Unconventional Heroes

Unconventional HeroesWhen it comes to romance heroes, certain professions seem to dominate. Warriors, either the historical sort or the modern-day versions (detective, undercover agent, Navy SEALs) are always popular. You can’t lose with a firefighter or a cowboy. There’s a scattering of athletes – thank you, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Lori Foster. And the stray journalist or renegade archeologist. I’m sure I’m leaving out plenty of wonderful heroes (and I’m not even approaching the paranormal world (is werewolf a profession?)

My point is, when I decided to make my most recent hero a fisherman, I had to wonder if I was nuts. Fishermen don’t risk their lives to stop the bad guys. They don’t plunge daringly into jeopardy (although fishing is actually one of the most dangerous professions.)  Oilskins, unlike uniforms, don’t make girls faint (unless it’s from the smell.) So what’s heroic about them?

I’ve always had a “thing” for fishermen. They have to be physically tough to handle rough seas and unpredictable weather. They’re independent and self-sufficient, quick-witted and resourceful. When a captain takes his boat out for a fishing trip that could last weeks, he has to know how to fix everything on that boat. If the electronics break down, he has to know how to survive without them. Fishermen know how to cook for themselves, entertain themselves, and get along with other people in close quarters. Most fishermen I know are fantastic cooks. If you’ve never had fresh tuna wrapped in foil with herbs and cooked on an engine manifold … well, it’s bliss. Many play music or do some kind of craft that helps pass the long hours waiting for fish. I know a lobsterman who could have been a professional flutist. And another who knits the most gorgeous sweaters you ever saw.

Wait, a hero who knits? Bear with me here. Fishermen think for themselves, live by their own lights, make their own way in the world. They tell it like it is, roll with the punches, live with the constant risk of injury or death. Many have traveled the world. They’re great storytellers (another skill honed by hours at sea.) Working so close to nature at her most dangerous gives them a raw, bone-deep appreciation for life.Besides, they’re hot. undefined

Okay, maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s kinda sexy.So here’s to unconventional heroes. If you’d like to meet Dustin MacDougal, my unconventional fisherman hero, he can be found in “Doll,” available now from Samhain Publishing.

What’s your favorite kind of unconventional hero? Are there any unusual professions you’d like to see in a romance novel?

Juniper Bell writes red-hot contemporary erotic romance for Samhain Publishing and Liquid Silver Books. Visit her at http://JuniperBell.com or http://AuthorJuniperBell.blogspot.com.

18 Responses to Unconventional Heroes

  1. Ja Hucks

    So my mom had a bad day when all her 4 tires blew out, I called these guys and they came thru with a vengance! Thanks you guys!

  2. Hayden Mcdougall

    Sorry to say, but your title “Romance Junkies Blog | Unconventional Heroes” really isnt very good with SEO.

  3. Wenona

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  4. Chris Mead

    Hi Juniper,

    I loved reading your blog post and I am putting your book on my must buy list. I love a story with a strong, unconventional hero! I also love to read about your average, every day kind of guy.

    Happy Holidays!

    Chris Mead

  5. Gigi

    Hi, Juniper
    I guess I like the nerd next door that no one ever thinks will turn out to be a hero.

  6. Laura K

    Hi, Juniper! Lately I have been reading (what is to me anyway) a few stories with unconventional heroes. I think that adds to the “realism” in a story because let’s face it, not everyone is a doctor, lawyer or fireman! I think your cover is dreamy by the way and want to get it soon.

  7. Julie Robinson

    I really liked this article because you turn ordinary men into not-so ordinary heroes, which is how I think of them—a man who can provide for his family by living off the land hunting, fishing, or farming.

    Of course, even if the man is not outdoorsy, but provides and cares for his family is my type of hero too. Which is what I tell my DH. Even though I like to read about military and law enforcement type of men, my DH, who plods to his computer job everyday, sometimes even on the weekends, is my real hero.

    Thanks for your unconventional outlook.

  8. Debby

    I love unconventional heroes. I would love to see a puppeteer. I think that would be neat.

  9. Valerie

    I think it’s great to read about unconventional heroes. A Fisherman is a hard worker, fighting the elements, facing danger everyday what with storms, hard work and all.

    Why not take an everyday job guy and turn him into a hunk for a romance…yay!!!!!

  10. Kate

    I think maybe an everyday man, like a mailman or a hot guy that delivers your water.

  11. Linda Henderson

    I’ve really not given this a lot of thought before, but I don’t have a problem with the hero having an unconventional job. Maybe a pawn shop owner, a repo man, owns a dry cleaning business, garbage man, mows lawns, these are just a few I can think of.

  12. Lindy

    Sometimes I really enjoy reading about a hero who’s slightly nerdy, no matter his profession. 🙂


  13. Tracey D

    For some reason, I like my unconventional hero to have some sort of physical flaw… I think it all started when I read a book and the hero was blind. At the end, I thought he would get his sight back, but he didn’t. And he continued to be the “boss man” in the sequels, too.


  14. Lori Leger

    It terrifies me to watch Deadliest Catch…I’m always afraid I’ll have to witness one of those poor guys getting washed off the ship! THOSE are REAL MEN!!! Unconventional heroes are the best…whether they’re quiet and shy or boisterously sure of themselves. I haven’t read the book, but I can already visualize it on my mountain of a TBR pile. My husband calls it my nest because I switch from reading to writing and back to reading. I prefer to think of it as my creative center. Thanks for taking the time to share with us, and have a blessed Christmas. Lori L.

  15. Guestauthor

    PG – Thanks so much! A fellow lover of the unconventional … I knew it! I mean, a blacksmith? LOL

    Michelle, I love it! A magician and a specialty import store owner … I can’t wait to read that!

    Lisa – Those Deadliest Catch guys are super-rugged, OMG! Rough and rugged … just the way I like them too! 😉

  16. Lisa G

    Hello Juniper!
    I love any kind of hero that is unconventional. When I see an fisherman I think of the high seas, lighthouses and the “Deadliest Catch.” I like firejumpers, big game hunters, alaskan adventurers and any other guy who is rough and rugged.
    Your book sounds amazing. I have it on my list to be read. Good kuck to you!

  17. Michelle Polaris

    Hey Juniper,
    I love this post and have decided fishermen are the sexiest heroes out there just from what you described. I’m currently in the middle of writing an erotic romance where one of the heroes is a magician and another is the owner of a small specialty import item grocery store. Neither is on the usual list of hero professions, although the magician does play into the mysterious hero mold.

    I’ve read a few books where the hero is a romance writer and I kind of get a kick when I run into one of those.

    Good luck with the book and I’m going to keep thinking about this issue and maybe even start a list of unconventional heroes. Fun.

  18. PG Forte

    I LOVE unconventional heroes! I love unconventional anything, come to think of it…well, there may be exceptions. 😉

    And I loved this book, too. Dustin is absolutely adorable and he and Buster do a damn fine job of helping to foil the bad guys!

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