Today we're thrilled to welcome Sharon Ashwood to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Sharon's latest release, Possessed by the Fallen, came out today! Sharon writes about wolf shifters, and as we all know, wolves run in packs. Sharon is here today to talk about the unique influence family has on us and how that influence shapes the background and journey of a character. Thanks, Sharon!
No man is an island, unless he’s an alpha hero. The image of the lone cowboy riding into a prairie sunset is firmly fixed in the popular imagination. He’s the symbol of individualism, independence, and the belief that personal strength of character can overcome every obstacle. He’s a figure of romance in the older sense of the word—an avatar of the quest, a demigod who has accepted loneliness as the price of storied adventure. Or, at least that’s what his publicist would have us believe. Never believe a press kit.
He’s not so alone as all that. Scratch the surface and our hero (unless he’s utterly socially dysfunctional) has a life with relationships and community, even if it’s a less than traditional one. One of the favorite tropes of popular fiction is the “band of brothers,” a group of strong male characters who are held together by a shared experience or purpose. Both military adventures and heist stories use this construct, as do a wealth of paranormal romances. J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is an obvious example—no one would ever question the individual power of the heroes, and yet they work within a complex, interdependent community that makes them stronger than they would be on their own.