Apologies for being a bit late, all. Had trouble with Blogger today!!
Please welcome one of my favorite people in the WHOLE WORLD, my friend and amazing author Kristan Higgins!
Hello again! It’s so nice to be back here with you lovely people! Thank you to the inimitable Cindy Gerard for having me back…all it took was a little blackmail. I am one of the few who knows about that tattoo, after all. (Ahem! It’s not where you think!)
At any rate, when thinking about what to write today, I went to my favorite subject. Men. Yep. I love men. That’s it in a nutshell, gang. I love romantic heroes. Just off the top of my head, here are some of my favorites: Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. We all love him, don’t we? The way he still sits on his side of the porch swing, unconsciously leaving room for his late wife?
Oh, man! Bud White from L.A. Confidential. Nothing like a thug trying to make good, know what I’m saying? Mm-mm! Tony Stark from Iron Man (or any role Robert Downey Jr. plays, because I am in love with him!).
Usher. He’s not really a romantic hero, but that smile could launch a thousand ships.
There are so many things to love about men…their hands. Their smiles. Their arms. Their inability to make a bed. But one of the things I love best about a hero is when he saves the cat.
This is a term I first heard a few years ago when I took a class given by the very lovely and much-missed Blake Snyder, a screenwriting guru and a wonderful speaker. Blake’s book is, in fact, called Save the Cat, and to the best of my knowledge, he invented the term. In essence, “save the cat” is the moment in a movie or book when a character reveals the reason we’ll love him—a small gesture that says, “Hey, reader. Great guy in here, waiting to be discovered. I may have just firebombed this empty house, but I saved Fluffy on my way out, so there’s proof.”
Sometimes, saving the cat can be more subtle…when we first meet Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary, he’s snooty, superior and bored…but he’s also clad in the ridiculous reindeer sweater his mom gave him, and he’s wearing it to make her happy.
Aw! Come on! I’m helpless for that kind of thing. In fact, my own sainted husband saved the cat for me on our first date—he may have been a Bono-lookalike with his green eyes and black hair, and yes, he was the king of cool (back then, anyway), wearing his leather jacket…but he held the door for me, even if he was an Irish thug. And you know what? He had actually saved a cat…back then, McIrish lived in a grimy part of Brooklyn. One night, there was a terrible thunderstorm. He heard a small mew, looked around, saw a tiny, bedraggled kitten, opened the door and said, “If you come inside, you can be my cat.” I don’t know if McIrish was aware of the effect that story would have, but when he told it to me (on our very first date), I immediately started naming our children.
In my latest book, All I Ever Wanted, Ian McFarland is rather cold (it seems). He doesn’t seem to like the heroine at all (it seems). He’s better than the rest of us sloppy humans (it seems). But he saves the cat in the very scene, and hopefully, readers will pause and say… “Hey. That was kinda…sweet.”
So tell me—have you come across those little instances where the hero saves the cat in your favorite books or movies? Is it the heroine who rescues poor Fluffy? Has your honey ever flashed you a little cat-saving mojo? Do tell! I’ll send a signed copy of All I Ever Wanted to a commenter. Can’t wait to hear your stories!