Heroes

Cat_243_dover by Mary Jo

A good novelist does a lot of research, and it isn’t all Regency gowns and carriages, fun and useful though such studies are.  Human behavior is more basic than costumes, and that means social history and psychology.

Having a deep and possibly regrettable interest in complicated people has led my stories into some interesting psychological byways.  Alcoholism and drug addiction.  The dynamics of an abusive relationship, and whether it is possible to get beyond that.  (I was ahead of the curve on that one.  The Burning Point, my book that deal with domestic violence, got flamed on the internet, sometimes by people who hadn’t even read it.  Yet just a few weeks ago, I heard an author on NPR who has written a book about getting beyond domestic violence, and how leaving is not the only possible strategy.  But I digress.)

Once again, the radio has led me to a fascinating book called THE UNTHINKABLE:  Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why.  ( http://tinyurl.com/63p4s8 ) I heard the author, Amanda Ripley (Time Cover magazine’s specialist in risk and homeland security), on NPR’s Diane Rehm show, and was riveted.  Sometimes when catastrophe strikes, absolutely nothing can be done.  If one’s luck runs out—like, you’re on one of the World Trade Center floors where the plane hit—that’s it.  But many disasters have both victims and survivors.  What is the difference?  Since heroes and heroines are central to our romances, naturally I wanted to know more. 

Amanda Ripley became fascinated by ths subject, and has spent years talking to survivors and disaster specialists.  One of the clearest points to emerge is that while many people fear that they’ll panic, in fact panic is very rare.

Far more common, and often disastrous, is to do nothing.  Shock and denial are the most common reactions, and critical minutes are lost while people come to terms with the fact that yes, an airplane has struck the building.  Or the boat is sinking.  The building is on fire.  A man with a gun has entered the room and is shooting people.  This kind of catastrophe is so alien to most of us that it’s not surprising that it takes time to assimilate that yes, we’re in danger and we have to act RIGHT NOW. 

Twin_towers After 9/11, I read that “heroes are the ones who run toward the fire, not away.”  It’s as succinct a definition of heroism as one is likely to find.  It also implies something that is key to dealing with catastrophe:  Training.  People who are best qualified to deal with disaster are those who have been taught about how to behave.  Drilled to the point where the behavior is second nature.  These are the firemen and policemen who run toward the fire and the bullets, and God bless them every one.

This is why military people and first responders are the ones who are so effective.  When the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Kentucky burned down, the most effective person in getting people out (probably saving hundreds of lives) was an 18 year old busboy from a military family. 

Rick Rescorla, the security chief for Morgan Stanley, was a decorated Vietnam vet and a tough guy who Rick_rescorla irritated company employees by insisting on regular evacuation drills.  On 9/11, 2,687 Morgan Stanley employees survived, largely due to Rescorla’s efforts over the years.  Only 13 Morgan Stanley employees died—including Rescorla and four of his highly competent security officers, who had gone back in for the handful of employees who hadn’t left. (Rescorla was an amazing guy. For more about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Rescorla )

In a holiday 2006 shooting in an Annapolis mall, it was highly trained Secret Service Agent Paul Buta, shopping with his family, who took on a gun wielding teenager who had already shot another kid over a gang dispute.  Buta and the shooter were both wounded, but no one died because Buta knew what to do, and had the courage to do it.

As a side note, most descriptions of the incident said that “shoppers fled in panic.”  In fact, in such circumstances, running is a pretty darned smart thing to do.  So is finding cover or dropping to the floor.  It’s not really panic—it’s a rational response to an irrational situation.  But too often in such circumstances, people freeze.  Amanda Ripley does a great job of showing how our natural instincts have long evolutionary roots—and talking about how we can develop better survival skills. 

We don’t have to be cops to benefit by the information in Ripley’s book.  As Rick Rescorla proved, the much despised fire drill can be a huge live saver.  Fire is one of the most ancient and scary of threats, and until someone has experienced fire, it’s hard to grasp how swift and overpowering it is.

The_rake_2 Mercifully, I’ve never been caught in a fire, but I researched the subject for The Rake, where the heroine and her foster family (and her cat) are almost killed in a fire.  The Mayhem Consultant read the work in progress and said “More smoke, more smoke!”  Then he took me on the Factory Mutual tour in Rhode Island.  Factory Mutual is to fire safety what Underwriters Laboratory is to electrical safety, and the facility has a monthly tour that features such goodies as a dust explosion blowing up a shed and a warehouse fire.  The latter is particularly exciting because visitors watch from a glass control room while two huge stacks of pallets and boxes are ignited.  One stack is sprinklered, one is not.  Heat radiates through the protective glass.

Not only was it blindingly clear that sprinklers make a huge difference.  I also saw the masses of confusing, overpowering smoke produced by a fire.  When I returned to my manuscript, I added more smoke.  (It’s very good to hang out with a Mayhem Consultant who is by profession a health and safety engineer.  He always knows where the emergency exits are. <g>)

It’s no accident that so many romance heroes (and heroines) are soldiers, police, and firemen.  It isn’t that such people are unafraid.  Often they’re terrified, but they know what to do to survive and save others.  These are the people who act effectively when disaster strikes.  And for that reason, they make appealing and admirable characters.

Amanda_ripleyToward the end of The Unthinkable, Amanda Ripley discusses the elements that go into heroism.  I’ll leave you to read her book or her website ( http://www.amandaripley.com/ ) if you want to know more.  But she does say that most people we call heroes are young, single males with a lot of empathy and a sense of community responsible.  And one of the benefits of being a hero is that—well, heroes get the girls.  And as romance readers, we know why. <G> 

Mary Jo

85 thoughts on “Heroes”

  1. This also explains the popularity of TV series featuring heroes who are cops, firemen, military, U.S. Marshals, FBI, and the like.
    So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? Actually, one of my favorite TV heroes is Jack McCoy, played by Sam Waterston in LAW & ORDER.
    But of course as a DA, he’s one of the good guys.
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.

    Reply
  2. This also explains the popularity of TV series featuring heroes who are cops, firemen, military, U.S. Marshals, FBI, and the like.
    So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? Actually, one of my favorite TV heroes is Jack McCoy, played by Sam Waterston in LAW & ORDER.
    But of course as a DA, he’s one of the good guys.
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.

    Reply
  3. This also explains the popularity of TV series featuring heroes who are cops, firemen, military, U.S. Marshals, FBI, and the like.
    So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? Actually, one of my favorite TV heroes is Jack McCoy, played by Sam Waterston in LAW & ORDER.
    But of course as a DA, he’s one of the good guys.
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.

    Reply
  4. This also explains the popularity of TV series featuring heroes who are cops, firemen, military, U.S. Marshals, FBI, and the like.
    So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? Actually, one of my favorite TV heroes is Jack McCoy, played by Sam Waterston in LAW & ORDER.
    But of course as a DA, he’s one of the good guys.
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.

    Reply
  5. This also explains the popularity of TV series featuring heroes who are cops, firemen, military, U.S. Marshals, FBI, and the like.
    So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? Actually, one of my favorite TV heroes is Jack McCoy, played by Sam Waterston in LAW & ORDER.
    But of course as a DA, he’s one of the good guys.
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.

