WHEN it comes to conjuring up the ideal hero, best-selling Sunshine Coast authors need look no further than their own husbands for inspiration.
With millions of copies of their books sold worldwide, authors Robyn Grady, Rachel Bailey and Anna Campbell have more insight than most into what women are looking for in a modern day hero.
USA Today bestselling author of four books for Harlequin Mills and Boon Desire series, Ms Bailey, said her husband John was one of the best conversationalists around, making him the ideal model for a number of her romance novel heroes.
“Something that more romance novels do is look for a man who is a great communicator,” she said.
“The most romantic quality in man is talking to women about what they want to talk about...and also knowing when to listen.”
The couple, who have been married for 17 years, share daily breakfasts together and talk about anything that is on their mind.
They also enjoy regular “date nights” where they dress up in their best attire, light candles and cook for each other at home, minus the droning TV in the background.
“My husband is my hero,” Ms Bailey said.
“Every couple goes through times that are quite difficult and challenging and every time one of those comes up, he is amazingly supportive and always so firmly on my side. It's heroic for me.”
Caloundra local and award-winning author of 19 Harlequin Mills and Boon novels, Ms Grady is looking forward to sharing Valentine's Day at The Terraces in Maleny with Jeff, her husband of 10 years.
“I am lucky as he is a very romantic person and always buys me lovely gifts,” she said.
Ms Grady said she drew a lot on her husband when creating her male characters.
“I believe in an equal relationship, as do the heroines in my stories,” she said.
Meanwhile, historical romance writer Ms Campbell, who was voted Australia's Favourite Romance Author in 2009, believes everyone can have their very own hero this Valentine's Day.
“If everything else fails, there's nothing better than curling up with a copy of Pride and Prejudice and spending the evening with Mr Darcy,” she said.
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