Sunday, June 15, 2008
One of the things that I found interesting at Authorfest was that, on the Romance panel, none of the speakers said the alpha male was a requirement for romance. Not that the wooing/seducing male is unpopular, quite the reverse, but he is not compulsory. In fact, I think for the first time I heard several speakers use the term 'alpha male' as an implicitly derogatory term roughly synonymous with 'thug'.
To me the alpha male is a male character who exerts a level of control over the heroine, either physically or through some level of deceit or manipulation--through use of power. This can be as explicit as a pirate abducting the damsel or more subtle such as pursuing a seduction despite being told not to (gotta love those stalkers). I think this sort of pursuit can make for an interesting story, it just isn't to my taste, as a reader or a writer.
I get that a strong, sweep-you-off-your-feet hero is still the predominant fantasy figure in romance. But I am thrilled to see a panel of authors from a diversity of genres, writing for a range of publishers, quite firmly behind the idea that romance in a much broader genre that can use other dynamics in the central relationship(s). Of course alpha female, MF hold the BDSM, is still a little hard to find....
p.s. scamwatch: "SFWA" contest is not legit, avoid.
p.p.s Cum Hither can now be found at Pickled Cupid