Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Guest Blogger Kate Hardy

It's time to welcome another of my new line-buddies to the Playground!

Kate Hardy writes for both Modern Heat and Medical, and she's been super nice and helpful to this newbie! Y'all give Kate a big Playground welcome as she adresses a topic close to all our hearts...

Sexy heroes. Well, there are two words that could explain that.


Antonio Banderas.


OK, OK – I’ll go have a cold shower and start again…

What makes a hero sexy? The obvious is the sensual smile drawing your attention to a mouth just made to be kissed; or the teasing glint in his eyes as he fences verbally with you, so you know he has a different sort of duelling in mind.

But, for me, it’s his mind.

I have to confess that I love nerds. Clever, sexy men.

Starting with archaeologists. Think Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford is still gorgeous, even though he’s getting on a bit) or Brendan Fraser in his role as Rick O’Connell. That’s why Alex Richardson – the hero of Hotly Bedded, Conveniently Wedded, my September UK Modern Heat release – is an archaeologist.

Or what about scientists? No, not Bill Gates (sorry, he doesn’t do it for me). I’m thinking Fox Mulder. He’s nerdy (not to mention paranoid) – but, OMG, talk about gorgeous. I didn’t miss a single episode of the X Files. With my other hat on, I write Medical romances – so I love writing scientists. Leandro Herrera in The Spanish Doctor’s Love-Child (currently out in the UK; out in Australia and the US next month) is a gorgeous scientist. (Now, did I mention Antonio Banderas at all? No. I was good.) But I also have scientist Modern Heat heroes – don’t be fooled by Karim al-Hassan in Surrender to the Playboy Sheikh. He’s a playboy, he’s a sheikh… and he’s a scientist.

I also have a secret love for musicians. We’re not supposed to write musicians, but I sneak them in. Hence Giovanni (from my RNA Romance Prize winning novel, Breakfast at Giovanni’s – aka In Bed With Her Italian Boss in the US) plays classical guitar, Jack in Sold to the Highest Bidder plays piano, and Rhys in The Children’s Doctor’s Special Proposal (March 09 in the UK) plays the cello. (And for that… all I’ll say is Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply. How could Nina possibly prefer Mark to Jamie?)

So that’s my ideal hero. A clever, sexy man who plays an instrument. What’s yours? I’m giving away a copy of One Night, One Baby and I’ll ask the Playground Monitor to select a winner from among those commenting.

Thanks very much for having me in the Playground today – and congrats again, Problem Child, on joining the Mod Hot girls!

Visit Kate’s website: http://www.katehardy.com/

42 comments:

MaryF said...

Hello Kate! :)
I enjoyed the blog and the pictures!
My favorite hero? A strong man who is unafraid to follow through on the difficult choices, but with an internal moral/ethical code that is his own. His occupation can be anything.

Yeah, I ask a lot of my heros. *Grin*

So, with heros dancing in my head, I must go off to work.

Problem Child said...

I don't know why the format is all wonky. I'm trying to fix it...

Maven LJ said...

You had me at Antonio, and sealed the deal with Truly, Madly, Deeply, which is one of my all time favorites movies. :-)

LJ

Problem Child said...

Okay, I think it's a bit better now...why does Blogger hate me so?

Hi Kate! Sorry your blog is wonky. Are you excited that they're starting to release Medicals in the US?

Angel said...

I so totally agree!!! Heroes can't be all sex and no substance. Of course, I'm a big fan of brooding, dark heroes. Like, while I love Brendan Fraiser in the Mummy, I much prefer Oded Fehr's character (tattooed on horseback, yum!). Secret agenda, willing to do whatever is necessary to save the day. Sigh....

Now I'm in the mood to, um, write today. Yay! :)

So you write for Modern Heat and Medicals? How different are the line expectations? What do you do to switch gears from one to the other?


Angel

Playground Monitor said...

Antonio. Mmmmmmmmmm. I even like him as the bumblebee in the allergy medicine ads.

I'm pouting here because since I have to pick the winner, I can't win Kate's book. That would seem a bit odd if I picked my own name, wouldn't it?

Thanks for all the yummy heroes' photos. That was certainly nice to wake up to.

PM

Anonymous said...

Good morning Kate,
Thanks for the pictures this morning, what a way to start the day off. A man who can "man up", as they say. Who will take care of me but no smothering.
robertsonreads

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oooh, Antonio. I stared at him while writing my Spanish magnate book. :) And I'm with Angel about the brooding sexy guy. :) I love my heroes big, dark, sexy, and wounded. I especially love it when they seem irreverent or uncaring but the reader knows different.

I like how you sneak the musician angle in, Kate. What else do you think we aren't supposed to do in a MH or Presents that you really want to do?

CrystalGB said...

Hi Kate. Great post. Good to see you here. I love your books.

Smarty Pants said...

