Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Men in Black

The hero of my new novel is a Man in Black.

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Henry Cavill, who looks a lot like my black-wearing hero.
 He appeared in my head, without a plot or a plan, but his all-black wardrobe was concrete. It was my job to figure out why he wore black all the time, because when a guy does that, he’s making a statement.

Image result for johnny cash man in black
Johnny Cash made a statement!
 Color psychology has been around at least since the 1700s (as the “rose of temperaments”). The idea is that color can carry a specific meaning, and a person perceiving a color assigns an evaluation to it automatically, a response that’s either learned or biologically innate.

In color psychology, black has a lot to say.

I’m mourning. Black is related to death and mourning in western culture. It’s a color that absorbs other colors, as well as light and joy. It communicates deep emotion and loss that sometimes roots in person’s psyche long after the mourning period is over. His heart is not available.

I’m mysterious. A puzzle you want to solve. Black hides things, literally and figuratively, and in color psychology, it communicates concealment—of emotions and information. He doesn’t want you to know the real him—but is he protecting himself, or you?

Image result for batman the dark knight
I have power. Black intimidates and communicates strength and superiority. It’s unfriendly and unwelcoming. He wants you to fear him or at least maintain a healthy respect, and you’ll never know the real person beneath the façade.

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Darth Vader
I exude confidence. A British clothing company (buyshirtsonline) did a survey on clothing color, and most of its participants said black clothing makes people look confident, sexy, and serious. This Man in Black doesn’t need anyone’s approval. He has an agenda, but he won’t tell you that it’s rooted in pain and loss.

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Killian Jones, Once Upon a Time
 Stay away. Black communicates danger, unapproachability, and emotional separation from others. Villains are stereotypically portrayed wearing black, but as we know, villains are often broken individuals in pain. Black can be an emotional shield. He says to go away, but some women want to fix him anyway.

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Kylo Ren
Wearing all black is a statement that communicates a lot at an emotional level. A Man in Black’s dress is an outward symbol of his pain, a reminder of his grief, a warning that he’s dangerous to know and love. Nevertheless, in his brokenness, he beckons our sympathy, compassion, and certainly our interest.


Susanne Dietze married a man in black...a pastor who wears clerical collars. This month, she's celebrating the release of her debut novel, The Reluctant Guardian.

Found here
The Reluctant Guardian:

Under the Spy's Protection 
When Gemma Lyfeld inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she's rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her… 

Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he'd be.


  1. Oh, swoon!

    Gimme Killian Jones any day. The man just exudes charm.

    Where's my fainting couch?

    1. LOL DeAnna, here it is! Have a lie down until you recover.


  2. This is a great character post, Susie. The funny thing is, I wear all black lots of - not all - times and I saw myself in several of your traits. Great post to ponder.

    1. Black is a great basic addition to our wardrobes, as it goes with almost everything, but it's interesting to think about it as a "color of choice," isn't it? I'm curious to look into the psychology of other colors now.

      You look very nice in black, by the way!

  3. Fascinating way to look at characterization.

    1. Color psychology is truly fascinating! And definitely fun to apply to characters.