Coast to Coast Romance

Personality Tropes

September 26, 2021 Ann Jensen & Skylar West Season 1 Episode 6
Coast to Coast Romance
Personality Tropes
Show Notes Transcript

Personality Tropes (What are the Main characters, Like?)

Personality, or Character Tropes? ... In the context of fiction, character tropes refer to common attributes or even entire stock characters. 

  • Alien Hero: A human heroine falls in love with, or is abducted by, an alien life force hero from another planet.
  • Alpha Hero: The heroine must contend with a strong-willed, domineering, hyper-masculine, successful and wealthy hero.
  • Armed Forces: A sexy, dynamic hero in uniform draws the heroine into a relationship, but a career in the army, navy etc., creates conflict.
  • Athlete Hero: Sports themes are popular in North American romances, especially for teen and young adult audiences.
  • Beta Hero: The good guy, the guy next door – this type of hero is usually more even-tempered and more realistic than the typical alpha hero.
  • Bisexual Hero Or Heroine: This character is openly and equally attracted to both men and women. As a protagonist, they live by their own rules or sexual code, which makes them irresistibly unpredictable.
  • Cowboys: Whether a rancher or a Texas Ranger, the hero embodies the characteristics and moral codes of the American frontier: courage, integrity, and usually a bit of chauvinism.
  • Cyborg Hero: The heroine falls in love with an electromechanically enhanced man. The hero may have become cyborg after an experiment, accident, or some other tragedy.
  • Dominant Alpha: An archetypal character in explicit, erotic fiction, the dominant alpha is rich, sexy, possessive, and always in charge.
  • Domme Heroine: A domme, female dominatrix or BDSM mistress is often found in erotica, steamy romances, or period romances.
  • Fish out of water: The heroine comes from a small town to a big city and is unprepared for the sophistication of the hero. Similarly, a city girl finds herself working or stranded in a small town and falls for the charm of a local hero. 

Thank you for joining us,

Ann Jensen & Skylar West

Contact Information:

Ann Jensen

Skylar West

Hi, I'm Ann Jensen coming to you from the east coast of New Jersey. Hi, I'm Skyler West coming to you from the west coast of Canada. We are two romance writers using our life experiences to break down and share with you all things romance, how you find your next book boyfriend, discovering genres and troops and looking at what works and why and what doesn't work and why. Thank you for listening to coast to coast romance. Today's episode we're going to be discussing personality tropes. All right, so what are personality tropes? Basically, there's different categories of tropes, not just in romance, but of course, any genre of book and we have created if you have been listening all along, you will have heard our previous two episodes, where we have created four main categories of our tropes. And this one the personality trope is please Well, I mean, we'll go through the one by one but the heroine and the hero of the primaries, yeah, and within those tropes, a trope in general is just a common framework and that we work inside in order to tell our stories. So what we did was we went through the tropes, and we decided which ones had to do with the personality of the hero or the heroine and how that might guide our story or change our story. Now, I've seen some tropes, where you know, you have mixes of these personality tropes previously, like with our conflicts, or tropes and other things like that. It's more common just to see one, maybe two per book. But with this, the tropes aren't just for the main characters, they can also be for your side characters or things like that. Absolutely. And there can be lots of crossovers. You know, you can have as an example, a cyborg hero, who's also dominant, who's also an alpha, who's also a billionaire who's cowboy, cowboy. Why not? Why not? We're gonna start with my secret love, which is the alien hero because I have to admit that I am totally addicted to Evangeline Anderson and her bride series. She has a couple other that just absolutely add on to tickle my fancy because I think sometimes we can accept certain personality traits in an alien that we wouldn't necessarily in a modern man. Absolutely. Oh, for sure. 100% So is this the series? The price of Kindred? 12? Yes, okay. Okay. It's the brides of Kindred. There's like 30 plus books. Wow, more. They have but the the general concept is that there's an alien race that came to protect us from another alien race and the cost of their protection is that any woman who would like to can submit to being tested and then they they find your perfect match. The matchmaker troll mixed in there I love it and you get you get whisked away to the man who is perfectly suited for you. his inner alien is great. And of course you know you have Oh, this particular race they only made in twos right? Well that like well she ran in one woman This one's a beast. This one's you know kind of vampire This one's Oh, it's just so in her box when being this she has all these opportunities like the characters do? Does someone who gets matched with another whatever ever kind of be shocked by what they're being matched