Monday, August 9, 2010

Can Heroes Play the Accordion/Tuba/do the Polka?

Can your hero play chess? Knit? Do the polka?

While all are worthwhile things to do...and I don't want to slight any man who does them!...I think these hobbies can't stand alone as a masculine lure but can add to a hero's macho facade and alpha male persona in romance books to gain a reader's attention.

In a book I'm writing/editing now, the hero finds out the heroine has asked a mutual friend about him in an effort to "catch" him by showing interest in his hobbies. Deciding to "turn the table" on her, he has the friend feed her misinformation. Two of his favorite things? Playing the accordion and dancing the polka.

In my published book "Strip Poker for Two" by April Ash, hero Jason actually has played the tuba while in the angst years of teen crushes. He tried serenading the girl of his dreams, heroine Allison. His tuba playing expertise and stories are inserted in their story, and he gets one last embarrassing chance to play for a room full of guests...including the heroine.

Do these hobbies make the heroes any less desirable? Hell, no. In my WIP, the heroine does her best to keep a smile on her face as the hero talks about his love of polka dancing and accordion music, although she finds an excuse not to join him. She does, however, try to act interested as she seeks his undivided attention.

In "Strip Poker for Two", Allison realizes she'd been embarrassed by Jason's school-years attention, and the tuba serenades just made him more undesirable at the time. Memories of Jason's playing music just for her make him more endearing as their relationship heats up and the tuba songs don't seem quite so embarrassing.

Can your heroes have these hobbies and still have you craving their passionate embraces?

Photos: Flickr: Sandy Kemsley, Michel Banabila, and Carsten Knoch photostreams.


  1. Adding a quirky hobby or interest adds depth to a character and gives the opportunity to interject humor in a story.

  2. I love how you're having the heroine fed misinformation. That should make for some funny scenes.

  3. Sure why not. My hero is a professional violinist(who gets quite indignant when other males poo-poo it) and the heroine looooves when he plays for her. So why not the tuba? LOL

  4. "Cowboy's Christmas Bride, my very first book has a sexy chess game between hero and heroine. Anny Cook's WIP has the heroine teaching the hero to crochet. You can have lots of fun giving big tough guys "soft" touches.

  5. I love it. I think these unexpected hobbies are a great opportunity to add humor and depth to the story.
    XXOO Kat

  6. Now, I'm really dying to read Strip Poker for Two, and it's first on my TBR list. I love when characters have unexpected hobbies.

  7. I Love when the players have mutiple talents. It adds to their dimensions.

  8. Keeping it real is what fiction is all about!
    Tuba? Tubing? Tubular roses? play 'em. ride 'em. grow 'em.
    gotta make it real!!!!

  9. I love whimsy in books,even if it's a darker story. I think playing the tuba, having a hidden stash of comics, playing Bingo once a month with a group of older ladies...okay, that was just off the top of my head. LOL But I love quirky things like this in romances:)

  10. Thanks for the comments! Heroes can be so enticing when they show a softer side, and do something out of the knit, or play the accordion and dance the polka!

  11. Call me a nerd but I think the accordian is sexy! Must be because of all the hottie celtic musicians I've seen.
    As for the polka -- Oktoberfest can get down and dirty and I know tons of people ho have met their significant others at the German beerfest ;-)

  12. Hi. I think as long as everything works together good it doesn't matter. The right things could make a nerd sexy and everyone has quirky things they like so why not our heroes...



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