Guest Post: Anti-Heroes: Good Guys With Issues
I’m uber thrilled to be guest-posting on Brianna’s blog today! She just happens to be a person I admire and love, and is also the author of a novel featuring THE BEST Young Adult anti-hero I have ever had the honor of reading. For real.
I love rogues. Not when I meet them in person, but when I see them in fiction? Instant love. Why do I love them so? Maybe because they’re all bad boyish and clothed in black and generally swoon-worthy? Um, it probably is the main reason, but then I would have to end this blog post right now, so I’m just gonna ignore that. I also love old movies. I could watch Jimmy Stewart forever and ever. At a young age I also discovered Errol Flynn — wait, does anyone else in my generation actually recognize that name? (Okay, I admit it, I’m a dinosaur in a mid-twenties body. Or I could be a Salvatore, in which case all of this should make complete sense.)
ANYHOW, Errol Flynn acted in a string of movies based on the adventure novels by a long-forgotten writer named Rafael Sabatini, best known for SCARAMOUCHE and CAPTAIN BLOOD. (The movies were not very true to the books, I might add.) Sabatini filled his pages with alpha-in-their-own-mind-sometimes-total-jerk lead characters, and frankly, that doesn’t sound appealing, does it? These dudes had issues. They had dark obsessions, anger management problems, control freak tendencies, struggles with addictions. They could be very hate-able, and sometimes very lovable, but they always had their dark side.
Agatha Christie, another writer whom I love, made use of the anti-hero every chance she got. Her typical setting is a murder mystery, but in some of her stories we’re actually hoping the sleuths do NOT uncover the murderer, because the suspect is a better person than the one who got offed. Her anti-hero is often someone quirky and damaged, but when it all shakes out, they were doing the best they could to fix a broken situation, and something went wrong. They were the hero of the moment, even if they hadn’t always been one.
Since I love them so much, I shouldn’t have been surprised when my main character hit the page as a completely misguided and selfish being. I really wanted to write a heroic character full of strength and morality. No lie, I truly did. I fought it for awhile, in revisions, trying to make Trzl lovable and dear. She just wasn’t. And DANG. I LIKED HER THAT WAY. That’s who she is, and that’s who she has to be in order to do the things she does.
As writers, though, why the rogues? Why the disrespectful, stubborn, chip-on-their-shoulder rebels? Why can’t all main characters be good-hearted and honest?
We all have baggage, experiences that make us who and what we are. Anti-heroes have various reasons for living the way they do, too. Their actions may be more violent or more cruel or more unsavory, but haven’t we all done little awful things that weren’t okay? Anti-heroes take that to the next level. They explore what inside of us could be horrible if we didn’t keep it in check. But they have one thing in common: they have integrity. Whatever their moral code, their brand of honor, their version of ethics — they set standards for themselves, and they uphold that standard as best they can, even if they slip now and then.
It’s that streak of selflessness, that moment of heroism, that line they will not cross no matter the circumstances that makes my heart beat fast. Therein lies a glimpse of redemption. It gives us a connection to people we might see as wrong, evil, or delusional. Their stories are different from the truly heroic sort, but they are a sampling of humanity, and I’m infatuated with them. Because they’re damaged. They’re hurt and haunted. They’re real.
And totally worthy of story.
COLDNESS OF MAREK
The First in the Serengard Series
Release Date: August 6, 2013
The First in the Serengard Series
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries—centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that its people no longer believe in. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is dedicated to turning the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king and no one has to be subject to the whims of an Orion.
As the rebellion escalates, her choices have an eerie impact on the revolution at large, elevating her to a position of influence she has only dreamed of attaining. But there are downsides to her new power that entangle her in a dangerous web of emotions, appearances and alliances. Even as she plays to the attractions of Hodran, a rich nobleman who wants to aid her cause, she is drawn to Mikel, a loyalist farmer who hates the rebellion but just might be winning her heart.
By the time Trzl realizes she is in too deep, she has an infant son and a dark mess of betrayal and lies. She runs to the furthest corner of the kingdom in hopes that she will be left alone with her child, but she has created too many demons. A figure she once trusted will take her captive in the chilling Cliffs of Marek, throw her back into the political upheaval she helped create, and leave her at the mercy of a man she never wanted for an enemy.
Obsessed with all things history, Rachel O’Laughlin grew up writing adventure stories and only recently fell in love with fantasy as a genre. She lives in New England with her husband and children, grows roses and tweets often. She adores lattes, The Fray, long drives in the country, and any dark story with a good twist. Coldness of Marek is her first novel.
Writer of some things epic and some things fantasy.http://rachelolaughlin.com
Where to Buy the Book:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coldness-of-marek-rachel-olaughlin/1107918434?ean=2940148509899
Signed from Author: http://rachelolaughlin.wordpress.com/novels/coldnessofmarek/
And nowwwwwwww, a shiny giveaway!!!
Rachel is giving away a couple signed paperbacks of Coldness of Marek and some swag! This giveaway is open to U.S. and international residents, though if you live outside the U.S., the prize will be 3 ebooks of Coldness instead. So, get entering, peeps!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/093a0d0/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sooooooooooooooo, to round this whole thing out. Buy it. Read it. Damon and I are.