Friday, June 5, 2015

Stereotypical Jamie Hill

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The main characters in my novels are physically fit because let's face it, they're made up so if I'm going make them my fantasy, I might as well do it right. My cops and US Marshals need to stay trim for their jobs, so with this in mind I start them out as perfect then mention that they like to run for exercise and eat salads and lean protein for dinner. Perfect, right?

Readers have told me they appreciate how down to earth my characters are. They smoke (people HATE that), they might drink a little too much, they like to swear and have sex (opinions are mixed on THAT but the reviews are generally positive.) For most of them, weight isn't an issue because I don't mention it. They might joke about a couple of extra pounds, but it's nothing major. The beautiful cover models that BWL Art Director Michelle Lee comes up with give us a glimpse of what our people look like before we ever crack the book. They're attractive, enviable people. As a reader, that's what I look for in a romance book and it's what I suspect the majority of readers look for, too. 

The overweight heroine (or hero) has her/his place in certain titles, God Bless 'em and thank goodness for that. But for the most part, the attribute of size is usually skipped over or assumed by the cover image. This sounds horribly prejudiced but the cold fact is, if I'm going to live vicariously through a woman in a book, I want her to be pretty and damn sexy. 

That's my author perspective. My real woman perspective is that all people can be pretty and sexy, regardless of their size or shape. True beauty comes from within as much as it comes from the outside package. A woman can be a size zero supermodel but if she's got an ugly personality, neither my husband nor myself will ever think she's attractive. Conversely, if all of us had makeup artists, hair stylists, and Photoshop at our disposal, more of us might look like supermodels!

Thankfully, beauty is subjective and I truly believe there is someone for everyone. Speaking as a plus-sized woman who's trying to make her way down into being a normal-sized woman, it's not easy. I don't expect or want to look like a model, I just want to feel good and be healthy. So I plug along, walking after my dinner of salad and lean protein. 

But in my mind...well, let's just say, it's more fun to be perfect, right?

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Jamie Hill