    Reply
  6. **begin snip**
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.
    **end snip **
    I like her definition. Too often in romance novels the hero gets what he wants by riding roughshod over others, i.e., dominating them, and the author portrays this behavior as admirable. I don’t consider such a man a hero.

    Reply
  7. **begin snip**
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.
    **end snip **
    I like her definition. Too often in romance novels the hero gets what he wants by riding roughshod over others, i.e., dominating them, and the author portrays this behavior as admirable. I don’t consider such a man a hero.

    Reply
  8. **begin snip**
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.
    **end snip **
    I like her definition. Too often in romance novels the hero gets what he wants by riding roughshod over others, i.e., dominating them, and the author portrays this behavior as admirable. I don’t consider such a man a hero.

    Reply
  9. **begin snip**
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.
    **end snip **
    I like her definition. Too often in romance novels the hero gets what he wants by riding roughshod over others, i.e., dominating them, and the author portrays this behavior as admirable. I don’t consider such a man a hero.

    Reply
  10. **begin snip**
    Jayne Ann Krentz defines the alpha male as the natural leader: not the guy who dominates others, but the guy whom everyone instinctively turns to when there is trouble.
    **end snip **
    I like her definition. Too often in romance novels the hero gets what he wants by riding roughshod over others, i.e., dominating them, and the author portrays this behavior as admirable. I don’t consider such a man a hero.

    Reply
  11. I heard that Diane Rehm show too. It was great. FWIW – I found the burning point terribly gripping.
    There is something to muscle memory and all that training. My dad is retired air force, and he’s just so competent in scary situations. That training kicks in.

    Reply
  12. I heard that Diane Rehm show too. It was great. FWIW – I found the burning point terribly gripping.
    There is something to muscle memory and all that training. My dad is retired air force, and he’s just so competent in scary situations. That training kicks in.

    Reply
  13. I heard that Diane Rehm show too. It was great. FWIW – I found the burning point terribly gripping.
    There is something to muscle memory and all that training. My dad is retired air force, and he’s just so competent in scary situations. That training kicks in.

    Reply
  14. I heard that Diane Rehm show too. It was great. FWIW – I found the burning point terribly gripping.
    There is something to muscle memory and all that training. My dad is retired air force, and he’s just so competent in scary situations. That training kicks in.

    Reply
  15. I heard that Diane Rehm show too. It was great. FWIW – I found the burning point terribly gripping.
    There is something to muscle memory and all that training. My dad is retired air force, and he’s just so competent in scary situations. That training kicks in.

    Reply
  16. I read and flamed TBP, and I stand by that. I wouldn’t normally bring that up, but it bothers me to see ‘ahead of the curve’ as though the issues and resolution of that book have become timely. I think you’re talented and you’ve written wonderful books. My issue with TBP was never about craft. There have always been people saying leaving isn’t the only way. It didn’t make them right either. I had trouble with Lass Small’s Silhouette Desire ‘redeeming’ her abusive ex husband from a previous book as well. It wasn’t just TBP.
    Moving past that, Ripley’s so right. I’ve been in more than my share of ‘person with gun’ situations and the denial impulse in others is strong and endangers everyone. It’s very interesting, the way the mind can shut down. Once in a tornado in the midwest I was calling over the intercom for all present to enter the warehouse area quickly and a coworker wanted me to tell staff to pull their registers and lock their stations first. The front plate glass windows were bowing from the pressure and he was thinking normal closing procedure. I was thinking run like hell. (We got lucky, it skipped over the building and wiped out the other block)

    Reply
  17. I read and flamed TBP, and I stand by that. I wouldn’t normally bring that up, but it bothers me to see ‘ahead of the curve’ as though the issues and resolution of that book have become timely. I think you’re talented and you’ve written wonderful books. My issue with TBP was never about craft. There have always been people saying leaving isn’t the only way. It didn’t make them right either. I had trouble with Lass Small’s Silhouette Desire ‘redeeming’ her abusive ex husband from a previous book as well. It wasn’t just TBP.
    Moving past that, Ripley’s so right. I’ve been in more than my share of ‘person with gun’ situations and the denial impulse in others is strong and endangers everyone. It’s very interesting, the way the mind can shut down. Once in a tornado in the midwest I was calling over the intercom for all present to enter the warehouse area quickly and a coworker wanted me to tell staff to pull their registers and lock their stations first. The front plate glass windows were bowing from the pressure and he was thinking normal closing procedure. I was thinking run like hell. (We got lucky, it skipped over the building and wiped out the other block)

    Reply
  18. I read and flamed TBP, and I stand by that. I wouldn’t normally bring that up, but it bothers me to see ‘ahead of the curve’ as though the issues and resolution of that book have become timely. I think you’re talented and you’ve written wonderful books. My issue with TBP was never about craft. There have always been people saying leaving isn’t the only way. It didn’t make them right either. I had trouble with Lass Small’s Silhouette Desire ‘redeeming’ her abusive ex husband from a previous book as well. It wasn’t just TBP.
    Moving past that, Ripley’s so right. I’ve been in more than my share of ‘person with gun’ situations and the denial impulse in others is strong and endangers everyone. It’s very interesting, the way the mind can shut down. Once in a tornado in the midwest I was calling over the intercom for all present to enter the warehouse area quickly and a coworker wanted me to tell staff to pull their registers and lock their stations first. The front plate glass windows were bowing from the pressure and he was thinking normal closing procedure. I was thinking run like hell. (We got lucky, it skipped over the building and wiped out the other block)

    Reply
  19. I read and flamed TBP, and I stand by that. I wouldn’t normally bring that up, but it bothers me to see ‘ahead of the curve’ as though the issues and resolution of that book have become timely. I think you’re talented and you’ve written wonderful books. My issue with TBP was never about craft. There have always been people saying leaving isn’t the only way. It didn’t make them right either. I had trouble with Lass Small’s Silhouette Desire ‘redeeming’ her abusive ex husband from a previous book as well. It wasn’t just TBP.
    Moving past that, Ripley’s so right. I’ve been in more than my share of ‘person with gun’ situations and the denial impulse in others is strong and endangers everyone. It’s very interesting, the way the mind can shut down. Once in a tornado in the midwest I was calling over the intercom for all present to enter the warehouse area quickly and a coworker wanted me to tell staff to pull their registers and lock their stations first. The front plate glass windows were bowing from the pressure and he was thinking normal closing procedure. I was thinking run like hell. (We got lucky, it skipped over the building and wiped out the other block)

    Reply
  20. I read and flamed TBP, and I stand by that. I wouldn’t normally bring that up, but it bothers me to see ‘ahead of the curve’ as though the issues and resolution of that book have become timely. I think you’re talented and you’ve written wonderful books. My issue with TBP was never about craft. There have always been people saying leaving isn’t the only way. It didn’t make them right either. I had trouble with Lass Small’s Silhouette Desire ‘redeeming’ her abusive ex husband from a previous book as well. It wasn’t just TBP.
    Moving past that, Ripley’s so right. I’ve been in more than my share of ‘person with gun’ situations and the denial impulse in others is strong and endangers everyone. It’s very interesting, the way the mind can shut down. Once in a tornado in the midwest I was calling over the intercom for all present to enter the warehouse area quickly and a coworker wanted me to tell staff to pull their registers and lock their stations first. The front plate glass windows were bowing from the pressure and he was thinking normal closing procedure. I was thinking run like hell. (We got lucky, it skipped over the building and wiped out the other block)

