Squawk Radio

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Lisa on "Scar Power"

Dear Friends,

Having just finished our friend JR Ward’s astonishingly visceral novel “Lover Awakened,” I’m having a little trouble leaving the gorgeously graphic, sexual, opulently violent world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The book reads like it has been soaked in testosterone. I love the freedom and power of Ward’s style, which tramples all over political correctness on its way through a love story that is so primally satisfying, I close the book with something akin to a post-coital afterglow.

I can’t get the hero, Z, out of my head. I’ve always had a weakness for wounded warrior heroes, and in a book of larger-than-life characters, Z makes everyone else’s suffering seem like a stroll through Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Love him.

Especially love the scar on his lip.

If you’re a writer and you’re struggling with how to make a hero more interesting, give him a scar. It always works.

A scar is a secret story waiting to be told . . . evidence of the body’s attempt to heal itself . . . a symbol of a life that has been drastically changed.

They say scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. This physical evidence of past damage lets the reader know that the hero has suffered and is tougher for it. Is this why we find scars so compelling?

A few years ago, Premiere magazine put Harrison Ford’s face on the cover, and photoshopped away the famous scar on his chin. Readers, including myself, were justifiably annoyed. Leave the smooth-faced model boys to less discerning women . . . Harrison’s scar is sexy. Ditto Joaquin Phoenix, with the scar on his upper lip, and Sean Bean, who has one just over his left eye (which, incidentally, was given to him by Harrison Ford with a boat hook, when they were shooting Patriot Games.)

Is a scarred hero sexy to you, or is it a turn-off? Why? Who is your favorite scarred romance hero or actor?
Lisa Kleypas, 7:26 AM