Today I’m excited to be hosting a stop on Jillian Stone’s book tour of The Seduction of Phaeton Black via Bewitching Book Tours. If you’re a lover of mystery and the paranormal, you definitely want to add this to your reading list! Ms. Stone is here to chat about her handsome and sometimes rakish hero Phaeton Black and the makings of a hero in literature…stick around and don’t forget to enter the giveaway…now onto the good stuff…
According to Wikipedia, an anti hero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is contrary to that of the archetypal hero, yet typically retains many heroic qualities. Recently, two editors at RT Book Reviews had quite a discussion about whether Phaeton Black is a hero or antihero.
I must admit the antihero idea does have appeal. I wrote Phaeton Black to be a bad boy––devil may care, with an equally devilish smile. But I think Phaeton is actually closer to what’s called a Byronic hero, which is a variant of the Romantic hero as a type of character named after the English Romantic poet Lord Byron. Here’s the definition: A man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection.
Byron described Conrad, the pirate hero of his The Corsair as follows:
That man of loneliness and mystery, Scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to sigh.
- Cunning and able to adapt
- Disrespectful of rank and privilege
- Emotionally conflicted, bipolar or moody
- Having a distaste for social institutions and norms
- Having a troubled past or suffering from an unnamed crime
- Intelligent and perceptive
- Jaded, world-weary
- Mysterious, magnetic and charismatic
- Seductive and sexually attractive
- Self-critical and introspective
- Socially and sexually dominant
- Sophisticated and educated
- Struggles with integrity
- Treated as an exile, outcast, or outlaw
Ah…so much better! And a good deal closer to the Phaeton Black I wrote. When I first began making notes and jotting down scenes and character traits for The Seduction of Phaeton Black, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about writing a Byronic hero character. I knew I wanted Phaeton to be a sexy libertine and an occult detective––the only man in London capable of tracking down and eliminating creatures too strange and elusive for Scotland Yard to handle. But as Phaeton’s backstory began to emerge, his character also began to take on a more tragic component. When Phaeton had night terrors as a child the monsters hiding under his bed were real…how might that affect this young hero as an adult?
As I worked out the plot, I also needed a woman worthy of such a larger than life, enigmatic character. A young lady who would keep Detective Black on his toes. So I created America Jones, an independent female who knows her own heart and mind––what she needs and she wants. Of course that turns out to be our misunderstood, Byronic hero(!)
Here’s a brief blurb: THE YEAR IS 1889 and Queen Victoria, exemplum of decency and sobriety, is in her fifty-second year of reign. Occult detective Phaeton Black, on the other hand, couldn’t be less interested in clean-living. He has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London’s most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine with an aptitude for absinthe, he wrestles with a variety of demons both real and self-inflicted.
Unfairly linked to Scotland Yard’s failure to solve the Whitechapel murders, Phaeton is offered a second chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend, or vampire is stalking the Strand. After a glass and a consult with the green fairy, he agrees to take on the case.
On his first surveillance, Phaeton pursues an elusive stranger and encounters several curious, horrifying beings. But the most intriguing creature of all is a Cajun beauty who captures him at knifepoint and threatens to spirit away his heart.The Seduction of Phaeton Black: Antihero or Byronic Hero?
Phaeton was a challenging character to write––but so much fun! He starts out this debauched, libertine, substance abuser and ends up risking both his life and his heart for the young woman he has fallen in love with. I also managed to preserve the very best of his irreverent, edgy lust for life––the thing that makes Phaeton, Phaeton. Tricky! But I loved that side of him.
America Jones, the heroine of The Seduction of Phaeton Black, had to be the perfect foil for the bigger than life, misanthrope detective. Almost immediately America sees through his disagreeable personality and eventually brings out his softhearted side. Of course, along the way, there is plenty of adventure: Phaeton is after a wicked female bloodsucker and America is after the pirates that stole her father’s shipping business. But even as the two plots intertwine, Phaeton and America still find plenty of time to get to know one another.
So what’s next? The Moonstone and Miss Jones, the second novel in the Phaeton Black series. (Releases October 3, 2012) Phaeton is shanghaied in Shanghai and America chases him all the way back to London, where they both become involved in a struggle to save the city from any number of beasts, terrors, and the scariest creatures of all––humans.
I’ll be giving away a signed copy of The Seduction of Phaeton Black to a lucky commenter. Here’s my question: Do you have a favorite antihero or Romantic Byronic hero? Here are a few characters for you to consider: Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights, Rochester of Jane Eyre, The Phantom of the Opera, Captain Jack Sparrow, Wolverine of X-Men, Edward Cullen of Twilight, Christian Grey of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Hold onto your knickers ladies, Phaeton Black has arrived!
He’s the man with the magic touch. A master of deduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard’s secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he’s asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he’s ever known.
She’s the devilish Miss Jones. Pressing a knife to his throat and demanding he make love to her––Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing after her. As dangerous as she is with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampire killer Phaeton is stalking––but she may be just what he needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possess uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only his salvation…or ultimate sacrifice.
In 2010, Jillian won the RWA Golden Heart for An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and went from no agent or publisher to signing with Richard Curtis and being offered a three book contract by Pocket Books.
That summer, she also won the erotica category of the 2010 Romance Through the Ages contest for The Seduction of Phaeton Black and was offered a three book contract by Kensington Brava.
Needless to say, she has been busy writing books this past year and a half! Jillian lives in Southern California and is currently working on a special Pocket Star e-novella for The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series.