Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fraterfamilias by Peter Ferrer

We want to hear about the bad guys, bad gals and villains in your book. Even if you don't have a murderer, thief or other "bad guy" there should be some negative force.

Who causes friction is the story?
The most dangerous character in the story is a Homicide cop named Charlie Rains. He's in a bad place in life, which makes him vulnerable to manipulation by someone very, very scary who wants him to gather information about one of the book's main protagonists, Alan Kedward. But Charlie also finds himself sympathizing with Alan. It puts him in a tug of loyalties between his blackmailer and Alan that endangers everyone.

Do you prefer bad guys or bad gals?
Bad gals, definitely. I want to read about tough gals who are willing to do bad things to get what they want, just like men. Do the bad things outright rather than manipulate men into doing them or dither over whether or not to do something bad that needs to be done.

How do you use your bad guys?
I have never believed in "villains", per se. In real life, everyone is the hero of their own story and the villain of their story is whoever tries to stop them from doing or getting what they want in life. Alan Kedward, for example, is trying to cover up for his brother, Paul Farrell, who murdered four people in Paris. So, depending on whether the POV belongs to Alan or the investigators pursuing his brother, he's either a good guy or a bad guy. Sure, he's in a lot of the book and a lot of the book is from his point of view. But that was true of the villains of Eye of the Needle and Day of the Jackal, too.

Do you enjoy writing the bad guys or do you find it difficult?
No, it's a fun challenge. You just keep in mind that no matter how scuzzy this person is, that person is the hero of his or her own story. It's the effect of his or her actions on others in the story that determines whether or not he or she is a villain. You should never write a character with whom you can't sympathize. It backfires and makes the reader dislike you for betting on the character. There's nothing more annoying than an insufferable protagonist.
And anyway, most of my protagonists are pretty bad, depending on how you look at them.

Whether you enjoy writing them or hate writing them, we'd like to know why you feel that way?
I think that people who are backed into a corner don't act "nice", and that a lot of times, people can do horrible things to others under the cover of being nice and polite. I find that the underdogs who have to do "bad" things to survive are far more fascinating than clean-cut heroes who don't have to question the rigid moral codes by which they judge themselves and everyone around them.

Who is your favorite bad guy in any of your books?
I'd have to say Charlie Rains. He's wonderfully conflicted. He's only a bad guy in this story. Doesn't mean he'll stay a bad guy. He's no Renfield in Dracula. The guy isn't weak, just in a bad place. He's capable of redemption.

Which bad guy and which book are they in?

Who is your favorite fictional bad guy -- that's not in your books?
Brian de Bois-Guilbert in Ivanhoe and Lucifer in Paradise Lost. Weren't they gloriously bad?

Is there anything else about your bad guys that we need to know? Feel free to share.
Keep an eye on them. They don't always stay bad. The good guys don't always stay good, either. It keeps things interesting.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?

Thank you for telling us about your bad guys. We love to meet the "evil ones".
You're welcome!


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