TRUST ME and The Villains

by Jeff Abbott on July 20, 2009

This will be a short entry, because I frankly don’t want to say much about the bad guys in TRUST ME (and because I’m trying to get a ton of work done before the book comes out). Can I buy more hours in the day? Where’s THAT on Craigslist?

Mouser (a man) and Snow (a woman) are probably the darkest villains I’ve ever created. They are vicious, cruel, selfish, calculating, and determined. They are characters who have made the worst possible choices in their lives.
At the same time, and this may sound strange, I feel sorry for them. I can hate them and what they do but I also see the twisted kernel of humanity that must have existed in them once. Every villain I create thinks, without doubt, that they are the hero or heroine of the story. They are the one in the right; they are doing what must be done; they are facing a truly rotten opponent (who would be the actual hero of the story). Snow and Mouser think they are fighting a war for what’s right in the world–their own comfort, or their own belief system. This is what fuels their every moment, and makes them such dangerous enemies for Luke.
Next up: the influences on the book–from nonfiction to movies.

    { 3 comments… read them below or add one }

    Kristan July 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Dunno why I was (pleasantly) surprised to see a female villain. But I was.

    Timothy Hallinan July 21, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Mouser and Snow — great names. And I like the fact that they’re fighting to preserve something they care about. I think when villains are cardboard, a lot of the time it’s because the writer hasn’t put as much at stake for them as he/she has for the hero. We obviously sign on more completely to a character when we understand what’s at stake and empathize with it, and that goes for villains as well as protagonists.
    Can’t wait to read the book.

    Jeff Abbott July 21, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Timothy: Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately what they care about is killing people who disagree with them, so I wouldn’t say you can empathize with their cause. They’re sick and sad people. At the same time, I always felt it was a tragedy that they had not applied their clear intellect and drive to something positive.

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: