Sometimes a writer creates a story around a character whom she loves or admires. We really have to like our protagonists since we spend so much time with them; if they become weak, whiny or cliched, we just may grow to hate them. And it’s hard to write a story around a character you can’t stand. There has to be some redeeming value.
But our antagonists. . .well, that’s a different story altogether. We can hate those characters. They’re supposed to be nasty, shallow and/or dark, and so we can justify making them do horrible things.
When I begin writing FEARLESS, I already knew a lot about Tasmyn. She’s smart and funny, insightful and kind. Her biggest flaw at the beginning of the series–and one she is just beginning to overcome by the end of the first book–is insecurity about herself and fear of her own abilities. Tasmyn started out as a mix of people I know, and yet she evolved into a completely different person, one with her own flaws and strengths. But still. . .I wasn’t necessarily surprised by her choices, by who she is.
Nell, on the other hand, was an utter shock. In my mind, she was devious, evil and completely without any hope of redemption. But as I begin to write the story, gradually I realized that Nell had. . .depth. She had a history. When I found out why she behaved the way she did, I began to understand her. I didn’t like her actions, and I knew she was making bad choices. But the more I wrote, the clearer she became. And pretty soon, I knew that Nell’s story is going to eventually transcend the King series. She has more to say, and she is going to need to say it in a setting beyond King.
So someday, Nell will tell her story. In the meantime, though, I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Nell while she’s still in King.