Monday, May 19, 2008

The Wounded Hero
by N.J. Walters

What is it about the wounded hero that sucks us in as both readers and writers?

The first step to understanding this question is to ask another one. What exactly is a wounded hero?

The wounded hero is a man who’s been hurt, emotionally and/or physically. Maybe a trusted comrade has betrayed him. Or perhaps it is someone he loves who has offered him the greatest betrayal. He’s a man who had endured great pain and suffering. He can be rough and tough, or hide his hurt behind a suave exterior. But deep inside, the heart of the wounded warrior beats strong. And you can be certain he’s never forgotten the betrayals he’s suffered or his enemies.

The wounded hero has another aspect to him. He has a sense of honor. It might not match the norms of society, but it is his and he lives by it. At times he will appear cruel and heartless, but in truth, he is protecting himself or someone else by acting that way. He might come across as simple to understand, but you quickly discover he has more layers than an onion.

That’s what drew me to Zane York, the wounded hero of Eternal Brothers. He’s a man who’s endured the horror of watching his parents descend into madness. Alone in the world, he works as a cop to help keep the streets safe. Tortured by his past, he now faces his biggest challenge yet—the Dalakis vampires. In the midst of his investigation, he stumbles across Sophia Daring, who had been pulled into the twisted web of a murderous serial killer. Zane must keep her safe while uncovering the truth about the Dalakis brothers, and facing his past once and for all.

How could you not love a guy like this?

I know I can’t help myself. I think it’s the innate sense of honor beneath the cold armor that draws me in. The hint of hope struggling for life beneath the layers of despair. The story of the wounded hero is a story of redemption and hope.

All he needs is the right woman to help uncover who he really is. After all, this is romance I’m talking about and a happily ever after is a given. The wounded hero will step up to any challenges that arise and help the heroine in spite of himself. In doing so, he learns more about himself and who he really is. In doing so, he can break or transcend the pain of the past.

The heroine will have her own challenges to deal with, but that is a subject for another day.

Do you have a favorite wounded hero?

I know that the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward is at the top of my list!

Emotional~Sensual~Satisfying Reads! (newsletter group)
A Legal Affair—Samhain Publishing—July 15th
Jackson’s Jewel—Ellora’s Cave—July 25th


Rachel.C said...

Why do I have to pick just one? I can't decide. I love them all! LOL

N.J.Walters said...

LOL You can love them all, Rachel. I know I do. :-)

mamasand2 said...

I love a book about a wounded hero NJ. They have so much more depth to the story and depth is something I need in order to call a book Great.
A while back a ebook publisher came out with print books and I found my favorite wounded heroes. Cade August (Marly's Choice) and his brothers epitomized wounded heros and their struggles. They were the first on many such books.
I just checked out Eternal Bothers and that is on my wish list now too, my ever growing wish list. LOL


N.J.Walters said...

I agree, Sandie. I love books with depth and the wounded hero adds another dimension to the plot.

Marly's Choice is a favorite of a lot of readers!

*g* I'm glad that Eternal Brothers is on your ever-growing wish list. :-)

Jambrea said...

I would have to agree that JR Ward's wounded heroes are at the top of my list. She writes them well as does Sherrilyn Kenyon!

T.A.Chase said...

I love wounded heroes because I love to watch how they heal and grow throughout the story. Their stories can be some of the most emotional and compelling books you can read.

My favorite wounded hero is actually a movie character..and he might be considered more of an anti-hero than a wounded one.

Riddick from Pitch Black and the Chronicles of Riddick. You see how his life has turned him into a killer, but just one good person can force him to change. :)

Jambrea said...

I'm with you 100% on that TA and seeing his growth in the sequel was great too!

N.J.Walters said...

I agree, Jambrea. I love Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series.

N.J.Walters said...

I've never seen that movie, TA. That's one to put on the list for sure.

The growth and healing of the character can be very emotional and compelling.

TK Winters said...

Wonderful insight as always, NJ. I don't think I have a favorite wounded hero. LOL I'm fickle, I love the wounded hero I'm reading at the time I'm reading him.

N.J.Walters said...

LOL Me too, Teri.

mamasand2 said...

Another good example is Christine Feehan's Carpathians from her vampire series. After a few hundred years they lost the ability to see color or feel emotions unless they find their mate. Meanwhile they continue fighting the bad vampires and saving people.


N.J.Walters said...

Absolutely. Love her Carpathians and her Ghost Walkers too.