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My Hero

I don’t often re-blog posts, but when I do they’re about my husband. This post is an updated version of one I did two years ago pre-NAF. Since it focused mostly on heroes I read then, this one is all but brand-new.

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Photo from Gretchen E.K. Engel

This picture was taken 17 years ago today (Sunday). The day I married my hero. When I first started writing, my husband asked if he could be the hero of my story. When I told him what happened to my hero, his response was “you’re dark”. So how does the love of my life fit into my hero mold? On appearance, my husband has tall, dark, and handsome down. And yes, he pretty much looks the same 17 years later. See photo 2.

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Photo from Gretchen E.K. Engel

The real hero is on the inside. This is where my husband shows up in my writing. The intelligent and hardworking man who respects others. The Godly man who has loyalty to his friends and family in spades. The fun and funny guy who every heroine wants to be around. The second photo is of him sharing in my latest goal – training for a half-marathon. Two girlfriends and I planned on running a 10K. When my alarm went off at 4:30 a.m., my hero got up and got ready. He ran the 2-mile fun run and won first in his age group. He celebrated by patiently waiting for the three of us to finish our run.

When it comes to literary heroes, my favorite is Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series. He’s funny, level-headed, intelligent, and handsome. More importantly Gilbert complements Anne. That may be the most important thing. Compatibility with the heroine.

Here are a few heroes I’ve read lately and why they’re heroes.

I’m reading Lisa T. Bergren’s River of Time series. Right now I’m on Bourne and Tributary, which are two novellas. The heroes Marcello and Luca are medieval Italians and put modern boys to shame probably because Marcello is the lord of the manor and Luca, a knight. They also have a difficult life where if living without modern medicine is a challenge enough, they’re constantly defending their lands against bloodthirsty enemies.

My latest audio book selection has an entirely different type of hero in Aaron Bronson. The Jew Store, by Stella Suberman is a memoir about a woman who grew up in rural Tennessee in the only Jewish family in their town. Her father, Aaron Bronson was a 10-year old orphan being raised by his grandfather in the Ukraine who immigrates to America not knowing a word of English. Yes a 10-year old who only knows Yiddish immigrates to alone! Aaron navigates his way into learning about store keeping, takes English lessons, and ends up opening a dry goods store for the poorer residents. Aaron is not a dashing knight, a super hero, or even tall and dark. He’s short and blond with blue eyes. I haven’t seen pictures, but he is described as handsome. What makes Aaron a hero is his hardworking devotion to his family.

A few weeks ago, I read Mike Duran’s The Ghost Box. Reagan Moon is a fun hero. A tabloid reporter who is a skeptic with a smart mouth. He’s an everyman forced into the role of hero when he learns a highly anticipated public venue is putting Los Angeles in spiritual danger. While he’s neither chivalrous like the Forelli cousins nor the hardworking father like Aaron Bronson, he is nonetheless admirable as he fights both inner and outer demons. I’m looking forward to the release of Saint Death. It looks like Reagan gets upgraded to superhero status with a strange implant that gives him special powers. Intriguing.


Who are your favorite heroes in literature? Do you have a “type” whether it’s when reading or writing?


About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

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