Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Why no heroes?

Why No Heroes?

I don't normally use my blog space to vent, but today I am particularly vexed.

I received an email via the Blue Quill website asking, nay demanding, I explain myself. Or more to the point, explain why none of the men portrayed in my stories are 'heroes' in the conventional sense. Where is Peter Perfect rescuing Penelope Pitstop from Dick Dastardly, or a muscle bound caped Superman sweeping in to snatch Lois Lane from certain death? Curious readers want to know.

I'll tell you why, and the reason is simple - I don't want to, and as I am the one wielding the pen (or tapping the keys if you want to be pedantic) that is my privilege as the writer.

What I write, and what you get, are ordinary people doing the best they can in extraordinary circumstances. Sometimes they succeed, oftentimes they fail, just like in real life. They face hardships, grief, loss, pain, unspeakable horrors (Offshore). They laugh and they cry - yes, even the men. They have highs and they have unimaginable lows (Three Way Street), they skirt on the edge of reason, have breakdowns, have suicidal thoughts (In The Garden of Stones). They drink alcohol, sometimes to excess (Saving Nathaniel), take drugs and, heaven forfend, some of them smoke cigarettes.They dig deep to find strengths they didn't know they had and go to whatever lengths are necessary to protect what is theirs (Keeping Christopher). What they are, to put not too fine a point on it, are your every day run of the mill, man in the street human beings, each with their own strengths and frailties, just like you and I, and I will not apologise for it or change my method of story telling to accommodate preconceived ideas of what a hero or heroine should be. If superheroes with capes and muscles and magic hammers are what you want, you're reading the wrong books. They belong in comics or movie franchises. Want the strong silent brooding macho? Try Mills and Boon. They do not and will not ever belong in anything I write because the real heroes are right here in the real world, all around us and, given the right set of circumstances, inside us. If that's not the answer you're looking for, then I'm sorry, but it's the only one I have.

Thank you for understanding.


  1. I agree, and well done for sticking to your guns!

  2. totally agree with you. You are the author, you write what you want to write, in the way you want. Don't ever change, because you will never please everyone so don't even try. Please yourself, that's fine; if you please anyone else that's a bonus.

  3. There's a comment on today's odd values - 'they take drugs and heaven forfend, some of them smoke cigarettes!" I am from a town with real drug problems. So what are they planning on doing? Banning smoking from the whole of the CBD, that's what.
    Some excellent points you make. The traditional 'hero' as described, is for light books. Some of us want a little more sophistication