When Being Bad is Sooo Good!
By Nancy Gideon
Maybe it’s just me, but I always find the strength of a book or movie depends upon the depth and quality of the villain (Hello, Loki!). In fact, I’m sometimes guilty of liking that charmingly deadly bad guy even more than the hero, because they are . . . complicated. I love complicated. Something about dark and dangerous rings my bells, probably stemming back to my love affair with Barnabas Collins and wondering why on earth Scarlett could prefer wimpy Ashley Wilkes to Rhett Butler (silly girl!).
Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name . . . a hero with an unapologetic bad guy ‘tude, changed everything about how I looked at heroes. He’s a villain who can only be called the hero because all the good guys are dead, have run off or are cowering and the villains are the worst of two evils. The anti-hero was born. Tough, self-centered, ruthlessly cool, and doing good deeds only because they helped his own agenda before he rides off into the sunset. Spaghetti Westerns became my meal of choice and I filled up on them. To feed that addiction, I discovered two more favorites in Quentin Tarantino and Elmore Leonard (my Michigan homeboy!). Hero or villain is an ambiguity in their works. The ‘hero’ is a villain—a robber, a thug, a wiseguy, a hitman, but you root for them anyway and want them to succeed. They’re complicated. And I love complicated. True Romance, Get Shorty, even my can’t miss TV favorite Justified (Come on! Who doesn’t love Boyd Crowder?) are so compelling because the complexity of the characters makes you forgive them when they cross the line or like Raylan Givens, straddle it. In fact, you can’t wait until they step over that right/wrong straight and narrow. Blade, Mad Max, The Punisher . . . we’re not looking for that heart of gold in them. We’re in it for the tarnish, because they’re willing to do things that others are afraid to because it needs to be done. And who does it better than a gun toting, cuss word flipping, my way or the highway anti-hero. Oh, baby. Who am I gonna call? Not my accountant. Not Alan Alda and his Type B warm and fuzzy friends. Get me one of those guys.
The great thing about writing fiction is the ability to bend reality. I mean, who would really want to bring one of these law-breaking psycho Neanderthals home with any hope of rehabilitating them? Fiction is a wonderful thing! The reason I love writing paranormal romance is the power to take that dark, fierce anti-hero and semi-house break him into a happily-ever-after. I love writing about that complicated man (or beast) who is walking a dangerous, unredeemable bad guy tightrope until the right heroine comes along to appreciate his complexity and, if not tame him, at least put a leash on him. The heroes in my “By Moonlight” shape-shifter series have done bad things, have dark pasts, have deep scars and sometimes don’t realize how broken they are until they’re confronted by their focus-altering love for the heroine. They may break rules, break laws, break legs, but they can bear breaking that strong heroine’s heart. Ahhhh, I love fiction. It’s complicated. And the fact that it’s a romance guarantees that there’s no walking off into the sunset . . . at least not alone.
SEEKER OF SHADOWS is the sixth book in my “By Moonlight” shape-shifter series for Pocket. My hero Jacques LaRoche is, you guessed it, walking that line as a man with no past and hard choices to make because someone has to. Here’s a peek:
“Rich and complex. Gideon delivers. Enticing new dimensions to the Shifter world keep things fresh (with) well-crafted prose and page-turning tension” – Publishers Weekly
How can he trust his future to the woman who stole his past?
Shifter club owner, Jacques LaRoche is fiercely protective of his freedom. Stripped of his memories of a former life, he instinctively longs for the mate stolen from him. Until a mysterious visitor from the North stirs desire in a heart he thought belonged to another.
Pursuing an unexpected key to her research, Chosen geneticist, Susanna Duchamps risks discovery in New Orleans when her presence ignites a deadly clan confrontation. Forced to choose between the rediscovery of forbidden passion or the fate of a species, can she risk all to reclaim the love of the man she’s never forgotten? Or will she have to betray him once again in order to save the secret she protects?
If he knew the truth, would he still claim her?
"This dark and seductive story is rife with the delicious possibility of a happily-ever-after for an unlikely pair. Conflict keeps things exciting and plunging forward as the plot twists and turns. Don't blink, the book will be over before you know it." Romantic Times Book Reviews
The next installment of the series, BETRAYED BY SHADOWS comes out 12-18-12 as a Pocket e-exclusive. My current work in progress, PRINCE OF SHADOWS had me obsessed with a new anti-hero every bit as dark and dangerous and complicated as Max Savoie, so forgive me for running cuz I can’t wait to get back to it!
Nancy Gideon is the author of over fifty novels ranging from historicals and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormals (with a couple of horror screenplays on the side), all featuring, you guessed it, dark, dangerous heroes. She’s a legal assistant by day and feeds a Netflix addiction by night. Find out more about SEEKER OF SHADOWS and the “By Moonlight” series at http://nancygideon.com