I have always been fascinated by morally ambiguous characters. Villains, anti-heroes and anti-villains have always been my favourite characters to read, watch and write. There’s something fun and more human about them. Typical heroes are easy to work out – they do what is right, for the good of all. But that’s not always the case for morally ambiguous characters. They work via their own compass, and that’s exciting. So obviously, when it came to writing my novel there was no question about the type of characters that would feature.
There are two main characters in my novel – Mary and Penny. Both women consider themselves to be doing what’s right, whether that’s for themselves or the good of everyone else. But both of them use less than heroic methods to get what they want. This leads to conflict between them.
When writing, I didn’t want there to be a clear “hero and villain” relationship between Penny and Mary. At certain points in the novel you feel for Penny, and believe Mary to be cruel and spiteful. At other points, its Penny who seems like she has gone too far. Both women have their good and bad characteristics. And that’s what I love about them.
Humans are never just good or evil, heroes or villains. People do good things, and they do bad things. A burglar can donate to charity. A nurse can cheat on their spouse. So why should the protagonist of a story be entirely good? Why should the villain be entirely bad? You should love and feel for both. And I hope I managed to get that across in The Log House.
You can find out more about The Log House by clicking here, or by following me on Twitter @bayleahart .