Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hero Lost Anthology: Interview with Ellen Jacobson

Good afternoon!

I have another interview with fellow Hero Lost anthologist, Ellen Jacobson. Ellen is the author of the forthcoming story, "The Silvering." Ellen generously agreed to answer a few of my questions before she set sail for exotic locales. Seriously. She lives on a boat :D

Jen (J): Why do you believe the concept of a “hero lost” is relevant to our times? Does the idea of a “fallen hero” appeal to society as a whole in light of the current social climate? If so, why do you think we feel an attraction to fallen heroes, and cheer for their redemption?

Ellen (E): I like the idea that anyone can be redeemed and that even those among us who have done the most horrible and heinous things can repent, turn their lives around and contribute to society. Sadly, that probably isn't how it works in real life which is why it's so enjoyable to read about fallen heroes and the triumph of good over evil in fiction.

(J): Lost heroes could be perceived as anti-heroes or could descend into the realm of 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)I've been thinking about trying to turn my short story into a novella or novel. If I did so, I think it would be interesting to explore the temptation of the “dark side.” But it wouldn't be a clear-cut battle between good and evil, where my lost hero, Caestu, is making a conscious choice to align himself with evil. Instead, I can see him torn by his desire to lead a “normal” life and conform with what society expects of him, even if that means turning a blind eye when it comes to how his society oppresses others.

(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? 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): My first reaction is that every good story does have some sort of villain, whether a person or a larger force of evil. I'm trying to think of a story I've enjoyed that didn't have villain, but I can't. Are there stories without villains? This is one of those questions that I'm going to keep at the back of my mind when I'm reading and dissecting how authors craft their stories.

(J): For kicks and giggles: What TV show would your fallen hero binge watch on Netflix?

(E): I don't have Netflix, so I'm not exactly sure what shows they air, but if I had to pick a series that my hero, Caestu, would binge watch it would have to be something to do with fishing (like The Deadliest Catch) since that's how he makes his living. Or maybe The Bachelorette. Caestu really wishes he had a wife and family. He's too shy to approach someone he fancies, so he would probably enjoy daydreaming that a beautiful woman would pick him to be her husband.


Thank you SO MUCH, Ellen, for taking the time to talk with me about ideas of good and evil, heroes and villains, and letting us learn a bit more about you and your character. To learn more about Ellen and her life on a boat, check out her blog, The Cynical Sailor. To learn more about her story, "The Silvering", click on the Lost Hero Anthology link HERE.

Thanks for reading!
Have a beautiful afternoon. I hope ya'll are warm. It's FREEZING here!!!


  1. It's freezing here as well!
    Ellen, I can easily see you expanding that story and continuing his adventures in that world.

  2. I love your answers Ellen. Exploring the dark side would be tricky for me. And your main character sounds so intriguing. Especially since you mentioned Ceastu is so shy.

  3. I'm looking forward to reading your story, Ellen!

  4. Every story needs a villain. Agreed. I just love it when that villain actually turns into a hero. Now that I think about it, the book I first fell in love with as a young adult did just that. Made a huge impression.

  5. Jen - thanks so much for having me on your blog :-)

  6. I don't see Caestu turning into a villain. He might become a little misguided, but he has such a genuine heart it would be really difficult for him to turn to evil ways.

  7. A bad guy should always have a good side to add a greater dimension of believability. The villain who is drawn well is often the most interesting part of a story.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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