I know we've got a lot of dark, brooding hero fans here, but I love me a nerd. The occupation isn't that important, but I like my guys smart and good with their hands. :) Maybe like an inventor or someone who can take things apart and put it back together. I like it when they're hot, but oblivious to it. I especially like it when the head in the clouds nerd shifts his focus to the heroine and wow! He puts as much dedication and study into her (and her body) as he does into anything he does.

Kate Hardy said...

Mary - thanks! Strong men with a moral code... sounds good to me :o)

Kate Hardy said...

'You had me at Antonio...' Love it, Maven! (Very similar to the title of an ace book I can recommend - Amanda Ashby's 'You Had Me At Halo' - it's a YA book and very good too.

rebekah said...

Hi Kate,
My favorite type of hero would have to be a man that isn't affraid to get dirty. Like a fireman, mechanic, rancher, etc. I cannot stand a man who spends more time in a bathroom than I do. It really doesn't matter what his profession is as long as he isn't to much into his looks. Thanks for the pic, that is a great one of Antonio. Great post.

Kate Hardy said...

Problem Child - thanks for sorting out the wonky stuff for me :o)

And you bet I'm excited that Meds are going on shelves. I've had a couple of mine out as Presents Extras... but I really think Meds are a great read and it'll be fab to see them having their own space on the shelves.

Kate Hardy said...

Angel - the obvious one is that Medicals need to have the hero and heroine in a medical occupation (doesn't have to be doctor/nurse - I've done a female firefighter and a female vet before now; it makes it easier to have them working together. Meds are more like the book form of Gray's Anatomy and ER rather than House.

Other than that, it's up to me how sexy I want to make them.

My ed wants me to go for more of a 'single voice' so the idea is that my Mod Heats will become more emotional (next month's UK release will have people sobbing) and my Meds will become hotter :o)

Switching gears: it's a matter of getting in the right mindset for each book. I normally sneak some tecchy stuff into my Mod Heats (I have to be really clever about that now as my ed has a nerd alert radar), which I think equates to the technical medical details in a Med.

But in both of them the focus is heavily on the romance, so it's not too tough. I think it'd be harder if the lines were poles apart - say writing Love Inspired as well as Blaze. Now THAT would be a challenge *g*

Kate Hardy said...

Playground Monitor... now something can be arranged :o) Glad you liked the pics!

Kate Hardy said...

Robertsonreads - with you all the way there. A man who will take care of me [when I ask him to and not otherwise] and no smothering. Perfect. :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Lynn - he's very inspiring, isn't he?

What else are we not supposed to do...? Contemporary cultural references, because they date the book (I do agree with that one, because I've read some non M&Bs that are full of brand names which are passe, nowadays).

No quoting lyrics (that's because copyright permission costs a fortune).

A normal job rather than an off-the-wall one (don't ask how I get away with breaking that one *g*).

Oh, and jokes. Or maybe it's because I borrow my jokes from my 11-year-old. But my 'sheikh him by the hand' joke was definitely nixed :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Crystal - thank you so much!

Kate Hardy said...

Smarty Pants - we're definitely talking the same language :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Rebekah - you mean, like these really buff guys who really fancy themselves and pose, just waiting for women to admire them? *g*

Yup. Far better those who are drop-dead gorgeous but it doesn't even occur to them how easy on the eye they are...

Kathy said...

Hi Kate! Welcome to the playground. Do you prefer the swings or the teeter totter? :-)

Oded Fehr is so hot in that movie, Angel!! He was just on Burn Notice too. I wish he'd been in the 3rd Mummy movie. *sigh*

I love strong, deeply motivated scared heroes with dark pasts, alpha males with honor who fall in love with a woman at the least expected times adding complications to their agendas. :-D

How long have you been writing?

Are you a plotter or a panster?

Do your characters come to you first then plot, setting? Or vice versa?

Barbara said...

Hey, Kate,

I’ve said it in the past, but I will say it again. You’re books are great.

I have a question for you. What do you think would be considered an “off-the-wall” profession for the Modern Heat line?

I hope this week has been better for you. I read your blog, just don’t always post a comment.

Kids (Ladies) of The Writing Playground: I read your blog, too. The chalk from RWA was a huge hit with my kids. Thanks for sharing.


Barbara Burnham
(who pretty much has all of Kate's recent books, so please let someone else enjoy the copy you are giving out.)

Barbara said...

Yes, that should be "your" instead of "you're." :-)

Barbara

Crystal Lee said...

Welcome Kate! Nice photos...

The dark, brooding nerd gets my vote. Married him, I did.

Kate Hardy said...

Hi Kathy! I prefer the sandpit :o)

Strong and scarred, hmm? Giving me ideas, here...

First M&B accepted Nov 2001 and published Nov 2002 (and am currently on #36 or #37, I think - been a tough summer so my memory's gone!)

