Ever find a hero that won’t let go of YOU?
A couple of years ago, I read an article in the Romance Writer Report which stated that women are attracted to a man who “looks at them like they are the only thing in the room.” I found that idea intriguing. So I started wondering, what sort of man would have that kind of intensity?
A deaf man.
So I dove in and decided to write a deaf hero. Because I write historicals and Norsemen, I set him in the 1700s in Christiania (now Oslo) Norway. Next, I needed to figure out what a deaf man could do to support himself, after being passed over as heir because of his hearing loss. He told me he solves crimes because (in his gestures): When people find out I’m deaf, they forget I’m in the room. Plus, he reads lips.
After dragging Brander Hansen through all kinds of emotional torture ~ and having him track a serial killer along southern Norway’s coastline ~ he gets his “Happily Ever After” with the heroine. I typed The End, and thought I was done.
He didn’t agree.
After a few months, Brander nudged me and asked if I was really certain I wanted to let go of him.
With a deep breath and a squaring of shoulders, I turned back to look at Brander’s life with his new wife, Regin Kildahl. Turns out, the spunky Baroness wasn’t ready to sit back and enjoy a quiet life either. Enter Desert Breeze Publishing and contracts for FIVE books, based on the strength of the first, “A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery.”
Through 2012 and 2013, we also released “A Discreet Gentleman of Matrimony” (a murder behind locked doors), “A Discreet Gentleman of Consequence” (18th-century version of a Ponzi scheme), and “A Discreet Gentleman of Intrigue” (spy playing all sides).
The fifth book released today through Desert Breeze: “A Discreet Gentleman of Mystery” (a dead body inside a wall of Regin’s ancestral home).
Writing a deaf hero in the 1700s was a challenge, to be honest. Aside from the lack of a formal sign language, the common perception of the deaf was that they were stupid. Of course, Brander turns that to his advantage.
Another challenge was figuring out a way to let the reader know HOW the dialog was being delivered. I decided on:
“Spoken words are in quotation marks.”
Written words are in italics.
And when Brander gestures: His sentences look like dialog, but without quote marks.
Will this book be the last about Brander and Regin? I’m not certain. I have a Renaissance knight stubbornly demanding his turn next, and he’s a trilogy. While Desert Breeze is strongly hinting that they would like more, I’ll have to wait and listen to Brander.
And for a mute-by-choice deaf man, he does have a very loud voice.
About the Author
Kris Tualla, a dynamic award-winning author of historical romances, writes with a fast-paced and succinct style. Her plots are full of twists, passion, and very satisfying outcomes! Kris started with nothing but a nugget of a character in mind, and has created a dynasty – The Hansen Series. Norway is the new Scotland!
Kris is an active member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Historical Novel Society. She is an enthusiastic speaker and teacher, and created Arizona Dreamin’ ~ Arizona’s first romance-reader event!