It came to my attention some time ago that my fellow CTRWA chapter mate and YA author, Patty Blount and I, had more in common than the teens shouting in our heads to have their stories told. It turns out we are both huge fans of the Diana Gabaldon OUTLANDER series. We’ve read all the books, compared notes on the STARZ original series adaptation for television, and both agree that if Jamie Fraser (that’s James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser to those who “know” and love him), truly existed in this time or any other, we would follow him to the ends of the earth, swoon at his feet, and reach up longingly to merely touch the hem of his kilt. I might add that the view from there would likely render us both spellbound with lust.
You see, Jamie isn’t just your usual run-of-the-mill hunky Highlander romance hero. He is stunningly appealing, passionate beyond words, and gentle of spirit in a way that draws even the hardened—and married—WWII nurse, Claire Randall, under his spell when she falls back in time to 18th century Scotland and becomes a prisoner of the Clan MacKenzie. If you haven't read the books, you absolutely MUST!
Despite Jamie's stubbornness and his penchant for stumbling into every dangerous situation he could possibly encounter, he is a noble and loyal son, brother, friend, and mate—the kind of man you’d like to sit down and have a dram or two of whiskey with or wake up next to on a cold winter’s morning in the Highlands (or Berkshires—or anywhere, really). The 6’4” red headed Highlander might not be every woman’s cup of tea (although I cannot imagine why not), he fits the bill for those of us who love our heroes to have a chiseled jaw, penetrating blue eyes, a few battle scars to show his resilience, and an air of sensuality and innocence that makes us want to take him under our wing and teach him all we know—lucky Claire! There is something supremely sexy about a man whose wounds have only served to make him stronger and more compassionate.
Like the best of heroes, Jamie is the ultimate protector, "...you have my name, my clan, my family, and if necessary, the protection of my body as well." Sighhhhh...! Jamie's vow on their wedding night. I must have watched that episode twenty...or maybe thirty times just to hear that line. Well...mostly to hear that line.
After years of reading—and re-reading—Gabaldon’s books, Jamie’s strength of character is the model I use when devising my own heroes. Even though I write for young adults, I like to think my heroes all have Jamie’s indomitable spirit and the ability to stay true to themselves—in spite of their trials. The wounded Marine, Alex Cooper, from HEAVEN is for HEROES, the confused but overly responsible Carter McCray from ON THIN ICE, the sweet and well-intentioned Justin Spencer, in SAVAGE CINDERELLA, and the poster-child for good sons, Ethan Kaswell, in PIECES of LOVE, all have these heroic qualities. Even Will Callahan, the shady drifter harboring secrets of his own in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy, has many of Jamie’s traits, thanks to the bar being set so high by Ms. Gabaldon’s pen.
I don’t usually wax on about fictional characters, but Jamie Fraser has stayed with me for years, as he has for millions of readers around the globe. It was so kind of Ms. Gabaldon to create such a swoon-worthy hero for us to enjoy. Even more so that she and producers of the TV series chose Sam Heughan to embody the part of Jamie. A talented and brilliant actor, I can’t imagine anyone else in the role.
So, to celebrate Patty Blount’s birthday, I dedicate this post to her and wanted to share a little "Jamie love" with a fellow romance junkie.
Feast your eyes, and get the fan ready, Patty.
It’s about to get hot in here!
Happy Birthday! And may all your dreams come true.
Feel free to stop by Patty’s FB party to wish her a happy birthday and meet some other great authors who are helping her celebrate this month. There will be contests and giveaways galore! See you there.
Have you read/seen OUTLANDER? Are you anxiously awaiting season 2? What's your favorite or most meaningful character trait in a hero? Any other heroes that have stayed with you long after the end of a book?