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April 27, 2012

Writing a Disfigured Hero with Rebecca Royce

My guest today is Rebecca Royce. She’s been on tour with her book Love Beyond Sight, and this is her last stop. Since her hero is a wounded one, I asked her to tell us about writing a disfigured character. Comment on this post, and enter a draw to win a $50 Amazon Gift certificate. Welcome, Rebecca.

I didn’t start writing Samuel in Love Beyond Sight. I started writing him in Love Beyond Sanity, in the book that where I first introduced Eden. She needs help and a voice that she doesn’t recognize fills her mind to save her.

But as I write things as they come to me, I knew the voice was Eden’s soul mate but even I wasn’t entirely certain whom he was. So I waited until he spoke to my muse and when he came it was with so much sadness that I wanted to write his story immediately so I could give him a touch of happiness in the midst of his crazy existence.

Samuel was raised human, as all but four of the Outsiders were. His understanding of his powers came early as an Outsider ancestor who explained to him in a vision who he was and what he could do contacted him. But, for the most part, he lived a very happy, somewhat normal existence.

Until the day Sebastian caught up with him. For those of you who have perhaps not read the first three books, Sebastian is a demon whose purpose for being on Earth is to destroy the Outsiders and enslave humanity.

It turns out that Sebastian and Samuel have encountered each other before. As a teenager, before he’d come into all of his powers, Sebastian locked Samuel in a closet and set him on fire. He nearly died.

But—its not so easy to kill an Outsider and the fact that he didn’t die meant that his body tried to recover. The fire, laced with magic, made it impossible for him to entirely heal. He was left forever scarred. Even his own family couldn’t look at him without wincing. Eventually, he went out on his own.

The good news? Samuel can change his face. Its one of his powers. He can become any one he can touch. For a small amount of time. Its not a permanent fix but it allows him to get through life.

He has no intention of letting Eden ever see his real face. Ever. But that happens and its wonderful…for him. For her, however, it doesn’t work. She’s made to love Samuel…not the fake versions of him that she keeps seeing. They can be together but she can’t love him.

For me, writing Samuel was challenging because he’s strong, tough, and smart. He comes up with ideas and is pivotal in what happens with the story arc of the series. Yet…he has this weakness he cannot get past and it had to be done in such a way that the reader could feel for him without feeling pity for him. I think, ultimately, that Samuel turned out exactly as he should have. I fell in love with him when I wrote him and I hope the reader does too.

CONTEST: So let me pose you a question: Do you need your hero to be physically perfect? Is that important to you when you’re reading a story? (Everyone who answers this question will go into a draw to win $50 Amazon.com GC)


Blurb: In Love Beyond Sanity, Eden Roan awoke in a mental hospital, unsure of how she got there. Nearly discovered by a demon, she is rescued by a voice in her mind who saves her life by transforming her figure into something the demon doesn’t want to look at.  The voice tells her she is his but that they will never, ever meet.  As time progresses, Eden becomes more and more convinced that the voice is just her imagination playing tricks on her.  It can’t possibly be her destined soul mate.

Or can it?

Samuel Quinn was horribly disfigured by the demon when he was a child. He can’t stand looking at himself and does not want Eden to see him. Luckily, his powers allow him to hide himself using other people’s features as his own.  But when Eden needs him, Samuel will have to step forward to save her even if he can never let her see the real him.

Can there be love without sight? Or will the demon finally have them all just where he wants them?


As a teenager, Rebecca Royce would hide in her room to read her favorite romance novels when she was supposed to be doing her homework. She hopes, these days, that her parents think it was well worth it.

Rebecca is the mother of three adorable boys and is fortunate to be married to her best friend. They live in northern New Jersey and try not to freeze too badly during the winter months.

She’s in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and tries to use all of these elements in her writing. She’s been told she’s a little bloodthirsty so she hopes that when you read her work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. Rebecca loves to write series because she loves to see characters develop over time and it always makes her happy to see her favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In Rebecca Royce’s world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.



  1. DebraG

    Since no one is perfect, I do not mind a hero who is not physically perfect. IN fact, I think it is wonderful to have one who is because it helps acceptance.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Brinda

    I sure don’t need perfection. I like some real characteristics to all my characters in books, whether it be physical or emotional.

  3. Savannah Chase

    Nobody is perfect, so having a hero who is not perfect makes him more real. It makes you fell for the character.

  4. Ciara Knight

    It is so rewarding when you have to work hard for a character and he turns out well. Congratulations on pulling it off. He sounds like an amazing hero.

  5. Angela Brown

    Physical perfection is a fantasy. And true, I love, love, LOVE fantasy, I still need something to help me with my suspension of disbelief. So physical perfection is not a must. I have one character for one of my WiPs, he’s a gangly teen. Not exactly your picture of physical perfection. He has ridiculous strength and learns a little later where it comes from, but there are no bulging muscles or abs of steel for him :-) I think I left a scar on his face…not sure. Have to check.

  6. Shelley Munro

    Welcome, Rebecca! It’s great to have you here today.

    I like an imperfect hero and one who is physically disabled or marked in some way always makes for a fascinating read. They usually come with lots of emotional baggage and are a real challenge to read and write.
    In some way they’re the masculine equivalent of a woman who has issues with her weight. Done well these characters really shine.

    That’s my opinion, anyway :)

  7. Riya

    I love an imperfect and tortured hero. How the hero deals with all these makes for an interesting read.

    Thanks Rebecca for sharing about your hero. Love Beyond Sight sounds a wonderful story and the whole series sound intriguing.

    Thank you Shelley!

  8. Mary Kirkland

    I love reading about a tortured hero. Usually we get to read what happened to him and how it’s affected his life. And when he meets that one person who loves him no matter what, it brings everything together in a way we all hope things could be in real live.

    We are all imperfect in some way and when we meet that special person that loves us for who we are and not what we look like, that’s our happy ending as well, so reading stories like that gives us hope for our own lives.

  9. Amy Gallow

    Physical perfection is very hard to define. It differs with culture, time and place. One woman’s Adonis is another’s gargoyle.
    I like a real hero, one who has lived and bears the physical and emotional scars to prove it. He’s earned his ability to cherish and protect and learnt what love is and isn’t. His character can be trusted because it’s been tried in the furnace and forged by adversity.

  10. Ciara Knight

    I don’t need a perfect hero, but I do need a strong willed one. Someone who can overcome the adversity of a scar, or disfigurement. When the hero can be endearing despite any challenges, I find it truly sexy.

    Congratulations on finishing the tour. I know I always collapse at the end. :)