Victoria Bylin’s Favorite Rebels!

victoria_bylin            I like men who swagger. When a man with an attitude enters a room, everyone knows it. Men of lesser confidence back down, and women look twice. I haven’t done an all-out outlaw for a hero yet, but I’m planning on it for the third book in the “Women of Swan’s Nest” series,” which is launching now with The Maverick Preacher.


            I thought I’d pass along some of my research. Well, it’s not exactly research in the academic sense. It’s daydreaming about the story and getting a feel for the characters, particularly the hero. While pondering this man–he doesn’t have a name yet–I’ve found myself looking at rebels in fiction and real life.


            No. 1 on my list is Johnny Cash. The man in black had a bad-to-the-bone swagger, and Walk the Line is one of my favorite movies. Later in life, johnnycashhe made a u-turn. The story of Nickajack Cave is legendary. It’s the place where he decided to give up some bad habits and become a new man. He did . . . but he didn’t stop swaggering.


       rhett     No. 2 is Rhett Butler. I haven’t seen Gone With the Wind in years, but I can still recall the scene where he and Scarlett are fleeing Atlanta and he kisses her. Talk about swaggering! It’s got to be one of the most romantic scenes ever. Even in the end, after he loses his little girl and is mellowed by grief, Rhett still has an inner strength. 


            The No. 3 slot goes to Bruce Springsteen for his music. His “Born to Run” CD is one of my favorites. The title track is a legend, and so is “Thunder Road.” Bruce grabs life by the shoulders and shakes it. I love that! It’s the same energy that settled the American West, the same boldness that gave us heroes and outlaws and Wild West legends.


            My No. 4 rebel is Joshua Blue, the hero in The Maverick Preacher. I had a blast writing this book. The title came to me in a blink. In the next blink, I saw Josh as plain as day in my mind. He’s a different kind of rebel. Unlike a man who’s always had a wayward streak, Josh was perfect to a hartleyfault. After getting knocked off his high horse, he becomes a man who’s not afraid to defy convention.


            The No. 5 rebel on my list has four legs, a tail that never stops wagging and an addiction to chewing socks. His name is Hartley and part Jack Russell Terrier. We adopted him from a pet rescue program and have been smiling ever since. He’s crazy. Telling him “no” is like issuing a dare. Swagger? This dog has plenty of it! He’s adorable and we love him for it.
vbylin            Who are your favorite rebels in fiction and real life?


Everyone who comments will be eligible for a drawing for a signed copy of The Maverick Preacher. I’m feeling a little rebellious myself right now. I’ll be giving a way three copies just for the fun of it!


To learn more about Victoria, visit her website:


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43 thoughts on “Victoria Bylin’s Favorite Rebels!”

  1. Rebels- Leads me to think of movies…
    Braveheart -William Wallace played by Mel Gibson leader of a strong group of Scots loyalists/rebels against the English.
    Star Wars- Hans Solo, Harrison Ford flies & fights for the Rebel resistance against The Empire
    Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Paul Newman & Robert Redford, rebels in the old West as bank robbers
    Finally, The Beatles shaking up the music industry in the early 1960’s

  2. Hi Laurie, What a great list! Hans Solo is cool indeed! Both my sons are Star Wars trivia buffs, and my youngest son loves “Braveheart.” I hadn’t thought of the Beatles, but they fit : )

  3. Good morning Victoria!
    In our house right now the swagger belongs to a kitten we adopted last summer. The whole family has notices the way he walks around like he owns the place. We are not imagining this as we adopted his brother too and he walks like a normal cat. Curious has gotten in so much trouble since we have gotten him that I told my husband I will never adopt another cat that walks like that.

  4. sounds interesting. I love Love Song historical romances. Love your last rebel: Hartley. We had a rebel as him but had to have her put down for health reasons. I am a dog lover. Nice article. Please include me in your drawing.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  5. Good morning, Vicki!

    Ah, we do love the rebels, don’t we? Yum! How about Fonzie in Happy Days? Or John Travolta in Grease?

    Gosh, I miss those kind of shows!

  6. I love this topic and every rebel you’ve mentioned I think, “YEAH, GOOD ONE, ME TOO.” But I’m am completely blank on rebels of my own.

    The one that came to me isn’t even what you’re talking about…MEN.

    Scarlet O’Hara. She was a real rebel. Ignoring all that ws proper and lady-like to run her business after the war. THAT girl was a rebel.

    I suppose Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon movies and Bruce Willis in the Die Hard Movies. The trouble loner. The reluctant hero.

    How about BATMAN. There’s a rebel for you. 🙂

  7. Hi Maureen, Your kitty cat sounds adorable! Cats can definitely swagger!

    Hi Abi, Before we adopted Hartley, we had an elderly Chihuahua-Corgi mix. He had a great personality, but I wouldn’t have called him a rebel. He actually obeyed us!

