Sunday, January 18, 2009
Heroes by Emily Bryan
What makes a hero?
Last week, I watched the remarkable events of the “Miracle on the Hudson” unfold. Since my DH is a private pilot, is employed in the travel technology field and we love to travel, we’ve logged a lot of hours in the air. Trust me when I tell you ditching in the river is no one’s first choice. But the US Air pilot “Sully” made it look easy.
Everyone in the media was hailing Sully as a hero and pilots in general certainly possess heroic qualities. Being a pilot requires intelligence, a cool head and physical courage. All things we look for in a hero.
But Sully not only dead-sticked a nearly impossible water landing, he walked the plane twice and was the last person off the sinking craft. When I heard that—well, all the small hairs on my arms stood at attention and I experienced a full-body shower of glorybumps. I was responding to the strongest hero trait of all.
More than a hot bod, more than a quick wit, if a hero will sacrifice himself, his goals and dreams for the sake of others, we are drawn to him.
Sully hasn’t given any interviews, but I managed to catch Lucian Beaumont, the hero in my upcoming release, Vexing the Viscount. Here’s what my Georgian hero had to say:
Emily: What do you think about the “Miracle on the Hudson?”
Lucian, Viscount Rutland: I’m still agog about the miracle of flight! But that pilot chap certainly is a “top-of-the-trees” type, a regular out and outer. Captain Sully definitely walks the hero’s path. Yet I hear he says he was merely fulfilling the expectations of his station, or words to that effect. Commendable, that.
Emily: And yet you are acting in ways not in keeping with your station. I understand you’re excavating an ancient Roman ruin you discovered on your family estate. Rumor has it you’ve even stooped to (shudders in horror) physical labor. Tell me, milord, just why are you so keen on mucking about in the dirt?
Lucian, Viscount Rutland: I know it’s not fashionable, but a little honest sweat never hurt anyone. In fact, if one removes his shirt, physical labor can actually be quite pleasant. I highly recommend sunshine on a man’s bare back.
Emily: (fanning myself, imagining Lucian without his shirt) Still it shows a level of determination not often seen among the nobility. Why is finding this treasure so important to you?
Lucian, Viscount Rutland: My father was caught up in the South Sea Bubble and lost the family fortune a decade ago. I hope to restore them. When one is born to privilege, one is also born to responsibility. We have retainers and crofters on our country estate who will benefit from increased investment in our holdings.
Emily: But I sense this dogged determination of yours smacks of a more personal motivation.
Lucian, Viscount Rutland: Losing all that money has . . . affected my father deeply. To be honest, I fear for his mind.
Emily: And you hope a restoration of your fortune will also restore his mental health.
Lucian, Viscount Rutland: Exactly.
Emily: Taking care of others. Then you too are doing more than “merely fulfilling the expectations of your station.” You’re walking the hero’s path yourself.
Lucian, Viscount Rutland: (smiling slowly) If you say so. (smile replaced by a scowl) If I can keep that meddling Daisy Drake from placing obstacles in my way.
Emily: Trust me, milord. You’re going to enjoy some of those “obstacles.”
Lucian, Viscount Rutland: (grinning wickedly) As you are my author, I’ll hold you to that. Now if you will excuse me, I believe Miss Drake is reassembling some rather naughty Roman art and I’m certain she needs my help.
Emily: Pace yourself, Lucian. And I hope you’ll all enjoy Lucian’s story as he “walks the hero’s path.”
Thanks for having me, here at YankeeRomanceReviewers! I’m giving away a FREE copy of Vexing the Viscount to one lucky commenter.
So tell me. Who is your favorite fictional hero?