• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:


    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!

     

     

Kim Falconer: Falling for Bad Boys

 

Sex six things that give dark hero appeal

I had a boy friend years ago who loved C&W music. Corny, I know, but the lyrics can ring true. Take Waylon Jenningsladies love outlaws. Whenever I meet a dark hero on the screen or page, the chorus comes to mind:

Cause ladies love outlaws
Like babies love stray dogs
Ladies touch babies like a banker touches gold
Outlaws touch ladies somewhere deep down in their soul

We do love our bad boys! Bella Swan falls for a dead man. Beauty falls for a Beast. Sookie Stackhouse gets with the hottest vampire on screen; Milton’s daughters are enchanted by their Angel of Ruin. Speculative fiction has produced an abundance of dark heroes and as I begin writing a new series, I find myself asking, what’s so mesmerizing about bad boys? Here are my top six reasons to date them.

Image of Eric Northman from True Blood

Alexander Skarsgard playing Eric Northman in HBO’s adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries, True Blood.

#1 Dark heroes are hot. This is not just a visual quality but an energetic one and it can transcend the traditional notions of beauty. The dark hero has something. You feel it right away and whether it is eye blazing good looks like Damon Salvatore or the Joker’s sexy ugly, he sets your night on fire.

#2 Dark heroes are erotic. They’ve been touched by Eros, the god of love. Harriet Eisman describes it like this: Eros brings beauty, meaning and divinity into our lives. It comes to us through a very particular epiphany, a passionate inspiration . . . We long to follow it always. But this is not the whole story. For Eros also brings us obsessions, cruelty, abandonment, and betrayal. It may come through anguish . . .

#3 Dark heroes are Mysterious. Their past is sketchy, or tragic. They carry a burden that has become their secret mission. This makes them unpredictable. Not formulaic. They can do the unexpected. They can get away with murder.  

#4 Dark heroes speak their minds. They have the best dialog ever because they don’t care what others think. It means their voice can be sharp, edgy and liberated. Their conversations flow in ways the moralistically constrained characters cannot.

#5 Dark heroes are amoral. They break rules and usually feel good about it. If they perform a selfless act, it’s not because it was the ‘right thing’ to do but because they were moved by their hearts. This is incredibly beguiling.

#6 Dark heroes are powerful. That’s alluring in itself but they are also comfortable with such power.  Writers and directors can put them in more danger and under more duress. The risk factor skyrockets because they are so hard to kill!

Johnny Depp (pic from Sleepy Hollow)

Johnny Depp (pictured here in Sleepy Hollow) will play the 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, in the Tim Burton film based on 1960’s TV soap, Dark Shadows.

Hot, dangerous, dark and mysterious, there can be no doubt. The erotic nature of the outlaw touches us somewhere deep down in our souls. How about you? Who are your favourite dark heroes? I’d love to hear about them!

Kim Falconer is the author of the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption trilogies. The latest in the Quantum Encryption series is Road to the Soul and Kim is currently working on the page proofs of the third book in the series, Journey by Night!  Visit Kim’s website and find out more about Kim and her books!

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24 Responses

  1. Ultimate dark hero – Heathcliffe

  2. Eric!!! *fans self* Can’t wait for the next season of True Blood!
    Draco Malfoy – mostly due to Tom Felton being rather cute (and I was a teenager when the first few movies came out!)
    Jean-Claude from the Anita Blake books.

    • Our Captain tells me True Blood season 3 is out on DVD soon. And HBO released season 4 in 51 days, but who’s counting! he he he

      Does anyone get HBO online? Streaming alright? I’m looking into it!

      Love your dark heroes!

      🙂

  3. I do love a dark hero, me! Thought they’re not terribly practical for everyday wear, are they? I don’t think you’d catch a dark hero taking out the trash or loading the dishwasher. And if you did, perhaps they’d lose something of their glamour. Sigh.

    Currently, my favourite is Mitchell from Being Human (Aidan Turner). Tortured, complex, dark, bad-and-yet-heroic …. yum! But perhaps that’s only because I’ve recently been watching episodes. Really, there are too many to choose from, I’m hard-pressed to pick just one.

    As long as he’s not sparkly, heheheh.

    • You said it! That’s such an important point. Eros isn’t about domestics. For an experience to be ‘erotic’ (not necessarily sexual but transformational) it has to remain transcendent.

      Here’s what I wrote about this topic re the astrological Eros:

      We can not ‘marry’ Eros. If his wings are clipped and he is cooped up in the day to day business of dirty socks, demanding children, mundane jobs, rent and food bills, he will expire . . . Jung says, “Married, we take the long view, bend in our lives to the demands of order, safety, family, the future–all necessary in their ways to happiness and satisfaction but having little to do with Eros.”

