Reading through some emails this morning and there was one semi-hostile one about the length of my heroes’ hair in the DH books. The reader was very upset that *all* my heroes have long hair and that it was “getting old” to read about all these guys with really long hair. This criticism baffles me as much as the ones who say that I have a problem with blonds and red-heads in my books. The readers who want to know why I hate blonde and red-headed women and portray them so rarely and badly in my books.
While Artemis is red-headed, that is not my choice. She’s usually red-headed in mythology (and she’s not one of my heroines). And I guess those readers have never seen a photo of me and my red hair (for that matter most of my lifelong friends have red hair) so obviously there’s no problem there on my end with red-heads.
But the email got me to thinking and so I decided to compile a list to show that my heroes and heroines have all sorts of hair colors and lengths…
Julian – starts with long blond hair (because that would have been the fashion of his day) and he cuts it short in the first chapters of the book. His hair is short in all the rest of the books.
Kyrian – short blond hair. Not cropped to his head, it’s shaggy, but short.
Talon – definitely short. He has two thin braids that trail to his shoulders, but his hair is actually quite short.
Zarek – short black hair.
Wulf – the first long-haired hero in the DH series with black hair.
Vane – long multi colored dark hair
Valerius – longish dark hair in a pony-tail
Alexion – shoulder length curly blond hair (I don’t think of it as long, but some might)
Dante – short black hair
Rafael – bald
Wren – starts with long dreadlocks, but cuts it short in the book and it’s short in later appearances
Ravyn – shoulder length black hair
Arik – long black hair
Aidan – short blond hair
Sin – very short black hair
Xypher – shoulder length black hair
Acheron – really long, all colors of hair but it’s also short blond in the first half of his book
Stryker – short black
Jericho – short black and longer blond
Fang – short brown hair
Dev – long blond hair
V’Aidan – short black hair
Gallagher – short black hair
Jess- short black hair
Fury has had both
So out of 25 heroes, we have 18-19 with short or no hair and only 7-8 with long hair (I actually only consider 3 of the 7 to have long hair, the other 4 have it to their shoulders which to me isn’t really long). Now granted some groups such as the Peltier bears mostly have long hair, but they run a biker bar and are bears so it’s a little different and is a group thing more than my personal preference. I have no personal preference on hair length. Wolves as a rule have short hair. Jackals have short hair. Panthers usually run long with their locks.
Grace – dark hair
Amanda – auburn
Sunshine – black hair
Astrid – blond
Cassandra – strawberry blond
Bride – auburn hair
Tabby – auburn hair
Danger – auburn hair
Maggie – blond
Susan – blond
Geary – brownish blond
Leta – black hair
Kat – blond
Simone – dark brown
Tory – brown hair
Zephyra – blond
Delphine – blond
Aimee – blond
Sam – dark blond
Erin – dark hair
Pandora – dark hair
Retta – red hair
Celena – dark brown hair
Lia – plays with her hair color
So with the 24 heroines we have:
5 red hair
I think it’s the brown haired women who should be complaining LOL.
And we have diversity. Sunshine is Native American. Celena and Rafe are African-American. Simone is mixed race. Dante is part Spanish and part Italian. We also have many hunters who’ve been introduced who are African, Japanese, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Native American, Muslim, etc. I have some who are gay and bisexual as well as transsexual. The reason I set up the DH world the way I did was so that I would have a very wide canvas to paint with. I didn’t want to be limited by anything, other than the Daimons being Greek and blond (which as we’ve seen with Stryker L’Oreal can fix).
What I think gets in the way is simply Plato’s Theory of Aesthetics. Plato (put very simply for space reasons) stipulated that all of us hold within us our own ideals of what makes something beautiful and acceptable. It’s as unique as we are and it varies widely person to person.
What one person considers “fat” might be another person’s “normal.” What one person considers “skinny” is another person’s “heavy.” My concept of those terms has changed throughout various periods of my life. To me blond hair is often brown with some exceptions.
From the men I’ve been around, shoulder length and above isn’t long hair on a guy. It’s what I think of as normal. To me, long hair on a man has to be something he can pull back in a ponytail and it has to be over 3 inches as a ponytail. That’s what I call long.
I’m not criticizing anyone’s perceptions. They are what they are. But as a writer it does sometimes get in our way. Back when I was in a critique group we used to have a saying “Author’s Brain Not Included” for whenever we’d write something and then the person reading it would have a whole different perception of what we intended. It can be amusing and it can be horrifying. And I can see where if a reader grabbed the 7 books out of order with all the long-haired heroes, they would generalize that all my heroes have long hair or all my heroines are blond when, in fact, they’re not.
Now I do admit that I have a lot of tall people but there’s a reason for that. Since the Daimons are descended from Apollo, they’re all tall. Ditto the Were-Hunters (unless they’re mix bloods). Artemis picks tall Dark-Hunters because shorter Hunters are at a disadvantage when fighting the much taller and stronger Daimons. Yes, a shorter person can win a fight with a larger one (I know this from personal experience), but it’s harder to win against a larger opponent in hand to hand combat (again, I know this from personal experience). Being 5’2″, I don’t have the reach of someone who’s 5’10” and taller. It makes it a lot harder on me to win. So the taller Dark-Hunters level the fighting field. But not all of them are tall. We do have some Hunters under six feet. They’re just rare.
Basically, I like having a variety of people in my books, just like in my life. Yes, there are a lot with long hair. But there are also a lot with short hair. I don’t have a preference for one or the other (as I said my hubby’s hair is extremely short and my brother’s hair is very long- I think both of them are incredibly handsome and their hair suits them both). The characters in my books are what dictate their physical descriptions. Their values, backgrounds and beliefs. Just like in real life. Hairstyle varies and is a life choice each person makes. Viva la difference!