Before you get the wrong idea: no, my husband never saved me from a burning building, nor has he given me a kidney. To be honest, I’m lucky if he manages to get both socks in the hamper. He considers camouflage a “neutral” that can be worn with anything (including plaid) and last year for Christmas he got four new LEGO sets.

My husband is essentially a giant 9-year-old in a truck-driving redneck’s body.

That doesn’t necessarily sound like a hero, does it?

Au contraire.

My husband is my inspiration. He’s my muse. He keeps my male characters grounded and realistic because a bit of him always makes it into my leading men’s personalities. Here’s a look at how my husband keeps popping up:

Russ – owns an orchard; loves working the land; has a beard
Hubby – certified master gardener who loves working the land; has a beard

Greg – a silent shoulder for Addie to cry on; unreasonably forgiving when Addie loses control; curly hair
Hubby – a silent shoulder for me to cry on; unreasonably forgiving when I lose control; curly hair

Ryan – ridiculously patient with Callie
Hubby – ridiculously patient with me (like, I would have walked out on me years ago, but the hubs holds on)

Ben – willing to make a fool of himself for Caroline
Hubby – willing (and always ready!) to make a fool of himself for (and with!) me

Jack – works with his hands, doesn’t like to talk about emotions, doesn’t understand women, wears dirty clothes without caring
Hubby – check, check, check, and check

Tony – devoted to his family, especially his sister
Hubby – devoted to his family, especially his sister

And those are just the obvious similarities. I’m sure I’ve subconsciously written my husband into each novel in a dozen other ways. I hope so, because he deserves that kind of recognition. He’s supported my writing and my career even though it hasn’t replaced my former income and it’s taken me twice as long to accomplish what many other authors achieve.

None of that matters to my hubby. What matters to him is that we’ve both prayed about what I should be doing and how I should be doing it, and it always comes back to fiction – studying fiction, writing fiction, reading fiction (okay, that one’s really just my excuse to read more novels, but my husband never makes me feel guilty about it).

Why wouldn’t I want to write about the man who supports and encourages me? The man who makes me crazy and makes me laugh. The man who once showed up for a date after having not washed his hair for a week – a week! (I didn’t say he was perfect …)

Overall, I’m a pretty lucky gal. Each of my fictitious heroes gets a piece of my hubby written into his personality, but I get it all in one 6’2” camo-wearing, bearded package. And I love it.

When you read romance novels, what do you like to see in a hero? Are you looking for perfection, or do you mind a man who’s slightly off center?

(If you’re interested, you can read more about my husband here – yes, I created a website so I can write and share stories about him!)

Karin Beery – Writer. Editor. Novelist. Karin writes contemporary fiction with a healthy dose of romance. Represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at WordWise Media, her debut novel, Summer Plans and Other Disasters, released September 15, 2018.

When she’s not writing fiction, she’s editing through her business, Write Now Editing. And when she’s not doing either of those, she teaches Substantive Editing for Fiction and Romance Editing through the PEN Institute. Karin is also the Managing Editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, where they publish stories that entertain, encourage, inspire, and enlighten.

You can connect with Karin on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at her website, www.karinbeery.com.

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