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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Creating Dark Characters

We'd like to welcome PAN author Cynthia Eden to the our blog for the first installment of Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter's Published Authors Network guest blogs. Check back every Wednesday for a new PAN guest.

In a little over a month, my next release, MIDNIGHT’S MASTER, will be on bookstore shelves. This was such a fun book to write—but also a very challenging one. You see, this book is the third in a trilogy, and in the previous books, well, my hero wasn’t exactly one of the “good” guys. In fact, he’d killed in other books.

So my challenge with this dark character? Redeeming him. Making him into an anti-hero that the heroine and reader could fall for, while still keeping the dark edge that he’d acquired.

Now, please, don’t get me wrong. I love dark characters—I’m a long time fan of Spike and to me, he is one of the best dark characters out there. But dark characters do pose a challenge. You have to be careful and not go too dark with them.

For the other authors and readers out there, what is too dark for you?

And, in case you’re curious, here’s the blurb for my dark story, MIDNIGHT’S MASTER (available 6/30/09 from Kensington Brava):


Tall, dark, and formidable, Niol Lapen is the last demon on earth most people would ask for a favor, yet the sexy little reporter who wanders into his club dares to do exactly that. Holly Storm already knows too much about his kind, and Niol has no wish to help her get in deeper over her head. But working alongside her may be the only way to stop a killer, even as it ignites a primal desire unlike anything he’s known.

Holly has seen firsthand what Niol is capable of, but that doesn’t frighten her nearly as much as her body’s instinctive reaction to him, or the wild, fierce passion that would tempt her to follow him through hell itself. Something evil and relentless is prowling the streets of Atlanta. And as Holly’s search leads her into danger that even Niol could never have predicted, she’ll uncover a secret that could rip her world apart….


Happy Reading!
Cynthia Eden
MIDNIGHT’S MASTER—Available 6/30/09
Play on the dark side…


Barbara Monajem said...

I think deliberate cruelty is where I'd draw the line. It's hard to say for sure, though -- every time I think up a bad quality, a situation where a similar character has been redeemed pops into my head. It's fascinating what writers can do to change a baddie into a goodie.

Cynthia Eden said...

I love seeing what writers can do, too, Barbara. It's always interesting to see the twists and turns that characters take.

Lisa Kessler said...

I always think back to Lestat and he was often cruel and even went so far as to turn a 6 year old child into a vampire and teach her to kill. Yet he is still the hero most readers of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles yearn to hear from.

I guess depending on how well you handle it, you can coax readers into guilty pleasures of loving the bad guys... :)

Good luck with the new book!


Ella Drake said...

I think the last redeemed antihero I read was Susan Grant's Reef in How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days. This was a believable character because he wasn't cruel in his previous life, and there were extenuating circumstances that made him the bad guy in the previous books.
I think it's all in the motivation for the character.

Midnight's Master looks fantastic!

Cynthia Eden said...

Hi, Lisa! Oh, Lestat is such a good example--thanks for bringing him up! Definitely a dark character, but you're right, fans did enjoy him.

Thanks, Ella!! And I so agree with you--I definitely think it is all in the motivation for the characters.