Sunday, May 13, 2012

Guest Blog by Lisa Renee Jones - Creating a paranormal hero

Please welcome the fabulous Lisa Renee Jones to The Qwillery!  Lisa is the author of many novels. The latest in her Zodius series is The Danger That Is Damion, which was published on May 1, 2012.

Creating a paranormal hero

Creating a hero is one of the most important things we do as authors. Our hero has to do more than ‘look’ like a hero. They have to act like one. Their actions have to back up their character in a way that leads readers to define our hero and make him worthy of his title. How the writer takes the internal and external events that occur in the story to make this happen is critical to having readers relate, and/or empathize, with the character. The way this connection is executed is critical and its important to understand how the genre impacts that execution.

So how do you create a paranormal hero?

The Paranormal hero and the conflicts in the story:

--Usually the hero is saving the world from some horrible Apocalyptic terror. That makes him pretty darn likable right there.

--He can shoot anything between the eyes and not miss. He’s a hero so, of course, he would only actually shoot the bad guys. He has some destiny that, no matter his present state of mind, says he’s special. His journey to accept/become that destiny is critical to who he is as a character.

--There will be a lot of external conflict in most paranormal stories. Stories might include demons, monsters, or just bad people/beings who are after something that will be horrific for the world. There’s a ticking clock, and the good guys need to beat the clock to keep the bad guys from winning. Another common thread is that the heroine is forbidden to the hero, monsters are trying to kill her and he must save her.

In the ‘save the world and woman’ scenarios there is a lot of fighting, running, searching, and so on. This is where the hero can get lost. However, his mighty weapons, his yummy body, or even his bedroom skills, cannot be all that makes him a hero. When there is a lot of external conflict it’s easy to forget the emotional conflict. Who is he? Who was he as a child? Who does he want to be? How do these things impact everything he says, does, desires, despises, and loves? In a romance, how do these things make the story and the love that is created between the two main characters stronger?

Think deep on this.

For instance, if the hero is suddenly a vampire, then he needs blood. He must find a way to get that blood. Why does this impact him emotionally or why does it not? How does it impact his ability to love and trust, as well as his choices in life and this story? Does the hero hate blood? Did he witness a horrible wreck and lose someone and the blood brings back those memories? He needs to have baggage because we all have baggage. That baggage doesn’t define us but how we handle it does.

Don’t let the paranormal world-building and action make you forget the character of the hero. The story is a romance or a horror story or a suspense. Think about the internal motivations of the character. If those motivations are clear then the hero can even tread on territory that isn’t always considered hero-like and we will forgive him because we see where he is coming from and what drives him. In a romance, there are two primary characters. Think about their internal conflicts together, not just the external ones, that bring them together or tear them apart. External conflict matters but internal conflict and growth has to be occur along with external actions.

How does the external conflict in a scene develop/change the internal conflict?

In ‘The Danger that is Damion’ (Zodius Series Sourcebooks Casablanca May 2012), Damion comes from a wealthy family, but his brother was killed in a car accident when Damion was driving the car. His brother begged him to take him to see his girlfriend because she was leaving for vacation and though his brother was grounded, Damion agreed. That’s when it happened. His parents blame him and he relives the moment when his mother attacked him and started hitting him in the hospital, screaming that Damion was to blame. He found the Army and he’s Mr. America. Rules, rules, rules. Even with all that has happened to create the super soldiers in this series, he believes in honor and rules, and he refuses to deviate from that. Until saving a woman makes him change the rules and break the rules. Of course, there is a threat to the world and the heroine is a part of that threat. He has to go against the obvious, the appearance that she is one of the bad guys, and in the end they will save the day together. But even when he knows she is good, there will be choices he questions for fear that he will let her down, too.

So there you have tips to create a great paranormal hero! I hope you find them useful!

About The Zodius Series

The Danger That Is Damion
Zodius 3
Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 1, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Lethally passionate, wickedly dangerous...

Renegade warrior Damion Browne is a soldier of soldiers, an enforcer of the code of honor. With ruthless precision, he calculates risks as deliberately as he does his lover's satisfaction. Now it's up to him to defeat a new generation of female Super Soldiers, including the one woman perfectly programmed to be his downfall.

His enemy...or his soul mate?

Lara Martin has never felt powerful, until she's brainwashed to destroy the one man who can help her find the answers she so desperately seeks. Alone and embroiled in lies, Lara must turn to Damion for the key to the truth ...

The Storm That is Sterling
Zodius 2
Sourcebooks Casablanca, November 1, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

He may be invincible to everyone else. . .

Sterling Jeter has remarkable powers and has shown himself to be just about indestructible. But beautiful, brilliant Rebecca Burns knows that even a Super Soldier needs comfort, and so much more ...

But she can see that deep down, he’s just a man …

Sterling and Rebecca's teenage romance was interrupted, but years later the heat between them flares back to life. Even though it endangers everything they're fighting for, it's impossible to resist picking up right where they left off . . .

The Legend of Michael
Zodius 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca. May 1, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.

Cassandra holds the key to Michael’s power, and his pain. With loyalties divided and against insurmountable odds, Cassandra’s heart propels her to Michael’s side—but can her love do anything but destroy him…

No ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one thing is clear—the world will never be the same…

About Lisa

In 2003, award winning author Lisa Renee Jones sold her multi-state staffing agency and has since published over thirty novels and novellas across several genres. Her debuts with Blaze and Nocturne hit Bookscan’s Top 100 list and her Blaze Hotzone trilogy made a showing on the list in 2011 also. With a new Blaze trilogy, a short story for Spice, the third book in her Zodius series published with Sourcebooks, as well as an rapidly growing indie following, 2012 will bring many new stories to her readers. Booklist says about Jones’ suspense: “…truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann. Alpha, military, and paranormal romance readers will want Jones’ entire series.” Lisa is active on Facebook and Twitter, and you can find her at

Lisa's Links

Facebook Fan Page

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win his/her choice of one of the Zodius novels - The Legend of Michael, The Storm That Is Sterling OR The Danger That is Damion - from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who is your ideal paranormal hero?  
(You can pick more than one if you can't choose.)