with? Like, or one of those tongue in cheek? Oh, of course, that's much for me because secretly that's what I've always wanted. So what's interesting is It usually starts out with because it's a brain. And of course, we're getting into this but it's a brain thing. Where you you have this dream of your your perfect ad so but you wake up and you're like, Oh, no, no, not that. Yeah. Right. That's awesome. But in some of our more recent books, it's it hasn't necessarily been going through the bride matching. like they've just been meeting their perfect mates or you know, everything like that. So yeah, she she she has a lot of different ways to draw you in. And there's the overarching plot and everything like that, but Ooh, steam hoof. Nice. Check those out. Yes. Okay. Well, let's go on to the alpha hero then. And those are always my favorite. And I tend to even write a lot of those I have to admit, the heroine must contend with a strong we'll domineering, hyper masculine, successful and wealthy hero. I don't know that wealthy is necessarily a necessary part of the alpha hero. But yeah, as usual, it is usual and I don't think when I think of wealthy to with these characters, I don't necessarily think financial wealth, but usually their wealth and they have a wealth of connections. There's a reason why they are the way they are they they're usually the top in their field, whatever that may be, or, you know, they've been running the family business since they were 13, or something that, you know, allows them to be this. Usually they're arrogant, and that takes that'll lower theirs, there's the best in the best in their field. Exactly, exactly. And so wealthy meaning they're prestigious, right, right. But and this is a really popular trope, I have to admit that, at least in my experience, other than the supersweet or, you know, like more mainstream romances, I don't really see many non alpha heroes, whether it be in male male romance, one of them's alpha, and you could have a male female, where the females the alpha, but one of them is usually got that going for them. This is true, this is true, because it's a dynamic between two different powers. Right? Right. And, and that creates a text just on its own, even before the plot begins. Yes. And I think people look for that, you know, it's um, it always reminds me of those, you know, shows or books you read, where's you know, she walks into a bar in the air again, it could be a cowboy bar, sure, why not? You know, walk into the bar, and you know, the superstar and standing there with his arm leaning on the bar, and he's like, Oh, well, what do you drink? And I'll buy you a drink? Well, hang on a second. This is I want you to buy me a drink. I need a drink. Where are you? What do you want from the same token? the understory that the readers reading is that course there's something in that dynamic that works for both people, right? And I also think that unless it's a really long romance, you kinda need to have at least one of them have their stuff together. Yes, agreed can be the journey of one person getting their stuff together. But if both of them are kind of like working, yeah, and I don't have no mouth feeding themselves, but you don't know where they're going in their life. I think you might be going more into fiction rather than? Absolutely. You have mentioned many times that the wonderful thing about romance genre is that you always know how it's going to end. It's going to be happy happily ever after we talked about that. And you have the main character, main male lead character that's wishy washy, like you said, He's in between jobs. He only knows a pair of jeans he's wearing and doesn't offer a lot of conflict. It's kind of a that's not what women fantasize about. Right. Right. Yeah. Unfortunately, many of them will date that. But anyway. Yeah. But he's such a nice guy, isn't he? Alright, the next one on our list is one of my personal favorites, which is armed force forces. It's what I write in my dark son series. Who doesn't like a man in uniform? I mean, maybe, and maybe it has something to do with that alpha, you know, going through basic and getting your stuff together, especially Special Forces. And it usually infers in shape rights, but also the ability to protect and all those kinds of things together. So absolutely. And I think like I'm, I'm in Canada, on the west coast of Canada, and our we haven't had, we don't have a military presence here. If the how the military is viewed or what they are, it's so much different in the United States and in Canada. And so I think that, from what I've seen on rankings are enforced forces, military books, and romance does a lot better in the US and it doesn't Canada because we just don't have that same connection. Oh, yeah. So it'd be interesting to see like, What is that like in Europe? What is that like on the other side of the world? Like what you know, what is the type of trope that is most identifiable for people right? That's interesting. Yeah, I'd be I now I'm thinking about I actually I can't remember the series I did read one about a Canadian Mountie or like a group of Canadian Mounties kind of like bright kind of like we would have a police force book but I don't think it's the same no and and yeah, it's just a such a different deal