Writing REALLY bad heroes (with giveaway) Back to Blog

Update: And the winners are…

Digital copy: Viki

Print copy: Dannielle

Congrats ladies! I will be getting with you in email soon to give you your prizes!

Zoe Winters, here.

The last time I was at Cindy’s blog, I talked a little about my then upcoming release, Save My Soul.

I had hoped to have the book out by Christmas, but things always take longer than I think they’re going to, so we’re about a month past that date. But it’s here now. :)

Cindy is coincidentally doing this Deadly Valentine event which made me think it was an appropriate thing to get in on since I wanted to talk about writing REALLY bad heroes.

I don’t know how many fans of Buffy are here, but I’m a big Buffy fan. In fact, I think a lot of paranormal romance authors started out as Buffy fans for some reason. I’d watch the show and think: “This is exactly how I think, I could have written this.” (Not that I think I’m as awesome as Joss Whedon.) One of the intriguing things about the show was that we were rooting for some really bad guys as romantic leads. First there was Angel, then there was Spike.

Both of them, being vampires, started evil, killing lots of people and having not an ounce of remorse for it. When Angel was cursed with his soul he felt guilty, but I don’t think Spike ever felt all that bad about the people he killed in his past. And why should he? Most people are meat-eaters, and we don’t mourn the cow and feel guilty every time we eat a cheeseburger.

But there is still this cognitive disconnect where we’re watching this stuff and we’re rooting for Spike or Angel and meanwhile they’ve spent over a hundred years each killing thousands of people. But we’re still wanting them to end up in bed with Buffy. Cause we’re crazy like that. Or because they are sexy beasts. One of those.

Save My Soul features an incubus who has been trapped in a house for fifty years. Before he met the witch who cursed him, he killed thousands of women over a 526-year time period. How do we forgive that and move past it and let him be a hero? Is it even possible with that kind of history? The fan response to Buffy makes me think, yes.

I think part of it is that he’s truly suffered for several decades being trapped in that house. He’s also had a very real change of heart with regards to the value of human life. When someone goes vegetarian, I don’t think the other vegetarians wag their fingers at them and say: “You evil former cow killer!” I think they’re just happy someone has become more sensitive to the suffering of other living souls. I hope readers feel the same way with regards to Luc.

I think another reason we can let Luc be a hero is that it’s not like he tortured and sliced and diced his prey. Every single one of those women “died happy” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Which doesn’t make it “moral”, but yeah. There are a lot worse ways to go out.

Luc represents the idea that you can start over and find redemption, which I think is also why we rooted for Angel, and later Spike on BtVS. And I hope it’s why readers will root for Luc.

This book has a lot of snark and humor in it, but it also has quite a bit of angst and drama. The book trailer (which I’m pimping everywhere) focuses on the latter:

Book Trailer: Save My Soul by: Zoe Winters from Zoe Winters on Vimeo.

Save My Soul is the second book in my preternaturals series, but it also stands alone. You won’t be the slightest bit lost if you read this one first. Here’s where you can find the buy-links for the digital book. (print available soon.)

I’m also giving away a signed print copy of Save My Soul to one reader. (U.S. only, please.) And I’ll give a digital copy away to one other reader (open internationally.) To enter, please leave a comment and let me know if you’re in the US or International.

Thanks for reading!

Tweet It

37 responses to “Writing REALLY bad heroes (with giveaway)”

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Zoe, I love your snarky voice! I’m looking forward to the drama, too. I can root for a really bad hero; it depends on how the writer handles it. I have no doubt you’ll do it well.

    I already have your book, so don’t enter me in the handout.

  2. cait045 says:

    “You evil former cow-killer!” That is hilarious. Yes I think I could love Luc like I loved Spike. Again if done right.

    In US

  3. Kelly Thrash says:

    Believe it or not I have never watched Buffy. My mom has every season on DVD and one day I will watch them becuase I am sure I will love them but right now I have too many books to read! lol :)

    kittykelly28 @ hotmail.com
    In the USA

  4. Viki says:

    I think you’re right about Luc, he had to survive. Wasn’t his fault he was born an incubus. Loved your post.

  5. Cynthia Eden says:

    Hi, Zoe! I love those *bad* heroes–they are definitely my favorite. Congrats on the release!

  6. I loved Spike – almost more than Angel. Who can resist the ultimate bad boy?

    In US.

  7. Dannielle says:

    I love a former bad boy. Luc sounds like he’d be right up my alley.


  8. I love a book with a bit of snark in it, something that I can laugh at. Love that.

    I loved Buffy and Angel, Spike was another matter all together. I never found him as appealing as Angel. Can’t wait to read this book. :)


  9. Kaya H says:

    I love snark, humor and a good dark read. It looks fantastic I cannot wait.

    In the US
    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  10. Teri C says:

    oh yum. This book sounds great. I love dark humored heroes and heroines.

    In US
    terilhack at gmail dot com

  11. Jean says:

    Love the bad boys, enjoyed watching Buffy just to see what Spike was up to.

  12. Zoe Winters says:

    LOL OMG did I seriously just post the cover that DIDN’T have the text on it? Oh well, you guys get the idea. HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA *head desk*

    Hey Edie, thanks!

