Villains, Heros and Heroines

In 2005, the cold reality of violent domestic abuse portrayed in a film propelled me into writing fiction. Since then, I figured out that every villain has a wound and showing that wound incites some level of sympathy or, at least, understanding.  No one illustrates this better than Phillip Roth, whose characters are despicable but I still can’t put his books down (if I can summon the courage to pick them up). I’ve been making my way through Philippa Gregory’s historical novels about the the Kings and Queens of England and their courts. Her treatment of Katherine of Aragon, in particular, paints a very complex portrait of a villainess who, despite her devout religious beliefs, descended into a personal hell and brought as many along with her as she could.

Two of my urban fantasy short stories feature villains as protagonists, and they were very difficult to write. I make my…

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