Can I just say that I suggested that title for the blog tour? hee-hee 😉
Today, I have the honor of welcoming Sharon Gerlach to Random Musings. She’s on a blog tour, supporting the release of her first published novella, Malakh. Which is awesome, by the way. Today, Sharon and I will be discussing nice guys versus bad boys, good versus evil, the inherent humanity of her characters, and character development.
Excerpt from the book…
HE HUNTS, SILENT AND UNSEEN
The string of mutilated bodies points to a madman, but the police are stymied. Trace evidence yields no DNA, animal or human. Male, female, young, old—the victims fall without a struggle to the killer in the shadows.
HIS NEXT VICTIM HAS BEEN CHOSEN
For a brief time, Suzanne Harper wielded supernatural abilities and super-human athletic prowess, but that was while she had been the lover of an angel. The murders point to her former lover, and the trail of bodies tells a terrifying tale: he’s working his way to her.
PREY BECOMES PREDATOR
Icarus, an angel who hunts those of his kind who have fallen from grace, enlists Suzanne’s help to stop the killer, for only one as close as a lover can anticipate his next move. Now she must reconcile her heart’s longing for her lost love with her sense of justice and honor, and she must do it fast … because the next murder could be hers.
About the book…
Malakh isn’t just a tale about good versus evil. It’s about repentance, redemption, restoration. There is little to no romance—both of Suzanne’s relationships are far in the past—because the focus of the story is Suzanne’s journey from brokenness to reparation and peace, even though it means bringing judgment and justice to a treasured lover.
Malakh is available in several electronic formats from Smashwords, Amazon, and Amazon.com, for a special promotional price of $.99 through April 30.
Purchase the book here for 99 cents through April 30th!
Nice guys or Bad boys?
Oh, I’m a sucker for bad boys, have been all my life. There’s just something so appealing about someone willing, ready, and unafraid to throw common sense and safety to the wind.
Which characters are the most fun to write?
Bad guys, without a doubt. There are no moral boundaries, no pesky conscience to elbow out of the way.
Who are your labors of love?
My biggest labor of love is my ultimate bad guy, Caleb Schaefer. He is still a masterpiece in progress, and I am quite pleased with him.
His counterparts – his nephew Aaron and Aaron’s wife Kimberly – are two more whose facets I’ve sculpted carefully and lovingly. They feel very real to me, and hopefully to my readers as well.
Note: Caleb Schaefer is the villain in the Wyckham House/Gothic/Sundown books. They are probably my personal favorite books Sharon has written. Unfortunately, they are still unpublished. (hint, hint, hint) 😉
Excerpt from Wyckham House:
Reckless and rash, that’s Kimberly Owens. From the impulsive act of marrying her high school sweetheart, which ultimately leads to her broken marriage and damaged heart, to her imprudent decision to search for her may-or-may-not-be-missing father in a tiny Pennsylvania town, her life has been punctuated by consequence and regret.
With no regard to the potential danger, armed only with a borrowed identity and a false sense of indestructibility, Kim probes into the mysteries of her father’s disappearance and of the stone mansion in the thick woods behind town.
So it really can’t be much of a surprise to Kim when she finds herself chained to an ancient altar in a house of the damned, waiting to be rescued by a man she shouldn’t love and who will, no doubt, finish the job of massacring her heart beyond repair. That is, if he manages to save her life before her captor ends it … or worse.
For there are things worse than death. <——-Best. Hook. Ever.
Alas, I digress…….
Physical characteristics that you consider inherently bad or good?
Ummm, not sure what you mean by that, but…as usual I will assign my own meaning. 😀 Generally when someone calls someone else “charismatic,” I think uh-oh, bad news! Which is why my favorite bad guy, Caleb Schaefer (in my paranormal series), chills me to the bone at the same time he’s so darn compelling and unforgettable.
Do you prefer a balance of good/bad in your heroes/heroines?
I don’t like perfect characters. We’re all flawed, make mistakes, make bad decisions, have flawed judgment. Why should my characters be any different? Who would relate to them if they were the paper embodiment of perfection?
In my fourth novel, one of the main female characters becomes the victim of her own impetuousness and ends up wrecking her own marriage. She knows she’s wrong, she knows she made a mistake, she knows it’s her fault, but can she bring herself to apologize? Nooooo!
Do the good guys always win? Should they?
The good guys don’t always win in real life. Therefore, they don’t always win in my fictional worlds. The truth of the matter is, you can only keep evil at bay; you can’t ever completely stop its influence or eradicate its existence. My stories are about the efforts to hold it at bay, and to keep from succumbing to its siren song.
Would you/could you kill off a character that you’re in love with simply for the sake of the plot?
Funny you should ask that. Yes, I could kill off a character I’m in love with. In fact, one of my all-time favorite characters is poised on the chopping block. But that’s a book I haven’t started writing yet.
Sometimes you have to kill off a treasured character—even a main character—to keep things realistic. People lose the ones they love all the time in real life, and to think that fictional life is any different isn’t being true and isn’t being fair to the readers. Not everything is happily ever after. You want happily ever after, best not read my stuff. lol
Is redemption attainable by your villains?
Oh, definitely. Even dastardly Caleb Schaefer has his regrets. Will I allow his redemption? That remains to be seen.
How blurry do the lines between good/evil become when dealing with angels as opposed to humans?
Actually, for me, the lines clarify rather than blur when dealing with angels. The good angels—these still in service and obedience to God—are obviously held to a higher standard, which makes Raum’s affair with Suzanne and his subsequent murderous spree a greater affront to the heavenly realm.
Demons, on the other hand—well, one can’t expect too much by way of good from them, and they rarely disappoint.
It was actually harder to write the angels because good and bad with them are so clearly defined. It’s much easier when dealing with humankind, who can be flawed and yet still be good; or can come across as pure as the driven snow and have a heart as black as sin.
Thank you, Sharon for these awesome answers. I know we’ve discussed villains versus nice guys previously, and I think we’re on the same page, as far as bad boys go. 😉
Sharon Gerlach is a Program Specialist II in a financial aid office at a community college. She is also a writer in her spare time, and has completed three novel-length manuscripts. Two more are in various stages of production. She loves very dark beer, tequila, and scotch, although not at the same time. Her husband, Gail, is her best friend, and she loves her life!
In Sharon’s words:
- I believe there is room in friendship for people to believe in different things without it affecting relationships.
- I collect antique teapots, kids, and cats.
- I have been writing since the age of 11. I didn’t complete my first novel until the age of 42. Go figure. Middle-age is my golden era.
- I am not afraid to get old. I am enjoying life more now than I did when I was younger. Beauty fades; wisdom shines.
Find Sharon Gerlach here:
“Let us go forth, the teller of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear.” William Butler Yeats, The Celtic Twilight