Villain to Hero?

by Mary Jo

Today's topic was inspired by a question from Word Wench reader Kay Spears, who 51Vng9sTxILasks:

One of my allllll time favorite romances is/was Mary Jo Putney's The Rake and the Reformer aka The Rake.  I love Reginald Davenport…he turned out to be quite a hero. My question for all wenches: How do you take a drunk/ licentious/ corrupt/ not-hero-material man and redeem him? And, when you're writing this character, do you recognize him as hero material? Or, does it come as a surprise when readers start wanting him as a hero?

MJP:  I immediately grabbed this topic for a blog, but it's such a great question that other Wenches may pick it up for blogs of their own. For asking this question, Kay Spears will get a book from me. 

Reggie Davenport made his debut in my very first Signet Regency, The Diabolical Baron. Since it was my first book, I was feeling my way and just wanted an antagonist for my hero, Richard, a Waterloo veteran who has learned that he's heir to the Wargrave earldom, a responsibility he isn't sure he wants.  Reggie is his cousin who has long thought that he was the heir. 


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