Last Sunday I did a radio interview and had an amazing time answering questions from readers and friends. There were so many questions that I didn’t really have time to answer them as well as I would have liked. I thought I’d tackle a few here on the blog and get a bit more in-depth. So, we’ll start with one that was asked by Rachel. She said that Victor Kalinski was a marmite character – which for those like me who may not have never heard the term before means he’s either loved or loathed – and did I set out to write him that way?
You bet I did! Victor wasn’t my first “Love them or Hate them” type of character, though. The first one of those was Viviana Land, the leading lady in Pink Pucks & Power Plays, book #1 in the To Love a Wildcat series. Viv is a bit self-serving to say the least. She’s brash, stubborn, and a bit selfish. Did I mean for her to be that way? Yep! I love a character that you have to dig into to see the good because in real life not everyone is sweet as butter almond cookies.
People are complex. Some are nice, some not. Viviana and Victor are a couple of complex characters who don’t make loving them easy at first. Thank goodness Dan and Alain took the time to get to know the good person under the hurt and fear.
You have to peel away layers to get to know the real Viv and Vic. They don’t make liking them easy. They’ll use humor or insults to keep people at bay to keep their hearts safe. And I think that makes them far more interesting than bland, old, vanilla Mary-Jane Goody-Two-Shoes or Tad Heartthrob. The fastest way to put me off a book is to have the protagonist be too sweet and innocent. I like gritty characters filled with flaws that hide a good heart buried deep, deep down. Characters like Victor and Viviana.
And yes, I have gotten plenty of bad reviews because of how Victor and Viv act. I won't apologize for them because they are who they are. Also, if Vic heard me apologizing for him being him he'd boot me in the backside!
What about you? Do you like a deeply flawed protagonist? Or do you prefer they be squeaky clean and pure as the driven snow? Let me know down in the comments.