I have a confession: Lyn Burgess, the MC for the "PRIMpriety" stories and other, as-yet unreleased stories, has bewildered me for a while.
She's foul-mouthed, bitter, angry…and mysteriously easy to write and fun to read. I've been mulling on it for some time, trying to figure it out.
But then I read the guest post from Tiffany Reisz over on Janice Hardy's blog, which talks about the Han Solo–type hero… and I realized that the post was describing Lyn.
She's a scoundrel. She won't think twice about killing you if you give her reason, and she'll even eat you if she can get away with it. (Er, she's a vampire.) But she's willing to help you out if you bother to ask her, and she's not above volunteering for a situation that she's particularly gifted to handle, if nobody else would be as well-suited for it.
She isn't Evonalé, who wants to be selfish as long as nobody else will suffer for it. She isn't Destiny, who hates being selfish but has reason to believe that more folks will suffer if she isn't. But…
It's like that motif of a harlot or a rake that's just waiting for the right person to pull him or her into a committed, monogamous relationship: A scoundrel Lyn might be, but she has a heart of gold.
Lyn isn't pleasant, and she isn't nice—but, like other characters that I've found appealing in other folks' works, she isn't some sadistic monster, either.
Between her enemies and her being trapped in a body that's lethally allergic to sunlight and that's taking centuries to age from child to adult, she's even downright pitiable.
Maybe that's what appeals to me. She makes no apologies for what she is or what she does, but she's not scrambling to crush everyone else beneath her. No, she's just carving out her own little bit of life, to survive in peace, and she's willing to do whatever she must, to pull that off, and to help others in her position who lack her particular abilities.
And maybe that makes her a hero.
What do you think? Does the scoundrel hero appeal to you, or are you more of a Luke Skywalker fan? Have any hero examples to share?