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Hi guys! Today I am pleased to welcome author Caitline Ricci to Joyfully Jay. She is here to talk to us about a new anthology, Out in Colorado published by Storm Moon Press. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

Seduced by the Average Man “Out in Colorado” with Caitlin Ricci

Out in ColoradoThere is something innately sexy about big men that are in the military, police officers, or cowboys. I live in Colorado and grew up surrounded by the military. I get the appeal. A good ol’ boy in a pair of dirty blue jeans with a tattered cowboy hat in one hand and the keys to his classic truck in the other is a damn fine character.

But in the slew of these gorgeous male characters, wouldn’t it be nice to see something a little more familiar instead?

In this world, we like to see hunky guys blow shit up. That’s just how it is. Look at the movies currently out or coming soon: Iron Man 3, Fast and Furious, Star Trek 2, etc. Now, I love movies and saw both IM3 and ST2 in theaters on opening weekend. Zachary Quinto is a personal favorite actor of mine. But there’s something that all of those movies have in common. Beautiful men are doing incredible things in them. But they aren’t the average guy. Not a single one of them. They’re gorgeous, and I’m not going to say that the mailman can’t be hot, but that’s not the point. They aren’t the guy we come home to at night, the one we share popcorn with or take our dogs for walks with.

And sometimes, that’s perfectly fine. Reading is an escape, after all, and the fantasy of getting to hang out with those men is pretty high for many readers. But in all the noise of explosions, guns, and violence, there’s something missing. Average guys can be just as sexy as a Navy Seal. Though, don’t get me wrong, I did love Act of Valor. A lot. But that’s not the norm for most people. The top ten most common jobs in the United States are jobs such as food service, retail, and nursing. Think that’s not exciting? Then you’ve obviously never been in a nursing home at three in the morning when there’s a full moon out. Personal experience speaking here, folks. There were some nights when I was running around more than the women on the day shift.

What makes a character sexy? That he is protective? Sure. That he provides for his family? Absolutely. So, what exactly separates the billionaire playboy from the man who makes sure a low income child gets a school lunch? Not a damn thing. Can they both care about others? Yes. Can they both look nice? Very much so. Are we readers so shallow that we can’t look past the fancy cars, the expensive suits, or the whirlwind trips around the country to see the value in a man that works long hours and comes home to spend time with his family? I don’t think so. Not at all. They both have value as characters but the trend has been toward the rich and powerful figure as opposed to the every man type of character. The one who could be the guy asking his two-year-old whether she wants pasta or fish sticks for dinner in the supermarket.

My point isn’t that the playboy character doesn’t have a place; it’s that I believe readers want to see the guys we see all the time in our romances as well. You can still make them romantic as well as real. These characters don’t have to fart, burp, and forget to put the toilet seat down. But they are romantic on their own. Grand gestures have their place. But so do guys that remember to get roses for their partner on the first day of a new job. Or ones that stand up and cheer for their child’s first part in a play. Even if they are a tree. There is beauty and romance in everyday activities. It just might not be as obvious.

The top most common jobs in the United States are retail salesperson, cashier, food service, office clerk, nurses, waitstaff, customer service, laborers, and janitors. There is beauty and desire in each of those. And in each job, there is a love story waiting to happen. Look outside the norm of a hot guy with a lot of money and a powerful job. Just as readers want larger heroines that they can relate to, I believe that they also crave heroes that are far more available in the everyday world. Sure, it’s easy to fantasize about the man in a nice uniform. But doesn’t the single dad taking his kids to an animated movie deserve to have just as much sex appeal? I think so.

That’s one of the big reasons I wanted to write the characters I did for my short story “Take a Bow” in the Out in Colorado anthology. Crispin is a dance instructor. He loves being a teacher and works hard to do what he loves. He catches the eye of a man that simply wants to do his best for his daughter on her wedding day. Romantic, simple, and honest. You don’t need a superhero type to have a love story. There’s plenty of romance all around you if you take the chance to look at everyday life.

Caitlin Ricci was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. If she isn’t writing, she can usually be found studying as she works toward her counseling degree. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories. You can find Caitlin at CaitlinRicci.com. Her most recent short story, “Take a Bow”, can be found in Storm Moon Press’ Out in Colorado anthology, on sale now!