Thursday, June 14, 2012

What do Heroes Look Like?

Look at the hot dude up there on his wild gray horse. I can look at him and go- "Yeah, I'd totally go out with him." I mean sure, from an equestrian perspective, his heels are in the totally wrong position which would probably mean that when his horse reared like that he'd go over backwards- flip ass over teakettle- and right over the horse's tail. And he does look a little girly in his breeches. But still. He looks heroic up there doesn't he?

Uh huh, reality check. That's Napoleon. Which means he's probably riding a freakin' Welsh Pony and not a Warmblood. So he probably only looks man sized because the horse is itty bitty. And when he gets off the pony he's reduced to actual size which was SHORT. And we all know he had a kind of short guy complex going where he was reported to be somewhat mean spirited.

On the other hand, Napoleon did win some decisive battles, gain some territory, and get the girl. So would YOU consider him a hero?

Hero is such a negligible word. We use it constantly to describe an overcomer. The protagonist of almost every film, play, and book is referred to as the hero. Regardless of whether or not they want to be thrust into a leadership role, look the part, or can even do the job- we slap the label on them and shove them into the gladitorial ring as a ritual sacrifice of sorts.

Okay, maybe that was a tad overdramatic. But still.

I think my favorite heroes will always be the ones who didn't really want the job. Or the anti-heroes who would just as soon watch the world end as save it. A great quote from a legendary anti-hero asked to save the universe was this, "You said it was all circling the drain, right?"--shrug--"It had to end sometime."

This is classic hero-speak for "I suppose I'll do something about the end of the world if there's really no one else to take care of it." But that's the kind of guy we like. Or at least the kind of guy I like. I don't want the hero who's been dreaming and training for the big mission. I want the one who's been prepared by life's ups and downs for a job he didn't want.

Some of history's greatest heroes have been like that. George Washington never wanted to be President of the United States. And according to Hollywood's upcoming summer film- Lincoln only wanted to be president in order to rid the world of Vampires. (Kidding! Although Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter is a great book!)

So what about real, everyday heroes? Most of them don't look like Riddick. (Too bad, really.) They're the men & women we meet at the store, or the ones who live next door, or our cousin's neighbor's uncle's brother... They're just people who step up when no one else will. Their battles don't have to be epic. Maybe they just help you find your dog, or fix your screen door, or even your computer (I have a heroic geek at home myself).

So while I will continue to write my heroes hot, sexy, and sometimes cranky, I want all of us to see that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. The worst thing we can do is keep looking for hot and hunky when we have heroic sitting in our living room.


  1. Totally agree with you! I love the Napoleon comparison hahaha! He seems like he was such a pain in the ass. My favorite heroes are also the ones that you least expect. I'd honestly rather have my day saved by a normal, cute guy who doesn't know why he is saving me, as opposed to Superman. I never really liked the gelled hair and tights much. And hey, what man in a cape do we really think is sexy?

    Can't wait to read your books.


  2. Yeah, tights hmm... I have to say that if a guy dressed in baby blue spandex showed up to rescue me, I might tell him nevermind. At that point the bad guy might look more like my type. At least Lex Luthor is usually wearing an expensive and well tailored suit most of the time.