Is Red the New Grey?

What’s behind this fascination lately with Romance Heroes who are, well….(I am not sure how to say this in a politically correct way) rurally raised?
Some have even gone so far as to use the term “Redneck”. Some use it proudly, others casually, and some have used the term derisively. But it certainly seems as though so-called “Rednecks” are everywhere these days.
Rurally-themed reality shows are riding the wave of success ignited by Duck Dynasty. However you may feel about that show, one thing is true- it is difficult to ignore. Their team has taken merchandising to a whole new level- you can’t walk through Walmart without tripping over an Uncle Si doll.
New reality shows are popping up with Moonshiners, ginseng hunters (“Appalachian Outlaws”), aspiring actors (“Hollywood Hillbillies”), and I am still not sure exactly what Honey Boo Boo does. And guess who is the most popular character on the smash hit Walking Dead? That’s right, Daryl Dixon (played by actor Norman Redus). A popular meme on Facebook has been this caption under Daryl’s photo: “Everyone makes fun of the Redneck until the Zombie Apocalypse.”
Daryl has many female fans who have been gushing over him. I have also recently noticed more romance novels featuring “Redneck” Heroes. So maybe there is something to this trend?
The drawl, the good manners (“Yes, Maam”), the manly pursuits (fishing, hunting, etc), not to mention respect for their Mama, and you have some pretty fine ingredients for a typical “Redneck” Hero. Has our collective love affair with imaginary twisted Billionaires begun to fade? Perhaps it is time for some down to earth, more realistically available types of men.
I did some research and found several authors with good reviews that write romances with a “Redneck” type hero. I have not read all of them, so use your own judgment, but the information about them on the internet was positive:
Redneck Romance, by Madison Johns
Redneck Romeo by Lorelei James
Redneck Ex by Claire Croxton
Fried Pickles and the Fuzz by Calico Daniels

I also want to mention that since I published the post, “What’s the Sexiest Piece of Clothing a Man Can Wear?” several searches have come up for “sexy muscular man in overalls”. Who knew?!

Personally, I think there’s room in the Romance Novel Universe for all types of Heroes. So here’s to diversity. Authors, please keep ‘em coming.

5 thoughts on “Is Red the New Grey?

  1. Renee,

    I think we should start a list of “southern grown” TV reality shows. The biggest Bravo “Housewives” franchise is the Housewives of Atlanta. There’s Swamp Men, Swamp Pawn (which I really about the folks in Bayou Pigeon, LA) There’s one about Romance in Dixie, but that’s not the actual name. The plethora I believe will show how the country is fascinated with Southerners.

    I had an agent say to me about my book, “I don’t get the whole southern thing.” I had a Canadian editor from a major publishing house ask me about if there is still a difference between the north and the south.

    Statistics show that Romance remains the hottest genre in book sales. If memory serves me correct, within the U.S., 38% of romance is sold in the Southeast. The Midwest is a close second with about 35%.

    So darlin’ bring on the Redneck Hero. lol In Bayou Born, James’ best friend is a Florida Cracker who hunts, fishes, and farms…and also a college graduate. My personal Hero, my hubby, will tell you he’s bilingual. He’s speaks Southern English and he’s fluent in Redneck.


    Linda Joyce


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