    Pam, ditto to Fonzie and his black leather jacket : ) What’s the line in the Bon Jovi song? Something about that “Steel Horse I ride” Modern day cowboys ride motorcycles : )

    And Mary, I think you’ve found the biggest rebel of all in Scarlett O’Hara. I heard the theme music for GWTW the other day and decided it was time to rewatch the movie.

  8. Hi Victoria! Thanks for sharing with us today. One rebel that popped into my mind is Scot Lachlan MacGregor from Love Me Forever by Johanna Lindsey. He definitely swaggered even when he first appeared in Man of My Dreams and tried to kidnap the lady!! From movies how about Hawkeye in Last of the Mohicans?
    Hartley looks so adorable, rebel or not!

  9. The first one that came to mind that wasn’t listed above was Steve McQueen. And in anything he played. And didn’t he star in The Rebel? Johnny Umall or something like that – the old memorary ain’t what it use to be lol. I’ve always like the bad boy. I married one but that’s another story and living with them is one too lol.

  10. Hi Victoria, what a great post. You guys have about mentions most of my favorite rebels. Rhett Butler was one of my all time favorites. I had never thought of Miss Scarlett being a rebel but she was to the max. I would love to set down and watch Gone With The Wind again. Mel Gibson was a rebel in a lot of his movies and also Robert Redford.

  11. Hi MarthaE, I love “kidnap” stories. They’re fun to write and fun to read, maybe because the heroes have such rebel tendencies.

    Hey, Jeanne! Steve McQueen is amazing! My husband recently bought “The Sand Pebbles.” Good movie … I’m thinking here . . . Steve McQueen must have done a western? I can’t think of one, though.

    Hello Quilt Lady, Mel’s an interesting mix of tortured and “rebel.” He’s got the most expressive eyes.

  12. Rebels. Hmm. Han Solo and Rhett Butler are a couple of my must watch over and over again heroes. As is Robin Hood… Errol Flynn or the latest BBC incarnations are my faves.

    I’m kinda like Mary, when trying to come up with my own… blank Saturday morning mind shows up.

  13. I love the character played by Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves. Oh, then again maybe I just like Kevin Costner.

  14. Good Morning to everyone,
    Who doesn’t love Kevin Costner? But Steve McQueen is truly a rebel. He did two Westerns that I am aware of: Tom Horn and Nevada Smith. Both tremendous. Rhett Butler is high on my list, too.

  15. Hi Lizzie, Robin Hood’s an excellent choice. Definitely a rebel!

    Hi Connie, The cover for “Maverick Preacher” definitely reflects the story. Josh is driven and troubled, at least at first. He’s a rebel, but in a good way. Sometimes people need to go against tradition : )

  16. Hi Colleen, Hartley’s crazy. We never know what he’ll do. My hubby and I were in Lexington, KY visiting family last week. Hartley–Mr. Crazy–rode the whole 10 hours on the floor of the backseat. He was sooo good! Most of the time he’s sneaking socks to chew : )

    Hello Stacey, Did you see “Walk the Line?” I love that movie.

    And hi to Mary, I’m sending my husband to Blockbuster for those two movies. I’ve never seen either one.

  17. Hey Vicki – as soon as I thought of rebel and swagger together, I pictured Fonzie.

    Then when my mind switched to the old westerns, Marshal Matt Dillon appeared. No, he wasn’t a rebel, but he had a swagger and he commanded attention wherever he went.

    But my all-time rebel with a swagger is Clint Eastwood because when he’s good, he’s good and when he’s bad he’s still good. Real good. Ya know?

  18. Hi Vicki!

    Welcome back to P&P! It’s always a treat to have you come visit. Your book has hooked me. I love stories about Old West preachers who pack a gun as easily as they carry a Bible.

    The rebel that comes to mind right now is Kevin Sorbo who played a preacher turned gunslinger after bad guys killed his wife and daughter. He was after revenge. I think the name of that movie was “Angel With a Gun.” Or something like that. I’ve watched it and “The Outsider” twenty or more times and never tire of it. Tim Daly starred in “The Outsider” and man could he swagger!! He had everyone sitting up and taking notice. Great rebel heroes.

  19. I dont know about them being rebels or not but they look good coming an going,are Tom Selleck an Sam Elliot,whewww,they are my favorites in westerns,an they seem to get better with age,or maybe im to the point that old men look good to me,lol,whatever the case may be,they look great to me!My husband says I need new glasses,but im thinkin why spoil a good dream,huh?

  20. Hi Anita, How could I have missed Clint! Talk about swagger! He’s the King of Swagger : )

    Hi Linda, The Outsider is still my all time favorite book. I love it. Loved the movie, too!

  21. Hi Victoria! Most of you guys have already mentioned some of the rebels I was thinking about. Hawkeye from Last of the Mohicans, Rhett Butler, and Errol Flynn from the movies Captain Blood and Robin Hood. Hartley is so adorable. What a cute little rebel! LOL! Thanks for sharing with us today.

  22. Oh I love Sam Elliott no matter what. I think RR as Sundance was a great rebel…and just mentally I envision Trace Adkins in that song I Got My Game On. I can see him strut in and own a room LOL.

