High school junior Nick Brandt is intent on getting a girlfriend, and Eden Reiss is the one that he wants. He has exactly four semesters to get the girl, but when the phone rings on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday night, life for Nick and his parents will never be the same. What had been a seemingly idyllic home life has become something else entirely. But with this shake-up comes a newfound confidence for Nick; he's become a bolder version of himself, no longer afraid to question his parents, and no longer afraid to talk to Eden.
Here's Alyssa to tell us a bit about writing from a guy's point of view -- and sharing some of HER favorite guys from the (pop) cultural canon!
For The Lucky Kind, I got to do one of the things I love best about being a writer – play ventriloquist. In this case, that meant telling a story from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old boy. In honor of Nick, the narrator of The Lucky Kind, here are my top ten male characters – in particular, the ten male characters that I loved best when I was a teenager. No doubt each of these characters influenced the way that I write the boys in my stories, just a little bit (or a lot).
1) Rhett Butler (Gone With the Wind): I read Gone With the Wind in ninth grade and Rhett Butler was my very first bad boy. (And I sometimes blame him for a few of the real life bad boys who came later…)
2) Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride): The Princess Bride has been my favorite movie for as long as I can remember. I’ve had other favorites along the way, but they’ve only ever been tied with The Princess Bride – nothing has been able to knock that movie out of first place. And Inigo Montoya has always been my favorite character.
3) Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights): My second bad boy. Looking back, I’m not sure why I was so enamored of an abusive husband (the same could be said of Mr. Rochester). I have friends today who hate the Bronte sisters on principal for making romantic heroes out of men who treated women so badly. And I don’t entirely disagree; but I still have a soft spot for Heathcliff.
4) Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice): Quite possibly the polar opposite of Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester; a good boy who still had all that wonderful bad boy angsty-ness.
5) Nick Carraway (The Great Gatsby): There is a special place in my heart for narrators, especially narrators like Nick, who are not the heroes of the stories that they tell. Nick knows that Gatsby is infinitely more interesting than he is, and he takes on Gatsby’s story to tell.
6) Josh Lyman (The West Wing): The West Wing is my favorite show of all time, and Josh is among my favorite characters. Aaron Sorkin knows just how to write men who are among the cool kids and yet retain that sense that they’re outsiders.
7) Doug Ross (George Clooney’s character on ER): ER came out when I was in ninth grade and I’m pretty sure I can speak for my entire all girls’ high school when I say we were all in love with him.
8) Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird): Quite possibly the best father ever written.
9) Han Solo (Star Wars): I didn’t really discover Star Wars until my junior year of high school. But I made up for coming late to the party with my enthusiasm, especially when it came to Han Solo.
10) Roger Davis (Rent): The musical Rent premiered on Broadway when I was in high school, and my friends and I become promptly obsessed with it. We listened to the music on class trips, stood in line for cheap tickets, waited by the stage door to meet the cast members. My friend Alicia and I once saw the play from the first row of the balcony. When Roger came on stage for the first time, I turned to Alicia and said: “If we jumped, we’d miss. But we’d be closer.”
Love that list - and agree about Han Solo, even if he's not a book guy.
Thanks for joining us, Alyssa!
So tell us, readers, who are YOUR favorite male protagonists? Books, movies, tv --
it's all fair game!