Charlotte Stein has a new book out titled, Intrusion. It features a very tortured hero and his journey to finding romance and peace. I’ll be posting a review later this morning. First, Charlotte is stopping by to tell us about her love of the tortured hero.
I’ve always loved a tortured hero. I think it started with various small things like Superman realizing being human is absolutely shit and Indiana Jones getting possessed by racist magic, but it definitely reached its culmination with one hero in particular. Up until that point I kind of thought heroes were mostly strong, mean, cold-hearted bastards, who did things hard and fast and discarded ladies left and right. They rarely had feelings. They did not get hurt.
And then Kyle Reese waltzed into my life.
Or more, he ran in wearing hideous eighties pants that he stole off a homeless person.
Oh, Kyle Reese. I had never known a man like you. A man who not only wanted to lay down his life for humanity and Sarah Connor, but came across time for her. Who had endured such horrors that he craps his terrible pants at the sound of a car backfiring. A man with scars all over, and not just the moody action hero type of scars either. Really awful ones, from actually awful things that happened.
Though it was one detail in particular that really got my attention. You remember that bit in the motel room when he’s telling her about the future, and she asks what the women were like? Yeah that bit is the one. I just found myself fascinated by his answer: good fighters. The idea of sex and love with a woman is not even a thing to him. He doesn’t care about a woman being beautiful. He just cares about surviving and existing and right then and there I vowed to adore him forever.
And I’ve held true to that, because good goddamn I love men who go against what’s considered normal and ordinary. Struggling men, men who have different needs to what we expect, men who subvert our ideas of what masculinity is. Men who can be strong and tough and clever but also broken and desperate and hungry for affection. I love Han Solo when he tells Leia that he won’t stand between her and Luke. I love Sherlock making a million napkins for John’s wedding. I love Will Graham revealing that he has eighty billion dogs.
Those are the dudes I want to write about.
Partly because they give me so much to explore.
But mostly because they grip my senses. They ignite my passion. And passion is both what keeps me writing and the thing that makes writing so enjoyable. I still thrill when I unearth some tiny detail about a hero of mine, and get to explore it and represent it. There is barely anything so satisfying to me as a writer – a fact that I did not fully appreciate until I started writing this new series I’m in the middle of. Somehow the word were just flying by, and now I know why.
I love a tortured hero.