I love a tortured hero. Ever since I first read Catherine Cookson's The Girl as a teenager and fell in love with Ned Riley, I've been a sucker for them. Ned was a classic – moody, unreadable, but passionate and utterly devoted to Hannah through good and bad. Can any of us really say we don't have a soft spot for the bad boy with the heart of gold?
My Brides of Darkness novellas have let me really dig in and write some bad boy/tortured heroes. It's a world of curses and magic, full of mysterious alpha males and the women they fall for. My newest addition to the series, BOUND BY NIGHT, features Daghan, a cursed monk seeing redemption, and Adeline, a woman fleeing an arranged marriage and determined to win her freedom. I loved writing them together. In a short story, you maybe can't explore your characters as deeply as you'd like, but I hope I did a good job of showing these two lost souls coming together (occasionally literally as well as figuratively!). I like that Adeline is able to help Daghan start to overcome his dark past and offer him hope for the future. And I like that Daghan is determined to protect Adeline and help her find the freedom she wants.
A good tortured hero, for me, has to be seeking redemption, you see. He has to be able to move past the angst and pain and find love and happiness again. In a short story, it isn't always possible to give a clear-cut happy ending (and actually I like a little ambiguity in my short fiction), but in BOUND BY NIGHT there's the promise of happiness for both Daghan and Adeline. I think he ends the story a little less tortured than he starts it – I think that's what we all want for our brooding bad heroes, right?!
Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once. Find out more at http://naomijay.blogspot.co.uk/ , on Twitter at @naomi_jay, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/naomijclark