If any of you have read my books, London Dusk or Tijuana Nights, you will know that there is nothing I love more than writing about the bad guys. I have this innate fascination in the psychology as to what drives people to do certain things, or behave in a certain way. Perhaps I should have been a psychologist in my professional life, but I think writing about baddie characters is much more fun. A lot of people can’t understand how assassins can be good people, but my characters within The Nights Series are essentially good people. But something drove them all to do what they do. They all walked their own pathway.
And then there are the baddies in my books, the truly scary characters that I hope my daughter never gets to meet.
Unlike a lot of other people, I don’t believe that evil tendencies are bred within a person. I think that yes there is probably a genetic pre-disposition within that person, but I also believe that there are triggers within their lives that flip the switches. They might be the smallest of switches, like pulling the wings off bugs when they were children, or developing obsessive characteristics that appear harmless to begin with. But all of these things eventually compound, and before they know it – they believe that it’s actually okay to do these things. Their boundaries extend beyond what a normal person would do, and psychologically, things get out of control even further.
When I was writing Tijuana Nights, I had to really gather some depth and understanding as to why someone would join the Cartel life, and why they would want that. I know that for a lot of people, Cartel life provides a family and some sort of stability. For others it’s about power, money, and status. Sometimes, it’s just because they can, and that’s the life outcome they want.
Some people who have had particularly severe triggers in their life, choose a path that is completely incomprehensible to others. These are the sort of characters (contract jobs) that my fictional Noctem Assassination team choose to take on. As scary as it is, I actually enjoy developing the characters that my other characters will assassinate.
No one is born evil. There is always something that triggers those characteristics. And the scariest thing is – we all have them.