My first fictional crush was Superman.
My brother and I used to buy a lot of the shiny, brightly coloured Adventure Comics coming out of America when we were kids living in Malta, and Superman stole my heart, even when he was in the guise of Clark Kent. I used to think that Lois Lane was remarkably stupid not to notice it was just the same guy in a suit and glasses but, hey, if she didn’t want him …? I was ready and waiting. In tights or in a suit, Superman or Clark, he was hot, he was clever, he was kind. Bring him on.
I can remember crying over an episode where Superman lost all his powers and was wandering dejectedly around Gotham City with the citizens jeering at him. (I’m not sure why he didn’t just go back into Clark Kent mode so nobody knew he was Superman sans superpowers. Probably it didn’t suit the plot.) Happily, the source of the kryptonite that was disabling him was found and he was soon soaring across the page once more, fist raised in flight, just in time to smash the baddies’ plans to conquer the world and snatch Lois from the jaws of death (not that she deserved it).
I have retained a liking for a tall man with a strong, clean-shaven jaw and I even put Dominic Christy in tights in Dream a Little Dream, when he dressed up for halloween. First love is stronger than kryptonite.
Is This Love? is now available on all e-book platforms and is out in paperback 7th November.
As a young teenager, I was as impressionable as an undercooked sponge cake, and regularly fell in love with literary luminaries, but the first who really made a huge impression, growing up as I did in a town with Roman history so deep that we even had Roman sewers, was Marcus Aquila, hero of Rosemary Sutcliffe’s ‘Eagle of the Ninth’.
I had a full mental image of Marcus, although I cannot remember whether or not he is described in the book, although I have to admit that I probably overlaid him with all my real-life ‘crushes du jour’; he was tall, dark and handsome, and he could ride a horse really well too, which was important to me back then, in the days when I was still going to marry Tony Newbery. He was courageous (Marcus, I mean, not Tony Newbery, although he was pretty brave, being a showjumper of some ability and very lovely horses. I think I was probably leaning more towards the ‘horses’ than the man, even at fifteen). Marcus was travelling in distant lands (well, Scotland), to find the secret that lay behind his father’s disappearance so he was not just brave, he was noble as well, and probably troubled too (I do like a troubled man). The BBC made a TV mini-series of the book and the actor they cast as Marcus definitely didn’t disappoint…Sigh. I wonder if it’s available on DVD…
Hubble Bubble is available on all e-book platforms and is also available in paperback.
Julian, of Famous Five fame, was everything a boy should be. At least to a twelve year old girl. He was brave, tall and strong. Fearless, as he herded the younger members of the group through dark, secret tunnels. Gutsy, as he stood up to the bad guys – men older and heavier than he. Daring, as he led from the front in adventure after adventure.
But it wasn’t just his courage that had me reaching for the books time and time again, desperate to read more about him. Julian was the responsible one. The gallant hero who looked after all the others, especially his young sister Anne. Who couldn’t fall in love with a boy who took such care of his sister?
And don’t forget Julian also had this clever and sensible side. I suppose it could have made him stray into the nerdy category, but the swots I knew would never have dashed so boldly into danger to protect their friends. Maybe there was a smidgen of bossiness about him, but Dick, George and Anne needed someone to tell them what to do or they’d never have escaped through those secret passageways. Perhaps he also took himself a teeny bit seriously, but funny = sexy was a conclusion I came to a little later in life…
So there you have it. My first fictional hero was Enid Blyton’s Julian. I spent many years of my childhood wishing he’d ask me out for a ginger beer. Until I dropped him for David Soul (from Starsky and Hutch).
I’m going to have to own up and say that my first fictional crush was Lassie. Yep, the dog.
I’m afraid I can’t even say it was as a result of the books, because it was all down to the TV show. I don’t think I ever read about Lassie. At that time it was all Enid Blyton for me and there was zero crushing involved.
Lassie on the other hand was a different matter. It was a case of what you can’t have. I so wanted a dog as a kid but we were never allowed one. At different times we had fish, a hamster (that kept escaping into the loft and eating things) and a biting rabbit ― that had pink eyes and scared me stupid. But never a dog. And it was a dog I so desperately wanted. So I used to watch Lassie and dream of one day having a dog of my own. It didn’t even need to be a Collie. Just something with four legs (actually it didn’t even need to have those) and a wagging tail. You get the gist. Of course now with my own family I understand first hand the reasoning behind my parents’ decision. Hair, mud, walks, more hair. But it’s no good. I still couldn’t be without one. Or two ― should me and the boys get our way!
No Such Thing as Immortality is available on all e-book platforms and is also available in paperback.