Saturday, May 3, 2014

Heroines/Heroes in Uniform: Writing Characters Made For Danger

by Joyce Lamb)

(Photo: Ellora's Cave)

Lisa Carlisle, author of the Underground Encounters series, and Danica Avet, author of Primal Song, share what's so special — and sexy — about characters who risk their lives for public safety. First up, we hear from Lisa …

Lisa: I write paranormal erotic romance for Ellora's Cave. In my series, Underground Encounters, characters meet in a Goth nightclub in New England. Vampires, shapeshifters, gargoyles, and humans with extraordinary abilities are attracted to the dark underground setting, frequented by others who don't quite fit in.

Two of my heroines are firefighters — Nike in Smoldering Nights and Maya in Fiery Nights. Although Nike and Maya are professionals who don't take crap from the guys they work with, they like to decompress after long hours at a sometimes stressful job. Their favorite way to do so — shed their bulky firefighting uniforms to don slinky outfits and go dancing. Their favorite place is an underground club where they feel free to be themselves and feel like women once again, rather than one of the guys.

Their escape into a fantasy world is interrupted when a fire strikes the club. Their skills and gifts are instrumental in saving lives, including their own. Being firefighters isn't just what they do for a living; it's wired into them, part of who they are.

I've always admired the sacrifices of those who risk their lives for public safety and respect the courage women have when choosing a challenging career in a field dominated by men. So it doesn't surprise me too much that these characteristics made it into my characters. I've actually grown more fascinated with what draws someone to a career in firefighting so there may be more on-the-job adventures from my female firefighters in the near future!

Photo: Ellora's Cave)

And now we hear from Danica …

Danica: First, I'd like to say how happy I am to be here today. There's nothing I like more than talking about books. OK, that's a lie. I love talking about men. Heroes in particular, and if they're wearing a uniform? So much better! There's just something about a man who's willing to put his life in danger to save others. Police officers, fire fighters, and those who serve in the military have my utmost respect. And rather lascivious interest. Poor lads.

It isn't as though I drool over them. Much. OK, that's not true. It doesn't matter where I am. If I see a uniform, my gaze is immediately drawn to it. Does it matter which kind of uniform? No. I'm an equal opportunity ogler. They just make my heart go pitter-patter, and when I have the chance to write about a hero who wears his uniform like a second skin, it's enough to make me jealous of my own heroines.

In Primal Song, book one of my Cajun Heat series, I flipped the roles. My heroine, Daisy Picou, is a deputy with the Parish Sheriff's Office. Her hero, Ram Reinhardt, is a rock star. He, like me, has a great appreciation for the uniform. Or in his case, the handcuffs that go with the uniform. What can I say? He's a very virile lion shifter who knows what he likes, and what he likes is his bear shifter mate. In Touched by Lightning, my hero is former military who now works for a superhuman organization dedicated to justice for all. Oh wow, he was … amazing. I'm sighing now.

I'm pretty sure I meant to talk about books, but I got sidetracked. And who can blame me? Men in uniform make for the very best heroes. They're strong, dedicated, and hot.

What are some of your favorite books involving men in uniform? Do you have a preference between organizations?

Find out more about Lisa at and Danica at

Are you an author who likes to write heroes and heroines in (or out of) uniform? Ellora's Cave Publishing is accepting books for its Guns 'n' Hoses submission call until Sept. 1. Find out more at