here. And yeah, I don't know. It's It's interesting. I personally have never read an armed forces military base book, your books are the closest I've come and I love your books. But yours are very unique. I find in that you have these retired military heroes that were a team right? These these ex seals and they're all trained in different specialties. And so they use those in their daily life now that they're no longer you know, in there and I like seeing I think more of that retired and not age wise, but career wise that retired. Yeah, I've seen a few books that have the character still in the military. And I always to me, the conflict then is more the well they're gonna have to go they're gonna, they're gonna, they're gonna get deployed and they're gonna have, you're gonna have to survive that and Yes, the basic community around that. Yeah. Now, I can't remember the series. But there there was one good series that had it in it, but a large part of the conflict was they had Yeah, Floyd and you know, survive. And that's, that's hard. bration Absolutely. That's really difficult. Whereas you think about it, like you said, for our heroes, you know, alien planets, it's such an easier thing to accept, because there's there isn't the reality of the loss, like there is when we, you know, portray that with our real heroes. Right, right. Yeah. 100%. Well, that takes us to athlete hero. And I have to admit, I mean, I'm not I've read a few books. I was trying to think of the series I read Kelly have to look her up, but she wrote a series x football players or football players. That seems to be a very common trope. Yeah, I enjoy. It's so funny. I tend to enjoy sports heroes more when it's like the New Zealand football team, or the or the England rugby rugby team or the Yeah, yeah, I think that's because I know too many American sports stars. And sure, they're not the best people. I mean, obviously, there are good ones that every but you know, our media is full of cheating. And yeah, 100%. But I enjoy it just because once again, I think much like the alpha here or the armed here Armed Forces, like it implies that they're in shape, you know, for sure. And at the top of their name or something of that nature. There's an author, so I just found it's kg Fletcher or Kelly Fletcher. And she did sell them promises. And and hers are her her guys, she does a few different series, but they're all they hit conflict within their careers, something happens or they're mistakenly accused of something that they actually did do what Oh, okay. Yeah. Which is kind of interesting. And then eventually, they all are redeemed through an act. So the last one I read by her, the football player who was now working as a gardener, for wealthy families saved her son during an earthquake. Oh, yeah. And so now he's, you know, it's become a big public thing that he was able to rescue this kid from being squished by a tree when it came through the roof and kept him even though they were they were stuck, kept him safe until, you know, the fire and whatever the rescue team showed up. That was good. So I liked that I liked when they had the sports guy, he screwed up. He knows he screwed up. Now he's redeemed. And now he gets to his he gets his do over. Right. Second Chance. Yeah, that's cool. Yeah. All right. Now we go into the beta hero, which I feel like we trashed earlier. Maybe just a little bit. But But I don't even I have to admit that I prefer the alpha hero. But I have read some some good beta hero stories, but it's usually more it's the it's the it's the guy next door. Yes. It's the kid you grew up with. And now you see them again at a reunion or, you know, like, the conflict has to come from somewhere else, because there is no conflict in him right? And turn in my feminist card. Because in my romance books, I like my, like my alpha hero. Oh, yeah. And I love the term alpha hold. What does that mean? Instead of being I don't, I don't want to get bleeped. So you know, instead of being in whole, your alpha hole, Oh, of course. Well, you know what, that makes perfect sense. They have their own breed after all. But usually, it's the downfall of the alcohol that I love is like when the sassy, you know, puts puts him in his place and everything, but I still like that dynamic, powerful personality. Yeah, no, I hear you. And yeah, it's kind of like the difference. You know, when when I read a story with an alpha, I'm like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And when I read a story with a beta, I'm like, Oh, yeah, I always say that beta are the sweet romances, like they seem to have a better fit with that type of genre, and there's nothing wrong with it. And no, you know, obviously, there's got to be lots of people who, who love it out there. Otherwise people wouldn't write it. So absolutely. So we didn't really bring the beta here up a whole lot there. But everyone's entitled to their own opinion. It's okay. Okay, so the next one is interesting, my sexual hero or heroine. So I've wanted to say this since we started but my daughter and my husband and I have been watching a Netflix original called Jane The Virgin. And we have finally our I'm think we're going to be finishing it literally tonight, and I cannot wait to be done, but it's based on a Spanish telenovela. And