This one’s cross-posted to the Bradford Bunch Blog — but the contest is for here too.
The term “alpha male” is bandied about quite a bit when we’re talking about the romance genre. When I use the term I mean a man who prefers to be in charge of others and will fight to gain or retain that authority. A man who is strong both physically and mentally and doesn’t take merde from others. I mean a man who is protective and can be domineering.
In romance, at least in my opinion, sometimes characters go a step beyond this. I term these guys a**hole alpha males. Mostly I can’t read them. They’re too much of the above. Just too, too. However I’m fully aware that’s an opinion not shared by many.
I like to read a good beta. I don’t tend to write them, though my male leads will sometimes show some beta characteristics.
Most women, as far as I can tell, would rather read an alpha or an a**hole alpha. They want the domineering, over-protective barbarian whose unruly self must be brought to heel by the strong, gentle love of the heroine.
But I’m here to tell you that living with one in real life is no picnic. My husband is one, though I’m not saying he’s all muscular, big, brutish, ect. He’s a regular guy, but his personality is pretty domineering, pretty bossy. He’s a manager and likes that kind of role the best. Thing is, sometimes he tries to manage me and that doesn’t work so well. He tends to think he knows best, his way or nothing. You know the type.
I’m grateful to him in a way, since he keeps me strong. I have to always stand up to him or he’ll just steamroll right over me. I love him, of course, and have spent thirteen very happy years with him, but we all have our (at times) unlikable personality quirks.
So, having lived so long with guy who shares some personality characteristics with the heroes I write (soooo not telling him that. It’ll go right to his head), I have to say that in Real Life they can be a trial.
Tell me about the alpha in your life. Or tell me why or why not you’d want to date/marry one. Finally, tell me about the sort of base personality you like to see in your romance novel heroes. Do you prefer the alpha, the a**hole alpha (s’okay, you can admit it), or the beta? Why?
There will a winner drawn from the participants and the prize will be a surprise.