Give Me a Hero with an Edge

Hi all!  I revealed the cover for Consumed this week – what do you think?  Nice abs, huh?  🙂  The tough body fits the hero (Jordan, a lion shapeshifter) perfectly, and I started thinking about heroes.  Well, and heroines.  I like ’em all with an edge.

Nothing against the clean-cut, boy next door, good guy…but I like a bit of darkness in a character.  (And I’d rather not examine too closely why).  LOL

Take Raylan Givens from Justified.  Sure, he’s the good guy.  But man, he shoots a lot of people, and he has his own code.  There’s nothing too clean-cut about this guy…yet I root for him every week.  He also makes some terrible mistakes, but you can see why he makes them.  Even better,  you can see how he learns from them.  I guess it comes down to having a hero who isn’t perfect.  What fun is perfection?  (Unless you’re talking about abs, of course).

Mary Shannon from In Plain Sight is another great example.  She’s sarcastic, snide, and lacks patience.  But she’ll do anything for her friends and family…including taking a bullet.  And even though she really doesn’t want to care, she cares deeply about the witnesses she protects.  So deeply it really ticks her off.  🙂

I guess flaws are what make people interesting…and why we cheer so hard for certain characters.  Overcoming those flaws makes for a good hero or heroine.  What do you think makes for a good character?  (Besides rippled abs?)   🙂

About Rebecca Zanetti

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of paranormal, contemporary, and romantic suspense romances. Current series include: Dark Protectors, Sin Brothers, and Maverick Montana.

Posted on May 9, 2012, in Rebecca Zanetti and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. What a great cover! Love the colors and the abs. 🙂

    I agree with you. I adore Raylan and Mary. They are two of my favorite characters on TV. I think the best characters are the tortured characters.

  2. “Consumed” cover qualifies as combustible ; ) You could body surf on those abs!!!

    Ah…Raylan. My “Justified” obsession. Once again, I am at a loss–Season Three has ended. I wait for Season Four…and wait…and wait….

    Timothy Olyphant fits the character of Raylan Givens the way that Raylan’s Stetson fits his head! Perfectly! I must say that Timothy looks mighty fine in that hat, and he wears the hat, it doesn’t wear him. “Justified” is just about perfect in every way–an outstanding cast and astounding writing and overall production values. Dark, gritty, and impossible to look away from! Raylan is a dedicated lawman, a deadly crack shot, and his own worst enemy.

    More about Raylan: He is genuinely fond of Ava, and he felt desire for her and was flattered by her attention. She brings out his protective side. Winona has him by the “bahoogies”…and she always will. She was his wife, but she had an affair, divorced Raylan and married “Gary the Loser”, the guy with whom she had the affair. She really knocked Raylan for a loop and caused him to have all kinds of doubts and mixed-up thoughts. Even though he is not without blame in the break-up of his marriage, he never really understood why Winona left him. Later on, she couldn’t stand to see Raylan with Ava, so she cheated on Gary with Raylan. That was not enough, so she involved Raylan in all her issues, including a criminal act! She really has Raylan twisted right where it hurts : ( Now she is keeping her pregnant self mostly out of Raylan’s reach. I think he would be fierce as a father-protector…everything his own father never was!!!

    Characters are the elements which capture and hold my interest in whatever I am reading. Having said that, I like nice characters who have an unexpected naughty streak. I love naughty characters who are nice when they least expect it themselves ; )

    For me, storytelling is all about how the characters are portrayed. I must care about the people and want to follow their story and find out what happens to them. Even the supporting players, the not so nice people, and especially the villains should be well-drawn and multi-layered. Minor characters, sharply etched in a few well-chosen words, add such rich flavor to a story line. I like characters who are basically defined around the edges, but still flexible enough to be surprised and revised. A “complete change of character” is not really believable, and it’s also not very interesting. It’s the little flaws, “uh-ohs”, and “ahs” that make for a readable character.

    I’ll be quiet now ; )

  3. Kristin Miller

    Wow! Gorgeous cover!!!

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