By Jennifer McAndrews
For me, no matter what genre I write in, a hint of romance always sneaks into the story. So it didn’t surprise me in the least when my main character Rachel came face-to-face with Bowie - the soft-spoken tenor who would reveal himself as the story’s hero.
Bowie did surprise the author for edited for me. ‘He’s awfully smooth for a high school kid,’ she noted (though I paraphrase). And I thought, is he? Or is he the classics young adult hero?
Let’s think about this for a minute (and when I think, I think in movies, so just go with it, ok?). Consider a few of the more swoon-worthy, full hero moments: Jerry Maguire admittine “You complete me” (Jerry Maguire); Melvin Udall confessing, “You make me want to be a better man” (As Good as It Gets); and of course, Johnny Castle proclaiming, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” (Dirty Dancing). Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the moments that take your breath away aren’t limited to “grown up” movies. Those same men who capture the leading lady’s heart were one young men, showing the very same awareness of what it takes to be a hero. We saw it when Duke Orsino turned up to escort Viola to the debutante ball (She’s the Man), when Patrick Verona fessed up to accepting cash to date Kat, but “screwed up” by falling for her (10 Things I Hate About You). And who can forget Jake Ryan waiting outside the church for Samantha and insisting “Yeah, you” (followed, as all romantics know, by the iconic birthday cake scene; Sixteen Candles).
No doubt you can think of more examples, but the evidence is apparent: heroes do not have a ready-by age on them. The traits that give us heroic men are often present in heroic teens. A hero shows up at just the right moment, and, in romance, a hero sees the heroine for who she really is, and loves her for being herself.
Yeah, I think that’s something that girls of all ages can embrace.♥
Jennifer McAndrews is proud to be part of the stellar group of authors in the young adult anthology ETERNAL SPRING -- now available at Amazon in print, or download the ebook FREE. Read excerpts from her other novels at http://www.jennifermcandrews.com/.
TOMORROW: Elizabeth Knowles writes about heroes and stress.