Hi Mia! (Waves)
Meet Caleb MacKinnon
Hi everyone! Mia here. Thanks for having me as a guest today. My debut book, the novella Cowboy Valentine, is about a high school honor student and the wild, sexy summer she spends with her cowboy crush before leaving for college.
The hero of Cowboy Valentine is named Caleb MacKinnon. He’s yummy. I’m biased, but…really, he’s yummy. My two inspirations for Caleb are a young Jamie Dornan and James Dean in the movie East of Eden.
Caleb is a rancher’s son in the Central Valley, California’s rural heartland. In my mind, Caleb looks like a really young Jamie Dornan, long before Christian Grey—tall, muscular but not jacked, with disheveled hair and intense, expressive eyes.
Caleb’s only 22, so even though he is a physical, sexual guy, he’s still vulnerable and not entirely certain of himself. To see what I mean, take a look at this 2009 video of Dornan taken during a Korean fashion shoot. (Whew…need a cigarette after that!) That’s Caleb’s energy—flirty, but watchful and eager for his next cue.
In the 1955 movie East of Eden, swoony, sexy James Dean plays Cal Trask, the son of a California farmer. Dean’s portrayal of Cal is charming, restless, and intense—just like the hero of my story. Like Caleb, Cal struggles with inner fears that he’s too flawed to be worthy of love. Like Caleb, Cal must find his own path. James Dean is Caleb MacKinnon’s spirit animal, a man just on the verge of becoming who he’s meant to be.
I had a blast writing Cowboy Valentine. If you’d like to spend more time with this Jamie Dornan/James Dean dude in a cowboy hat, please check out my book! It’s my first, and I’m thrilled to share it with you.