I'm looking for a new hero, and by that I don't mean I have a spider that needs catching in my bathtub. I mean I need another hero to read about.
Let me explain. You see, for a while now, a good eight to ten in years in fact, I've been reading a particular author's crime/thriller books centred around a police detective set in the USA.
These are great books, with great writing, and they've sold a lot of copies. Like I say, I've enjoyed them, they are great books, but, and this is the sad bit, I'm tired of them.
I'm tired of him, the detective, and now I am sad.
I'm losing an old friend.
Well it isn't the plots, they are still ingenious and engaging. And it isn't the writing, that too still whip-cracks off the page and has the potential to keep me up all night.
So what is it?
I'm afraid to say it is the guy who holds the books together. The lead, the hero, the detective... he's stopped growing.
Back when I first met him this guy was interesting, he was fragile, he had issues and demons and I wanted him to fight them as much as he fought crime. I felt for this guy, the writing was so good my heart would sometimes ache for him. I felt his pain, his loneliness, he could have been me.
That was then.
This is now.
I've changed, mylife has moved on and now I'm lucky enough to be an author myself. I've developed, I see things differently from when I was a cop, I'm a better person for my mistakes and mishaps.
This hero is still the same guy he was when I first met him.
He is still broken, still friendless, still dedicated to the job, still solving crime and still stuck in the bottle when he gets home of a night.
And life isn't like that.
I've been fortunate enough to have two books published so far by Harper Collins in my John Rossett series. In the time it has taken me to write them, I've changed, and so has John Rossett. He's been through a lot, good and bad, and that is reflected in his personality, same as it is reflected in mine.
I'm no longer sleeping in a car of a night.
John is no longer having nightmares.
I guess you could say we're both a lot happier, but we still have a way to go.
I think writing should reflect what has gone before. If a hero has been down, and then fought back, you should hear it in his voice. If he has overcome obstacles, his self belief should be there when he goes home of a night.
If I've changed in ten years, so should my hero.
Otherwise I'm just going to end up reading the same book, over and over and over.
And life, just isn't like that.