According to Wikipedia a hero (masculine) or a heroine (feminine), refers to a character who in the face of danger and adversity, or from a position of weakness, displays courage and the will for self-sacrifice; this is heroism.
These days the feminine has been dropped and a hero can be of either sex. I’ve noticed recently how this as changed in other genre too. The female actresses, for instance, are now referred to as actors
A hero is usually the main character in a story, but in real life, they can be many things.
In 2014 a Manchester dog’s home was burnt down and tragically many animals died. Two men jumped over a fence and kicked open kennel doors after seeing smoke and hearing the commotion inside. As a result, they were nominated for a prestigious Animal Hero Award. Hundreds of people turned up during the night and the following day, offering help and support and in turn, they were all heroes. Over a million pounds was raised to help rebuild the kennels.
When the Ebola virus struck, troops and volunteers flew to Africa to help contain it. They are all brave and heroic. One such person was a twenty-nine-year-old American, whose friends had described her as a heroine for helping care for a patient with the disease. She flew home and became ill herself as a result.
A woman was seen clinging to the side of the River Lea in Hertford in October of 2014. As she floated under a bridge, a twenty-five-year-old man jumped in after calling the police and saved her. He turned out to be homeless, and the water was so cold, he could barely swim. They were both pulled to safety and into a boat that was sent out to help. He was a real hero, too.
Shortly after attending a first aid session, a twenty-two-year-old girl saved her mum’s life. After telling her parents about her training session at St John Ambulance, her mum appeared to have a heart attack. The daughter was able to put her new skills into practice as they waited for the paramedics to come. A frightening experience for all concerned, but mum, who had had an angina attack, made a full recovery thanks to her brave daughter.
There are many heroes all with fascinating stories to tell. Our favourite book heroes make good romantic tales and Robin Hood, Superman, and Tarzan are some of the ones we have come to love.
I love the romantic hero, such as Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind. Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre is also one of my favourites and there was an interesting article in The Telegraph about him by Penny Vincenzi.
I discovered in my research of the subject that heroes, male, or female could come in many different guises. It just depends on your point of view and what is portrayed. Over the years I’ve been busy writing stories of brave people who have been championed or done something extraordinary.
Writing is my passion once I get a subject in my head stories just seem to pour out.
Crossing Serbia was one of those and it took me to the old Yugoslavia and the Bosnian war. As with all wars, it was cruel with awful stories emerged. A friend who lives in Croatia was able to give me information on the country, the rulers, and the language. The result was an aid worker who was so moved by the plight of the people that she went over to help them. Then insurgents kidnap her, and the story of danger and heroism soon emerge.
Other stories include a girl who worshiped her gangster father, but had to get away from that life. Moving to America she ends up falling for a mobster instead.
In the days before the Internet and email, putting pen to paper was the way correspondence. What would it be like to write to someone for years and never meet them? The hero in this comes from an unlikely source where his criminal activates come in very useful.
Stories of the homeless have always caught my attention and are often in the media when the weather turns cold. I went onto the Internet and researched homeless charities and rather than write a story, I decided to make it an interview with a fictional charity founder. An every day girl who had been working to feed the homeless ends up becoming a national hero.
With one story, I discovered that sometimes you have to dig deep inside yourself to face your fears and we have all done that at some point in our lives.
I’ve loved investigating the cause of heroes, thinking it was straight forward, but in the end it was anything but.