What do we get when the counter culture is the culture of today? We get the Anti-Hero now the established and expected hero. Gone are the days of white hats vs. black hats. Everyone wears a black hat except for the guy just doing his job like the night security guard or average beat cop. He gets bumped off. I've been writing crime fiction now for about two years. My second published novel Division Six is a sci-fi/mystery sort of a book, and my latest novel Blood Oranges: A Chamberlain Cotton Novel just came out by Forker Media. So as a writer in the genre, I follow the blogs like Shot Gun Honey and read Needle. If you've seen my blog before I have a story up at Powder Burn Flash.
I can't get into the anti-hero, I just can't. So where has John Wayne gone? My characters are not glimmering white knights and the damsels they save are not always pure as the driven snow but they choose right from wrong at the start. In The Collectors, two brothers are security guards who get jobs as licensed debt collectors for legitimate mobs. Because debt collecting from loan sharks is legit now they have badges licensed by the state of Florida. A badge doesn't make you a hero or on the right side, I know that seeing as how I am currently waiting to hear if I got into the local police academy. That is where everything starts to get grey. Suddenly now we have the crook and the deadbeat team up to exact revenge on another crook and deadbeat and there is your modern crime thriller. Not in my books, not ever. I have to call in John Wayne with a giant pair of sheers and cut out the grey leaving only the black and white.
So maybe my books won't sell in these grey times of bad guys being the one you root for. We'll see in twenty years if the counter culture finds John Wayne and welcomes him back.