Welcome to the Club

Hey guys! I'd like to welcome our guest blogger for the day, Pamela Hearon. She has two awesome stories out: His Hotness with the Wild Rose Press and The Timestone Key with Lyrical Press. She's sharing a bit about how her childhood helped give her and advantage when writing the men in her stories. Warning: I got goosebumps when I read this post. Awesome, awesome story! Thanks so much for joining us, Pamela!

One of the questions I get asked often as a writer is which character I most enjoyed writing. In my book His Hotness, Gram is a hoot, and I had to stay on my toes to keep her fresh and sassy. But I always found myself looking forward to the scenes with Kai or Adam, for, while I enjoy writing all of my characters, I really enjoy writing the males. Maybe because it stretches me to have to think from the male perspective … or maybe, because guys are just so much fun. They’re uncomplicated and straight-forward, more prone to act first and think about it later—characteristics that lead to great conflicts when they’re thrown against a complicated female who chooses her words carefully and wants to think everything through. But apart from the obvious, I have a great advantage when it comes to writing guys.

I grew up in Paducah, Kentucky, a small city in the far western section of the Commonwealth. I delineate Paducah as a small city because, at 35,000, it was large enough that everybody didn’t know everybody else (or their business) but small enough to have neighborhoods where everybody did know everybody else. Our neighborhood was our world for the first ten years of our lives; we even had neighborhood elementary schools that we walked to and from. It was my neighborhood … my world … that gave me the aforementioned advantage. There were seven children my age in my neighborhood … six boys and me.

If I wanted companionship, I had to learn the guys’ rules of the game early in life—and I did. Most of the time, I was treated as an equal. I ran fast, developed a courageous side, and was always ready for an adventure. But the boys had their principles. When we played Justice League, I had to be Supergirl or Wonder Woman. When we played army, I was only allowed to be the nurse. Occasionally they would play house with me, but I always had to be the mom who stayed at home and cooked mudpies while they went out and saved the world.

I was never just one of the guys—there was awareness that I was different-- but I was privileged to be accepted into their inner circle and became privy to their way of thinking and handling situations.

I distinctly remember the exact day I knew things were changing … forever. The boys were playing football that afternoon. I wasn’t allowed to play—not their rule this time, but my mother’s, who was sure I’d get hurt—so I watched from the sidelines. One of the boys had a friend over from another neighborhood, and he was the cutest boy I had ever laid eyes on. His name was Rick. Each time the game would stall or there would be a timeout, Rick would come over and talk to me. Even with a backyard full of comrades, I captured his attention. I was enchanted. But the true magic happened when my mother called me home to supper. Seeing me leaving, he left the game and ran over to me, and asked: “Can you come back?” I still can feel the flutter in my stomach stirred by those four words … words that rocked my world off its steady axis and never allowed it to return to the way it had been before. It wasn’t only what he said, but the way he said it. He wasn’t just being nice. He wanted me to come back because he saw me not as a tomboy but as a girl.

I burned my membership card to the Boys’ Club that day; I had found the Girls’ Club, and instinct told me it was going to be even better.

Now, when I’m writing, and I come to a scene where the hero has to save the world, I think back to the lessons I learned from that wonderful group of guys, and I ask myself what Jack, Randy, Jeff, Gregg, Bobby, and Jimmy would do. And, of course, when the hero needs to say the exact words to win the girl, I recall the flutter in my stomach at Rick’s question.

I’ll never be able to thank my buds enough for the insights they gave me, but I can promise to portray them genuinely and faithfully. They will always be superheroes in my book.

And I got goosebumps again. *happy sigh* Thanks for sharing this with us, Pamela. It's so awesome that you have those guys to think back on when you're writing your guys. If anyone would like to check out one of Pamela's fantastic reads you can find His Hotness here at the The Wild Rose Press and The Timestone Key here at Lyrical Press. Thanks for stopping by!



L. K. Below said...

What a great story. You've certainly been privileged. Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your books!

wlynnchantale said...

I grew up pretty much the same, just one of the guys. I even got a chance to play flag football with my brothers and their friends. Although my brothers threatened any guy who grabbed anything other than the flag. :-)
Not much has changed though, somehow I've still managed to hang with the guys. I have a hubby and three sons. Some days I would pay to leave this locker room. :-)

Maggie Van Well said...

Well, this post certainly explains a lot. No wonder your heroes are so awesome!

I've been told I write heroes well, but I never thought to thank my 3 brothers for that gift :)

Thanks for the wonderful post

Christyne Butler said...

Terrific story, Pam!

I too remember when I stopped being one of the gang and turned into a girl...thanks to a first kiss sitting on the bumper of a white van during my dad's softball game while my family was stationed in Turkey. Oh, Robbie Graves...curly hair and a killer smile!

Jennifer Jakes said...

I too grew up with all boys. I remember begging to let my Barbie come into the Lone Ranger and Tonto's camp -- they made her be the chuck wagon cook. (I made her ride off on Silver once the LR and T bedded down. LOL)
And football: We had a cute neighbor boy too. My first serious crush. He said I could play, but told my brothers they had to switch to "touch" b/c it wasn't nice to tackle a girl. HA
Thanks for bringing back great memories.
And yes, it does help when writing the male POV:)

Vonnie Davis said...

A lovely, refreshing post. Men are so much fun to write about. I love my job!!

Pamela Hearon said...

Lots of tomboys here, then! And wasn't it grand? In many ways, I think the boys spoiled me:-) As a young adult, I loved hanging out with the guys at social events because their conversation seemed so much more interesting to me. Then I had kids and had an immediate kinship with every other woman in the world:-)

Thanks to all of you for stopping by!



Angela Campbell said...

I had three older brothers growing up, so I can relate to this, Pam. I agree with Maggie - no wonder your heroes are so awesome!