Friday, September 05, 2008

Hero Worship

A few days ago I got this email saying I had a new message on an online dating site from a guy named Ramirez.

For anyone who hasn’t read my books yet, the hero of my High Heels series is a hot, Latino cop in Los Angeles named… wait for it… Ramirez.

My first thought, staring at this email, was that someone I knew was playing a joke on me. I clicked the link, logged into the dating site and found the note. It was a short little, “Hey, what’s up, liked your profile” kind of thing. Signed Ramirez. Still thinking I was being set up, I clicked on the link to see his profile.

A picture of a hot Latino guy pops up. We’re talking HOT. Not someone I recognize, not one of my girlfriends playing a joke on me. And, as I browse through his pics, I can tell they’re not fakes, either. It’s the same guy in different settings, some with his family, some in military garb. This Ramirez is a real guy.

I read the rest of his profile. And, would you believe… turns out he’s a cop. Seriously. And that’s not all. He’s relocating to my area soon, but for the past two years he’s lived in Los Angeles. A hot Latino cop in L.A. named Ramirez.

I literally found my hero.

So, of course, I had to talk to this guy. Granted, things are going swimmingly with Mr. Big, so I’m not really thinking dating is in the cards. But, this guy is my hero. I’m dying to know how else he might be like the Ramirez in my books. This is just too great an opportunity to pass up. So, I give him my number, and the next night he calls me. I’ll admit, I was excited as I picked up the phone. I mean, how many times does a writer actually get to meet her hero?

So, with bated breath, I answer, “Hello?”

You know that great line from Jerry Maguire? “You had me at hello.”
Well, this was the opposite. Ramirez lost me at “Yo, babe.”

And things only got worse.

Every other word from the real Ramirez was “f”in this and “my homies” that. He told me all about the time he got jumped at a club for wearing the wrong baseball team colors in the hood. He told me how he used to live with his parents, but they thought he was too lazy and kicked him out. He told me his cousin lives in my town, just a few blocks away, but he “don’t see her no more” ‘cause she owes him money he lent her for a tattoo. He told me he really digs kids – his ex wife had three by three different “baby daddies”.

Big time reality check.

I ended the conversation as quickly as I could, realizing this was not someone I ever wanted to talk to again.

I guess there’s a reason I write about fictional guys. My hero was much more heroic when I was the one putting words into his mouth.

What about you ladies? Is there a real life inspiration behind the heroes you write? Do you ever put a real man in the role of the heroes you read about?

~Trigger Happy Halliday


Christie Craig said...

Great blog, Gemma!

I think my heroes are a combination of all the heroes I've met in my life, with a few extra body parts thrown in there from some of the men I wish I could meet.

My dad is a teaser, a down to earth kind of guy--witty, burly, the type of guy whose jokes are not always PC. My hero in Weddings had a lot of his personality.

My husband is also a teaser, (Yup, I partly married dear old dad) but hubby also has a genuine soft side. I've seen him get out of his car and get dog off the freeway. Oh, and hubby is almost a foot taller than dear ol' dad. Hubby is also very some areas, :-) and so are my heroes. Hey...I mean kissing, okay.

I had an uncle, by marriage, who was the silent type. Military. He was the type who saw things as either black or white, but was so genuine and just down right good, I admired him. There's a bit of him in some of my heroes.

I think where I also get a lot of my heroes from my cats. Yup. I have one cat, my favorite, (shh... don't tell the others) he was born feral. Probably mistreated as a young kitten. It's so hard for him to trust. Some my heroes are patterned after my feline. They come with trust issues, but of course my heroines always win them over.

Great post!


Suzan Harden said...

Eeep! I'm so sorry, Gemma.

ALL of my heroes are based on my husband. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, all my heroes come straight from my imagination. There may be some subconscious thievery going on somewhere but I won't swear to it. *g*

Oh! Wait. I take that back. I have one story I tinker with every now and again whose hero is sort of loosely based on Alex Krycek from the The X-Files. Does that count?

And if I ever met any of my heroes in real life I'd faint. Some of them are shapeshifters. LOL!

Gemma Halliday said...

Christie - I love that your Dad is in your heroes! That's so sweet, what a perfect first hero.
But the part that cracked me up was your cats. Lol! You know I'll be wondering now when I read your next book. Just which kitty is this guy... ;)


Gemma Halliday said...

Smart answer, Suzanne. Very smart. :)

Gemma Halliday said...

Tori - TV characters totally count! I have to say that my other love interest in the Heels books, Felix, is loosely based on the Hugh Grant character in Love Actually, one of my fav feel good movies. He's bumbling and dashing all at the same time.


Anonymous said...

HA! Gemma I am literally LOL alone in my office. That is GREAT! So close, but so far away.
I'm not going to even lie & say my characters are based on my husband. Although in one I did use a lot of his sayings. Honestly, I don't know if they're based on anyone I actually know...hmmm, maybe I need to meet new people!
Now seriously though, if you ever come across a real Felix - I want him. You can Big, or even a Big-Ramirez, but you have to promise me Felix.

Gemma Halliday said...

Felix is hereby promised to Mia. ;)


Terri Osburn said...

OMG! I can't believe he told you ALL that stuff. Like he thought those were all good points?!

My hero isn't based on anyone in particular. But if I ever meet a green eyes, light haired, buff chef, you better believe I'm going to do the same thing you did. Lets hope it turns out better. LOL!

catslady said...

I never put in someone elses face when I'm reading - no movie stars. (although I know a lot of writers do this).

I agree about how could that guy think those were good things he was telling you? clueless lol.

Anonymous said...

Yeeessss...*yeah, I did an arm pump right there in case you were wondering* I love you Gemma. I love Hugh Grant too! Ya know what movie I loved him in? 2 weeks notice. Hilarious.
I love giving my characters quirks from people I know - anyone I know, not just guys. Little things that only I, or them, would recognize. A tribute, I suppose.

BTW, I totally love how loser-Ramirez used to live with his parents... but even they didn't like him. Fantastic.

Beth Yarnall said...

Who says 'homies' anymore?
My heroes are a mixture of the men who have been in my life. I actually gave my current hero my son's eyes but had to change the rest of him cause it was just too icky.
Imagination is soooo much better than reality.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

OMG! I think you need to change your number, quick!