    @Cait, Spike was my favorite, too! :) I was in love with him from his first episode in season 2.

    @Kelly, I bet you’ll love it! But don’t judge too harshly based on the first season… it takes them a little while to truly find their groove. Though the show kind of pokes fun at itself and is meant to be campy a lot of the time.

    @Viki, actually it’s “sort of” his fault. He was turned into an incubus for being bad as a human. But he shouldn’t suffer, I agree!

    Thanks, Cindy! Thanks for having me!

    @Eva, same here! :) And that accent… yum.

    Thanks, Dannielle!

    @Mary I think a lot of Spike vs. Angel comes down to what type of hero you like as well as who you’re exposed to first. I saw Spike in an episode first, then went back and watched the series, waiting and hoping for him to be with Buffy. lol.

    Thanks, Kaya!

    Thanks, Teri! These two have great banter! (If I’m allowed to say that as the author) :)

  13. Zoe Winters says:

    hehe Jean, same here! Anything Spike did was funny/interesting/bittersweet. Just loved him!

  14. Stacie says:

    I’m a Spike girl all the way! Angel was alright but Angelus was even better. I loved the way Angelus toyed with people. Oh & BTW Spike’s favorite song would NEVER be Mandy by Barry Manilow (I’m lookin at you Angel!). Spike was more of a Sex Pistols sort of bloke. In the end they both were willing to sacrifice themselves for Buffy.

    I love snarky characters & tortured heroes. I think Luc & Save My Soul sound awesome!

    GeishasMom73 on twitter
    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  15. DinahT says:

    I must say that this looks very interesting… I will definitely look for it.
    Roswell, NM, US

  16. Denise T. says:

    Congrats on the release. I love bad boys!! Sounds like a great read!



  17. Danielle Gorman says:

    This book looks so good. I too am a big fan of Buffy. I actually just started re-watching all of the episodes from the beginning. I had forgotten how much I loved Buffy and Angel together. I can’t wait to read this book. Definitely going onto my wishlist.


  18. Susan R says:

    This book sounds great! Can’t wait to read it.

    I am in the US


  19. Valerie says:

    Loved this post and now have new books to add to my wish list.

    I’m in Germany


  20. LSUReader says:

    You had me at “You evil former cow killer,” especially since my daughter is a vegetarian. What a fun post. Thanks.

  21. Stephanie M says:

    I love Buffy and was sad to see it go. I watched Angel but it was not the same. Now I enjoy True Blood and Vampire Diaries.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com


  22. Zoe Winters says:

    Okay, I totally ran off and forgot about you guys. Sorry! I’m back and catching up now…

    @Stacie I really loved Angelus too! He was so funny but so evil. I totally would have gone for him (and would have gotten killed in the process lol) It was funny when Angel sang Mandy, though! :) Thanks! re: SMS!

    Thanks, Dinah!

    Thanks, Denise!

    Thanks, Danielle! (Wow, three D’s all in a row.)

    Thanks, Susan!

    (Now that I’m in this pattern of thanking everybody individually, I’m just going to roll with it)

    Yay, Valerie!

    hahahahaha Thanks, LSUReader.

    @Stephanie, yeah I agree, Angel was a good show… but it was a little more serious and didn’t have the same kind of fun humor and that Buffy had. I like Vampire Diaries, too. Damon, yum!

  23. Colleen says:

    Buffy was a show that I always stopped to watch… really enjoyed the interaction between Buffy, Angel & Spike…
    Give the bad boys a chance to be good and find love! πŸ˜‰


  24. marniecolette says:

    I love Spike a redeemed bad boy. Its fiction and the rules that I apply to what I would forgive in a bad boy is slightly different to real life. I can’t wait to read about Luc…I hope there are tons of snarky moments too.

  25. Zoe Winters says:

    @Colleen, I agree! They’re all evil on the outside but warm and smushy on the inside. :)

    @Marnie I think that’s a good point about what you’ll forgive in fiction, vs. real life. There is a LOT of snark in Save My Soul. tons of banter.

  26. Diane Sadler says:

    Angel was always my favorite and you have to feel for those sad beautiful eyes full of anguish, who couldn’t?

    Canadian reader!

  27. elaing8 says:

    I loved BtVS.I wasn’t sure if I’d like her with Spike since I was such a Angel fan..But eventually I did.
    I love the bad boys :)


  28. Cecile says:

    Oh please please please include me in!
    And oh how do we love bad boys!

  29. Zoe Winters says:

    @Diane, DB is a cutie.

    @elaing8 yay! :)

    @Cecile, of course. :)

  30. Stacey Smith says:

    I’m So a Buffy Fan.And i Believe I Will like Your book just as Much

  31. Leagh Christensen says:

    I love love love bad boys!!!! So yummy πŸ˜‰

    Please count me in for the giveaway…



  32. Zoe Winters says:

    And the winners are…

    Digital copy: Viki

    Print copy: Dannielle

    Congrats ladies! I will be getting with you in email soon to give you your prizes!

  33. Cathy R. says:

    Gotta love the snark… Would love to win this, but if not, it is definitely on my to buy list.
    U.S. res here.