Sunday, February 13, 2011

When Is A Hero Too Bad?


A good creepy mystery and dangerous villain. Or even two. What could be better? My love of these stories started with Poe and Lovecraft, progressed to King and Straub, and finally, I discovered Barbara Michaels. Danger, the supernatural, and a romance? This was definitely better!

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that when I started writing years later, suspense and the paranormal worked their way into my plots. And the more I wrote (and read) the more fascinated I became with contradictions in heroes/heroines and villains. No one is all good or all bad. I started to wonder just how bad could I make the good guys without making them irredeemably evil?

This was the idea behind my demon hybrid series, which starts with Kiss of Darkness. With real demons trying to invade the world and the two species who are supposed to defend humanity at war with each other, how far would you go to protect it? One group of humans makes the ultimate sacrifice by binding their souls with the souls of demons, a secret ritual given to them during the dark days of the Crusades. They’re part good, part evil, and all deliciously bad. ;)

This bond comes with a steep price, however. Ultimately, they all will give into the evil joined with their souls and become the very thing they fight. Unless they find someone to save them. One person who loves them enough to join into a blood bond that will stabilize the hybrid’s soul. In the Order’s world, the end is simple: death, rogue, or mate.

It makes for great angst to write. I do love a good tortured hero/heroine! What about y’all? How dangerous do you like your good guys? Who are some of your favorites? I’ll choose one commenter for a free ebook of my new Carina Press release, Kiss of Darkness.

Loribelle is a former Army MP who traded in her combat boots for motherhood, flip flops, and all the Diet Coke she can drink. (She almost misses the combat boots.) She’s the author of more than 20 books none of which her children are allowed to read. Ever. You can visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or join her on Facebook.


ChrisS said...

I like reading about bad/evil guys..especially when they are tall dark and handsome. It's the angst and the danger that is exciting. I think there is some bad in all of us. It's the balance between good that keeps us on the right path. I do think the line between evil and being too evil would be crossed when irreparable and cruel harm was done to an innocent. I don't feel there can be redemption inn this case. Wish I could think of an example, but guess that none of the bad guy characters I have read about have ever crossed that line for me.

Nicola O. said...

I have definitely read books that skirted this line too closely for my comfort, or the hero tipped right over. Larissa Ione's series was a bit like that for me-- not the individual character so much (I only read the 1st one) but the fact that he was "good" when his world was set up for his race to be evil. I couldn't quite buy it, it was too contradictory.

Anne Stuart rides this line very closely; it's kind of her trademark I think. Her historical trilogy last fall had 2 that worked for me and one that really bothered me - and based on a little web-skimming, that appears to be the favorite in general.

I'm also a bit bothered by the notion that a person or character can be irredeemable, so I keep reading to see if the author manages the redemption in a believable way. Therein lies the victory!

Callie Croix said...

Hi Loribelle! Congrats on your latest release. And a former MP? Boy, would I love to have coffee with you!

Most of my favorite books feature tortured/tormented heroes, so I'm with you on that one.

Cathy M said...

I agree with Nicola, Anne Stuart's heroes are probably the darkest that I've read. She somehow makes what would normally be an unredeemable character, into a believable love interest.

Loribelle Hunt said...

Cathy and Nicola, I love Anne Stuart too! I also hate to think that no one is ever irredeemable!

Were you in the Army, Callie? It had a blast those years. :)

Chris, I agree! We have some good and bad. Guess that's why I love the bad guy heroes so much lol!

Stephanie said...

This kind of relates to Christine Feehan's Dark series. The Carpathians have special powers and start off good, but they need to find a mate so that they do not give into their blood lust and turn evil. The good ones have to fight the ones that have turned while still holding back their own urges until they find their companion.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com

Loribelle Hunt said...

I hadn't thought about it, Stephanie, but you're right! Lara Adrian's Breed series is another one that does something similar. I love Feehan and Adrian. ;)

Diane said...

Never is a hero too bad if he is doing for the right person with the right intentions and short of murder.

Loribelle Hunt said...

I agree completely, Diane!

Loribelle Hunt said...

Thanks to everyone who came by yesterday! I picked a name at random for a copy of Kiss of Darkness. Congrats Nicola! Just email me at lori @ and I'll get it to you!

Nicola O. said...

Oh wow! Made my day! Thank you1

donnas said...

Congrats on the release! Sounds great, looking forward to reading it soon.