Monday, June 25, 2007

Who's your hero?

Have you noticed the increase of military-type suspense heroes? It's understandable considering our current national climate. I enjoy the military suspense plots. The international intrigue. The buckle-your-seatbelt-hold-on-to-your-hat action. The hard-body heroes with the Ninja reflexes. What's not to love?

But as much as I enjoy those stories, I have a particular soft spot for the every man - or woman - heroes. Those ordinary people pulled into extraordinary circumstances by compellingly personal motivations.

Angela Henry's Kendra Clayton is such a heroine. You probably know that Kendra is a part-time GED instructor, part-time restaurant hostess. She doesn't have a military or law enforcement background, nor does she have any special self-defense skills.

In her mystery series debut, The Company You Keep, Kendra's pulled into a murder investigation to clear her childhood friend. In her second series installment, Tangled Roots, Kendra is again pulled into a murder investigation, this time to save a young man she used to babysit.

In my debut romantic suspense, You Belong To Me, the hero is an independent film producer who's trying to find the murderer who killed his best friend and is stalking his ex-wife. In my upcoming release, On Fire, the heroine is a reporter who's trying to uncover the arsonist who's framing her lover.

I like these heroes because I can more easily imagine myself in their place. No military or law enforcement background. No special self-defense skills. Just an average person trying to help a friend.

What type of hero or heroine do you enjoy most? Military, police, firefighter, private investigator or ordinary man/woman? Do you have a particular series favorite?

Patricia

9 comments:

Liz Clifford said...

What an interesting question you pose. I guess my idea of a "hero" goes back to all the old movies I watched as a kid - Robin Hood, The Scarlet Pimpernel, etc. Swashbucklers in which the hero was the underdog fighting for a good cause. This concept was recreated somewhat in the Indiana Jones movies and the like.

But when I think of books I have read recently, none of the characters seem very heroic based on my criteria. I guess swashbucklers are out of fashion, eh?

But I probably need to update my criteria to the adult world, too. My current heroes are the stay-at-home moms who run the PTO and Brownies at my daughter's school. Her life is much richer for these ladies and their hard work.

Angela Henry said...

Patricia,

Great topic ; ). The people I tend to root for in a book are also the common everyday people, usually the underdogs. They are so much easier to relate to. I especially love the flawed hero who you can't help but love despite all of his/her problems and the fact that they might not always do the right thing.

Angela

Gwyneth Bolton said...

I think I like the "everyday hero" best. In mystery novels, I love it when an amateur sleuth gets in there and finds out "who done it" before the cops find out. Although I will read with equal delight mysteries that feature police detectives, private investigators etc... the amateur sleuth like BarbaraNeely's Blanche White are the ones that I have a soft spot for.

Gwyneth

Nine to Five Diva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nine to Five Diva said...

Although I am weak for a good mystery of any kind, I tend to favor the average woman who becomes a heroine under unusual circumstances. It's great to read about someone who is motivated to do something they never thought they would or could do.

Minnie E. Miller said...

I am not a suspense/crime writer, but I want to be. I'm thinking about it. I guess I don't think of the following characters as heros as much as really great crime fighters. I'm hooked on John Wooden's A Moment of Justice, A Lifetime of Vengeance, his protagonist is a FBI agent. Love all of Banks's Blind Trust series, her main characters are detectives.

I look for excellent writing and a well executed plot. I think both these authors have it.
Minnie E Miller

patricia sargeant said...

Liz, hi! Thank you so much for stopping by. It's great to see you again. Funny you mention updating hero criterias in the real world. I recently had cause to marvel again at an acquaintance's accomplishments. She's a very tiny woman - she can fit in your pocket - who found the courage to leave her abusive husband and raise her twins alone. More than 20 years later, her children attended college on a scholarship, graduated, have started working and are getting married soon. She's one of my real life hero.

Hey, Angela! Thank you for posting a comment. I love flawed heroes, too. By the way, I'm reading Tangled Roots and I just cannot put it down. :)

Gwyneth!!!! How wonderful of you to stop by and post a comment. Thank you so much! I'm really looking forward to posting your interview on the Pink Ladies Blog Friday. I'm so ashamed. I've *got* to start reading the Blanche White mystery series. My sister raves about them. Have I mentioned I'm looking forward to reading your Hightower Honors series. Very, very much. :)

Hi, Nine To Five Diva! Thank you for sharing your insights with us. I think you've hit the nail right on the head when you say you love it when someone is motivated to do something they never thought they could do. Exactly! It makes me want to jump up and cheer. Which book gave you that feeling?

Minnie!!! How wonderful to see you! Thank you so much for visiting and posting a comment. And thank you for the story and author suggestions. I appreciate those. Keep writing, Minnie. If becoming a published mystery author is your dream, never give up; never surrender.

Lynn Emery said...

I've been hooked on all kinds of heroes and heroines since I read my first mystery. If I had to choose I'd say the gutsy woman who decides to fight back, find justice and not let the bad guys win- women who are amateur detectives and professionals!

Thanks for fun topic!

patricia sargeant said...

Lynn! Thank you so much for stopping by. I like the gutsy heroines, too. The ones who are scared, but manage not to show it.

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