I like bad guys. Not in real life. In books. Love, love, LOVE ‘em! They fascinate me and I guess that’s because deep down inside of me, there’s a bad guy (or gal) lurking. I just don’t let him (or her) out. I know I’m not the only person who feels this way, otherwise people like Thomas Harris, Dean Koontz and James Patterson wouldn’t have an audience. There’s just something so cathartic about getting into the mind of a seriously disturbed individual without having to bear the consequences. It’s why we like horror movies and novels like Silence of the Lambs, which was made into a very scary movie.
I have found, however, that there’s one thing I like even better than reading about bad guys or watching them on the big or small screen and that is creating them. I’ve written a few novels and even though I’m an avid and eclectic reader, when I sit down to write I just naturally gravitate to the dark side. There is nothing more fun than coming up with a totally horrible person and bringing that person to glorious, bloody life!
Take for instance, Albert Crawford, one of the protagonists of my newly released novel Dreams and Nightmares. I had Albert down before I ever put word one on the page. He was a character in a novel that didn’t gel but I’d come up with this wonderful character and I just couldn’t let him go. Eventually, a light bulb went off in my head and I found the perfect home for Albert and his band of miscreants.
Albert Crawford had a face that looked as if it had been pressed upon glass. His nose, larger than most, had been broken in a bar fight some years back and it spread across his face like silly putty left too long in the sun. Thick, protruding lips opened in a perpetual pout exposing teeth that looked more like they belonged to some feral animal than to a human being. His smile, an infrequent thing, was literally wolfish and had the tendency to scare people; except for Ruby Wheeler, his biker girlfriend, who seemed to thrive on danger and what she referred to as Albert's "edge". At one time, his mother had purported to love that face and she'd promised the boy she would get the money to have his teeth fixed. The promise, like so much of what she said, was a lie. Empty words uttered by an empty woman. She was dead now, at the hands of her loving son, although this was a fact known only to him and Ruby. His eyes, his best feature, were a shade of blue that bordered on turquoise. They would have been beautiful, were it not for the hardness in them that chilled the soul of anyone unlucky enough to become the object of their scrutiny. To compensate for his lack of physical beauty, Albert worked out like a demon and had a physique that could easily have been the envy of Conan the Barbarian.
This is a guy you don’t want to meet in a back alley. For that matter, you don’t want to run across Ruby Wheeler either, because she might just be a bigger badass than Albert and that’s saying something!
I’ll let you in on a secret. When I’m writing some of the awful things these people do, it never fails to strike me funny. I mean, I will sit there and spew the worst of the worst on my computer screen—scare myself half to death sometimes—and then I’ll read over what I’ve just written and laugh (sometimes hysterically) because I can’t believe that what I just wrote came from some fevered part of my brain that otherwise would never see the light of day. It certainly does alleviate any tension I may have built up in the course of my everyday life.
If you like bad guys (and gals) too, then I invite you to check out how Ann Werner does them! For only 99 cents—not even a buck!—you can meet the gang in Dreams and Nightmares. It’s just been released on Kindle and also on Smashwords for you Nook and other e-reader fans. My advice: pull the covers up over your head so the bad guys don’t get you!