Why Don’t You Like Me?

Which character in the book do you most relate to and why?
A heroine you’d like?
That’s question number two at the back of Deep Cover, and it led to an interesting discussion recently among my writing friends.
We were trying to discern if there is a connection between our own personality types and the heroines in the books we enjoy most. Or if the heroines we admire have personalities we aspire to, but don’t necessarily have.
As a child of British parents, I learned that one should keep their emotions under wraps. I learned to esteem a stoic outlook of circumstances, and see crying as a weakness. Not necessarily healthy, and certainly not taught consciously, but that’s the way it was.
As a result, I don’t have much patience for weepy heroines.
That’s not to say, I don’t like women-in-jeopardy stories. I do. I love to read about a protective hero, rescuing and cherishing the woman he loves.
A Likable Heroine?
Similarly, I’m a highly task-oriented, type A personality. When I read the list of characteristics of that kind of personality, I see them as positive qualities. Others read those same characteristics and see many of them as negatives.
Likewise, when they see those characteristics in a heroine, they’ll see her as unlikable while other readers may admire her. 
Then, of course, there’s the influence of our first impression based on the cover are picture.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Your turn: What kind of hero or heroine do you most relate to and why? Do they share the same kind of personality as you, or attributes you aspire to have?

The Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth?

Today, we’re following up—from the heroine’s perspective—on last Monday’s discussion about whether a hero who lies (for the sake of his job) can be a man of honor.
The heroine of Deep Cover is Ginny Bryson who says,  “I’d rather know the truth than be lied to out of some misguided notion that I’ll somehow be happier or safer.”
Do you feel the same? If you said yes, are you sure?
I freely admit that there are times people have disclosed things to me that I would’ve have been much happier not knowing about. Every smart husband knows how not to answer the question—Honey, does this dress make me look fat?
And yes, if you read my book and hate it, choosing to keep that to yourself won’t hurt my feelings in the least. Honest!
I’m sure each of us can remember a time when we’ve sugarcoated the truth to spare someone’s feelings. It seems like a noble thing to do, don’t you think?
Yet, not necessarily. Sometimes I have to step back and consider whether my words will help or hinder the other person’s understanding of themselves or their circumstances. 
Your turn: What do you think about Ginny’s perspective? Care to share an example from your own experience?
Join me Wednesday to learn how I use lies to develop my characters when plotting my story. And for fun, we’ll play with the strategy on the hero we dreamt up during last Wednesday’s brainstorming session.

Undercover Cops ~ Is it possible to be a man of honor and live a life of lies?

Thank you to all who shared their hilarious pet stories over the weekend. Today, we’re going to talk about a different kind of character, or rather character trait. Being honorable
I think it’s safe to say that most female romance readers, as well as the heroines that populate romance novels, long to fall in love with an honorable man.
My dictionary defines honorable as “having or showing a sense of what is right and proper; honest; upright: It is not honorable to lie or cheat.” 
Ouch! Not looking good for Deep Cover’s hero Rick Gray, an undercover cop who’s obligated to keep his true identity, occupation and purpose from the heroine Ginny, a woman who esteems honesty above all else.
Rick likes Ginny, really likes her, and desperately wants her to see him as honorable. Each Love Inspired book has a scripture quote before the title page. For Deep Cover, it reads ‘There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.’” Luke 12:2
For most people the verse is an uncomfortable truth, whereas Rick longs for the day he can disclose his true life to Ginny. The day she will finally understand that he works for a greater good. The day she will know he’s honorable. 
Rick holds to the maxim that the end justifies the means. But as an undercover cop, sometimes those means are contrary to God’s Word.
It’s an interesting dilemma, don’t you think?
For Rick, feigning to be someone he’s not in order to bring a bad guy to justice is not the problem. Perpetuating the lie with a woman he cares for—for the sake of the case and her own protection—is.
But the bad guys need to be stopped. And he’s working within the law to do that. He’s doing his job. Yet, his conscience is torn.
I asked Lee Lofland, retired police officer and author of the suspense writer’s must-have book Police Procedure & Investigations, to give us his perspective on the dilemma. Here’s what he had to say:
A cop’s job is certainly a tough one, and all one has to do is watch the evening news to see why—shootouts, car chases, kidnappings, robberies, murder, and, well, you get the idea. But there’s a private side to law enforcement that not many people see. And that’s the side where an officer must sometimes push his/her core beliefs aside to get the job done.
An undercover assignment can have a negative impact on officers who try their best to keep their faith intact while working in an extremely faithless environment. After all, working undercover often means having to take on the guise of an immoral person. And some real-life cops have found themselves in a genuine struggle trying to separate reality from their make-believe undercover world.
Officers like Rick Gray, who protect others at all costs, eventually rise above the rest. They’re the officers who take their oaths seriously. Sure it’s a tough job, and it takes a tough person to do it, but isn’t toughness a trait of all heroes?
Thanks, Lee. Speaking with officers to research for this story, and participating in the Writer’s PoliceAcademy that Lee organizes, and writing Rick’s story, has certainly given me a broader appreciation of the emotional havoc law enforcement officers sometimes face.
Your turn: What do you think? Is it possible to be a man of honor and live a life of lies?