Becky, the all-American cowboy--rancher, horse trainer, bull rider--has been drawing romance readers for years and continues to do so. What do you think it is about men like Bo Porter (Undeniably Yours) and Ty Porter (Meant to Be Mine) that readers can't get enough of?
I think readers can't get enough of the cowboy's masculinity. These guys are MEN. They're independent, strong, capable, brave. The cowboy makes a great hero type for a romance novel, in particular, because the idea of a rugged man developing a soft spot as big as Texas for one particular woman makes all of us sigh.
Agreed. Cowboy romances are my favorite.
What captivated me most about Meant to Be Mine--and everyone else according to the reviews--is how charming and lovable Ty was even though his actions were irredeemable. How did you create this balance to make him an unforgettable hero?
Excellent question. I'll confess that finding the right balance between Ty's flaws and virtues was tricky. I knew before I even started writing Meant to Be Mine that I wanted forgiveness to be the novel's theme. Thus, right at the beginning of the story, I had Ty make a big mistake.
When I first turned in the manuscript to my agent and editors, they all let me know that I hadn't made Ty's mistake grave enough in that initial version of the book. He'd seemed too kind and reasonable to them. Thus, Celia had become unlikable because my editors couldn't relate to her inability to forgive him.
So... I actually made Ty even MORE irredeemable at the beginning.
I truly did worry that some readers might read the first two chapters, hate my hero, and throw the book against the wall. (There may well be some readers who are doing exactly that as I type.)
But again, this is a story about forgiveness. If Ty's actions had been easy to forgive my conflict would have been weak and God's message of grace would have been lessened. In the final version of the book, Ty's actions give Celia valid reasons not to forgive him and they give God room to work in a mighty way.
How did I make Ty charming and lovable despite his flaws?
1) He was sorry for what he'd done. As the book unfolds, we (and Celia) gradually learn just how sorry. Most of us are tender-hearted enough to feel compassion toward someone who's hounded by regret.
2) I gave him several wonderful qualities. He's funny, he loves his child, he's over-the-top generous.
3) Just like all my heroes, he really, truly deeply loves his heroine.
4) I gave him a genuine desire to be a better man.
Thanks for talking with me today, Becky!
Becky is a graduate of Baylor University. As a newlywed, she lived for three years in a home overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, as well as in Australia, before returning to the States. A mom of three young children, Becky and her family now live in Dallas, Texas. For more information on Becky and her books, please visit her website at www.beckywade.com
If you're not familiar with Meant to Be Mine, see my book review by clicking here!
Meant to Be Mine can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local Christian bookstore.