Scrape is tall. He’s dark. He’s handsome. He’s perfect romance fodder, and a real inspiration (nudge nudge, wink wink). But I can’t base all my romantic heroes on him. For one thing, they can’t all be hot-cha fighter pilots. For another, he’s a little too good to be true. Really. I keep waiting for him to sprout horns and a tail, but so far, the product lives up to the packaging.

In the meantime, I have to search out other fantasy men. Yeah, I know, romance writing is a tough job. In my current book, I based Connor on a second-string movie star I’ve always thought was underrated. Geoff is based on an old friend I lost touch with long ago, who would have been a terrible boyfriend but certainly looked the part.

I wasn’t sure who my latest fantasy guy was based on. He’s just taking shape, as is the book, and I only identified him tonight. These guys kind of loom up in your subconscious, and you don’t realize what you’re doing til it’s done.

So the new guy turns out to be my high school science lab partner. If you’d asked me about him a week ago, I would have told you I didn’t remember him. I still don’t remember his name, but I remember what he looked like. And I remember the day I fainted in class and he had to half-walk, half-carry me to the nurse’s office. It was one of the high points of my geeky adolescence.

Anyway, what’s-his-name was a big, broad-shouldered, muscular guy, but he wasn’t a jock. He was good-looking, but he didn’¬ít know it. And he was shy, in a charming, bumbling kind of way. And he was nice. And he smelled good. And–oh, never mind.

At any rate, I was cruising along on the book when my hero turned around and–holy shirtsleeves!–I recognized him. It was a total surprise. I haven’t thought of that guy for years, honestly. But it’s kind of fun taking these random trips into my subconscious.

So who would you base your romantic hero on? No current partners– that’s cheating!