    Reply
  21. I also heard that Diane Rehm show and was spellbound by Amanda Ripley’s stories and advice. I think training counts for so much, because it’s what you fall back on when you’re otherwise paralyzed by shock/fear. If you’re well-trained you don’t have to think, you can just do.
    As for JAK’s definition of alpha, I’ll have to think on it. There are any number of heroes (from the majority of Carla Kelly’s heroes to Robbie Turner in “Atonement”) who are the ones people turn to for leadership, but I definitely think of them as betas, not alphas. There is a level of aggression I look for in an alpha that I don’t find in those characters. Alphas don’t need to be constantly sneering and controlling, but I do think of them as seeking the leadership role, whereas betas more often have it come to them because they are the most knowledgeable or whatever at that particular moment. However, this is my initial reaction and I need time to ponder.

    Reply
  22. I also heard that Diane Rehm show and was spellbound by Amanda Ripley’s stories and advice. I think training counts for so much, because it’s what you fall back on when you’re otherwise paralyzed by shock/fear. If you’re well-trained you don’t have to think, you can just do.
    As for JAK’s definition of alpha, I’ll have to think on it. There are any number of heroes (from the majority of Carla Kelly’s heroes to Robbie Turner in “Atonement”) who are the ones people turn to for leadership, but I definitely think of them as betas, not alphas. There is a level of aggression I look for in an alpha that I don’t find in those characters. Alphas don’t need to be constantly sneering and controlling, but I do think of them as seeking the leadership role, whereas betas more often have it come to them because they are the most knowledgeable or whatever at that particular moment. However, this is my initial reaction and I need time to ponder.

    Reply
  23. I also heard that Diane Rehm show and was spellbound by Amanda Ripley’s stories and advice. I think training counts for so much, because it’s what you fall back on when you’re otherwise paralyzed by shock/fear. If you’re well-trained you don’t have to think, you can just do.
    As for JAK’s definition of alpha, I’ll have to think on it. There are any number of heroes (from the majority of Carla Kelly’s heroes to Robbie Turner in “Atonement”) who are the ones people turn to for leadership, but I definitely think of them as betas, not alphas. There is a level of aggression I look for in an alpha that I don’t find in those characters. Alphas don’t need to be constantly sneering and controlling, but I do think of them as seeking the leadership role, whereas betas more often have it come to them because they are the most knowledgeable or whatever at that particular moment. However, this is my initial reaction and I need time to ponder.

    Reply
  24. I also heard that Diane Rehm show and was spellbound by Amanda Ripley’s stories and advice. I think training counts for so much, because it’s what you fall back on when you’re otherwise paralyzed by shock/fear. If you’re well-trained you don’t have to think, you can just do.
    As for JAK’s definition of alpha, I’ll have to think on it. There are any number of heroes (from the majority of Carla Kelly’s heroes to Robbie Turner in “Atonement”) who are the ones people turn to for leadership, but I definitely think of them as betas, not alphas. There is a level of aggression I look for in an alpha that I don’t find in those characters. Alphas don’t need to be constantly sneering and controlling, but I do think of them as seeking the leadership role, whereas betas more often have it come to them because they are the most knowledgeable or whatever at that particular moment. However, this is my initial reaction and I need time to ponder.

    Reply
  25. I also heard that Diane Rehm show and was spellbound by Amanda Ripley’s stories and advice. I think training counts for so much, because it’s what you fall back on when you’re otherwise paralyzed by shock/fear. If you’re well-trained you don’t have to think, you can just do.
    As for JAK’s definition of alpha, I’ll have to think on it. There are any number of heroes (from the majority of Carla Kelly’s heroes to Robbie Turner in “Atonement”) who are the ones people turn to for leadership, but I definitely think of them as betas, not alphas. There is a level of aggression I look for in an alpha that I don’t find in those characters. Alphas don’t need to be constantly sneering and controlling, but I do think of them as seeking the leadership role, whereas betas more often have it come to them because they are the most knowledgeable or whatever at that particular moment. However, this is my initial reaction and I need time to ponder.

    Reply
  26. What a timely post! This morning, I was reading about that awful shooting at the church in Knoxville in which a couple of people were killed. One of those who died was a church usher who placed himself directly in the line of fire in order to save lives (which he did). Another hero, in my opionion, is the woman at the service entrance of the church who told the shooter to use the public entrance. This saved the lives of the children who were in the service area waiting to perfom the musical “Annie”. As for 9/11, in addition to the people mentioned by Mary Jo, there were so many others, the best examples being the passengers of United 93 who sacrificed their lives and kept the fourth hijacked plane from crashing into the White House or the Capitol. The bottom line is that first responders are terrific heroes or heroines, but sometimes, ordinary folks rise to the occasion and perform wonderfully heroic acts!

    Reply
  27. What a timely post! This morning, I was reading about that awful shooting at the church in Knoxville in which a couple of people were killed. One of those who died was a church usher who placed himself directly in the line of fire in order to save lives (which he did). Another hero, in my opionion, is the woman at the service entrance of the church who told the shooter to use the public entrance. This saved the lives of the children who were in the service area waiting to perfom the musical “Annie”. As for 9/11, in addition to the people mentioned by Mary Jo, there were so many others, the best examples being the passengers of United 93 who sacrificed their lives and kept the fourth hijacked plane from crashing into the White House or the Capitol. The bottom line is that first responders are terrific heroes or heroines, but sometimes, ordinary folks rise to the occasion and perform wonderfully heroic acts!

    Reply
  28. What a timely post! This morning, I was reading about that awful shooting at the church in Knoxville in which a couple of people were killed. One of those who died was a church usher who placed himself directly in the line of fire in order to save lives (which he did). Another hero, in my opionion, is the woman at the service entrance of the church who told the shooter to use the public entrance. This saved the lives of the children who were in the service area waiting to perfom the musical “Annie”. As for 9/11, in addition to the people mentioned by Mary Jo, there were so many others, the best examples being the passengers of United 93 who sacrificed their lives and kept the fourth hijacked plane from crashing into the White House or the Capitol. The bottom line is that first responders are terrific heroes or heroines, but sometimes, ordinary folks rise to the occasion and perform wonderfully heroic acts!

    Reply
  29. What a timely post! This morning, I was reading about that awful shooting at the church in Knoxville in which a couple of people were killed. One of those who died was a church usher who placed himself directly in the line of fire in order to save lives (which he did). Another hero, in my opionion, is the woman at the service entrance of the church who told the shooter to use the public entrance. This saved the lives of the children who were in the service area waiting to perfom the musical “Annie”. As for 9/11, in addition to the people mentioned by Mary Jo, there were so many others, the best examples being the passengers of United 93 who sacrificed their lives and kept the fourth hijacked plane from crashing into the White House or the Capitol. The bottom line is that first responders are terrific heroes or heroines, but sometimes, ordinary folks rise to the occasion and perform wonderfully heroic acts!

