Broken souls fascinate me. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not into pure human suffering. Well, not out of a BDSM setting ;-P
One of the most interesting and gratifying aspects of being a writer is to access the human experience, play with the emotions and analyze the fabric of the character. Has he been abandoned as a kid, wandering the streets, building scars on his soul to survive? Is she a spoiled princess, trying to hide her lack of self-confidence with bling and attitude?
Too often we forget that each and every one of us has a story, a past, and for me, it’s the perfect place to start.
In the very first book of my Women of Purgatory series, To Fool an Assassin, I started with a former assassin at the end of her rope, forced into a crossroad where she must choose between accepting redemption and love or ending her life. When the past of Gabrielle formed in my mind, then, I could work with her imperfections, doubts, and pains throughout the story. Her evolution was as interesting as the plot itself.
In Wild Bastard, the character of Kai Jones looks pretty laid back at first, with his sunny beach bum side. What was fun with him was to see beyond that light and dig much deeper. He was an orphaned boy, raised by his grandmother, poor, ostracized, his only goal to join the army. Only when he met a girl on the beach, who would become his very first love, that those inner layers are exposed. When she disappeared, the pain pushed him into darkness.
Finding those shadow gems that reside in each character is thrilling for an author and an endless well of possibilities. So when you next read a book, check for those layers, scars, and shadows. You may fall in love with that broken soul too.