Boy am I glad to be back! I would like to thank my fellow Bookpushers for their support and understanding over this past year as well as those of you I was able to sporadically interact with. I apologize for my absence from the blogging world but my real life job sent me on a deployment to Iraq. While this deployment wasn’t exactly fun, not that any of them are, I did have the opportunity to make some interesting observations. I was lucky enough to observe the military heroic character inspiration in the equivalent of a fishbowl. I do not work in a unit that would provide the main characters of any romance novels or come to think of it any work of fiction except for maybe comedy but I digress. I was around on a daily bases some of those potential male characters, the protagonists, antagonists, heroes, anti-heroes and those in-between. It was really fascinating to see the different permutations. Disclaimer: Names and potentially identifying characteristics have not been used to protect the guilty innocent.
Now, last year on Odd Shots, Ilona Andrews did a really interesting study in both heroes and villains complete with pictures. Oh you haven’t seen that or need to refresh your memory. Please take a look and enjoy, I will wait for your return…
Welcome back :D. Now as you could see there are several different varieties of heroes and villains but for the purposes of this editorial I am going to focus on four types of Alpha males at least one of which could qualify as a villain. First the elite military type Alpha, then the “regular” Alpha, followed by the Asshat Alpha (as seen on both Smart Bitches and Dear Author websites) and finally the wannabe Alpha.
I got to see the typical elite forces Alpha male, he was in shape, confident, sure of his attraction to women, sure of his dominance over other males. Watching this Alpha male re-assert his position after departing for a period of time was most amusing. It involved posturing, trash talk, staring contests, and some minor MMA (mixed martial arts)/UFC (ultimate fighting competition) on the mat during close quarters combat practice. Now the elite type doesn’t just keep his in shape body without putting it to some serious work, so I spotted them frequently in the gym doing a more strenuous workout than most. Now, I was called shallow by one of my workout partners because I used the sight of ripped muscles flexing and releasing as a way to get thru the pain of my workout. It wasn’t my fault that he (they) was (were) lifting directly in front of my workout station *looks innocent*. I did manage to work out in spite of the visual distraction. Yet despite this almost overwhelming display of testosterone there was still sensitivity towards a woman’s moods and a desire to see them happy. Such a wonderful contradiction and so easy to see why they lend themselves towards romance heroes.
I also got to see the non-elite forces or “regular” if they can be described as regular Alpha male. These guys don’t have the secret squirrel title and job but they can still run/lead their particular organization. People look up to them for their intelligence, drive, and personality. They might not be able to lift “all” the weights in the gym but they still have a particular area that they are the best at. It could be physical like running, swimming, or sports or it could be cerebral like chess, spades or even the best at improvising to make the impossible possible. They still have this underlying desire to make women or more specifically their woman happy. That can come from feats of strength, providing chocolate during times of crisis, taking care of a task or asking who upset them so they can fix the problem, or removing a gecko from the vents of the heater without threatening to throw the gecko on the poor person who almost touched it when she tried to adjust the heater. Ah those memories bring a smile to my face, well except for almost touching the gecko *shudder*.
Unfortunately I also got to see a few examples of the Alpha Asshat :(. These are the ones who if they used their force of personality and physical strength for good they could fall into the elite Alpha categories but because they lead by fear, intimidation and putting others down so they look more impressive in my opinion they sit more towards the villain side unless they are provided with a serious redemption complete with a most satisfying extended groveling scene. Sorry got side tracked again. To continue, during a physical contest they aren’t satisfied with just winning, they have to show no mercy, they cause actually pain or injuries instead of discomfort. Their goal is to prevent people from challenging their “authority” by making examples of those they think might. They also try to remove anyone from the group that they think might be a threat to their regime. They also tend to be extremely sensitive and view any differing opinion or lack of treatment/respect they think they deserve as disrespect so they lose their tempers quickly. As a result the Asshat tends to get into what can be crudely called “Big Male Member Contests” with others for no real reason.
Finally, I was able to watch the wannabe Alphas. Or you could call them the young pups who are trying to determine exactly where they belong/fit in the order of things. Eventually they might take on a different Alpha role but at the moment they share characteristics of the other categories. These are the ones who are constantly jockeying for position and try to step up whenever the Alpha is away. Depending on how long the Alpha is gone will depend on the amount of work the Alpha has to do to regain his position. This group is actually the most fun to observe. You don’t have to deal with the overwhelming eye candy distraction of the elite Alpha, you don’t have the calm steadiness of the “regular” Alpha, you don’t have the negative influence of the Asshat Alpha but you get all the entertainment of their competition for position.
Yes, I am aware that I left out several other categories such as Beta and Omega males but those will have to wait for another deployment. I have to admit that I enjoy knowing I get to work with and around all of those inspirations. Now I am curious as to what types do you get to see in your daily work environment? In honor of my return and that two of my favorite authors had a release last week I will pick two people who answer my question above and they will receive either a copy of Ilona Andrews’ MAGIC BITES Kate Daniels Book 1 or a copy of Nalini Singh’s SLAVE TO SENSATION Psy-Changeling Book 1. This contest will end at midnight on the 14th of June. The books can be e-book (Kindle format only sorry) or print shipped anywhere Book Depo ships.