I can't even I just laughed so hard every trope has shown up in this series. every cycle it's so funny to sit there and go, Oh, where's my friend? And she's gonna watch this with me. Really? If you ever want to see every single trope in existence watching the virgin boy but it reminds me this because right now one of the female leads is decided she's she's bisexual and so she's currently with a woman instead of her ex husband or her ex ex husband or her boyfriend. Right? And ironically, like I don't really care, either way, personally like if there's a really hot steamy romance, I'm excited for whatever that pair is, but in this particular case, she does she has way more steam right heat level with a woman than she ever did with a man Yeah, and what's what's interesting is I like it when it is truly a bisexual not just they say they're bisexual but right now they're in it right now they're either in you know, gay or straight. Like were some of my favorite we talked about it in the last was mmf books, right, where you have one of the the men the men are bisexual with and you know, the woman is, you know, and so they're a trio, but I just enjoy the openness and the freedom that having bisexual characters gives as long as it's done correctly, because one of the things that I'm a bisexual woman and so one of the things that annoys me as a bisexual woman is the if a woman ends up with a man and she straight if a woman ends up with a woman then she's gay. It's like, it's not a picking thing. It's Yes, yes. Yes, I completely agree with you. Yeah, and I don't mind like, Oh, this is the first exploration into possibly, you know, expanding your horizons. And I've read very few well done bisexual women. And and I'm not sure why that is. But it seems that the bisexual women tend to end up only in straight erotica and only for the purposes of having lesbian scenes as well as straight sings. So clean sounds like anybody, it please, if there's anyone out there who knows a good series with a bisexual woman in it as a main character? Let me know what that is. Because absolutely Me too. I'd be very interested in reading it. Okay. Well, let's go on to cowboys. Who doesn't love cowboys? I have to admit it. Like, I cannot stand the smell of horses. I cannot stand the smell of a ranch. I do not in any way, shape or form, ever, ever want to live around horses. However, I am a fool for cowboys. Isn't that funny? So same for me like with military or armed forces. I actually lived in a very small cowpoke town for about 10 years. And up until then I probably would have read a cowboy romance. But since I lived there, I won't. It ruined everything for me. But ultimately, I find that this is very popular with spanking romance. Specifically, very those two words seem to really fit well together. And I guess it's because with sweet romance, you can go back historically, right? The Wild West. There's the dominant guy, you know, the Alpha Man, the alpha cowboy, whatever. They're used to controlling everything, including women. Yeah, yeah. I think it's also the we're willing to accept outdated sexual values from a cowboy. Yes. I was going to say that I you can't see my quotes when I say outdated, but that those were heavily quoted outdated. So people when they're reading a spanking, romance are like, Oh, yeah, of course. Of course. A cowboy would put the little Missy over her his knee. Yeah. Yeah. Of course he would. Yeah. And I think you know, we are all I mean, as a kid, I grew up watching Saturday morning, you know, john wayne movies, right? I wasn't either persona the original alpha. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. All right. Now to go the other end of the spectrum, Cyborg hero and I love but it goes along with the alien light, but sometimes it goes a little too far. Like, you know, there's there's part of you that's like, Okay, he's been enhanced, or he's got an eye or an arm or a leg, you know, prosthetic, you know, something like that. When it goes full on robot with just a human brain, then I'm like, we may have stepped too far for me. Right? But I really feel like when they came out with a terminator in the 80s seems to really ramp up these types of romances. You know, what if the Terminator was the good guy, which he ended up being in one of the series and and so you literally have a man made machine that's engaging with a human being right? Yeah. And yeah, I think that's two categories like robot versus Cyborg. So like a cyborg. Like they're a human being who happens to have robotic parts. I'm fine with that. I love that. It's all good in my book, when as a robot who's, I guess, learning to be human or learning, it's a good story, but I don't know that I necessarily, whether it pulls my heartstrings, right. Well, and I agree with you like, I like the cyborg hero. I've read it several times. But I think what I'm starting to see more of now is a iBooks. So AI romance. And that's a whole other deal. Again, right, right. So that takes us to the dominant alpha, which I kind of feel like we talked about in the alpha hero. This one, I think, if we mix it with the next one more DOM, Dom a, and I think that gets more into the lifestyle choice. Yes, 100%. Whereas we're talking BDSM books where they're into it enough that it is a core