Saturday, July 5, 2014

Team Batman

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I love superheroes. The dark ones, tortured by their hearts or circumstance. Superman is awesome, but I’m firmly on team Batman with his brooding silence and the weight of Gotham on his shoulders.  Powers due to birthright, or powers due to Jedi-mind-tricks, give me a tortured superhero and I’m all a-melting.
The superhero romance theme has always been one of my favorites – I used to rewind the original Tim Burton Batman to scenes with Vicki Vail (who screams waaay too much). And does anyone remember her not finding the film roll in her bra? Hot! Disturbing on many levels - unless the man shook her upside down to get the film, he had to touch her while she was unconscious, but again, this guy isn’t a boy scout.
In Blindside, I wanted to explore that darkness and toe the line between what’s right and what’s lawful. Seeing all the wrongs in the world today, I often want to don a mask and go out into the night with my meager martial arts skills to do “something” – similar to my heroes who don’t with what is lawful. Is it right to beat up a bad guy? What defines a bad guy? If you whale on one, does that mean you become the same thing you’re fighting?
I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of right and wrong, and wanted to apply that in a romance – what if you’re in love with a person who is doing something clearly wrong, and yet you are a moth to their flame? Can you stop them? Can you change them? And what if on many levels, your gut agrees with the wrongness?
When writing Blindside, I interviewed a number of law enforcement friends when developing my heroine Lana and her drive for revenge. One thing that stuck with me was a phrase by a motorcycle cop,  who said he does what he does not to “get bad guys”, but to “save innocents”. In his case, it’s about getting drunks off the road, but it does make sense in many ways. I thought it was a parallel story arc for Lana as she struggles with her quest to avenge her brother and sees what she’s becoming – the same monster she’s been fighting.
In terms of my hero – Mac Gamble – I really wanted to see what an unmasked vigilante would feel going through his life. There’s a reason superheroes conceal their identify, and I wanted to explore what his life would be out in the open. Would people expect him to drop everything to come to their aid? To be intrinsically “good”? To make the “right” choices – despite none of us really knowing what the right choices are?
Writing about Lana and Mac fed my need to don a mask and become a “costumed crime fighter” in my city – something that wouldn’t be safe or legal in our world. Kevlar doesn’t fit when one is over-busty. But researching real life superheros (they exist!) I did realize there were things I could do – like give food/water/blankets to people on the street and stay vigilant. 

Once a masked superhero, Mac Gamble is a cage fighter using his infamy to attract a crowd, until the cop who ran him out of town asks him to track down a dangerous vigilante.
   Once an ambitious cop determined to continue in her brother's footsteps, Lana Rossini craves vengeance. The abilities she acquired in the same explosion that killed her brother allow her to hunt the streets at night for those who betrayed him. Yet, during the day she is a helpless invalid, unable to stand the thinnest light.
   She doesn’t expect the man sent after her to be the one whose powers she somehow stole, a man she thought abandoned her to blindness, a man she can't allow herself to love.

#decadentpub, #jaydenalexander, #superheroromance 

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