The Ninja Blog

Holding out for a Hero: Or, who would you invite to your place for vodka?

By Lily Malone (AKA the Beanie Queen)

The other day I got asked this question: “If you could sit down with three characters or authors for morning tea, who would they be?”

It’s the same version of a question I’ve been asked a few times since I started writing. The setting changes, as does the number of people I’m allowed to invite.

For some reason, (and I blame fellow ninja, Rhyll Biest) when I answered the question for a blog post the other day, I opted for two of Rhyll’s fictional heroes to join me for morning tea. I asked for Stein (from the book Unrestrained) and Belovuk (from Shelter). I had just finished reading Shelter at the time (brilliant book) which put this pair front and centre in my mind.

I opted to serve vodka for morning tea, just to see what might eventuate with these two Eastern European man-mountains, and for my third character I opted for a fictional fireman to hose us all down. Let’s face it, there would be a fair amount of hot flushing going on, were I to have Stein and Belovuk at my place for morning tea vodka.

Having discovered I now definitely have a ‘type’... and being that I’m now very much in the mood, and it *is* a large bottle of vodka, I thought I’d invite a few more to join me and make it a party, Stein, Belovuk, a broad-shouldered man-mountain fireman... plus???


Jason Bourne and Lucas Davenport.

Bourne will need no introduction. But Lucas might.

Both Bourne and Davenport I’d put in the ‘brooding’ hero category. Of course, they are also highly dangerous and pretty much in any list of lethal weapons.

Lucas Davenport is the central character, a cop, in the ‘Prey’ series by my favourite author, John Sandford. In every ‘Prey’ book I’ve read (and I think they’re up to about 25 of them), Lucas is given a paragraph or two of description first time we meet him. It will pretty much always go something like this: ‘A tall, slender, wide-shouldered man with blue eyes and a smile that he’s always been told “scares people.” There’s a fine scar from his hairline to the right corner of his mouth (caused by a fishing hook accident) and another on his throat, courtesy of his wife Weather (a surgeon) who performed a tracheotomy when Lucas was knifed by a girl in the woods and Weather saved his life. Dark-complexioned, with straight black hair going grey at the temples and a long nose over a crooked smile. One of his central upper incisors had been chipped in an ice hockey match in his youth and he never had it capped.”

Over the years I’ve been reading the Prey novels, Lucas has got older. He’s pushing 45 now, and there’s more grey than black at those temples. He’s got a bit slower, although he runs every day to keep fit. He’s still very likely to hurl himself into any fray with his fists... but smart enough to know that these days some of the blokes might be likely to belt him one back, so he always carries a gun.

Lucas hits all my buttons, like Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, but even though I adore the scenes in the Bourne movies or the Prey books which are all out action, it is always the softer side of these big tough heroes that makes me melt.

In the first Bourne movie, it’s the moment in the hotel room after that crazy car chase in Paris when Jason cuts Marie’s hair... oh, le sigh.

In the Prey series, while I love the character of Weather (Lucas’s wife comes along a few books into the series) I miss those early books when Lucas is loutish, roguish and naughty, and tends toward dalliances with female cops or his lady characters... and he’s great in the sack.

Stein and Belovuk, oh but they are gorgeous slabs of mancake granite. Stein makes up vegetable poetry in a supermarket; and Belovuk rescues kittens!!

And both are great in the sack.

So I doubt very much if I’m alone in this one ladies... I’m holding out for a hero to drink vodka with who is big, broad-shouldered, not afraid of leaping into any kind of fight; yet gentle enough to drink his vodka from a coffee cup with a picture of a unicorn pooping glitter.

He’s my fictional hero and he is VERY welcome at morning tea.

So, come on. Spill! Who is yours?