There’s something ineffably sexy about a hero who protects and saves others from danger, even at risk to his own life. The military men and policemen. The FBI agents.
I love fireman heroes. They’re sort of the ideal, right? Protective, loyal, brave. At the same time, I think there’s a risk, for me as an author, to lean into the positive light. The reality of a flesh and blood man is much more complicated, much more interesting–and much more sexy.
After all, they run into burning buildings. Fighting fires, saving people is a wonderful service, and risking their own lives is inherent to that. At the same time, there’s something unique about that from a characterization standpoint. Were they born with less fear or do they fight, nail and tooth, for the ability to enter the flames each time? Do they have nightmares, and if so, what keeps them showing up each day when another person would quit? There’s a darker, more dangerous space to explore in these fireman hero stories that is all the more revealing.
And that’s what I think books are really about. Romance, yes, but really any type of book. Revealing things about the characters, about ourselves. Facing their fears just to find out what they are. Opening them up to new experiences, to love.
Becoming naked in the process, which is why I love erotic romance so much. It is a perfect analogy for every book in every genre, baring ourselves. Becoming vulnerable and releasing our self control.
Ashes is a free 8,000-word story featuring a woman alone on Valentine’s Day and the fireman who can save her. It’s available to read directly in your browser or to download in various formats for your ereader here.