Envisioning and writing about handsome men that readers will fall in love with is one of the perks of being a romantic suspense author. Most of my heroes have bulging muscles, handguns ready to fire, or a choice of deadly karate moves, but I occasionally get to create a hero who is more like the proverbial guy next door.
The male lead in my new romantic suspense, Deadly Memories, is special to me because he personifies a new breed of hero. Greg is a cyber-security specialist racing to stop an extortionist before he sells top-secret Department of Defense software to terrorists. He’s a man who relies on his brains and computer skills, not brawn. In fact, he’s disabled and confined to a wheelchair. He must outsmart, rather than physically subdue, the villain.
When I was writing the story, I imagined Greg as the hero of the future. The men and women who protect our computer systems are fighting as big a war as a soldier serving in Afghanistan, because our national enemies have made cyber-space the next frontier. Every day, foreign hackers scrutinize sensitive computer systems and databases probing for weaknesses. One big success could bring our country to its knees, and our only defense is a skilled computer specialist who prevents sneak attacks by making our vital systems bulletproof. Or a man like Greg, who tracks down and disarms the enemy.
Technology has changed the rules for survival of the fittest. Fighting a cyber war requires education and intelligence. And a man with both has a unique appeal. Especially when a woman wants to have children and recognizes he has a valuable skill that can help her protect and provide for her future family.
A hundred years ago, a man needed physical strength, or money, to fight his way to the top. I still appreciate a good-looking man with muscles and want my romantic leads to be fit. But we’re in an electronic age. Today, and in the future, a man who can tangle with a computer and win gets my vote for a hero.
What do you think? Can brains be as sexy as brawn, or do you prefer the traditional gun-toting, fist-swinging romantic suspense hero?
You can read my full bio and learn more about my books at my website: http://www.kathleenmix.com. My new release, Deadly Memories, is available from The Wild Rose Press. Please stop by my blog, http://kathleenmix.wordpress.com, to read more tidbits about my writing life.
About the Author:
She took an indirect route to becoming an author. After her three sons started school, she returned to college and earned a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering. Working as a software engineer, she consulted on applications ranging from submarine combat systems to biological research databases.
Weekends and vacations were always reserved for boating. And as an avid sailor and licensed charter boat captain, the itch to sail away into the sunset soon became too strong to resist. She and her husband moved aboard their sailboat and headed south. By the time they reached the Caribbean, they were hooked on a cruising life. Since then, Kathleen has spend many years roaming the U.S. coastline, exploring the Bahamas, and enjoying the tropical islands of the Caribbean and the coastal countries of South America.
She began her writing career with non-fiction sailing and travel articles. But she was sailing to exotic islands under starry skies and walking on the most beautiful, white-sand beaches in the world. She started imagining stories of romance and adventure and turned to writing romantic suspense.
When an extortionist threatens to compromise Trish Flaherty’s top-secret software project, only one cyber-security consultant has the expertise to identify the culprit in time to prevent a national disaster. The problem is, that one man is Greg Erickson, a former lover whose rush to judgement nine years ago changed the course of her life. Just thinking about him has unleashed a cache of painful memories, and the last thing she wants is his help.
To find the extortionist, Trish must work by Greg’s side. To save her heart, she must keep her distance. Because if she gives him a second chance to desert her, this time her heart won’t survive.
Greg has an agenda: he wants an explanation for recent events that have damaged the reputation of his consulting company. His new assignment could be the key. But Trish appears to be involved in the subterfuge, and the extortionist has killed to succeed. Can he listen to his heart and trust the lover who once betrayed him, discover the truth about the past, and disrupt a devious countdown before it climaxes in another murder?