him? His reluctance to get government assistance vs. his need to keep his home, which is a meager trailer. She has a nice house and he's afraid to go inside because it will kill his mood. The thing is... there's now a child involved and Shane must step up and swallow his pride in a lot of ways to be the hero he needs to be for his defenseless nephew. But when his happiness is threatened, all his attempts and little successes come tumbling down and he breaks in a way.
I think it is a truly realistic story and one readers (so far) seem to really enjoy. I'm attaching a blurb and excerpt here for you to look at and if you have any other questions I'd be happy to talk some more. Thanks!
Here's the book trailer if you want to take a look:
Called to Order
Calling for a Miracle
All for You
To Catch a Wolfe