    Reply
  30. What a timely post! This morning, I was reading about that awful shooting at the church in Knoxville in which a couple of people were killed. One of those who died was a church usher who placed himself directly in the line of fire in order to save lives (which he did). Another hero, in my opionion, is the woman at the service entrance of the church who told the shooter to use the public entrance. This saved the lives of the children who were in the service area waiting to perfom the musical “Annie”. As for 9/11, in addition to the people mentioned by Mary Jo, there were so many others, the best examples being the passengers of United 93 who sacrificed their lives and kept the fourth hijacked plane from crashing into the White House or the Capitol. The bottom line is that first responders are terrific heroes or heroines, but sometimes, ordinary folks rise to the occasion and perform wonderfully heroic acts!

    Reply
  31. Robin – I think they often do. I was once in a armed robbery (sadly one of many, I used to work jewelry) and we were all locked in a back bathroom while they debated if they could leave us alive (some of us had seen their faces) but that none of them had killed women before. one of the workers (male) had a small pea shooter and wanted to go charging out and ‘take care of them’ but two repairmen that just happened to be there wrestled the gun away from him and silenced him without alerting the criminals. They saved my life, because the criminals decided to chance it, rather than kill young women, and the alpha cowboy would certainly have gotten us all killed. I identified all of them to the police from mug shots, but they were found dead a few days later.

    Reply
  32. Robin – I think they often do. I was once in a armed robbery (sadly one of many, I used to work jewelry) and we were all locked in a back bathroom while they debated if they could leave us alive (some of us had seen their faces) but that none of them had killed women before. one of the workers (male) had a small pea shooter and wanted to go charging out and ‘take care of them’ but two repairmen that just happened to be there wrestled the gun away from him and silenced him without alerting the criminals. They saved my life, because the criminals decided to chance it, rather than kill young women, and the alpha cowboy would certainly have gotten us all killed. I identified all of them to the police from mug shots, but they were found dead a few days later.

    Reply
  33. Robin – I think they often do. I was once in a armed robbery (sadly one of many, I used to work jewelry) and we were all locked in a back bathroom while they debated if they could leave us alive (some of us had seen their faces) but that none of them had killed women before. one of the workers (male) had a small pea shooter and wanted to go charging out and ‘take care of them’ but two repairmen that just happened to be there wrestled the gun away from him and silenced him without alerting the criminals. They saved my life, because the criminals decided to chance it, rather than kill young women, and the alpha cowboy would certainly have gotten us all killed. I identified all of them to the police from mug shots, but they were found dead a few days later.

    Reply
  34. Robin – I think they often do. I was once in a armed robbery (sadly one of many, I used to work jewelry) and we were all locked in a back bathroom while they debated if they could leave us alive (some of us had seen their faces) but that none of them had killed women before. one of the workers (male) had a small pea shooter and wanted to go charging out and ‘take care of them’ but two repairmen that just happened to be there wrestled the gun away from him and silenced him without alerting the criminals. They saved my life, because the criminals decided to chance it, rather than kill young women, and the alpha cowboy would certainly have gotten us all killed. I identified all of them to the police from mug shots, but they were found dead a few days later.

    Reply
  35. Robin – I think they often do. I was once in a armed robbery (sadly one of many, I used to work jewelry) and we were all locked in a back bathroom while they debated if they could leave us alive (some of us had seen their faces) but that none of them had killed women before. one of the workers (male) had a small pea shooter and wanted to go charging out and ‘take care of them’ but two repairmen that just happened to be there wrestled the gun away from him and silenced him without alerting the criminals. They saved my life, because the criminals decided to chance it, rather than kill young women, and the alpha cowboy would certainly have gotten us all killed. I identified all of them to the police from mug shots, but they were found dead a few days later.

    Reply
  36. My younger daughter asked me who my heroes were, several years ago, for a paper she had to do for school on who her heroes were (and she wanted an example from me) and there was a documentary on the History Channel on the real making of the Bridge on the River Kwai. I made her sit down and watch that with me, what each and every one of those men endured because they’d put their lives on the line for their country, for their loved ones…tortured repeatedly, starved, pushed beyond their limits, and yet, so very many of them survived. And they’re not the only ones. Anyone who stands between me and evil, the cop on the beat, the fireman on the ladder, the military personnel who defend us, the average ‘joe’ who puts himself between danger and me…
    When that special was over, both she and I had tears streaming down our faces and I looked at her and said, simply, “There, honey, are some of the real heroes in my world”.
    She got an A on her paper because she understood.
    On another note, I WON something!!! But…why? Not that I’m not totally thrilled! *jumps up and down* but I just thought I’d ask. And then say THANK YOU!!
    🙂

    Reply
  37. My younger daughter asked me who my heroes were, several years ago, for a paper she had to do for school on who her heroes were (and she wanted an example from me) and there was a documentary on the History Channel on the real making of the Bridge on the River Kwai. I made her sit down and watch that with me, what each and every one of those men endured because they’d put their lives on the line for their country, for their loved ones…tortured repeatedly, starved, pushed beyond their limits, and yet, so very many of them survived. And they’re not the only ones. Anyone who stands between me and evil, the cop on the beat, the fireman on the ladder, the military personnel who defend us, the average ‘joe’ who puts himself between danger and me…
    When that special was over, both she and I had tears streaming down our faces and I looked at her and said, simply, “There, honey, are some of the real heroes in my world”.
    She got an A on her paper because she understood.
    On another note, I WON something!!! But…why? Not that I’m not totally thrilled! *jumps up and down* but I just thought I’d ask. And then say THANK YOU!!
    🙂

    Reply
  38. My younger daughter asked me who my heroes were, several years ago, for a paper she had to do for school on who her heroes were (and she wanted an example from me) and there was a documentary on the History Channel on the real making of the Bridge on the River Kwai. I made her sit down and watch that with me, what each and every one of those men endured because they’d put their lives on the line for their country, for their loved ones…tortured repeatedly, starved, pushed beyond their limits, and yet, so very many of them survived. And they’re not the only ones. Anyone who stands between me and evil, the cop on the beat, the fireman on the ladder, the military personnel who defend us, the average ‘joe’ who puts himself between danger and me…
    When that special was over, both she and I had tears streaming down our faces and I looked at her and said, simply, “There, honey, are some of the real heroes in my world”.
    She got an A on her paper because she understood.
    On another note, I WON something!!! But…why? Not that I’m not totally thrilled! *jumps up and down* but I just thought I’d ask. And then say THANK YOU!!
    🙂

    Reply
  39. My younger daughter asked me who my heroes were, several years ago, for a paper she had to do for school on who her heroes were (and she wanted an example from me) and there was a documentary on the History Channel on the real making of the Bridge on the River Kwai. I made her sit down and watch that with me, what each and every one of those men endured because they’d put their lives on the line for their country, for their loved ones…tortured repeatedly, starved, pushed beyond their limits, and yet, so very many of them survived. And they’re not the only ones. Anyone who stands between me and evil, the cop on the beat, the fireman on the ladder, the military personnel who defend us, the average ‘joe’ who puts himself between danger and me…
    When that special was over, both she and I had tears streaming down our faces and I looked at her and said, simply, “There, honey, are some of the real heroes in my world”.
    She got an A on her paper because she understood.
    On another note, I WON something!!! But…why? Not that I’m not totally thrilled! *jumps up and down* but I just thought I’d ask. And then say THANK YOU!!
    🙂

