Monday, February 10, 2014
Heartbreakers Blog Tour Day 2: Author Jeri Smith-Ready
Do you prefer writing the good guy or bad guy?
Latoya, thanks a TON for having me on your blog! I really appreciate you taking the time to come up with questions for all of us authors.
To answer your question: I love writing good guys having moments of badness and bad guys having moments of goodness. I’m a huge fan of the anti-hero and anti-heroine, characters who are in bad-guy roles because they’ve made terrible choices in the past and are paying the consequences now. A great example is Tony Soprano. Anti-heroes might not be 100% bad (no one is, after all), but unless they completely overhaul their lives and make huge sacrifices, they’ll never get out of that role. Usually they’re not willing to pay that price. The most they can do is occasional good deeds, or love those who are very close to them. It’s deliciously tragic.
I guess I wrote the ultimate anti-hero in my first novel, Requiem for the Devil, where Lucifer falls in love for the first time in his ten-billion-year existence. It doesn’t make him a good guy by a long shot, but he starts to question the value of evil for evil’s sake. He is willing to pay an enormous price to change himself, but he doesn’t realize it’s not all under his control. He doesn’t get to determine the price he must pay.
Is there a scene in one your books that just makes your heart melt for the characters? What is it?
There’s a simple, sweet scene on a swing set in This Side of Salvation between David and his girlfriend, Bailey. In the previous scene, she found out that his parents are part of this cult that believes the Rapture will happen on a certain date (which unfortunately coincides with prom night). But in the scene before that, she and David said “I love you” to each other for the first time. So despite all the craziness going on with his parents, David is really happy at this moment. He and Bailey eat Popsicles and make up this silly fantasy about taking a cross-country RV trip together to see the world’s second-biggest ball of twine (long story). For a few minutes, he lets himself believe that happiness is possible.
I don’t know what it is--it’s not a hot kissing episode or a super dramatic breakup--but there’s something about the swing set scene that just makes me sigh and go, “Oh yeah. That is real.”
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