After meeting yet another sexy badass male character in Severed, I asked Sarah to write a post on YA men. How on earth does she write such swoon-worthy male characters? (Alex, Lucas, Cyrus and Jack are 4 of the HOTTEST YA men! No kidding. If you don't believe me, then GO READ THE BOOKS!!)
So, without futher ado, here is the secret behind writing these ridiculously hot guys...
A lot of my characters are inspired by people I know or by actors. When I start a book I have a vague outline of them and this then fleshes out as I type.
Alex from Hunting Lila was based on the actor Alex Skarsgard after I saw him in Generation Kill. I just loved the coolness of his character Ice Man, but then I added a few of my husband’s qualities, namely his eyes (with the amber flecks) and inscrutability, to make a character that had edges and quirks. Alex ended up being very much my dream man.
Jack was based in part on my own brother, especially the banter between him and Lila. All my other boy characters sprung from my imagination, but I have fed my imagination well over the years!
In the book I just finished – Control – which is set in New York - I got the idea for the main character after watching Ryan Gosling in Drive. I just thought, Wow, how hot! A boy who can drive like that and who’s got a bad boy streak. I then created this character Jaime (Jay) who is 19 and half-cuban and just the sexiest, sweetest guy ever (who can also drive a car like Ryan Gosling in Drive).
My favourite character after Alex is probably Cyrus, who appears in Severed. I never meant for him to become so key but he came to life on paper and was just so funny and so goddamn infuriating, but chivalrous too when it came to it, that I fell in love with him as I was writing. In my head I always had the guy who plays Silas in Weeds. Hunter Parrish.
In The Sound (out August 2013), the main character Ren is an English girl who goes to Nantucket, an island off the coast near Boston, to nanny for the summer, which is something I did when I was 17. I did have a very sweet summer romance when I was there, which inspired the romance between Ren and Jesse.
For me a hot boy isn’t one that’s controlling or obsessive, too over-protective or violent. They do what they have to do to protect the people they love but they also are in control of their actions and emotions.
I’m horrified by a lot of ‘heroes’ in stories today who are violent and abusive and display stalker like tendencies. For me a hot YA boy (actually any man) has to have these things:
- An awesome sense of humour
- Willingness to act and stand up for what they believe in (and that doesn’t mean punching the crap out a guy who looks sideways at the girl they like).
- Tenderness / kindness
- A talent for kissing
- Did I mention the six pack?
My top 10 favourite fictional boyfriends (not including my own ;) )
1. Augustus Waters -The Fault in our Stars. (funny, sweet, tragic, beautiful. My heart still aches for Augustus).
2. Alex Fuentes – Perfect Chemistry. (I don’t need to explain this one surely?)
3. Jack – Blood Red Road. (He’s just got so many winning qualities (see my list above)
4. George Emmerson – A Room with a View. (Be still my beating heart…that kiss in the sunflower field…)
5. Rhett Butler – Gone with the Wind. (Rhett’s the definition of a full-blooded male who knows exactly what he wants)
6. Rupert Campbell Black – Jilly Cooper’s Rutshire Chronicles. (I whiled away many an hour in Italy reading those books).
7. Noah Calhoun – The Notebook. (OK, I’ve only seen the film but Ryan Gosling is just so pretty…see above).
8. Richard Sharpe – The Sharpe Books. (I grew up on those and was completely obsessed by him.)
9. Han Solo (OK, he’s not in a book but I have to include him because he was the first person I fell in love with when I was 5).
10. James Bond (but only as Daniel Craig).
I had this MASSIVE grin on my face when I read the post!! A talent for kissing? And a six pack? HELL YEAH! To be honest, I've never watched a Ryan Gosling movie (shameful, I know) but I promise I'll watch a few of his movies soon :) I seriously cannot wait to meet Jay in Control!
Oh, and have you guys realised most, if not all, characters named Noah are so freaking hot? Noah Hutchins, Noah Shaw, and Noah Calhoun...(and like I said above, I NEED to watch one of Ryan Gosling's movies!)