    I also loved the Kevin Sorbo movie, watched it not long ago after VCR.

    Great cover, Victoria, and title. Almost an oxymoron LOL.

    Congrats on your books.

  23. Hi Vickie, I hear you on Sam Elliot. I loved him in “Tombstone.” He’s got a fabulous voice. My mom’s a big Tom Selleck fan. I think he’s more of a “best friend” type. Definitely handsome!

    Hi Deborah, Thank you for stopping by! P&P is the best blog around. It’s always fun to visit.

    And Tanya! You’re so right about Trace Adkins! His songs run the gamut from totally sweet to totally crazy.

  24. I’m listing these fellows by their “real” names because they wouldn’t portray rebels so well if they were not “real” rebels: Paul Newman, Robert
    Redford, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen. In books: all the Cynster males, although the females are not to be ignored!

    My Honey nominates the most rebellious rebel of all times, the “Rebel Without A Cause” himself: the late James Dean!!!

    Pat Cochran

  25. One more I forgot about is Lee Marvin in the original movie: Monte Walsh. Excellent. It is now on DVD. Tom Selleck was OK but Lee Marvin had the age to go with the time. Of course, Lee Marvin is a great one with a swagger, too.

  26. Hi Vicki,
    Just stopping by to say hello. Rebel #5 is adorable! And I agree with you about Rhett Butler!
    I can’t forget the first rebel for me, James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause. I think he lived his life much like that character, sadly though.
    Congrats on your book!

  27. My first choice would be Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice (I’m mainly thinking of the movie version with that hottie actor, Matthew Macfadyen). Oh goodness, he could swagger… It made me want to swoon. And then, he goes completely against the norms of his social class to marry beneath him, covering up for the youngest daughter who eloped to make it possible for all the girls to not be outcast and marriageable…even making it possible for Mr. Bingley to marry the older sister Jane as well… (Sheesh, I’ve just mutilated the story… but, it is probably familiar to many of you.) Anyway, at the end, when he comes “sauntering” through the early morning mist…and he tells Elizabeth, “I love…I love…I love you…and I never want to be parted from you.”

    Romantic Sigh!!

  28. Hi Pat, Yes to James Dean! He’d have made a great Old West cowboy. I’m hero-hunting for my next book. The hero’s going to be a bad-to-the-bone outlaw. Maybe he’ll look like James Dean?

    Hi Mary J, Lee Marvin is an amazing actor. He can steal a movie with just a look.

    Hello Charlene! I saw a TV special on James Dean. It showed the place where he died in that car accident. It was miles of nothing, a place where a driver could work up real speed. Talk about living on the edge!

    Hi Stephanie, You’ve perfectly described the appeal of a rebel for me . . . He’s someone who’ll break the rules for the right reasons. And he’ll do it with style.

    Waving at Estella! You’re in good company with James Dean : ) Definitely a cool guy!

  29. My first thought was James Dean. A few country singers that come to mind that are rebels are: Merle Haggard, Kris Kristopherson, Willie Nelson, and Tobie Keith.

  30. Wow, I think alot of commenters have mentioned most that I like, but John Wayne in The Quiet Man is my favorite swaggering Irish man. And Justin Timberlake is all swagger too.

  31. Hi Crystal, I love country music. I’d put Gary Allan in the rebel class. He doesn’t give many interviews, and his music has a edge. I like Josh Turner, too. He’s got a bit of a swagger, but I wouldn’t call him a rebel.

    Hi Val, No one swaggers like John Wayne! He defines the word!

  32. Rebels? Of course Rhett Butler–my first novel hero crush. Then there is Luke, bounty hunter with a heart, in One Wish by Linda Lael Miller. He was the bad boy that turned me on to western historicals. Someone mentioned Trace Adkins–being a tall woman, there’s nothing like seeing 6’5″ of swagger–so much fun to watch!

  33. Hi Victoria! My first thought was Rhett Butler and then James Dean. Lots of great rebels mentioned today. Thanks for the fun post!

  34. Rebels? Hmmm Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. Not so much because they swagger, but because they do what must be done in their own way and worry about the consequences later. I like the strong silent type – a sense of humor doesn’t hurt. I must have gone to the wrong part of your site earlier. Posted on your blog I guess because it doesn’t show up here.

  35. Hmm… I’m a big fan of Han Solo too, and Harrison Ford’s other roles–Indiana Jones (Mr. Rule-Breaker–definitely not a play-it-by-the-book kind of archaeologist!) and Jack Ryan (nothing’s keeping this president down!) 😉

  36. Steve McQueen definitely had a swagger, I could watch “Wanted Dead or Alive” for hours just watch him “Swagger”.

    Love Sam Elliot, what a voice!

    Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing now that was a Rebel and the whole swagger family.

    I agree on the Tom Selleck thing he is definitely a “best friend” type.

  37. I agree with many of you; Sam Elliot is awesome and Patrick Swayze, oh la-la. What rebels and I love them. I watch DD over and over. Now I watch Swayze on the tv show The Beast. Has he ever changed.

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