When I started writing, most of my heroes were very beta. Home and family was of utmost importance to them. Gabe Cooper from Hot Shot was my first alpha hero, and he was quite the challenge – how to make him a sympathetic man instead of a jerk.

Lately my heroes are all take-charge guys, leaders, men who don’t believe they deserve love. I freaked out a bit when Kelly Harms rejected me because she thought action heroes all had the tendency to be cookie cutter. Let me know what you think.

First, we have Gabe, the wildfire fighter. He’s a leader but a loner, since his wife left him for his best friend. He threw himself into his job, becoming the best he can be at his job. All his life people have wanted him to be something he isn’t, and to prove them wrong (very important to him) he’s had to become fearless, except when it comes to love.

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Then there’s Adrian, the archaeologist. He’s made mistakes in his past, mistakes of pride that cost him his career and his life. But he’s determined to rebuild what he once had, and he intends to do it on his own. He’s been betrayed, and that betrayal cuts deep.

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There’s Daniel, the computer software brazillianaire (yeah, I never write those guys either) who puts his career on the back burner to find his missing sister. Family is the most important thing to him, and he’d surrender his entire fortune for his sister’s safety. He does have the annoying trait of needing to be in charge, however.

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There’s Zach, the cop. When his daughter was kidnapped and killed, his wife turned in on herself. He didn’t have the strength for both of them, and he left, pursuing criminals with a single-mindedness. When he has to come work with his ex again, his emotions are yanked out of hibernation. I love Zach. He was my first hero.

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Here’s Seth, my “little” firefighter. (This isn’t really who he’s based on, but he’ll do.) Seth has a secret, one that keeps him from committing to any woman, even the woman he’s loved for years.

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There’s Luke, the farmer. (I KNOW!) Luke has a bit of a George Bailey complex in that he stays in a life he doesn’t really want so the other members of his family can live the lives they want. It isn’t much of a sacrifice for him till he meets a city girl he could fall in love with.

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And my favorite, Del. Del has a black past, has faked his own death to protect the family he left behind. He's shut himself off from the world, only resurfacing because a woman he long admired for her survival instincts needs his help.

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What kind of heroes do you write? Why?


Anonymous said...

I kind of write a variety of heroes. A couple of Alphas (Chris and Jackson, both musicans); one Gamma (Chad, a commercial real estate broker); and a Beta (Connel, a paranormal researcher) who discovers his inner Alpha and becomes a Gamma.

Honestly, I think I find the Alphas the most fun to write, although if I ever meet one in real life I might have to hurt him.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I love those alpha heroes }:)

Trish Milburn said...

I have some cops and firefighters, so some alphas there. My firefighter is an alpha trying life as a beta on for size. :)

Hey, that picture you have for Seth, is that the hottie from Invasion when he was on Third Watch? I never watched that show, not because I didn't think I'd like it but because I didn't need to get sucked into another show at that time.

Nikki said...

Woohoo - I LOVE this post. Man, you have some great heroes there (and fantastic pics!).

I usually write executive types. That sounds way more boring than it is ... maybe I'll make them executive types who turn into superheroes in the bedroom.

Nah, forget it, too weird...

MicheleKS said...

I think my guys are alphas. I know my current hero Jake is and my next hero, Mick are definitely alphas. They're tough and rough even on the surface even as they treat the heroine with respect (but don't necessarily agree with her).

Colleen Gleason said...

Mary, you always have the best posts! So yummy!

And may I say that I absolutely love that pic of Chris Noth??? Mmmmm.... And of course, my fave, Gerry Butler.

During my writers' weekend, this last weekend, I pulled out Phantom and made my friends watch The Point of No Return scene with me. Again.

Did you know that was Gerard's first scene that he filmed for POTO? Incredibly hot, I would say.


Colleen Gleason said...

Oh, yeah, heroes I write. Shessh. Forgot the topic at hand.

I tend to write alphas all the way, some of them charmers, and some of them dark and brooding. I don't think I've ever written a blond hero, though. They've got to be tall, dark, and dangerous--not necessarily handsome--for me to fantasize--er, I mean write about them.


Charity Tahmaseb said...

Step away from George Clooney and no one gets hurt, k? ;-) He’s mine. I’ll even fight Miss Snark for him. (But I think she might win.) My non-military stories featured gamma heroes while it’s no stretch to place an alpha in a military setting. Of all the men I’ve written, I’d say the hero (Mark) of my WIP is the most alpha of them all.

MJFredrick said...

Charity, I'm done with George ;) I don't know if it was Solaris or Intolerable Cruelty that did him in, though.

I should know what a Gamma is, right?

Lynn, I agree with real life alphas. I could never live with one, because, well, then I wouldn't be in charge. But sometimes it's nice to give up the being in charge, which may be why I like to write them.

Trish, yes, it's the Third Watch guy, now on Invasion. He is really painfully cute. But Seth is based on a real life firefighter I met, friends with my cousin, who was very cute, too.

Nikki, when I was writing Daniel, the bazillionaire, I had to do research on weird stuff, like suits and watches....my dh is a jeans and boots guy.

Michele, from what I read of your stuff, I agree with the alpha bit.

Colleen, I didn't know PONR was Gerry's first scene! It's my very favorite, especially when he looks at her like, "How could you do that?" And Chris Noth was, well, I adored him as Mike Logan. ADORED.

And yes, I agree, the deeper the fantasy about the hero, the hotter the writing.

Unknown said...

All of my heroes have been Alphas. They are so fun to write and see reeled in by the right woman. Not so much fun for real life.

Shesawriter said...

I write alphas exclusively. I don't know why that is. Hmmmm. I'll have to think on that one. I will say the guy I'm writing now has more beta than the last hero, but he's still your run of the mill alpha. Mary, you amaze me. I love all the men you've made. They're so real. Good going!


Anonymous said...

I love Del, too! I love all your men, Mar...they're delicious.

I don't know if I would call my heroes alphas. Adrian was a mix of Alpha and Beta. Most of my heroes have been a mix, I guess. My favorite hero? As much as I loved Adrian in TOS, I love my current hero, Damien (the half vampire/half shapeshifter), the most. He's by far the strongest, most mysterious, fascinating hero I've written...very complex, and so sexy you would just about die to be with him. Yet he does have his soft side, which all stems from love. Gads. I sound like I actually know him, don't I? LOL But he's the most fun I've ever had with a hero. He makes going to work a pleasure.


MJFredrick said...


I love Damien. I NEEEEED Damien!

Lynn, I just realized you wrote that your alphas were musicians. That's so interesting because I don't think of musicians as being alpha. My dh and son are both in bands, and I wouldn't think of those guys as alpha. Just my experience....

Tess, you're right about alphas being fun to write - the bigger they are, the harder they fall and all that.

Tanya, thanks! Let me know when you figure out the attraction for alphas.

Anonymous said...

Let's see... I have a Secret Service agent, three different shapeshifters, a Texas Ranger, a 1920s-era police lieutenant, a vampire, a former spy turned dimensional traveler, a time traveling wizard who's lost his powers, a cat burglar, a couple of bazllionaires, a Deputy U. S. Marshall, a Greek god.

Yeah, I have a lot of differnt stories. *g*

MJFredrick said...

HOLY cow, Tori! I guess you never have to worry about your heroes being cookie cutter, huh??

Anonymous said...

No, if there's one thing they aren't it's cookie-cutter. LOL. :)


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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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