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, May 20, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. my ideal paranormal hero is someone who has overcome a very tragic past. I love reading about the tortured soul. And I know that this isn't for paranormal heroes but rather heroes in general

  2. My ideal Paranormal hero is a real hard-ass on the outside, but on the inside they are all heart, but I do also like a tortured hero. I have way too many to list but all the BDB brothers are all rather ideal ;P

    GFC follower - Jet

  3. I like paranormal heroes who are alpha but respect and look for heroines who are strong and intelligent. My favorite is Curran from the Kate Daniels series.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweeted (!/RebeLovesBooks/status/201687724053377025)


  4. I'm a sucker for a hard core dominant alpha with a hidden soft side. This works for all my Hereos wether it be PNR or not.
    I've been dying to read Lisa she has been on my TBR list for awhile now.

  5. One of my favorite paranormal heroes is "Zsadist" from J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. His past is so tragic, but when he meets his mate, the healing finally begins. He'll never be perfect, but comes along way in recovering from such a tortured/tragic past.

    This was a great post! Thanks very much for the giveaway! Lisa's books are definitely my kind of read :-)

    Follower by GFC/Twitter/Email

  6. Thanks for a great post! I've read such awesome reviews about Lisa's books! *hangshead* I have The Legend of Michael buried in my TBR pile, gotta go dig it out right now! :)

    I love a PN hero who is confident w/out being cocky, a leader w/out steamrolling and one who recognizes and respects the abilities and decision making of others. Just cuz they're bad*ss doesn't mean they act like one. Ummm... I can't think of a good example right now. I've been reading a lot of PNR w/ alpha heroes who are one step away from psycho status and it irks me. There is a such a thing as too alpha and I've been running into male heros who have crossed the line and fallen off the cliff. :(

    +1 gfc: erin
    +1 comment

  7. My ideal paranormal hero is Larissa Ione's Wraith. Damn is he vicious and yet so tender to those he loves. +1
    GFC as Victoria Sloboda +1
    Tweeted:!/Jovial_1/status/201752160428498944 +1


  8. Declan from Immortals After Dark

    I follow the blog.


  9. Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think Angel is a great paranormal heroe because he was bad and then became good and is trying to make up for all the bad things hes done. He belongs with Buffy. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest.

  10. My ideal paranormal hero is a toss up between J.M. or Z both from the BDB series by J.R. Ward. They've gone through so much and both turned out to be great guys.

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower of The Qwillery
    +1 Tweeted:!/yadkny/status/201792674523652096

  11. My ideal paranormal hero is an alpha personality with a sensitive and caring side, like Lon Butler from Jenn Bennett's Kindling the Moon. He's a take-charge earthbound demon who's a loving father and thoughtful boyfriend.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC: Barbara E.

  12. Hi

    I think an ideal paranormal hero is Curran from Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series.

    Thanks for the chance.


  13. My ideal paranormal hero is that alpha male. That wants all the control, but not in a bad way. One that is very protective, a fighter, and very loyal. So great characters that have that alpha male personality are Bones from Jeaniene Frosts' Night Huntress series, Richard from Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton, and Vishous & Rhage from BDB Brotherhood by JR Ward.

  14. I have a new fav! Just finished reading Kristen Callihan's Firelight & this bk is the best I've read this year & for some time. It's a Historical Romance w/PNR elements (i think?! I can never figure out genres nowadays) & I totally love the hero Lord Benjamin Archer. The book is immensely romantic & I love both characters.

    +3 comment, follower, tweeted!/LindaThum/status/201822502429786113

  15. My ideal is the alpha who has had to over come lots in life but triumphs.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  16. My ideal hero would be someone strong and protective, but not too obvious about it. I loved Obsidian's Daemon, and one of Lisa's other series, Werewolf Society, features some great werewolf heroes! I haven't read any of these books yet, but they are on my TBR list! Thanks!


    GFC follower: BookcaseLaura

    BookcaseLaura (at) gmail (dot) com

  17. My ideal PN hero would have to be Bones from the NIGHT HUNTRESS series by Jeaniene Frost. I want strength & intelligence.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  18. Reading through all of these and loving them all but the one that made me go YES was Angel. I forget him and how? I loved him. I was so mad at David for quitting that show. I do love me some Bones to Marybelle! And Laura thank you on the wolves:)

  19. My ideal paranormal hero was Archangel Raphael from Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. I really love Raphael, especially his wing. LOL!!

    +1 GFC as Filia Oktarina
    +1 comment
    +1 Twitter :!/FiliaTsuki/status/201997063788036098

    filiafantasy at gmail dot com

  20. Who is your ideal paranormal hero?
    Oh my God... There's too many of them!!!
    I like Jericho Z. Barrons, he's a tortured hero but in the same time he don't give a fuck (on the outside)! The alpha male is always the best and I like when the guy is overprotective and possessive of is female. He have to be a kick-ass male but always looking for his mate like the BDB heros!

    Thanks for this giveaway!

    +1 I follow as Proserpine
    +1 Share on fcebook:
    +1 Answer the question


  21. That is a hard question to answer. I really love Zsadist from J.R. Ward's BDB series. He's rough and gruff on the outside, but he's a mushball on the inside.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  22. great info about creating a paranormal heroine.Thanks for sharing this post lisa!