I’m beyond thrilled to have Amy Harmon as the guest post this month. Amy is one of the authors I admire the most, not only for her writing talent, but for the person she is. Her books are unique, thought-provoking, poignant, and lyrical. She’s the type of author that makes me want to be a better writer.
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Feed him, and he’ll keep coming back for more. Interestingly enough, no one has ever said that about women. That’s because the way to a woman’s heart is through her mind. Oh sure, we love a great set of shoulders and a great smile. We love confidence and a good work ethic, and a healthy bank account still turns most women’s heads. But if a man is quick-witted and wise, thoughtful and intelligent, he can be severely lacking in the looks department, have less than a nickel to his name, and still win a woman over, I guarantee it.
Woman are complicated, much more complicated than men. We want men to notice our pert breasts and long legs, yet when they do we are disdainful of the attention, accusing them of having one-track minds. We wear masks and camouflage, spend way too long in front of our mirrors, spend far too much time worrying about our appearances, yet when it all comes down to it, we desperately want men to see the woman beneath the costume, beneath the plumage.
In my novel, A Different Blue, our leading man, Darcy Wilson, plays the cello and idolizes Saint Patrick. His eyes are grey and his hair slightly unruly. His shirts come untucked and he is on the tall, thin side with a tendency to be a bit stiff and old-fashioned. He can go on and on about history and all its inner workings and hidden ironies. Add to that a stuffy English accent and an earnestness that our leading lady is entirely unfamiliar with, and you have two characters who, on the surface, couldn’t be more different. In fact, Wilson is so far outside Blue’s Echohawk’s wheelhouse that she can’t help but notice him, even though, in the beginning, she is highly irritated by him. However, we all know that irritation is a great indicator of chemistry. Irritation happens when there is friction. Friction is the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another, and frankly, friction is very, very stimulating. Friction becomes fascination. Fascination becomes obsession. And the slower this process takes place, the more heat and tension is created.
James Mcavoy inspired Darcy Wilson from A Different Blue
I wanted to make Darcy Wilson the kind of man a reader can slowly fall in love with because I think that’s what women really want. They want to be convinced. I didn’t want him to be flashy or devastatingly handsome. He definitely isn’t a billionaire in a sharp suit or an alpha male who makes women pant just by raising a delicious eyebrow. He isn’t the kind of man you expect to win you over. Yet, he will. He’ll win you over, just like he did Blue, and he’ll do it subtly, unexpectedly. He makes Blue Echohawk search for her own answers, challenges her preconceived ideas about the world and about herself, and, through a series of history lessons, slowly unravels her, revealing the wounded and complex character beneath that so many women can relate to. He will make you think, and therefore, make you think about him. And we women love to think.
Yes, we want our men to notice our exteriors, but even more, we want them to peel back our shiny layers to the girl underneath it all. We want them to see us, to challenge us, to consider us equals, and even, to learn from us, which is what happens in A Different Blue. Blue and Wilson seep into each other’s cracks. They figure each other out, and in the process, the reader discovers themselves as well. This isn’t the typical, taboo, student/teacher love affair that people cluck their tongues over and yet can’t wait to read. This is a story of a friendship built on a shaky foundation, a relationship that is tested and tried, that shouldn’t have even begun, nonetheless thrived! This story is about a union formed from the meeting of minds and the clashing of wills and intellects, and interestingly enough, that is where the magic lies. In the end, broad shoulders and smoldering eyes can only get a man so far. If a man can capture a woman’s mind, he’ll capture her heart.
New York Times Bestselling Author