part of their personality. It's it's not just being alpha, where, you know, they're dominant. It's actually Dom a DOM Yes. It has a more structure. Yes, yes. But then, you know, you get into the 1000s. And we could probably do a whole episode on different types of BDSM books that are out there. Oh, I have read such an array. I mean, even myself, I tend to go down that BDSM realm with a lot of my books. Yeah. But it's always a lifestyle. Like it's always a almost an unknown agreed upon kink that both parties already kind of intrinsically are aware of, and greed to engage in. Yes. And what's funny is like, with a lot of people don't a little known fact about my books is that I actually, for every book that I have, I pick from the BDSM world, a kink right to give to the characters even even though Mike so far in my books, none of them have been what would be called traditional BDSM. A couple writes. Right, right. Yeah, I would have to agree with you on that. And it makes it makes the pairings more interesting, I think with regards to your blog. So in my paranormal series, I have a lot of fun because, of course, these these people that think they're just human beings are evolving in the story in over time, and so they're evolving to be have skill sets that normal human beings don't have, right. So they're able to do things that you know, regular human beings can't do. Whether it's having sex in the air, or you know, being able to have sex for you know, absolute hours on end. And so, so much fun to give these couples. Yes, their own thing and one of the couples are role players, they love to roleplay Mm hmm. And, and exploring the different types of roleplay as was one I just had so much fun. Yeah, well, yeah, you my third book, I I have to admit that on some levels, I wrote a heroine for my third book, because it's so hard to find a good roleplay couple, like, just go, just totally losing themselves in the fantasy for you know, whatever period of time. Yep. So yeah, yeah, no, that's awesome. Okay, so that takes us down to the fish out of water, where the heroine comes from a small town to a big city and is completely unprepared for the sophistication of the hero. Similarly, a girl a city girl can find herself working, or stranded in a small town and falls for the charm of the local hero, also the beta hero, so I have to admit that I can enjoy this. Yes, when it's done. Well, I don't like it. So I get annoyed when it goes too far, like fish out of water, but they're not idiots. You know? Yeah, it's like, oh, this is odd. I don't react correct. This seems strange to me. That's fine on both ends, but like sometimes I see when the country girl goes to the city. It's like, Okay, did she get out of fifth grade? Has she ever watched TV? Like Yeah, yeah, movie come on here or in the opposite direction, like total ditch, like just like oh my God, my Luba Tetons Aren't you know, it's like you don't want you're walking across a farm. Why are you wearing like, you know, like, if you've worn heels before, you know not to wear them on dirt. It doesn't matter that it's a cow punk or, you know, whatever. It's like, yes. Well, far. Well, and I feel that they've used symbolism in ways that you don't need to, like I said, we're not we're living in 2021. And people have access to internet no matter where they live, right? Pretty much right. You're right, and they have a cell phone. There's just no way they could be that out of it. I agree with you. So but when it's tastefully done, one of my favorite tropes, for sure. Yeah, it's like being too shy or something like that. Because you know, they're or you're used to, you know, and you're neighbors are actually an experience from my own life when I was a fish out of water was I had to go down to West Virginia for work for a couple months. And I went into the diner to read a book because I'm a jersey girl, and I can go out and I can eat by myself. I could read my book, but people would come over to me constantly, every single time I would sit down by myself, because it's a very small town, and they're like, Oh, you don't have to eat alone. Like, I'm sitting, I'm like, I just want to read a book. I don't know you leave me alone. Oh, that's so funny. And I've had the same experience where I moved from the city to a very small town of 7000 people and my husband and I were there for 10 years. And wow, I mean, even by the time I left, I don't think I had ever fully adjusted it. So yeah, like, but I do love reading it when it's done. Absolutely. Yes, it's good. And similarly the girl next door, I think some of my favorite books have the girl next door or the boy next door or the you know where someone moves in next door, and you're peeking through the watching the guy work out in the backyard or watching the girl sunbathe or whatever, whatever the absolute Well, I grew up reading Archie Comics, and Archie and Betty are neighbors, and they were all spying on each other. You know, what's Archie doing? What's he wearing? What's Betty doing? And even as a kid there was always that you know, like they set you up for that trope from later on in life right? And I want to say that the early romance books for me was always about are you going to pick the hot rich scary guy or are you going to pick the dependable guy next