    Reply
  40. My younger daughter asked me who my heroes were, several years ago, for a paper she had to do for school on who her heroes were (and she wanted an example from me) and there was a documentary on the History Channel on the real making of the Bridge on the River Kwai. I made her sit down and watch that with me, what each and every one of those men endured because they’d put their lives on the line for their country, for their loved ones…tortured repeatedly, starved, pushed beyond their limits, and yet, so very many of them survived. And they’re not the only ones. Anyone who stands between me and evil, the cop on the beat, the fireman on the ladder, the military personnel who defend us, the average ‘joe’ who puts himself between danger and me…
    When that special was over, both she and I had tears streaming down our faces and I looked at her and said, simply, “There, honey, are some of the real heroes in my world”.
    She got an A on her paper because she understood.
    On another note, I WON something!!! But…why? Not that I’m not totally thrilled! *jumps up and down* but I just thought I’d ask. And then say THANK YOU!!
    🙂

    Reply
  41. Here is one of my great heroes:
    All Things Considered, January 6, 2006
    Hugh Thompson Jr., a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot honored for rescuing Vietnamese civilians from his fellow GIs during the My Lai massacre, has died at age 62.
    Early in the morning of March 16, 1968, Thompson, door-gunner Lawrence Colburn and crew chief Glenn Andreotta came upon U.S. ground troops killing Vietnamese civilians in and around the village of My Lai.
    They landed the helicopter in the line of fire between American troops and fleeing Vietnamese civilians and pointed their own guns at the U.S. soldiers to prevent more killings.
    Colburn and Andreotta had provided cover for Thompson as he went forward to confront the leader of the U.S. forces. Thompson later coaxed civilians out of a bunker so they could be evacuated, and then landed his helicopter again to pick up a wounded child they transported to a hospital. Their efforts led to the cease-fire order at My Lai.
    In 1998, the Army honored the three men with the prestigious Soldier’s Medal, the highest award for bravery not involving conflict with an enemy. It was a posthumous award for Andreotta, who had been killed in battle three weeks after My Lai.
    “It was the ability to do the right thing even at the risk of their personal safety that guided these soldiers to do what they did,” Army Maj. Gen. Michael Ackerman said at the 1998 ceremony. The three “set the standard for all soldiers to follow.”

    Reply
  42. Here is one of my great heroes:
    All Things Considered, January 6, 2006
    Hugh Thompson Jr., a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot honored for rescuing Vietnamese civilians from his fellow GIs during the My Lai massacre, has died at age 62.
    Early in the morning of March 16, 1968, Thompson, door-gunner Lawrence Colburn and crew chief Glenn Andreotta came upon U.S. ground troops killing Vietnamese civilians in and around the village of My Lai.
    They landed the helicopter in the line of fire between American troops and fleeing Vietnamese civilians and pointed their own guns at the U.S. soldiers to prevent more killings.
    Colburn and Andreotta had provided cover for Thompson as he went forward to confront the leader of the U.S. forces. Thompson later coaxed civilians out of a bunker so they could be evacuated, and then landed his helicopter again to pick up a wounded child they transported to a hospital. Their efforts led to the cease-fire order at My Lai.
    In 1998, the Army honored the three men with the prestigious Soldier’s Medal, the highest award for bravery not involving conflict with an enemy. It was a posthumous award for Andreotta, who had been killed in battle three weeks after My Lai.
    “It was the ability to do the right thing even at the risk of their personal safety that guided these soldiers to do what they did,” Army Maj. Gen. Michael Ackerman said at the 1998 ceremony. The three “set the standard for all soldiers to follow.”

    Reply
  43. Here is one of my great heroes:
    All Things Considered, January 6, 2006
    Hugh Thompson Jr., a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot honored for rescuing Vietnamese civilians from his fellow GIs during the My Lai massacre, has died at age 62.
    Early in the morning of March 16, 1968, Thompson, door-gunner Lawrence Colburn and crew chief Glenn Andreotta came upon U.S. ground troops killing Vietnamese civilians in and around the village of My Lai.
    They landed the helicopter in the line of fire between American troops and fleeing Vietnamese civilians and pointed their own guns at the U.S. soldiers to prevent more killings.
    Colburn and Andreotta had provided cover for Thompson as he went forward to confront the leader of the U.S. forces. Thompson later coaxed civilians out of a bunker so they could be evacuated, and then landed his helicopter again to pick up a wounded child they transported to a hospital. Their efforts led to the cease-fire order at My Lai.
    In 1998, the Army honored the three men with the prestigious Soldier’s Medal, the highest award for bravery not involving conflict with an enemy. It was a posthumous award for Andreotta, who had been killed in battle three weeks after My Lai.
    “It was the ability to do the right thing even at the risk of their personal safety that guided these soldiers to do what they did,” Army Maj. Gen. Michael Ackerman said at the 1998 ceremony. The three “set the standard for all soldiers to follow.”

    Reply
  44. Here is one of my great heroes:
    All Things Considered, January 6, 2006
    Hugh Thompson Jr., a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot honored for rescuing Vietnamese civilians from his fellow GIs during the My Lai massacre, has died at age 62.
    Early in the morning of March 16, 1968, Thompson, door-gunner Lawrence Colburn and crew chief Glenn Andreotta came upon U.S. ground troops killing Vietnamese civilians in and around the village of My Lai.
    They landed the helicopter in the line of fire between American troops and fleeing Vietnamese civilians and pointed their own guns at the U.S. soldiers to prevent more killings.
    Colburn and Andreotta had provided cover for Thompson as he went forward to confront the leader of the U.S. forces. Thompson later coaxed civilians out of a bunker so they could be evacuated, and then landed his helicopter again to pick up a wounded child they transported to a hospital. Their efforts led to the cease-fire order at My Lai.
    In 1998, the Army honored the three men with the prestigious Soldier’s Medal, the highest award for bravery not involving conflict with an enemy. It was a posthumous award for Andreotta, who had been killed in battle three weeks after My Lai.
    “It was the ability to do the right thing even at the risk of their personal safety that guided these soldiers to do what they did,” Army Maj. Gen. Michael Ackerman said at the 1998 ceremony. The three “set the standard for all soldiers to follow.”

