Monday, August 31, 2009

Let's Get Ready to Ruuuuumble!!!!

What protagonists would you most like to see in a cage match? Why? Who would win?

If this question was about villains, it would be a lot easier! There are so many protagonists that I like--some use their brains, some more brawn, some a combo.

But I think the ones I'd most like to see matched up would be those who are most passionate. I find that a lot of detectives are dispassionate--they're just doing a job. Yeah, it might be kinda personal, a case that's gotten under their skin, like when Sherlock Holmes goes after Moriarty or Nero Wolfe feels someone has insulted his cooking, but often it's just another day at work for them.

Even knight-errants like Spenser or Jack Reacher (now wouldn't that be an awesome cage-match?) often don't exhibit a lot of passion when they get involved in a case. It's more a duty. They'll risk their lives, that's easy, but show any emotion about the outcome? Not so much. Of course they're studly men and wouldn't let their emotions go so far as passion, but still....

A little passion can spark a big fire in a reader. Take Carol O'Connell's Kathy Mallory. She's a sociopath (she admits it--she's proud of the fact that she doesn't let society's conventions get in her way). She's a computer whiz and reveals very little emotion. Other characters even wonder if she is a computer or at least Vulcan like Mr. Spock (jokes that Kathy soooo doesn't get).

Yet, the bad guys she chooses to go after, she is passionate about them. Not just bringing them to justice (although that will do in a pinch) but destroying them, eliminating them, squashing them like cockroaches under her bootheel until they squirm and cry out in pain that matches what they caused their victims....

This unemotional, logic-driven, anti-social woman shows her passion not through her emotions but through her actions. Through the badguys she chooses to hunt and the way she'll stop at nothing to bring them to justice. Her kind of justice.

Mallory thinks of nothing if she puts herself in danger along the way--she's expendable. She also often recklessly endangers the emotional well-being (and sometimes the physical well-being) of those closest to her because she's that blinded by passion. She's a force of nature.

So, in this corner, wearing designer bluejeans and a tailored jacket, Hurricane Mallory.

And going up against her? Well, I was going to send in someone like Reacher or Repairman Jack or maybe Spiderman or Archie Goodwin, just to see if he could make her laugh.....but then I remembered.

How could I forget? The guy who I fell in love with as a kid, the ultimate knight errant who also allowed himself to be passionate, to not only get involved or risk his life, but also reveal the depths of his emotions.

I'm talking, of course, about Travis McGee.

Now, I haven't read his books in decades, so maybe my memory is colored with sentimentality (hey, as a kid, I was in love with him--along with soooo many other heroes, anyone else remember Leslie Charteris' The Saint? Or Raffles? Or almost any of the guys from Ed McBain's 57th Precinct?)(yeah, I had a warped childhood, let's not go there, lol!) but I think Travis would make a good match for Mallory.

Hmmm....maybe afterwards, they might even get together? Who knows what could happen once that passion is sparked???

So who would you pair up--maybe not for a cage match, but as a fictional couple? Which duo do you think would have the most passion--in the bedroom and in the street, fighting crime?

Thanks for reading!

PS: We here at 7 Criminal Minds would like to nominate Jen at Jen's Book Thoughts for a Kreativ Blogger Award! Enjoy, Jen!!!

About CJ:
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels. Her debut, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), became a National Bestseller and Publishers Weekly proclaimed it a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller."

The second in the series, WARNING SIGNS, was released January, 2009 and the third, URGENT CARE, is due out October, 2009. Contact her at


Jen Forbus said...

Oh CJ! Well, before I go on about this question, first THANK YOU so much - to everyone - for the award. That's so special! It really means a lot to me. Can't wait to share it with everyone on my blog!! :)

O.k., now this question. I don't know who comes up with your panel questions, but this is a doosey!

If I was putting two protags in a ring, I'd probably want to put in two that I don't participarly care for - I wouldn't want to have to choose between two folks I love! :) Since I don't like to be snarky in front of God and everyone, I'll save my thoughts on who I'd put in the ring...

But matchin' up characters, now there's an interesting thought! I have been mullin' this one over all morning trying to figure out who I think would work together. It's been difficult, because most of my favorite male protags I want for myself! ;) But here goes: I wouldn't pair anyone with Dave Robicheaux. Love Dave...Dave needs a good partner, but bad things tend to happen to Dave's wives and girlfriends, so I'll spare anyone that fate. Reacher I wouldn't pair with anyone either. I'm not saying I don't like Reacher, but Reacher never sticks around. So, unless you're lookin' for the one-night-stand thing, Reacher isn't a good choice for a mate. I thought Karen Olson's Brett Kavanaugh might make a good partner for Tom Schreck's Duffy Dombrowski. I think each's quirkiness would mesh well. But, Al's always a factor in there. Al doesn't seem especially fond of women...

And I don't know if it would work, but I'd love to be a fly on the wall of a blind date with Robert Crais' Joe Pike and Craig Johnson's Vic (Victoria) Moretti. O.k., they aren't exactly the protags, but still... ;)

I may be back as I think more on this one. Ellie Hatcher is the one who's foremost in my mind...who would work well with Ellie????

CJ Lyons said...

Wow, great pairings, Jen! I'm a huge Joe Pike fan--you're right, he and Vic would make a great partnership!

And Dave Robicheaux, sigh, every woman would love to have him, but only if he provided extra life insurance and a life-time supply of free psych counseling, lol!!!

Enjoy your Kreativ Blogging Award, you deserved it!!!

Unknown said...

Ah, Travis got me through a particularly unjust part of my childhood, as well as setting the bar way too high for the future men in my life.

But it was the economist that I always wanted to get to know better.

How about Meyer vs. Bernacke or Buffet? What would Meyer have done to head off/recover from the current economic crisis?

Thanks for reminding me of one of my favoritist guilty pleasures.

CJ Lyons said...

Oh, Mysti, I'd forgotten all about Meyer!!! Would love to see him tackle ole Bernie and give him what-for!

Thanks for dropping by!

Shane Gericke said...

You deserve it immensely, Jen, most of all for supporting us critters here at Seven.

As for the cage match, they could have it on Travis McGee's boat. That would add a whole new dimension to the fight--rockin' and rollin'. Then, after, they could retire below and rock and roll a whole nother way.

Then Reacher, McGee and everyone else could pound on Madoff till he bleeds from both ears ...