door guy? Yeah, you know what I yeah, I guess that that mean there's two different meanings to the girl map so the literal meaning of the girl guy next door and then the girl next door guy next door being the wholesome Yes, yeah. Nice. Yeah, no one so I guess I'm more like the the literal transitions translation or if you do a girl next door where it's like you didn't know she had a secret collection of, I don't know, leather floggers in her closet, or Yeah. That's great. Well, that takes us on to the Eris. Everyone comes from a fabulously wealthy family with an impressive pedigree, she's often in line to inherit a large fortune or take control of a family estate or company. I I've seen this done both with Eris and air and you know, everything like that, to me, I like this when it is the error Eris trying to break out of that mold or, you know, take a vacation from that sort of thing. But I think this is a big thing within historicals where someone has to live up to their pedigree or Haswell. It's interesting you say that because we always think of England right? And Felicity Brandon has written a book called chaste and it's the first book in a series that she's writing and it's the now aristocracy of a leftover time right so we're talking hundreds of years these families have been in power and run things within the government but in the nowadays days, it's less obvious because there's so many other things going on. Whereas Regency romance or historical Edwardian Victorian, you mean you pick it, you know, you you were held in that position, because of what went with the title. It's always about prestige, right? But in the in the newer times, when you have these leftover giants within society whose family names have carried forward hundreds and hundreds of years, it's almost as if they go into the opposite direction and they have this peerage, but there is about as debossed as they can possibly get. And, and finding some happy medium is the challenge and the eggs that the character goes through. All right, next one. Magical I guess hero or heroine right, which sorcerer shifter spellcaster fairy psychic supernatural powers. Okay, I like this. I love that. I do and if it's got a really hot vampire, I mean, I I love Vampire Diaries. I will why I was a daemon fan. Oh, we actually have that coming up. But yeah, no, I think this is more just about the spellcasters. But yes, I have been I have. I have been forcibly exposed to the Vampire Diaries. And because I have a teenage daughter. I enjoyed them. I really did. But I want to go back to my Buffy days but anyway. Right. And if yes, yes, of course Buffy, but yeah, no, I enjoy. I think I enjoy more when they discover that they're that they've got magic. And so you're taking on the journey with them? Well, yeah, it's kind of like Rapunzel, right where you know the Disney version where You know, she's just a normal girl locked in my castle, right until the guy comes along and saves her and it turns out that her hair is magic. Yeah, right. And yeah, that's really tangled knot Rapunzel. Yeah, that's tangled. Absolutely. But in this the soul, there's a magical flower, and we're consumed then it becomes magical hair and right. And then it becomes a birthright. Which course ties into a lot of historical base supernatural powers. And it's a birthright. Yeah, yeah. So the mermaid fit falls in there. You know, the myth of me the mermaid is more of that one stands out simply because usually with the mermaid comes along like they live in a different society. Yes. And then they're like, Man kind of idea. Yeah. Yeah. DC Comics? Well, Alice, we're nod is a friend of mine who writes Mirman stories. She's also in Britain, and they're excellent. And in her books, they're sequestered more in a few islands scattered throughout an area and they keep that to themselves because they keep their stories, right. And like a lot of other fictional domains, there's rules to follow, you know, so people don't find out about you keeping it on the down low. And that that feeds right into shapeshifters. Right. And I yeah, I 1000s of se shapeshifter stories. I have read 1000s of them. And most of them I have loved dragon dragons, tigers werewolves. werebear. Level werebear. Bridgestone did one recently on a lion, which was excellent line, part of what I love is the ability to then take in the perceived characteristics of the animal into the character. Yes, absolutely. It's good. And at some point, I am going to have to write some some shifter romance just because I absolutely love it. I also love it when it's paired with like, dystopian or anything like that. And we talked about in one of the earlier episodes, the fated mates. Yes, it I don't want to say safe story, but it's it's like you know what you're getting into? Absolutely. I think so. I recently read Demon King by Elizabeth Briggs. So this is another new series by a new author. And she did a follow up called Devil's mate. And it was interesting because I thought it was going to be like a good Angel, bad Angel kind of story at first. But it isn't. There's a whole is it being a whole tribe of different creatures shifters that show up in this book, and I really liked it. You know, I heard Elizabeth Briggs in my head. I was thinking Patricia Briggs. Oh, yes. Got a whole