Absolutely a plotter. Panster stuff scares me. (I did try it, and it was like being in a tiny rowing boat in a force 9 gale. So I plotted it and it was all nice calm water again...)

I tend to get characters first, along with the entire first or last scene, so I know where I'm starting or beginning :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Hi Barbara! Lovely to see you here, and thanks for the compliment.

An “off-the-wall” profession for the Modern Heat line... Well, last year there was this "Archaeologists aren't sexy. I'd prefer him to be a banker," comment from my ed. I stuck to my guns, citing Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser.

I've also had a stormchaser, a vulcanologist (that's my Sheikh, next year) and a landscape gardener (as in a very successful one). However, when I mentioned this to Jo Carr (who's in charge of the line) when she asked me to write a blog for IHP about heroes, she was horrified. "Kate, you know we only let you get away with it because it's you. Please don't tell people they have to have weird occupations..." :o)

Bottom line: don't let his job get in the way.

(And thanks, but unfortunately this week is a disaster too - loss assessor yesterday, emergency dentist today... Sob. Must get a book out of it...)

Kate Hardy said...

Crystal - what a fabulous line!

Mine isn't a nerd exactly (and he looks like Bruce Willis) but he can do the brooding bit :o)

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground Kate! I'm so sorry I'm late...ever have those days that just don't go as you planned?

I am a huge fan of dark, brooding men. Although, I find I have more difficulty writing them. My own heroes always seem to me to be more...beta. Hmm, perhaps I need to work on that :-)

Do you have a background in the medical field? All those medical details would scare me to death...I'm not the best at research.

Instigator

Crystal Lee said...

Bruce Willis brooding is quite hot.

As for writing dark, brooding men, I find I have to force myself to do otherwise or they would all melt from the shadows, brandishing dark, penetrating eyes and long, raven manes. I'm working on that, though.

Barbara said...

Thanks, Kate. That was very helpful. I'll keep you in my thoughts, hoping that things will get better on your end.

Barbara

Jane said...

Welcome Kate,
My tastes are boring. I like the tall, dark and handsome type. Someone like Eric Bana. I love Mulder, too. He intelligent and has a great sense of humor.

Angel said...

Mod Heat vocabulary word of the day: Loss Assessor

What's that? Is it anything to do with taxes, like our tax assessors? You girls are teaching us lots!

Angel

PM's Mother said...

...and just what's wrong with Pierce Brosnan? Even a Great Grammy can recognize sexy when she sees it. He was the greatest as James Bond!

Kate Hardy said...

Instigator - I was a freelance health journalist before I started writing medical romance, and my mother was a nurse; so, although I'm not a qualified medic, I'm fine with research.

And (whispers) I like beta heroes... which is why my alphas have quite a soft side :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Crystal Lee - they wouldn't happen to be vampires as well, would they? (Because you've just decribed Antonio in "Interview with a Vampire" *g*)

Kate Hardy said...

Jane - thank you. Eric Bana was gorgeous in Troy, wasn't he?

And Mulder... yum...

Kate Hardy said...

Angel - a loss assessor is someone sent out from an insurance company to inspect the damage and report on it. And the company they work for decides how to fix the damage - they do all the running round for you and get quotes from builders (all of whom have official approval from the company, so their work is of an agreed standard, i.e. the best and it's guaranteed).

Fellow Mod Heat author Jenna Bayley-Burke usually picks up on my Brit-isms *g* - for example, squash to you is a vegetable, but to me is also a liquid concentrate to which you add water, making a cold drink for children. And a QC (my barrister in Mistess On Trial wants to be one) is a Queen's Counsel, which is equivalent to your DA.

I'm fascinated by the differences between British English and American English.

Kate Hardy said...

PM's mum - I've heard that Pierce is very good in Mamma Mia (which I promised to take the kids to see, this week, but we haven't got to the cinema yet - thanks to my burst pipe and yesterday's emergency dentist visit!).

He does have gorgeous eyes. And I remember him in Remington Steele (not sure if that was ever shown in the US?).

Sean Connery was always my favourite Bond. Though I was very impressed with Daniel Craig. That shower scene showed a completely new side to Bond. Much more like an M&B hero: protective, and for a brief moment he showed he was vulnerable, too.

Playground Monitor said...

I'm chomping at the bit to see Mamma Mia too. And yes, Remington Steele was on in the US. That was my first exposure to Pierce Brosnan.

When Daniel Craig was picked to be the new 007, I was convinced I wouldn't like him since I was mad they'd canned Brosnan. However after watching Casino Royale, I was a convert. Craig was an admirable 007 and I'm looking forward to the new movie.

PM

Kate Hardy said...

And finally I'd like to say thanks so much for having me here - I've had a great time!

Crystal Lee said...

Yes, Kate, some of them would be vampires! Gotta have my beautiful vamps! Thanks for being with us. Sorry this post is so late.