What do you expect?

Some people expect a lot from fictional heroes.  Of course, some people expect a lot from their real-life heroes too. They are usually disappointed.  Real people, even the ones who are rightly admired, all have their faults.  I am often amazed when I hear of people being shocked to discover that Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Richard the Lionheart and even Mother Theresa had their unpleasant attributes.  They all made mistakes too.  Does any of that prevent us remembering them with admiration or affection? I say it does not.  It means they were real.  They remain heroes.

What of fictional heroes?

Some authors do create heroes who appear to be morally faultless.  They also create them with amazing abilities in almost every respect.  Strong, clever, athletic, tough, resilient, quickthinking and good at just about everything they are called upon to do.  I have noticed that TV and film adaptations are often to blame for ‘improving’ heroes.  James Bond seems more human in the books.  So does Richard Sharpe.

What about the Bible?

Jesus is the ultimate role-model for Christians.  Apart from him, all the characters in the Bible are shown as people with shortcomings, in some cases serious ones.  Even the best of them.  We should read warnings in the stories as well as seeing things to copy.

What of my characters?

I try to make all my characters as credible as possible, which means they are not perfect, but I hope you will find them likeable.  Apart from the villains.  But even they need to have some good qualities if they are to be realistic.  Besides, if the villain was all-bad, you would be able to tell right from the start.  Not much mystery or suspense there.

Billy and Bethan are hardly role-models.  Robbing coaches is not a thing I commend as a career.  They both fall short of the ideal when it comes to their sexual morality too.  I hope, however, that you will be able to identify with them, at least to some extent, and see the good in them, while hoping they will find a way out of the lifestyle they have fallen into.  Whether they do, you will have to read the book to see but some things will not be resolved until the sequel.  Real life is often like that.