Friday, February 15, 2013

Turning an Anti-Hero Into a Heor

We are so pleased to have a long time friend [like close to 20 years], critique partner extraordinaire and chapter mate visiting us today. . . Katherine Grey who will talk about bringing a character from the dark side into the light of day.
Welcome, K--
Can an anti-hero become a hero?
      When I was writing my short story, The Muse, the heroine, Emma, needed help and who should appear on the page, but Lazarus, king of thieves. Lazarus is everything a hero isn’t. He is the leader of a band of cutthroats and pickpockets. He is rumoured to have taken a man’s eyes just for looking at a woman under his protection. He is responsible for more than one man found floating in the river Thames.
      Yet, he was there when Emma needed help the most. He watched over her, extending the protection of his name to her, and asked for next to nothing in return. He intrigued me right from the start. As I wrote Emma’s story, I found myself wondering why he did the things he did, how he came to be the person he is.
      Soon after I finished The Muse, he started talking to me almost non-stop. He would pop into my head at the oddest times of the day and night telling me a snippet of his past, telling me of his search for his missing sister, and what he planned to do to the man who he believed had much to do with her disappearance.
      I never planned on writing Lazarus’ story because I wasn’t sure he was redeemable, but as I learned his story, he became less of an anti-hero. He was someone driven by his belief that he’d failed to take proper care of his sister and was desperate to make their lives better by any means necessary and when she disappeared, he was determined to find her at any cost. So, yes I do believe in some instances an anti-hero can become a hero and I hope you’ll feel the same way about Lazarus as I do.
Thanks, K
It's been a blast having you visit us.
Kat and Veronica


  1. Good morning. Thanks for having me as your guest. Looking forward to the day. :o)

  2. I'm intrigued! If anyone can pull off turning Lazarus into a hero, I'm betting you can. Esp. since you seem to have learned all his secrets. lol!

    1. Hi Lilly,

      Thanks for the compliment. Maybe not all of his secrets. :o)

  3. I tackled this in one of my books, "One Blood," turning an extreme villain into a hero! At least, he'd been an extreme villain in the distant past (vampire), so it was a little easier to explain that he'd "evolved" over the centuries. Even so, I knew it would be a challenge for readers to accept his relationship with a very strong, idealistic heroine. I think the character can't do anything too evil in the context of your present story, or the heroine will seem weak and self-destructive for becoming involved with him. Congratulations on pulling it off successfully in your story!

    1. I agree the anti-hero can't do anything so horrific that making him redeemable would seem unrealistic. Thanks for stopping by. :o)

  4. Great post, Katherine. Lazarus was such an intriguing character. I can't wait to read his story.

  5. EilWatkins is the winner of the $5 Amazon gift card. Thank you everyone who stopped by.