“What happens afterwards, when the heroics are over?” Interview with Author Olga Godim
To inspire hope and courage, I dedicate Monday posts through the months of March and April to authors and professionals on the subject of heroes, historically defined, and also the transformation in today’s society. I like to think of this term as the Everyday Hero. Here today, I have fellow author Olga Godim, answering three questions on the hero topic. Her answers inspire me.
[Erika] What is your definition of hero (historically or in today’s world)?
[Olga Godim] Heroes come in two varieties: public and private. A public hero is the one people know about. He performed an act of courage in the service of others. The first responders on site on 9/11 – firefighters and the police – trying to save as many lives as they could, come to mind, or a soldier risking his life to get a comrade out of a danger zone. They are the people songs and novels are written about. They are the ones everyone interviews. But what happens afterwards, when the heroics are over, the songs forgotten, and life goes on? Sometimes it leaves those heroes behind because of their injuries or their non-conformity. Of course, they are remembered on anniversary dates, but on all the other days of the year, they are just neighbors, family, regular guys and gals. Sometimes they are even not very nice, because heroic deeds require certain personality traits that are seldom in demand in peaceful life.
The private heroes are trickier. A woman afflicted with a deadly disease but still trying to live her life with dignity and kindness is a hero nobody knows about. No songs, no interviews, but her website and blog are uplifting and have many followers. She is always generous with praise and support of others and she seldom complains. Nobody outside her family knows how much every step, every typed post cost her. I bow to this kind of heroism with deepest admiration, much more so than to the public type. It takes so much courage not to become bitter, not to succumb to the ravages of pain, to go on despite those trials day after day, with no hope of ever getting better and no public recognition. This is heroism of the highest order. And before you ask, yes, I have a specific person in mind, one of my online friends, but I won’t embarrass her by pointing a finger.
[Erika] How does your hero fit the definition?
[Olga Godim] The protagonist of my anthology story, Captain Bulat, doesn’t fit any definition of a hero. She isn’t one. She is a regular person, doing a job she was hired to do, mainly to get paid, like all of us. She is a Finder in a fantasy world, and someone hired her to find a lost hero, Captain Bulat. He was a valiant war hero whose heroic deeds warranted a statue, but he disappeared 25 years ago, before she was born, just after the war ended. Now, my heroine is searching for him, and she needs courage and compassion to deal with a heap of problems arising during her search. It seems not everybody wants the lost Captain Bulat to be found.
[Erika] Why did he or she fall? Did they find their way back?
[Olga Godim] When I decided to write a story for this anthology, I took its theme literally. For me, lost and fallen are not synonymous. My hero is lost, not fallen: nobody knows where he is. Searching for him is the gist of my story.
Anthology Story: “Captain Bulat”
When one of the most powerful men in the city hires the young Finder Altenay to find Captain Bulat, a hero of the last war, she is stumped. The war ended and the hero disappeared 25 years ago, before she was born. How can she find the lost hero now, after all these years, when her Finder’s magic keeps floundering? How can she stay alive, when some unknown persons don’t want her to succeed?
About Olga Godim
Olga is a writer and journalist from Vancouver, Canada. Both her children, a son and a daughter, have already flown the nest. To sustain her nurturing instincts, she now collects toy monkeys. She has over 300 monkey figurines in her collection. As a journalist, Olga writes personal profiles of the local artists, actors, and musicians. As a fiction writer, she prefers fantasy. In the past few years, her fantasy and magic realism short stories have been published in multiple internet and print magazines. Her book SQUIRREL OF MAGIC is a collection of urban fantasy short stories. Her novels EAGLE EN GARDE and ALMOST ADEPT are parts of her ongoing sword-and-sorcery fantasy series. In 2015, EAGLE EN GARDE won EPIC eBook Award in the Fantasy category.
How to Find Olga Godim?
Questions: Ever searched for something frantically and never found it until the moment passed, you no longer needed it and it appeared? Who’s your private hero?
Thank you for stopping in today. My Everyday Hero interview didn’t pan out this week as my attempts to contact this individual didn’t get through in time. Hopefully, my interview idea for next week comes through. And Olga, I loved your post and your definitions on Hero.