Monday, March 28, 2011

Beyond Blonde and Brunette: The Redheaded Hero

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Hey, all!

As you all know I was in Florida last week where I was able to relax and do a lot of reading. It's kind of funny the things that you start to notice when you're zipping through books--and one of them is the hair color of MEN.


Believe me, there are plenty of tall, dark, and handsome heroes going on. A few blonds I've seen. And then, of course, the sandy-brown colored hair, which naturally dips down (just so) where the heroine has that desire to brush it off his forehead. :-)

All very nice hair colors for men.


But where I ask you is the REDHEADED HERO?! (--interrobang)


Is there some kind of red prejudice going on? Are there certain images that get conjured up in our minds when we think of redheaded men?


Hmm....Well, maybe.


I'd like to think that there will be a resurgence in ginger-headed heroes, but maybe there is a certain stereotype that's automatically in our brain when we think of men with red hair. I know. It's terrible. But we women can't help it!! After all, look what we've been subjected to all these years:

Cute. (Sort of.) But not a romance readers typical "fantasy"type of guy. Nothing personal to those redheaded gentlemen, but romance readers are kind of... PICKY--opting for larger than life heroes over the guy-next-door type of hero.

Most authors tend to keep this in mind when naming their heroes. Romance readers LOVE masculine names for their heroes as well as masculine looks. It's just the way it is, because a hair coloring or a name conjure up images when we're reading.

But now that this phenomenon has come to my attention, I feel the need to write a hero with red hair. Yep. Those men deserve their props. And who knows?

There might be some hero hope for them yet. :-)

How about you? Have you read (and liked) any romances that had a redheaded hero? If you're a writer, have you written a book with a redheaded hero?

37 comments:

Hannah Kincade said...

I've read a few romances that were Irish but I don't think the men had red hair. Weird. I love Conan!!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Can't say I can think of any romantic heroes with red hair. I've never written a male character with red hair either. Hmm, makes you think.

Niki Turner said...

What timing! I just started book four in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series... Jamie Fraser, the ultimate redheaded hero. If you're looking for a redheaded hero, Jamie is your man. Oh my, oh my!

Stephanie McGee said...

In my writings, it's usually the girls that get the red hair, if there's a red head. And it's never the orangey/carrot top red. More auburn, etc. I think that every physical characteristic has the chance of conjuring up stereotypes. It's how we combine those characteristics that overcomes the stereotypes.

Hannah Kincade said...

Nikki's right! How could I forget Jaime?! He is THE MAN. mmmm, I may have to reread the Outlander series now.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I may have to read the Outlander series too. The only books I've ever read with a redheaded hero are the Peter Decker series by Faye Kellerman. He's romantically involved, but she doesn't write him as a character you swoon over. He is bad to the bone though!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, ladies! It IS so hard to find a good redheaded hero.
Will need to check out the Outlander series!!

MJFredrick said...

My all-time favorite historical romance, Winter Roses by Anita Mills, had a redheaded hero, William of Dunashie. I had a thing for a redheaded bb player at the time, and wrote 2 redheaded hero novels. None will see the light of day without serious revising, though!

blueviolet said...

I don't think I remember the color of anybody's hair in any book I've ever read!

Stephanie Faris said...

My ex-husband was a redhead and when I first met him, people would say things like, "But you'll end up with redheaded children," like that's a bad thing. I didn't have children with him but my stepdaughter's a redhead and she's adorable...neither of her parents were redheads!

Joanne said...

I've never written about a redheaded character, and can't remember reading about any either! Interesting observation here ... Now I'll always be on the lookout for one.

Carolyn V said...

I always seem to put redheads in my ms. Love that color!

Rula Sinara said...

Great post! I may have come across a few, but I think they were all in Scottish based historicals. Makes me think of Kevin McKidd, who plays the groom in Made of Honor (he's also in Grey's Anatomy).

Anne Gallagher said...

Jennifer, was that a gauntlet I just heard you throw?

I don't know why, but red-headed men always make me think of Scottish lairds, and kilts, and swords.

