Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography

Monday, 27 October 2014

A Hymn to Tim: Part 2

Some time ago I blogged about stereotypes (see A Hymn To Tim, back in March 2013). I hate stereotypes; and names (Tim perceived as being a particularly wimpy moniker) are just one example of how lazy we can be in that respect. You don’t have to look far to see other ways we fall into the trap; there are plenty of others.

Of course, if you write in a particular genre then you have to accept that readers have certain expectations of that genre. That’s fair enough. But I do think it’s possible — and desirable — to bend those expectations just a little.

In concluding my previous post, I issued a challenge to my readers. “Next time you’re scratching around for a name for your muscle-bound hunk of heartbreaker, think of me – and call him Tim.” And of course it would be wrong of me not to have taken up the challenge and so I had to call my next hero Tim. I admit that I fully expected to have to change his name, either because an editor couldn’t face the idea or because I myself lost my nerve at the last minute. But it didn’t happen.

So what kind of hero is called Tim? He’s a man not afraid to get to grips with the great outdoors. A man who doesn’t like to be told what to do but one who isn’t afraid to show his sensitive side to add to his sense of humour. He has an outdoorsman’s stubble and a tattoo of crossed geological hammers on the inside of his wrist.

Our heroine Megan, however, is not taken with him. “Academically brilliant, emotionally flawed, charming, handsome, unbearably arrogant… Tim bloody Stone, appearing out of nowhere,” she fumes, her nose particularly out of joint because he has with him a rival — a woman, gorgeous, sexy and clever.

Real men love rocks...
The sharp-eyed among you will have spotted that Tim is a scientist and not just any old scientist but a rockhound — and even some geologists make jokes about how dull and geeky geologists can be. But Tim is, when necessary, as hard or even harder than the rocks which he studies so obsessively.

Why am I telling you this? Because science doesn’t have to be dull any more than Tim has to be a wimp. Because his hard-headed scientific approach and his need to know all the answers are at odds with the emotional sensitivity he needs to understand our poor heroine and so end up leading both of them into trouble.

It’s romantic suspense and it made it past the editor’s red pen. Tim kept his name and so you’ll have the chance to find out all about him, all about Megan and (just for a change) even a little bit about the geology of northern Majorca. It’s called No Time Like Now and it’s available from Tirgearr Publishing from 28 October.

Go on - give it a try. And let me know what you think…


  1. Looking forward to meeting Tim! The fact he's a geologist definitely helps, I've always wanted to know more about Geology than I currently do. Good luck with the launch.

    1. I think I fell a bit in love with Tim myself, actually. Hmm...

  2. Characters are always more interesting and realistic when the author has lovingly created them! This is now on my TBR list!

  3. I remember your first post and said then I had no problems with the name Tim for a hero. Congratulations on No Time Like Now. I'm looking forward to reading it. And I like rocks, too!

    1. It's a funny thng, isn't it - I did think I might end up changing the name but it fits. And let's face it - does he look like a wimp?

  4. Congratulations on the launch, Jennifer! Tim rocks!

  5. Fantastic post! Sound like a wonderful read and many congratulations on your launch. I rose to your challenge last time and wrote a Tim into a short story as the romantic lead....sold it to WW. Tims rock!