Goofy heroes and kind heroines

SS-tarot-duinThe other night, my 12-year-old daughter asked me, “Who do you think would play Duin if they made a movie of your books?”

She’s read versions of Stellarnet Rebel and Stellarnet Prince, in which I’ve removed the adult scenes and sexual references. Duin is her favorite character in the Stellarnet Series. She says he is more like a goofy sidekick than a hero, and the goofy sidekicks — much to her frustration — never get the girl in most stories. In her words, it’s always the emo, romantic, troubled, complicated heroes (like Belloc) who are the sole love interests.

“Just once, I’d like to see a goofy sidekick and a tough heroine pair up,” she’d told me in another conversation a few months ago. The Stellarnet heroine Genevieve O’Riordan is not kickass enough for her, I think.

“You mean, like my Wren & Wood series?” I replied.

She didn’t remember “Oak Moon,” my award-winning fantasy short story about a raggedy wizard and his shillelagh-weilding beloved who live in an alt-reality Dark Ages. I know I’d read it to her, many years ago. I gave it to her to read again and she loved it. I’ve been working on Wren & Wood, a series with the same characters, and I agreed to move it up on my priority list because she wants to read more.

SS-tarot-bellocBut, anyway, there she was, asking me about Duin. My child who loves Jack Black, Gary in Dorkness Rising, Much in the BBC Robin Hood, Chunk in Goonies and Chowder in Monster House, and who has a crush on Simon Lane from Yogscast. I told her I based Duin on a mixture of Madeye Moody from Harry Potter, Stephen the Crazy Irishman from Braveheart, Ben Franklin and G’kar from Babylon 5; but months after creating Duin, I got around to watching Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and he was Duin, completely. Readers have suggested Matthew McConaughey, who is goofy, older (Duin is in his 40s) and he has the etched build of a Glinnish swimmer.

“Who would be Belloc?” she asked. I said that Belloc was based a little bit on Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood (eye roll and “of course” she grumbles, being very familiar with her mom’s long-time crush), with a bit of Michael Phelps and Josh Groban. But the perfect actor for Belloc would be Eddie Redmayne, whose slender physique (NSFW) and portrayal of Jack in Pillars of the Earth are absolute Belloc-ness. And apparently, he can sing, since he’s also Marius in the upcoming Les Mis movie.

“Then who would be Genny?”

SS-tarot-jniAnd that’s where the discussion got really interesting. Selene in the Underworld movies is too dark and cold. River and Kaylee in Firefly are too unhinged and nonviolent, respectively.

Genny is based somewhat on the socially-responsible Margaret Hale in North and South and Marion from Robin Hood. And also a bit on Natalie from the TV show Monk. I see Genny as intelligent, courageous and, most of all, kind. She can shoot a gun or kick a creepy ex-lover in the face, if she has to, but her strength is in thinking her way through difficulty and in having the courage to do the right thing in any given situation, not just the violent or obvious ones. Genny is balanced, honest and forgiving. This is where I think she owes a debt to Natalie, Adrian Monk’s assistant who is tough enough to fight at his side, smart enough to figure things out, brave enough to do what needs doing, even sassy at times, but never loses her empathy and loving spirit.

I think the ladies of LOTR have similar qualities, as does the Ninth Doctor’s Rose. Can you name others? If you’ve read the Stellarnet Series, who would you like to see play some of the characters?

J.L. Hilton is the author of the Stellarnet Series published by Carina Press, including Stellarnet Rebel (January 2012) and Stellarnet Prince (November 2012), and a regular contributor to the Contact-Infinite Futures blog. Her artwork is featured in the books Steampunk Style Jewelry and 1000 Steampunk Creations. Visit her at or follow her on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads and deviantART.


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