    Reply
  45. Here is one of my great heroes:
    All Things Considered, January 6, 2006
    Hugh Thompson Jr., a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot honored for rescuing Vietnamese civilians from his fellow GIs during the My Lai massacre, has died at age 62.
    Early in the morning of March 16, 1968, Thompson, door-gunner Lawrence Colburn and crew chief Glenn Andreotta came upon U.S. ground troops killing Vietnamese civilians in and around the village of My Lai.
    They landed the helicopter in the line of fire between American troops and fleeing Vietnamese civilians and pointed their own guns at the U.S. soldiers to prevent more killings.
    Colburn and Andreotta had provided cover for Thompson as he went forward to confront the leader of the U.S. forces. Thompson later coaxed civilians out of a bunker so they could be evacuated, and then landed his helicopter again to pick up a wounded child they transported to a hospital. Their efforts led to the cease-fire order at My Lai.
    In 1998, the Army honored the three men with the prestigious Soldier’s Medal, the highest award for bravery not involving conflict with an enemy. It was a posthumous award for Andreotta, who had been killed in battle three weeks after My Lai.
    “It was the ability to do the right thing even at the risk of their personal safety that guided these soldiers to do what they did,” Army Maj. Gen. Michael Ackerman said at the 1998 ceremony. The three “set the standard for all soldiers to follow.”

    Reply
  46. From MJP:
    ++So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? ++
    You’re a cynic, Tal. 🙂 But at that their best, lawyers fight for justice.
    I love the examples of heroism that are being cited. On 9/11, the first responders were incredible, but so were the ordinary people of Flight 93. When they had the time to recognize what was happening and the implications, they showed amazing courage. I’ve always believed that plane was heading for the Capitol building. What am image that would have made world wide!
    Besides so many acts of heroism that day, there were also uncounted numbers of simple decency and help that never made the headlines. Amanda Ripley gives some examples, though.
    Tal, I agree with you aboutHugh Thompson. To go against his own military colleagues when they’d gone berserk took a very special kind of courage.
    Liz, your life is WAY too exciting! I would have gotten out of the jewelry business after the first armed robbery. The guy with the peashooter who would have gotten you all killed–that’s courage without good judgment. And as for the guy who wanted people to close down their stations before seeking protection with a tornado coming–that is EXACTLY why too many people die when disaster is coming.
    Robin, I’m with you–the church usher who stopped that gunman with his own body long enough for other church members to wrestle the guy down goes to the top of any hero list.
    People can be pretty amazing.
    Mary Jo, awed

    Reply
  47. From MJP:
    ++So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? ++
    You’re a cynic, Tal. 🙂 But at that their best, lawyers fight for justice.
    I love the examples of heroism that are being cited. On 9/11, the first responders were incredible, but so were the ordinary people of Flight 93. When they had the time to recognize what was happening and the implications, they showed amazing courage. I’ve always believed that plane was heading for the Capitol building. What am image that would have made world wide!
    Besides so many acts of heroism that day, there were also uncounted numbers of simple decency and help that never made the headlines. Amanda Ripley gives some examples, though.
    Tal, I agree with you aboutHugh Thompson. To go against his own military colleagues when they’d gone berserk took a very special kind of courage.
    Liz, your life is WAY too exciting! I would have gotten out of the jewelry business after the first armed robbery. The guy with the peashooter who would have gotten you all killed–that’s courage without good judgment. And as for the guy who wanted people to close down their stations before seeking protection with a tornado coming–that is EXACTLY why too many people die when disaster is coming.
    Robin, I’m with you–the church usher who stopped that gunman with his own body long enough for other church members to wrestle the guy down goes to the top of any hero list.
    People can be pretty amazing.
    Mary Jo, awed

    Reply
  48. From MJP:
    ++So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? ++
    You’re a cynic, Tal. 🙂 But at that their best, lawyers fight for justice.
    I love the examples of heroism that are being cited. On 9/11, the first responders were incredible, but so were the ordinary people of Flight 93. When they had the time to recognize what was happening and the implications, they showed amazing courage. I’ve always believed that plane was heading for the Capitol building. What am image that would have made world wide!
    Besides so many acts of heroism that day, there were also uncounted numbers of simple decency and help that never made the headlines. Amanda Ripley gives some examples, though.
    Tal, I agree with you aboutHugh Thompson. To go against his own military colleagues when they’d gone berserk took a very special kind of courage.
    Liz, your life is WAY too exciting! I would have gotten out of the jewelry business after the first armed robbery. The guy with the peashooter who would have gotten you all killed–that’s courage without good judgment. And as for the guy who wanted people to close down their stations before seeking protection with a tornado coming–that is EXACTLY why too many people die when disaster is coming.
    Robin, I’m with you–the church usher who stopped that gunman with his own body long enough for other church members to wrestle the guy down goes to the top of any hero list.
    People can be pretty amazing.
    Mary Jo, awed

    Reply
  49. From MJP:
    ++So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? ++
    You’re a cynic, Tal. 🙂 But at that their best, lawyers fight for justice.
    I love the examples of heroism that are being cited. On 9/11, the first responders were incredible, but so were the ordinary people of Flight 93. When they had the time to recognize what was happening and the implications, they showed amazing courage. I’ve always believed that plane was heading for the Capitol building. What am image that would have made world wide!
    Besides so many acts of heroism that day, there were also uncounted numbers of simple decency and help that never made the headlines. Amanda Ripley gives some examples, though.
    Tal, I agree with you aboutHugh Thompson. To go against his own military colleagues when they’d gone berserk took a very special kind of courage.
    Liz, your life is WAY too exciting! I would have gotten out of the jewelry business after the first armed robbery. The guy with the peashooter who would have gotten you all killed–that’s courage without good judgment. And as for the guy who wanted people to close down their stations before seeking protection with a tornado coming–that is EXACTLY why too many people die when disaster is coming.
    Robin, I’m with you–the church usher who stopped that gunman with his own body long enough for other church members to wrestle the guy down goes to the top of any hero list.
    People can be pretty amazing.
    Mary Jo, awed

    Reply
  50. From MJP:
    ++So why do people like lawyer heroes? Or is that an oxymoron? ++
    You’re a cynic, Tal. 🙂 But at that their best, lawyers fight for justice.
    I love the examples of heroism that are being cited. On 9/11, the first responders were incredible, but so were the ordinary people of Flight 93. When they had the time to recognize what was happening and the implications, they showed amazing courage. I’ve always believed that plane was heading for the Capitol building. What am image that would have made world wide!
    Besides so many acts of heroism that day, there were also uncounted numbers of simple decency and help that never made the headlines. Amanda Ripley gives some examples, though.
    Tal, I agree with you aboutHugh Thompson. To go against his own military colleagues when they’d gone berserk took a very special kind of courage.
    Liz, your life is WAY too exciting! I would have gotten out of the jewelry business after the first armed robbery. The guy with the peashooter who would have gotten you all killed–that’s courage without good judgment. And as for the guy who wanted people to close down their stations before seeking protection with a tornado coming–that is EXACTLY why too many people die when disaster is coming.
    Robin, I’m with you–the church usher who stopped that gunman with his own body long enough for other church members to wrestle the guy down goes to the top of any hero list.
    People can be pretty amazing.
    Mary Jo, awed

    Reply
  51. Mary Jo, was it Socrates or Aristotle who defined courage as “a wise persistence”? Too many people forget the “wise” part.
    I’m pretty sure it was Hemingway who defined it as “grace under presssure,” which when you analyze it doesn’t mean much–unless, I suppose, you’re macho.

    Reply
  52. Mary Jo, was it Socrates or Aristotle who defined courage as “a wise persistence”? Too many people forget the “wise” part.
    I’m pretty sure it was Hemingway who defined it as “grace under presssure,” which when you analyze it doesn’t mean much–unless, I suppose, you’re macho.

