There is a special place in my heart for Paul Walker. Not only because of his beautiful blonde hair and his brilliant blue eyes. Not because he was such a great bad guy in She's All That or because he was such a kick-a$$ good guy in The Fast and the Furious. Not because he's a fellow Virgo. (But really, all that helps.)
No, I love Paul Walker because he started my writing career. Okay, let me explain. Back in January 2003 I was living at home, working for my parents, and pretty much trying to figure out what to do with my life. I had been trying off and on to write a book so I could get published. (So I could get rich and move out of my parents' house!) I even had a plan.
First, I would start small by entering the 100-words-or-less on how your mother influenced the romance in your life Mother's Day contest from Harlequin. The grand prize was a trip for two to Puerto Rico... and I WON!
Second, I would enter the eHarlequin Writing Round Robin contest which consisted of writing a chapter of approximately 1,000 words for a continuing story... and I WON!
Next, I would submit a short story to a small press that published anthologies of holiday-themed stories of 5,000-7,000 words. I submitted one set on Father's Day... and I didn't win because the house shut down. =(
Finally, I figured, after working my way up from 100 to 1,000, to 7,000 words, I was ready to write an actual, full-length category (read: shorter) book. So, I set out to write CLUB SCENE -- the story of Destiny Kane, a nightclub promoter in South Beach who was running from her past and Vance James, a private investigator hot on her tail. (It sounds much better in this one-sentence distilled version than it ever did on paper.) In my head and in the photo pinned up over my computer, Vance James was Paul Walker.
Though I never finished that book (my attention drifted, with the discovery of Julia Quinn, to historicals and I wrote the story that became my Golden Heart finalist) I still feel like Paul Walker is my first and forever hero. =)
With today's eye candy, consider the question: Do you put "real-life" guys into your hero's shoes, picturing a movie star/model/athelete/musician in his role? (This goes for writers and readers!)