Guest Post: Holding out for a Hero by Sally Malcolm



Holding out for a hero

By Sally Malcolm

Thanks for having me on your blog, Holly!

Since we’re talking confessions, I thought I’d confess a secret of my own: as much as I love a strong heroine, I prefer writing from the hero’s perspective.  That’s why I am so delighted to be published by Choc Lit, whose books always feature the hero’s point of view.

But I often feel like I’m in a minority, because so many novels are written entirely from the perspective of the heroine.  I can’t help myself, though; I just prefer the hero’s point of view.  Even as a child, when my brother and I used to play with our Star Wars action figures (yes, uber-geek!), I wanted to be Han Solo and not Princess Leia.

So I’ve had a think about some of my favourite heroes and why they appeal to me so much – here’s what I’ve come up with. (Reading over this list, I notice there are a lot of captains and colonels …)

Captain Han Solo:  My first hero crush!  Who can resist the original space pirate, the wise-cracking scoundrel and reluctant hero who falls for the spirited princess?  ‘Do you think a princess and a guy like me…?’ Han wonders.  Oh yeah!  Talk about fairy-tale romance.

John Thornton: I’m going back to the classics for this one.  The hero of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, John Thornton, is as dark and brooding as the fictional mill town in which he lives.  And when it comes to chips on shoulders, he’s carrying around a sizable plank.  But Thornton’s a good man despite his rough edges, and beneath the gruff exterior beats a passionate heart that makes Margaret, not to mention the reader, fall in love with him as they bridge the social gulf that divides them.

Captain Jack Sparrow: Subverting all the stereotypes of the pirate hero, Jack Sparrow manages to be sexy and dangerous even when he’s making us laugh. But what I love most about this character is the darkness we glimpse beneath the dazzling exterior.  He’s a hero with layers, not all of them as pretty as the one on the surface, and he’s burdened with a moral streak he’d rather ignore if only he could.  There’s definitely a little Captain Sparrow in Zach Hazard, the hero of ‘The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk’.

Colonel Jack O’Neill.  Having written six books featuring Jack O’Neill, the leader of ‘Stargate SG-1’, I have to declare an interest in Jack O’Neill.  A colonel in the US Air Force, O’Neill is taciturn, wry and irreverent but he’s a fantastic leader with a steely sense of duty that he puts before everything else – including his personal life (cue much angst).   This makes for a wonderfully complex hero who continues to beguile viewers (and me!) long after the TV show went off air.

Captain Wentworth: Of all Austen’s heroes, Wentworth is the most troubled and self-deluded.  Resentful and angry at the start of ‘Persuasion’, he manages to so effectively convince himself that he’s indifferent to the woman he loves that he almost loses her for a second time.  Like all my favourite heroes, Wentworth has strong principles, but the genius of Austen is that these principles are nearly his undoing.  Not only do they keep him from forgiving Anne for her ‘weakness’ until it’s nearly too late, they almost oblige him to marry a woman he doesn’t love.  It’s only when he accepts his own mistakes that Wentworth can forgive Anne for hers and find the happiness he’s held at arms length for so long.

So these are some of my favourite heroes, but I’d love to know everyone else’s choices – and whether it’s the hero or the heroine who most attracts you to a story.


A huge thank you to Sally for this fabulous post and to Lu at Choc-Lit.



TLOTGH_thumbnail copyThe Legend of the Gypsy Hawk – Sally Malcolm

‘Come then, and I’ll tell you the tale of the Gypsy Hawk and her wily captain – the infamous Zachary Hazard …’


To Amelia Dauphin, freedom is her most prized possession and she will stop at nothing to keep it. Daughter of a Pirate King and the youngest captain in her father’s fleet, she lives on the island of Ile Saint Anne, where pirates roam free and liberty reigns.

Zachary Hazard, captain of the Gypsy Hawk, hasn’t been seen on Ile Saint Anne for six years but his reputation precedes him. To Zach, liberty is the open water and he has little time for the land-bound pirate island.

But when he hears that Amelia’s people could be in danger, he has no choice but to return. And what begins then is a desperate fight for freedom and a legend in the making …

A swashbuckling pirate adventure. Pirates of the Caribbean for adults with a sizzling romance at the heart!

Set among the freebooting pirates of the early eighteenth century, The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk is a tale of romance and adventure, but ultimately it’s a story of love and its power to redeem even the most broken of souls.  It moves from the exotic shores of Ile Sainte Anne to the frozen streets of a London winter and at its heart lies one question: how much would you sacrifice for duty?  Your life, your freedom – or the one you love?


About the author:

Sally-Malcolm---pic 2014Sally lives in London, England with her American husband and two children. She is co-founder and commissioning editor of Fandemonium Books, the licensed publisher of novels based on the American TV series Stargate SG1, Atlantis and Universe. Sally is the author of five of the Stargate novels. She has also written four audio Stargate dramas. And recently she completed work on three episodes of the video game Stargate SG-1: Unleashed which were voiced by Stargate SG-1 stars Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping and Chris Judge.

The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk is the first in the Pirates of Ile Sainte Anne series.


Buying links:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:



8 thoughts on “Guest Post: Holding out for a Hero by Sally Malcolm

    • Thanks Kathryn! I’m glad I’m not the only one who prefers the hero’s pov. 🙂 I feel a little anti-feminist sometimes, but I always give the heroine her own agency too. Maybe it’s just more fun to try out a perspective that’s so different from our usual one?


  1. Hi Sally

    I too like Captain Wentworth and often wish that JA had included male point of view in her writing. John Thornton’s another favourite of mine, as is the shy William Dobbin in Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. Myself, when writing, I always use male viewpoint – partly because there is room in a longer book and because it opens up a new perspective on the book’s theme. Favourite heroes of mine are Ross Poldark (suddenly back among us!) and Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharp. Although I now find it impossible to distinguish the novel’s London-born Sharp from Sean Bean’s portrayal (I think he’s a Sheffield lad) I love his voice and rough humour. I find it interesting the Bernard Cornwell’s books are ready equally by women and men, proving that women welcome a well-rounded male viewpoint.


    • Hi! Oh, it would have been fascinating to have read JA’s male pov – occasionally I suppose you almost glimpse it. I agree that using the male perspective opens up a new view of the story and its characters – I would struggle to write a whole novel from a single pov, although many people do it brilliantly. I totally agree about Poldark, by the way! Especially now he’s back on TV and looking so delicious. 🙂 And on your final point, I definitely think women like to read a male view-point as well as female. Half the fun is when they’re seeing things so differently. Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂


  2. I see you like heroes with humour Sally – I’m with you on that. I think clever and humorous men can be very attractive. And agree re Poldark – I think Aiden Turner makes an excellent hero whether dwarf or vampire or Cornishman 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Am I allowed to admit I like a man in uniform or will I be moderated. 😉 Loving your choice of heroes. Sally. I simply can’t help writing from the male point of view and I adore reading books that offer the same. A nice flaw is always fabulous to see him try to overcome and a good dollop of conflict. Nice post, ladies. 🙂 xx


  4. Great post, ladies! I can definitely relate to enjoying writing from the hero’s POV. I always like to know what’s going on in both the heroine and the main man’s mind; as a reader too, preferably. Fab choice of heroes, Sally 🙂 X


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