    Reply
  53. Mary Jo, was it Socrates or Aristotle who defined courage as “a wise persistence”? Too many people forget the “wise” part.
    I’m pretty sure it was Hemingway who defined it as “grace under presssure,” which when you analyze it doesn’t mean much–unless, I suppose, you’re macho.

    Reply
  54. Mary Jo, was it Socrates or Aristotle who defined courage as “a wise persistence”? Too many people forget the “wise” part.
    I’m pretty sure it was Hemingway who defined it as “grace under presssure,” which when you analyze it doesn’t mean much–unless, I suppose, you’re macho.

    Reply
  55. Mary Jo, was it Socrates or Aristotle who defined courage as “a wise persistence”? Too many people forget the “wise” part.
    I’m pretty sure it was Hemingway who defined it as “grace under presssure,” which when you analyze it doesn’t mean much–unless, I suppose, you’re macho.

    Reply
  56. I heard the story of Hugh Thompson also (I do love NPR). IIRC, what is sad is that he was ostracized by most of his fellow soldiers in the years immediately afterward.
    And here is a question for authors/directors/actors: why do so many interviews emphasize that it is the bad boys or villains who are interesting while the good guys are indistinguishable and bland? I think that good guys such as Hugh Thompson or Raoul Wallenberg or Oskar Schindler are just as fascinating. Even Milton’s Lucifer is compelling in part because he had been one of the good guys and has now fallen from grace. The bad guys who go along with the evil are often followers taking the easy way out, while it is the hero who courageously opposes evil who is worthy of study. What made him stand up against his peers? Where did that courage come from? I think that’s a much bigger mystery and one I’d be happy to read about in a Romance or see on the screen. It’s the reason Sean Bean’s Boromir in “Lord of the Rings” was my favorite character — because he’s the only one you saw struggle with Good vs Evil, and in his final scene, as he drags himself up again and again to fight in hopes of saving the hobbits, you saw a true hero.

    Reply
  57. I heard the story of Hugh Thompson also (I do love NPR). IIRC, what is sad is that he was ostracized by most of his fellow soldiers in the years immediately afterward.
    And here is a question for authors/directors/actors: why do so many interviews emphasize that it is the bad boys or villains who are interesting while the good guys are indistinguishable and bland? I think that good guys such as Hugh Thompson or Raoul Wallenberg or Oskar Schindler are just as fascinating. Even Milton’s Lucifer is compelling in part because he had been one of the good guys and has now fallen from grace. The bad guys who go along with the evil are often followers taking the easy way out, while it is the hero who courageously opposes evil who is worthy of study. What made him stand up against his peers? Where did that courage come from? I think that’s a much bigger mystery and one I’d be happy to read about in a Romance or see on the screen. It’s the reason Sean Bean’s Boromir in “Lord of the Rings” was my favorite character — because he’s the only one you saw struggle with Good vs Evil, and in his final scene, as he drags himself up again and again to fight in hopes of saving the hobbits, you saw a true hero.

    Reply
  58. I heard the story of Hugh Thompson also (I do love NPR). IIRC, what is sad is that he was ostracized by most of his fellow soldiers in the years immediately afterward.
    And here is a question for authors/directors/actors: why do so many interviews emphasize that it is the bad boys or villains who are interesting while the good guys are indistinguishable and bland? I think that good guys such as Hugh Thompson or Raoul Wallenberg or Oskar Schindler are just as fascinating. Even Milton’s Lucifer is compelling in part because he had been one of the good guys and has now fallen from grace. The bad guys who go along with the evil are often followers taking the easy way out, while it is the hero who courageously opposes evil who is worthy of study. What made him stand up against his peers? Where did that courage come from? I think that’s a much bigger mystery and one I’d be happy to read about in a Romance or see on the screen. It’s the reason Sean Bean’s Boromir in “Lord of the Rings” was my favorite character — because he’s the only one you saw struggle with Good vs Evil, and in his final scene, as he drags himself up again and again to fight in hopes of saving the hobbits, you saw a true hero.

    Reply
  59. I heard the story of Hugh Thompson also (I do love NPR). IIRC, what is sad is that he was ostracized by most of his fellow soldiers in the years immediately afterward.
    And here is a question for authors/directors/actors: why do so many interviews emphasize that it is the bad boys or villains who are interesting while the good guys are indistinguishable and bland? I think that good guys such as Hugh Thompson or Raoul Wallenberg or Oskar Schindler are just as fascinating. Even Milton’s Lucifer is compelling in part because he had been one of the good guys and has now fallen from grace. The bad guys who go along with the evil are often followers taking the easy way out, while it is the hero who courageously opposes evil who is worthy of study. What made him stand up against his peers? Where did that courage come from? I think that’s a much bigger mystery and one I’d be happy to read about in a Romance or see on the screen. It’s the reason Sean Bean’s Boromir in “Lord of the Rings” was my favorite character — because he’s the only one you saw struggle with Good vs Evil, and in his final scene, as he drags himself up again and again to fight in hopes of saving the hobbits, you saw a true hero.

    Reply
  60. I heard the story of Hugh Thompson also (I do love NPR). IIRC, what is sad is that he was ostracized by most of his fellow soldiers in the years immediately afterward.
    And here is a question for authors/directors/actors: why do so many interviews emphasize that it is the bad boys or villains who are interesting while the good guys are indistinguishable and bland? I think that good guys such as Hugh Thompson or Raoul Wallenberg or Oskar Schindler are just as fascinating. Even Milton’s Lucifer is compelling in part because he had been one of the good guys and has now fallen from grace. The bad guys who go along with the evil are often followers taking the easy way out, while it is the hero who courageously opposes evil who is worthy of study. What made him stand up against his peers? Where did that courage come from? I think that’s a much bigger mystery and one I’d be happy to read about in a Romance or see on the screen. It’s the reason Sean Bean’s Boromir in “Lord of the Rings” was my favorite character — because he’s the only one you saw struggle with Good vs Evil, and in his final scene, as he drags himself up again and again to fight in hopes of saving the hobbits, you saw a true hero.

    Reply
  61. I agree with you, Susan. Bad is more spectacular than good, so easier to portray–what they call “interesting”.
    I think also many authors are trying to get both worlds with the so-called “dark heroes”–bad (interesting) mixed with the good.
    I don’t buy dark heroes. Usually these guys are slimeballs, which the author justifies by saying he’s had a bad experience. Again, no buy. Just because he’s been abused is no excuse for him to abuse anyone else.
    My idea of a hero is one who’s been kicked around, and it’s made him a better man.
    The best example I’ve found of the abused hero who transcends his mistreatment is Jennifer Blake’s Master at Arms series. Set in 1840’s New Orleans, these books tell the tales of swordmasters, men who teach other men how to use a sword. All have been treated badly, some very badly, but they’ve overcome it, and become some of the most attractive heroes I’ve encountered in romance fiction.

