THE HEROES I LOVE
BARTHOLOMEW & REACHER
For the next few weeks I’m going to be writing about the heroes I’ve fallen in love with and why I’ve chosen them. For this week, I’ve picked one I created myself and one from an unbelievably popular series.
Jack Reacher is a most unusual creature. He’s 6’5”, strong, capable, and engages in violent behavior quite frequently. He’s not particularly good looking, and at times appears unkempt and scruffy. Yet, the ladies gravitate to him, and that includes me. On the face of it, he doesn’t appear to have the qualities of a hero and, in fact, would easily generate one heck of a lot of fear in anyone encountering him in the proverbial dark alley. He not only looks capable of decimating anyone who crosses him, he quite often does exactly that.
But that’s not all. decimating anyone who crosses him, he quite often does exactly that.
But that’s not all. He is homeless, carries no I.D., does not have a car, and crosses the country by sticking out his thumb. When I first started reading his stories, I kept wishing he’d get a car, rent an apartment or buy a house for a home base—anything to ground him. But he didn’t. As a matter of fact, he even inherited a house from his former commandeer—but he didn’t want it.
What kind of hero is that?
A very different one.
But he has to have something on the positive side of the ledger, doesn’t he? Of course, the answer to that is yes.
First of all, he’s almost obsessive about righting wrongs, even if he breaks a law to do it—and he does that quite often. Secondly, he is very kind and giving to those he believes in, those he helps. Those two characteristics, to me, are what comprise a hero. There are others, of course, but those are what I consider the main ones.
But who could forget one of his love scenes?
The other hero I refer to is one I created for my Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series and he is very different from Jack Reacher. He’s Bradley Bartholomew, a detective with the Hamlet Police Department (fictional), and lives next door to my main character, Mollie Fenwick. He’s tall, somewhere above 6’2, blue eyed, honest, full of integrity, and he believes wholly in following the law. He’s also kind to those that deserve it, and perhaps even to some who don’t. So, he essentially has the same important characteristics as Reacher—a belief in justice and being kind and helpful.
When I first created this character, I intended the book to be a romantic suspense. However, I actually grew so fond of my characters I decided I needed to keep them with me, and that’s why I rewrote the book and created a series. And during that rewrite, I gave him a gorgeous singing voice and also added another hero, one I’ll talk about next time.
In closing, I would have to say that every time, or almost every time I read a book, I fall in love with the hero. If there is one, and I don’t come to care for him, then chances are I probably won’t read that particular series again. To me, it’s necessary to love the hero and identify with the heroine. If I can’t do that, then perhaps that particular character hasn’t been sufficiently developed.
If I listed all the heroes I’ve fallen in love with, I might not have enough paper for the printing.
Joan K. Maze