And I can't remember if I ever read a book with a red-headed hero. My villainess had red hair. But she's so wicked it has to be red.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

You're right, I haven't come across any red-headed heroes, but there sure seems to be an insurgence of red-headed heroines lately in my reads. Definitely compensating for the lack in the opposite gender!

Melissa McClone said...

I haven't read any red-headed heroes nor have I written any! I've used red-headed secondary characters though.

Linda G. said...

As you've heard already, Jamie Fraser of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. The ultimate red-headed hero. :)

Tamika: said...

So, now I'm off to Amazon to check out more about the Outlander Series! Thanks ladies! There are no red-heads in my library- not yet:)

Diane Craver said...

One of my secondary male characters in a book I started writing several months ago has red hair. I can't think of any male heroes in the books I've read having red hair. Interesting topic, Jennifer!

Karen Lange said...

You know, I can't recall any redheaded heroes! Hmm, something to consider...:)

Maria Zannini said...

Red-headed heroines, maybe, but I've never come across a red-headed hero. Maybe I don't get out enough. :)

Joanna St. James said...

Lets start a revolution, We'll all write red headed heroes.

Sharon Jones said...

Jamie Fraser from Outlander...He is a red-headed Highlander living in the 1700's who meets Claire from 1945... Anyone reading this who has not read Diana Gabaldon's books...run out right now. You will never regret it!
This series is my all time favorite historical fiction/romance books ever.
Ever.
Sharon :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Isn't it funny how we avoid red-haired heros?? The first boy who ever liked me was red haired and I didn't like him for that reason!! Awful!

Jaime Wright said...

you're so right!!! There AREN'T any redheaded heroes. But have you noticed how many red headed HEROINES there are???? Holy buckets of red hair dye! :) yeah ... red headed heroes aren't typically inspiring of fantasy.

Bethanne said...

this is so true. My dad was a light red head, but bald by 25 so I don't think he counts.

I think this is a great plan, Jennifer. We definitely need to give our redhead props!! And look at that prince. He's good-looking and charming. A little shy... GREAT hero fodder. :D

Nisa said...

Redheaded heroes has a nice ring to it too. A pity that I can't think of one! Crazy!

Sarah Allen said...

Haha, great post :) I'm totally more of a guy-next-door type of gal, so I'm all in favor of a redheaded hero. Go for it!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Nick said...

Lucille Ball!

Cheryl Klarich said...

Love the pics!! Very fun post. I NEED to read the Outlander books!
Thanks a bunch- of carrot tops???

Gina Ardito/Katherine Brandon said...

My hero in The Bonds of Matri-money, Connell, is red-haired (and sorta based on an amalgam of Eric Stolz and my cute Scots coworker--former--whose name shall not be mentioned).

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My real life beloved has auburn hair and one of my sons is a ginger. I've written a number of secondary characters with red hair and they're very heroic.
This was thought provoking.

Jessica Nelson said...

I've heard of the lack of red-haired heroes before. I guess I don't write them because I've never been attracted to a red-haired man. Good food for thought!

Sharon Jones said...

Jennifer: I don't know what's going on, but it seems like your blog has been hacked. (is that even possible?) For the past two days now, I've gotten emails that say they are from "Me, My Muse and I" When I open them it is garbage about free sex videos, although within the text it does say: "Anonymous has left a new comment on the post: Beyond Blonde and Brunette"

Are you getting anything similar or is it MY email?
Thanks,
Sharon :)

Caryn Caldwell said...

How funny - I never even thought about it, but you're right! You see red-haired heroines (who always, always have a fiery temper to match their hair) but never heroes.

Diane Craver said...

Sharon,
I've gotten a couple and they mentioned porn videos so you aren't the only one.

Sierra Godfrey said...

I love this post Jennifer! This is great. I have long asked where the ginger headed hero is! I personally don't mind the red haired man, except on obvious people like CarrotTop, who I suspect could be named Chocolate Top with brown hair and I'd still find him repulsive.