    Reply
  62. I agree with you, Susan. Bad is more spectacular than good, so easier to portray–what they call “interesting”.
    I think also many authors are trying to get both worlds with the so-called “dark heroes”–bad (interesting) mixed with the good.
    I don’t buy dark heroes. Usually these guys are slimeballs, which the author justifies by saying he’s had a bad experience. Again, no buy. Just because he’s been abused is no excuse for him to abuse anyone else.
    My idea of a hero is one who’s been kicked around, and it’s made him a better man.
    The best example I’ve found of the abused hero who transcends his mistreatment is Jennifer Blake’s Master at Arms series. Set in 1840’s New Orleans, these books tell the tales of swordmasters, men who teach other men how to use a sword. All have been treated badly, some very badly, but they’ve overcome it, and become some of the most attractive heroes I’ve encountered in romance fiction.

    Reply
  63. I agree with you, Susan. Bad is more spectacular than good, so easier to portray–what they call “interesting”.
    I think also many authors are trying to get both worlds with the so-called “dark heroes”–bad (interesting) mixed with the good.
    I don’t buy dark heroes. Usually these guys are slimeballs, which the author justifies by saying he’s had a bad experience. Again, no buy. Just because he’s been abused is no excuse for him to abuse anyone else.
    My idea of a hero is one who’s been kicked around, and it’s made him a better man.
    The best example I’ve found of the abused hero who transcends his mistreatment is Jennifer Blake’s Master at Arms series. Set in 1840’s New Orleans, these books tell the tales of swordmasters, men who teach other men how to use a sword. All have been treated badly, some very badly, but they’ve overcome it, and become some of the most attractive heroes I’ve encountered in romance fiction.

    Reply
  64. I agree with you, Susan. Bad is more spectacular than good, so easier to portray–what they call “interesting”.
    I think also many authors are trying to get both worlds with the so-called “dark heroes”–bad (interesting) mixed with the good.
    I don’t buy dark heroes. Usually these guys are slimeballs, which the author justifies by saying he’s had a bad experience. Again, no buy. Just because he’s been abused is no excuse for him to abuse anyone else.
    My idea of a hero is one who’s been kicked around, and it’s made him a better man.
    The best example I’ve found of the abused hero who transcends his mistreatment is Jennifer Blake’s Master at Arms series. Set in 1840’s New Orleans, these books tell the tales of swordmasters, men who teach other men how to use a sword. All have been treated badly, some very badly, but they’ve overcome it, and become some of the most attractive heroes I’ve encountered in romance fiction.

    Reply
  65. I agree with you, Susan. Bad is more spectacular than good, so easier to portray–what they call “interesting”.
    I think also many authors are trying to get both worlds with the so-called “dark heroes”–bad (interesting) mixed with the good.
    I don’t buy dark heroes. Usually these guys are slimeballs, which the author justifies by saying he’s had a bad experience. Again, no buy. Just because he’s been abused is no excuse for him to abuse anyone else.
    My idea of a hero is one who’s been kicked around, and it’s made him a better man.
    The best example I’ve found of the abused hero who transcends his mistreatment is Jennifer Blake’s Master at Arms series. Set in 1840’s New Orleans, these books tell the tales of swordmasters, men who teach other men how to use a sword. All have been treated badly, some very badly, but they’ve overcome it, and become some of the most attractive heroes I’ve encountered in romance fiction.

    Reply
  66. Linda,
    What an endorsement of a series. When were they published? What was the first one called? I’ve never read Jennifer Blake – kind of assumed she was too old school – but it sounds like I may need to look up one of these novels.

    Reply
  67. Linda,
    What an endorsement of a series. When were they published? What was the first one called? I’ve never read Jennifer Blake – kind of assumed she was too old school – but it sounds like I may need to look up one of these novels.

    Reply
  68. Linda,
    What an endorsement of a series. When were they published? What was the first one called? I’ve never read Jennifer Blake – kind of assumed she was too old school – but it sounds like I may need to look up one of these novels.

    Reply
  69. Linda,
    What an endorsement of a series. When were they published? What was the first one called? I’ve never read Jennifer Blake – kind of assumed she was too old school – but it sounds like I may need to look up one of these novels.

    Reply
  70. Linda,
    What an endorsement of a series. When were they published? What was the first one called? I’ve never read Jennifer Blake – kind of assumed she was too old school – but it sounds like I may need to look up one of these novels.

    Reply
  71. Michelle,
    The Master at Arms series by Jennifer Blake, in order are,
    Challenge to Honor (2005)
    Dawn Encounter (2006)
    Rogue’s Salute (2006)
    Guarded Heart (2008)
    My favorites are a tie – Rogue’s Salute and Guarded Heart
    I think 2 more are planned.I read the preview of the next one in “Guarded Heart”, and from that excerpt I got the idea there would be an additional one.

    Reply
  72. Michelle,
    The Master at Arms series by Jennifer Blake, in order are,
    Challenge to Honor (2005)
    Dawn Encounter (2006)
    Rogue’s Salute (2006)
    Guarded Heart (2008)
    My favorites are a tie – Rogue’s Salute and Guarded Heart
    I think 2 more are planned.I read the preview of the next one in “Guarded Heart”, and from that excerpt I got the idea there would be an additional one.

    Reply
  73. Michelle,
    The Master at Arms series by Jennifer Blake, in order are,
    Challenge to Honor (2005)
    Dawn Encounter (2006)
    Rogue’s Salute (2006)
    Guarded Heart (2008)
    My favorites are a tie – Rogue’s Salute and Guarded Heart
    I think 2 more are planned.I read the preview of the next one in “Guarded Heart”, and from that excerpt I got the idea there would be an additional one.

    Reply
  74. Michelle,
    The Master at Arms series by Jennifer Blake, in order are,
    Challenge to Honor (2005)
    Dawn Encounter (2006)
    Rogue’s Salute (2006)
    Guarded Heart (2008)
    My favorites are a tie – Rogue’s Salute and Guarded Heart
    I think 2 more are planned.I read the preview of the next one in “Guarded Heart”, and from that excerpt I got the idea there would be an additional one.

    Reply
  75. Michelle,
    The Master at Arms series by Jennifer Blake, in order are,
    Challenge to Honor (2005)
    Dawn Encounter (2006)
    Rogue’s Salute (2006)
    Guarded Heart (2008)
    My favorites are a tie – Rogue’s Salute and Guarded Heart
    I think 2 more are planned.I read the preview of the next one in “Guarded Heart”, and from that excerpt I got the idea there would be an additional one.

    Reply
  76. Thanks, Linda! I just ordered Challenge to Honor. I’m always looking for good historicals – particularly U.S. set ones which are so rare now.

    Reply
  77. Thanks, Linda! I just ordered Challenge to Honor. I’m always looking for good historicals – particularly U.S. set ones which are so rare now.

    Reply
  78. Thanks, Linda! I just ordered Challenge to Honor. I’m always looking for good historicals – particularly U.S. set ones which are so rare now.

    Reply
  79. Thanks, Linda! I just ordered Challenge to Honor. I’m always looking for good historicals – particularly U.S. set ones which are so rare now.

    Reply
  80. Thanks, Linda! I just ordered Challenge to Honor. I’m always looking for good historicals – particularly U.S. set ones which are so rare now.

    Reply

Leave a Comment