The Heart of the Hero

Protocol-X--Cover-FRONT--1c1--300I love myths. I love the grand displays such stories can make. Heroes can be heroic. They can display courage and sacrifice themselves for the greater good. They can face their fear and overwhelming odds and still take action. And that’s fun to watch. Superheroes stories are modern myths.

My latest superhero/love story adventure is out. Protocol X. In it we get to the heart of our super-hero, Nick Nichols / Neutrinoman. He’s a romantic. He’s a bit of a boy scout–always trying to do the right thing. He’s in love and that love is not returned. He’s struggling with his powers, fighting for his life and the lives of those he cares about, dealing with the media, and the challenges facing him are just too much.

Heroes doubt. Heroes struggle. Heroes do their best. Nik is doing his best to get the girl and save the world.

This book is a lot longer than the first two episodes (Meteor Attack! and Toxic Asset). It’s a more complicated story, not that I planned it that way. It’s all Nik’s fault, really. When I write, I do my best of follow the characters. In other words, I don’t have it all figured out when I start. I sit down, tune in, and start writing. It often feels more like I am listening than creating.

And that’s why this story is longer. Something happened, something unexpected, and Nik being Nik did what he would do. The story went in a direction I hadn’t planned, thought of, or anticipated. So I kept writing, kept following, intrigued by what had happened, wanting to know how it would all turn out.

Nick revealed himself through his actions. The heart of the hero, if you will. Nik has a strong moral compass (one of his qualities that I like the best). That can sometimes lead him into more trouble, or in the case of this book, it leads him to an alien he calls “Sarah” and it changes the course of the entire story.

And let me tell you, when this happens (the characters taking the story in directions I hadn’t anticipated) I just love it. It makes for a better story and it is actually fun writing a story when you don’t know how it will end (and a bit scary too, I will admit). These kinds of surprises are my favorite part of writing. If you read this one, the whole sequence with Sarah came from out of the blue.

If you like your heroes with a strong moral compass, if you like romantic protagonists, if you like action, adventure, and a bit of humor, then Protocol X (and the entire series), just might be for you.

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