We all need them. We may not admit it. We may laugh at the idea if asked. But deep down . . . deep down we all need heroes in our lives. Male or female--real or fiction--it really doesn't matter. We need'em.
All of us get slung around in this ocean we call Life. We're sitting in the middle of a small rowboat getting tossed around like a cork riding the cresting waves of a hurricane. We hold on. We call out in the night. In our own fashions we pray for deliverance.
We want a hero to save us.
I think in the genre called harboiled/nor that's exactly what happens when a character comes along a reader identifies with. They've found a hero. Or heroes. They've found a persona that does things they could never do in reality. They resist. They fight back. And sometimes . . . they win. Win against impossible odds.
That's the motivating factor for the creation of three of my fictional characters. Smitty . . . Turner Hahn and Frank Morales. Smitty is a hit man. Dark and bloody. But he is, indeed, a hero. A grim, dark, vengeful hero maybe. But he does things only others dream about. He is good in his job--and he wins.
Turner Hahn and Frank Morales are my two homicide detectives. Cops, honest and open, working a thankless job in a city filled with crime and corruption. Two honest, tough hombres who try to hold back the night. Who actually believe that the concepts of Law and Justice are concepts worth fighting for.
Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose.
But without question . . . they are heroes.