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Monday, August 8, 2011

Regular Joe Heroes


There are a lot of books out there with FBI/Special Agent heroes and heroines. Personally, I like the Regular Joe (or Josephine). I have no idea what it's like to be an uber cop, but I connect with characters who are normal people thrust into abnormal situations: the soccer mom who's kids are threatened, the accountant who accidentally discovers his company is laundering money for the mob, the lawyer who discovers his client really IS guilty.

It's easy for readers to put themselves into a regular Joe's shoes and wonder, what would I do?

The Firm by John Grisham is a perfect example. Mitch is just a promising young lawyer who's just scored his dream job-until he learns what the firm is really up to and that they have him by the short hairs. Harlan Coben is another writer who pulls the reader in with his ordinary person characters.

What type of character's do you like?

9 comments:

Marcelle Dubé said...

That's my favourite recipe, too, Melinda. Start with one ordinary woman, plunk her into an extraordinary situation, stir. I love how the "ordinary" rise to the challenge and are forever changed as a result.

Cathy said...

Hi Melinda
I like 'ordinary Joe' heroes, too but I love it when the H/H is caught in a moral dilemma. Whatever he or she does, someone is going to lose 'big'.
The Firm is such a good deal-with-the-devil story - and Mitch has to find a way out.

Toni Anderson said...

I love The Firm. I like like ordinary Joes, but I do love military and law enforcement heroes too. Or cowboys--although they could be considered ordinary Joes?

Rita said...

I write suspense/thrillers and it’s simply easier to use the military types as heroes. I love reading the everyday guy hero. The guy who gets up everyday and goes to work. Does his best for his family against huge odds.

Wynter Daniels said...

I like both the ordinary guy thrown into extraordinary circumstances and the mega alpha cop/military type. As long as they are flawed and redeemable, I'm in.

Kathy Ivan said...

What's not to love about an ordinary Joe? Plucked from his routine day-to-day life, he faces the choice of being an ostrich and sticking his head in the sand or standing up and being the hero. Makes my little heart all aflutter. LOL

Great post, Melinda.

Anonymous said...

Alpha heroes ate great too but I identify with ordinary people a little more. Thanks for commenting.

Melinda Leigh

Stevie Carroll said...

I think my tastes are somewhere in the middle; I like the lowly uniformed police or the detective from a small CID, rather than anyone that's got much experience of dealing with major incidents.

Clare London said...

Oh yes, I *love* the ordinary Joe investigator! I think the reader likes it too, because they can identify and maybe dream of being the same. How many times have we spotted the vital clue that those fools in the book just seem to have missed?! LOL

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