Monday, January 24, 2005

Please, let him be a bastard....

You all know the type of hero I mean. He's character C in the story of protagonists A and B. He's a secondary, but you know he's destined to have his own book soon.

He's dark, intimidating, threatening... dangerous. Ruthless. Uncompromising. Usually he's just a *smidge* taller than the other heroes in the series. You're just a little scared of him. And you LIKE it.

Often the author holds them in reserve until the last book in the series, like some jealously guarded Ace up the sleeve, till you're fairly salivating with anticipation.

You haunt the author's website waiting for a publication date, and you almost wet yourself when you finally get hold of a copy. You turn the pages with shaking hands, read the words with baited breath....

... and....

.... he's a pussycat.

What? What happened to my gloriously shadowy bad guy?

Suddenly he's been disarmed, defused. Emasculated. Rather than threatening dissolute criminals with his lethal blade, he's choosing curtains with the heroine. "Don't you think the biscuit coloured velour would bring out the lustre of the upholstery, darling?"

The disappointment is intense.

So authors, editors, publishers. Please, please.... let him be a bastard.


At 10:15 pm, Blogger left town for good said...

Dark? Threatening? Dangerous? I can be all of those. Uncompromising? Definitely. I'm completely secondary. And I can be a bastard. Ask anyone. If you ever need me to jump into the last book of a series, just let me know.

Now, are you sure you really want to use those napkins with that china?

At 11:27 pm, Blogger Kate Allan said...

You say that but... we talked about morally ambiguous heros at one time. What about morally ambiguous villains? Like mine... this is when the heroine first meets him properly:

He was so… handsome. She’d imagined the Duke with the pistol might have a hooked nose or a scar across his face. And cruel eyes.
His eyes danced with amusement and charisma.
(c) Kate Allan 2005

At 11:27 pm, Blogger Kate Allan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:30 pm, Blogger Kate Allan said...

What I meant to say is... why can't characters be proper people, not cliches. And all that. :)

At 7:44 am, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

LOL Peter! I'll bear that in mind...

Absolutely Kate - NO character should be a stereotype! But what winds me up so much is when a character CHANGES so much between being a secondary in an earlier book, to having a book of their own.

I feel like the author promised so much... and failed to deliver.

At 7:36 pm, Blogger Trace said...

LOL I know that feeling, Anna! Sometimes we women just want a bastard!!

At 8:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore dark, tortured heroes! I'm with you!


At 9:00 pm, Blogger Jaci Burton said...

hehehe. I'm so glad you said that

I had a man in book 1 of a series I wrote..he was the brother of the hero in that one. and he's a bastard

His story came in Book 3. He was still a bastard. Loveable, but flawed. And I didn't...well, refused, actually, to change him into this 'really nice guy' cuz that just wasn't him.

Good to know that sometimes it seems like I know what I'm doing *g*


At 10:23 pm, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Yes, yes, YES! Which book, Jaci? *finger poised over Paypal button*

At 11:48 pm, Blogger Jaci Burton said...


It's the Storm For All Seasons series.

But email me before you buy, okay?

And thanks!



At 12:19 am, Blogger Amie Stuart said...

Oh Annaaaaaa I so agree with you!

I have one of those, he's a tetotal and absolute bastard. Even his wife thinks he's anal retentive.....I'm gonna enjoy making his life hell

At 10:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anna, I had a hero like that. He almost killed the hero in my second book before finding Redemption in my third. He wasn't a particularly nice guy, but he did learn from his mistakes while still retaining his edge. I think that's the key. I do like the bastards to stay bad. That's what initially attracts the heroine (and this writer) to them in the first place. (wg) Jordan


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