Monday, April 8, 2013
H is for Hero
blog with something other than HERO?
When I first began writing, I knew that in romance the author always had to have a happily ever after at the end. DUH. I knew that there had to be a hero and a heroine, and that, since the readership is 85% female, the woman had to always win.
I pitched my Angel book to an editor at one RWA Convention a number of years ago, and she looked at me like I was crazy. "A painter? Your hero is a painter?"
"Yes, but he is really hunky (as in Rodrigo Santoro hunky good looking)."
"Nope. I want a professional athlete, a detective, or a military hero."
"How about Navy SEALs?" I had a family connection there and thought it might come in handy for some things.
"YES! That's what I want."
"Not an angel?"
"Not a vampire?"
"You're pissing me off."
"Okay, okay, I'll write a SEAL book."
That's practically how it all got started for me. Thank God she asked me to do it. Although she ultimately didn't buy this book, I wrote it for her anyway.
So, what makes up a hero? Well, if they are vamps or dark angels, they have to do something heroic. Something worthy of praise, showing some form of self sacrifice for a great cause, or to protect the innocent. I think I do that in my books. But a real-life military hero, like so many brave men and women serving in our military today, those are the uncommon ones that do heroic things and can't rely on their "special powers." Not that they aren't great lovers. I mean, they have to be great lovers or they don't make it to the pages of my book. I write what I like to read. I think most writers do.
Gary Cooper was the perfect hero in High Noon and, similar to my SEALs, with his quiet demeanor, yet reassuring ways, he was so drop dead sexy and worthy of worship, it gives me chills every time I see it. Never the bragger, he would risk his life to save the innocent (and not so innocent) people of the town from a bully.
The SEALs commonly say, "I'm that guy that gets it done." They are the ones you can count on, to do
the extraordinary in any condition, against any odds. I came home with some choice memorabilia from our recent trip to the SEAL/UDT Museum in Florida. We tout their efforts, but they usually don't.
So maybe the definition of hero is doing the right thing even when no one is looking, or when no one will ever know, or when no one will be around to thank you properly. They do it just because it's the right thing to do.
Thank goodness we have men and now women, who are willing to take on this task. I'll bet within the next couple of years you'll find your first female SEALs deployed. Now, won't that be something?
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