huge series. I'm like, that's not a new author. And then I was like, wait, wait. Yeah, similar but different. And same thing with the librarians vampire systems. Now this is getting more into the vampire stories, which is under supernaturals far as I'm concerned, but yeah, I recently read the librarians vampire system by an interesting writer named Mimi gene, and so different. I didn't think I was gonna like it, but it was actually really good. It's up there with the hero. You know, a lot of these heroes of these shapeshifter stories whether there's a werewolf or a lion or vampire mermaid or whatever, they're stuck, they have this thing you can call it whatever you want to, in some stories even show. This is a virus, right? vampirism is a virus, most of the times people don't want it. At least that's how it's represented. Right? And so in this story, this little normal kind of librarian is the Savior. Not not the big dummy. Vampire, right. Oh, dear fun. See, hold on. I lost my list. I'm sorry. Well, no, I mean, I mean, right after that tour, there's the werewolf. So we have shapeshifters and mermaids, and then we have specifically vampires, and werewolves because those have been really big tropes, right for quite some time. And there's like you said, there's hundreds of different stories love when someone does a vampire story from a slightly different angle, like, have you ever read the series about the vampires supposedly have like nanites like they were they were originally from Atlantis who had advanced technology, right? And then when Atlanta sunk, the only people that survived were the people that had this nanite technology, and they used to get blood transfusions, but when they came out, it was the Dark Ages. So there was no such thing as blood transfusion. So the body like adapted and they became right. Yeah, those are always really interesting. Yes. Yeah. Like, I think I've read she's on my automatically purchase list. So I think, right? Well, I like I like anything that ties in Historical elements whether they're true or not, right pulling in like old story of Atlantis, you know the story of you know Vlad the Impaler or whatever it is older story or traditions. I mean frost Come on. Have you ever read Janine frost? She will. So she did a series that it originally started with, like half vampire falling in love with the Vampire but then she did a series called burn for me something she's got the nice burned night print. Yeah, nice. Yeah, so that's about lad but it's she takes the story kinda like sideways and like eventually you find out that the whole thing he got drunk one time and he told his story you know, he told his story kinda like it as a sob story to this guy who then wrote the Dracula books and like he's down ever since. Right? But it I like it because she she's got a lot of historical references, but not necessarily in exactly the same way that you would expect them Sure. Sure routine like Egyptian and yeah, yes. Yeah. And there is a huge job. I mean, that was in the interview with a vampire. Right? With that huge backstory. Was that it? It started in Egypt, right, right. No, that's neat. I like that. Well, that takes us down to the mistress heroine who finds herself the mistress of a rich and powerful man and a modern romances. The hero is not a married man, but rather an alpha mare who doesn't seek commitment. I can enjoy this to a point I don't need marriage to be a happy ever after. Yes, yeah. So but I don't I am on zero cheating zone. Yes, I am. And I know that for some people, that's their thing. That's their jam. They they're okay with it and everything like that, but I don't care how nasty horrible whatever a partner is. I'm a no cheating though. I'm like, I'm like, get out if you don't want to be there. Like Yeah, yeah, that's certainly 100%. All right. Well, that takes us down to rock star. Yes, come on. We all love a good rock star, roomie? Absolutely. I have seen some amazing rock star country romance like so like you get the cowboy and the rock star? Yes. quite hot, actually. But in general, for me, the rock star romance is about dating someone who is or falling in love with someone who is massively in the public sighs right in such a way that they're almost a sexual icon. And having to deal with that. So having that as you know, and you automatically pull in conflict tropes just by making one of your characters a rockstar. Yeah. 100% and the artists personality and all that sort of thing. Oh, yeah. Because usually, they're either hidden introvert or they're so flamboyant, that the other person is trying to keep up to that whole massive mood swings or sometimes maybe an introvert sometimes they need to be an extrovert. I will admit that there was one that I read where the guy just, he never wanted to be on stage. And he was so miserable about it. And I'm like, then just write music. I can, like get off stage. Yeah, there's a part that I'm like, you know, poor little rich boy, you know, like, poor little famous person. You know, I you know, I can empathize to a point where you know, the proper otzi invades too much into your life. But at the same time, here, Rockstar. People want to know what's going on? Yeah, for sure. Okay. Well, the our last topic is transgender. Yes. This fascinates me on on