Today on the blog I have a fabulous guest post from the wonderful Josephine Angelini, author of 'Starcrossed' and the recently published 'Dreamless'.
Helen Hamilton Vs. Two of My Favorite Heroes!
The hero of my Starcrossed trilogy, Helen Hamilton, is a late bloomer. She starts off clueless, grows to be only semi-informed by the start of Dreamless, and barely manages to pull of some pretty nifty problem solving by the end of it. In the final book, Goddess, her hero-skills grow even more, but she still manages to make a ton of mistakes along the way. Helen may be a demigod, but she’s also extremely human. Those are the kind of characters I like—the ones that make mistakes, but keep going anyway. You know, the human ones.
Usually when someone asks me to reference my favorite books or characters I end up referencing stories that are about forty years old and that no teen has ever heard of. So this time around, I’m going to talk about characters that I know all of you know—Harry Potter, for starters.
Let’s face it. Harry isn’t the brightest bulb on the branch. Neither is Helen. Harry isn’t the best wizard. Helen has a ton of power and only a vague idea how to use it. In pretty much every situation that both Harry and Helen find themselves in, they need the help of their friends to get through it. But get through it they do, and to me that’s the most important part. They keep at it. They may not like the situations they find themselves in, but they never stop fighting. That’s a hero.
Another favorite hero (or heroine) of mine is Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. Like my misguided Helen, Elizabeth is another girl that gets it all wrong. She’s wrong about Mr. Darcy, she’s wrong about Mr. Bingley and her sister, and she’s totally wrong about Mr. Wickham. But despite misreading just about everyone in the cast of characters, our Lizzy B is willing to grow and change without changing who she is as person. Okay, so she’s wrong, like, a lot. By the end of the book she has to apologize for some of her mistakes, but even still, I never get the sense that she’s lost an ounce of her spirit. In fact, when she stands up to Mr. Darcy’s rich and over-bearing aunt, it seems that she’s only grown stronger because of the things she’s been through. That’s the way it’s done. That’s the way a hero does it.
We don’t love heroes because they are never wrong. We love them because they learn from their mistakes and grow stronger. We love that they aren’t perfect, but that they keep trying anyway. We love them because they are like us.
Find out more about Josephine on her website and follow her on Twitter@josieangelini