Wednesdays are for writers, it seems. The Insecure Writer's Support Group gathers its posts on Wednesdays. As a fan of alliteration, it's a given I'd decide to start posting [W]riting posts on [W]ednesdays :) To kick off these Wonderful Wordy Wednesday posts, I'll do a series of interviews with my fellow Anthology authors. Today, I sit down virtually with author Erika Beebe.
[J]en: Do you believe that the concept of a “lost hero” is relevant to our times? Do you think the idea of a “lost” or “fallen” hero, in light of the current social climate, appeals to society as a whole? If so, why do you think we feel an attraction to these heroes and cheer for their redemption?
[E]rika: I think the concept of a “hero lost” relates to all human and animal kind. We all fall at some point, even our heroes. Greek Gods were always squabbling with each other to steal power or push power in an effort to show someone their level of importance. As an adult my view of the hero has changed, but I do believe society wants to believe in someone when the world gets hard. I think I call them our “every day heroes.” Great leaders who rally people together to support a cause, firemen and policemen who do impossible deeds some days to keep the population safe, or teachers and parents, neighbors, friends, anyone who has ever inspired someone and given back hope when it was desperately needed. The fallen hero theme is one of my favorites. I think we all want to see the possibility of human nature in our heroes so we can relate. No matter hero or not, we all take steps back and could have made better choices. Even superheroes.
[J]: Do you think that perceived heroes (in real life and in fairy tales) should uphold their position as heroes regardless of personal challenge? In other words, if a hero has an important role to play still, not just “I saved this place or that person once upon a time”, do you believe that person is responsible for continuing their heroics or should they be “allowed” by society to fade quietly into the background?
[E]: I think heroes, like humans should be able to do whatever they want as long as they’re following their hearts and doing what they feel is right for him or her. The more you push someone, speaking in my own experience as a mom and a child at one time, the more one rebels. I don't want the heart of a hero to change because they feel they have to do something. I also think our heroes change with our needs. Maybe power also changes with personal needs.
[J]: Lost heroes could be perceived as anti-heroes or heroes that descended into the realm of the villain. Were you tempted to allow your hero to do that? Was there ever a moment when you considered letting your fallen hero fall to the “dark side”?
[E]: Nope. I want my characters to find the light no matter how dark. They may visit the darkness for a while, but I want them to eventually learn and grow for the best so they can find their way back.
[J]: I'm a hard and fast believer in the need for villains. Without villains, we are unable to truly understand the dichotomy between “good” and “bad” and the war that has raged in every story since their first telling. How do you feel about the need for darkness in stories to find the light?
[E]: It's my favorite theme. We all have dark parts and places in our pasts. Historically and Biblically speaking, human nature is flawed and we fall into common pitfalls because of our own free-thinking abilities. Every creature has a learning curve. We make mistakes and hopefully, we find the light in the darkness and use that knowledge to change and teach for the better.
[J]: Are you a fan of fallen heroes who DO become villains? And if your fallen hero was to become a villain, what might that look like?
[E]: Yes, as long as they find redemption at some point. Ethan, the fallen hero in my own story, "The Wheat witch," becomes a villain by losing faith in his family and himself. He becomes a larger villain to society on an emotional whim in a bar while defending his sister’s integrity, accidentally killing someone. He copes with his action by running from the law, scared to face his own truth, until the truth finds it’s way to him whether he likes it or not.
[J]: For kicks and giggles: What TV show would your fallen hero binge watch on Netflix?
[E]: The Ranch
Thank you so much, Erika, for taking the time to answer my rambling questions!
You can find Erika's story, The Wheat Witch in the upcoming Anthology, Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life. The Anthology will be available May 02. Until then, stop by Erika's blog Cloud Nine Girl and learn more about her story on the Lost Hero Anthology website.