some levels, simply because I've seen so many books done well. And then I've seen so many books done horribly. Right. I know. What do you find is the big difference between the two? What's the difference between a good one and a bad one? I think I think it's a sensitivity in general. I I know several transgender people who will who are fully transitioned and some who are in process or some who never intended to transfer but just feel as if they are in the wrong body. And I think when it becomes a black and white issue is when I get frustrated, you know, because because I'll read it and it'll be like this person is going through the transition, and they're completely How do I say it like the only option is fully surgically transitioned? Or, you know, it's it's probably a little too cookie cutter. Right? Yeah. I mean, there are stages. There are processes there are. There's so many there's so much gray area that I don't like when it's and there. There's also erotica where it's forced transgender, and that bothers me. But that's some people's. That's, that's some people's flavor. And okay, yeah, go, go Go enjoy your, you know, go go enjoy your crack, I enjoy my crack. Exactly. Well, I mean, and here's the thing is, at the end of the day, we write fantasy, right. But you had a really great quote for that. What was it something about being west of or south of the line or reality adjacent, really, really the adjacent. So we're looking for the that line that says, okay, definitively, you know, here's my genre, here's my trope, or, you know, multiple tropes or whatever, here's my product, right, we want to be able to promote the product. And it's really, if the author's vision that creates that product, and so for myself, I love reading tropes that I know, I have no intention of ever writing, because I just don't have that skill set. I just don't have that knowledge or that access to those people. That's going to give me that blueprint to be able to create something of quality. But I think some people will write about what they're around. Right, right. Oh, I'm around this. So I'm going to write about it right. Or, or I want something different. So I'm going to create this person. And so you know, there's a, I think a fine line between creating that reality adjacent book, right? And then and then just writing a book. Yeah. And to me, as long as you are true, I don't care about the laws of physics. I don't care about the laws of hotness, I don't need to know that my character works out four times a day and have it described, so because that's why they had the 10 pack. I don't need all of those things. What I do need is consistency within the character. And that's where the I think this whole episode is about those character tropes. Because it's about staying true to Yes, the the trope that you start with, you can you know, you can evolve within that trope. But in my mind, it's a matter of, you know, if you take someone who is painfully shy, and you know, whatever, and turn them into a raving extrovert by the end of the book, I'm kinda like, really? Yeah, about that. Exactly. And I. And so when I say reality adjacent, it's because I don't necessarily need need those explanations. I don't care that there isn't actually magic in the world. I don't care that the you know that shifters don't exist, or vampires don't exist, or any any of those things. But the characters act in a way that is true to themselves. That's realistic to what has been displayed to me. I don't want Oh, there was a great term that somebody told me I don't want a Batman belt, right? were like, Oh my god, they're locked in a room intro. I studied lock picking when I was 10 years old. And I became a super secret genius at unlocking things. So I will take this broken now. And you know, like, the Catholics don't start being quite far fetched, don't they? And sometimes I'll read a romance story where it's like, I can tell that the the author wanted a, you know, a sassy love scene, but the whole time. She's been sweet. And he's been sweet. And now all of a sudden, you've got alpha sassy going on. Wait, Now hold on. Yeah, yeah, let's there's some kind of some Yeah, I agree with some roleplay involved there. Yeah, like something like that, but something proceeding that has evolved that but yeah, so I think when you know, you're writing your books, or you're reading your books. When you're writing your books, you need to remember what tropes you've picked for character personalities, and everything like that, that you've picked for your characters and stick to them. And when you're reading when the author doesn't stick to them. I mean, there have been times where I'm like, why am I angry at the story? And then I realize it's because some character has acted in a way that isn't just a bad day or a bad hair day or you know, it's like it no that, you know, I can't accept that that character would do that. Right. Yeah. Well, that's a great way of summarizing what to look for as an author and as a reader. So having said that, we have now run out of time. So join us next time. Thank you for listening to coast to coast romance. I'm Ann Jensen. And I'm Skyler West. If you'd like to contact either of us. Our links are located in the show notes. Have a great week. Thanks so much for joining us.