      Eros seems to functions through the magical encounters of erotic intimacy, creative design and poetic expression. These experiences open us into the world of passion, desire, creation, and intense relating that imbibes us with a sense of life that no other occurrence can match. Suddenly events become more meaningful, colors enrich, archetypal figures emerge and dreams turn into waking reality. Our link with life itself, with the desire to live completely and fully without apprehension or constraint, animates with a voraciousness paralleled only by other extreme events such as birth, or even death. To shun this dance with Eros, to ignore his call, to hide or run away, is to shun one of the greatest gifts of life.

      This is the experience woven into an encounter with the dark hero, the outlaw, the Erics and Damons and Heathcliffes and Mitchells. I think immersion in creativity can also call up Eros. It’s such a profound experience, not to be missed!

      Now, Mitchell, eh? I haven’t seen him yet. I will go look for a trailer!

      Thanks for dropping in 🙂

      • Love the Eros material! BTW, I’m referring to the UK version of Being Human (original), not the US which I haven’t seen. If you haven’t seen the series yet, I highly recommend!!!! Worth watching from the beginning. Wonderful writing.

      • I have a LOT of astro research on asteroid 433 Eros. Have you looked up your natal Eros at astro.com ? (extended chart version, 433) Check Psyche 16 too.

        There is a USA version of being human? I am miles behind. Will find the UK season 1 dvd and procure!

        Thank you 🙂

      • Mmm, will check my Eros and Psyche soon! Meanwhile, there are some gorgeous pics of Aidan Turner (including as Mitchell) at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2636108/ Drool!! Heheh.

      • I’m starting to see the appeal!

        Yum 🙂

  4. Which one???
    Bad boys seem to ignite something inside of me and, mmmm there have been many. They bring out that raw and powerful charge that turns me on like others can’t. Dangerous and exciting and ultimately troublesome BUT the ride is definitely a learning curve that I wouldn’t find if I always played it safe.

  5. My current dark hero is a flesh and blood person whose sun, mercury, and venus all conjunct my natal eros. My experience with him was all of the above mentioned, both comfortable and uncomfortable, and ultimately transformational.

  6. I do enjoy writing and reading about anti heroes, but I’m not interested in the sex appeal aspect. This is partly because I’m a prude, but also because I believe that characters should be human first and I don’t really care if readers find them attractive or not. Actually, if a reader of mine went as ga-ga over one of my characters as I’ve seen people get over people like Snape from Harry Potter, I’d be seriously creeped out.

    Wow, I’m a killjoy. 😛

    • lol not a killjoy! A realist.

      There is much fantasy in the idealization of a character.

      As a reader, I do love to fall for my favourite, be it admiration or mega crush. Appeal isn’t always about sex, that’s for sure!

      I’m thinking now of Kim Wilkins’ Fallen Angel. Has anyone else here read that? The sister I adored the most, right to the end, was Anne. She was about as anti-hero as they come but not in an alluring way. I didn’t pity her, but I was totally rooting for her victory. (that’s in no way a pun)

      It’s interesting because, for me, the Angel was so erotic and I was believing until the end that there was going to be a redeemable outcome.Brilliant writing.

      • I don’t think I’ve ever had a crush on a fictional character. But I’m not really one to get crushes, even on real people.

        I remember back in my fanfiction days I wrote a character who became a runaway favourite. He was actually the villain in canon, but I hated all the supposedly heroic characters, so I made the (unseen in the actual series) villain my protagonist and was able to write him how I wanted. In a bit of veiled sarcasm, I made him look as stereotypically “evil” as possible, but wrote him as essentially a misunderstood good guy. Imagine my surprise when quite a few readers started writing reviews in which they referred to how “hot” he was. And I’d never once rhapsodised about his looks or even thought of him as attractive – it turns out that the way to make your readers find a character appealing is to give them charisma, which is apparently what I did.

        That’s also why I hate Edward Cullen – he’s described as hot over and over and over and over (and over), but he *acts* like a complete jerk with the personality of a trout, so I flat-out refused to find him at all attractive and instead found him boring and his endless descriptions obnoxious.

        So yeah, that’s my real contribution here. Forget dark good looks, etc. – it’s all about the compelling personality.

      • YES to the compelling personality! That falls under #1 ‘Dark heroes are hot.’ It’s not necessarily a described hotness, like you said. Sometimes that can even be a turn off (show don’t tell). But they are charismatic, beguiling. Alluring. All that.

        I love that your fanfic anti-hero drew a crowd. It illustrates the point perfectly! Thank you!

      • No problem! He ended up being such a good character, and such a popular one, that I retooled him and used him as the protagonist for the Fallen Moon trilogy. I don’t know if he kept the sex appeal or whatever, but it’s still him, more or less.

      • Arren????????

      • Yep. I don’t usually bring it up, but Arren started as an original character in my fanfiction. I kept the physical appearance and some elements of the backstory, but since it was a different world and a different backstory overall, his personality wound up rather different. He’s probably less nice this time around. Less heroic, anyway.

  7. […] Kim Falconer has posted an excellent article re Bad Boys on her Voyager Book Blog here. […]

  8. Damon Salvatore… *swoon*

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