Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Bad Good Guy (Guest Post by Gabrielle Bisset)

Thank you, Erin, for having me here today at Pagan Spirits. The other day one of my friends posted at her blog that my character Varek, the hero in my new novel Stolen Destiny, is her favorite “bad/good guy.” In truth, I think she hit the nail right on the head with that since he’s a man who’s spent three lifetimes in prison for a crime of passion he committed. Her comment got me thinking about my heroes and how they often have a lot of bad mixed in with their good.

Varek has been in prison for lifetimes because as an Aeveren, he is blessed with fifty lifetimes through reincarnation, and naturally, when one of them breaks a law, they often must pay by relinquishing a lifetime or more. When I began writing Stolen Destiny, I knew my hero would be an incredibly flawed man, but the idea of having him be imprisoned right before he meets the heroine, Callia, grew out of the idea that while he certainly is a very good man at heart, he has an edge to him that borders on bad. Out of that idea came the story of his being imprisoned in Nil, Aeveren prison, for three lifetimes for killing his first wife and her lover as they made love in his bed.

Varek is what all my heroes are: noble. Now some people may say a man who shot his first wife in a fit of passion is anything but noble, but his story is one of the most human of all. He’s in love with a woman and fears something is wrong with his marriage. He hesitates to investigate because he doesn’t want to know that everything he loves is built on a lie. When he finally finds out, he snaps and loses everything he cares about—his wife and baby girl. For three lifetimes he’s consigned to a life of suffering and butchery in Nil, a place like nowhere on Earth. He lives amongst far more serious criminals of his race, Aeveren who have intentionally murdered others and wouldn’t think twice about murdering him. He knows he’s to blame for the fact that his child was made an orphan by his actions, and he can do nothing but pray someday he’ll get the chance to try to make it up to her.

When Varek meets Callia, he has lifetimes of scars he carries with him, both inside and out. Their romance is predetermined because as Aeveren, they are destined for one another, just as he was with his first wife, but who he’s become in Nil doesn’t make the road to happiness easy. While there are other conflicts in the story, Varek’s past is always something the two lovers must wrestle with.

For me, characters are always multi-dimensional. They’re just more interesting that way. Varek is a man who has made mistakes in the past and doesn’t want to make another mistake with Callia. When he falls for her, he knows that the possibility of hurt is there like it was with his first destined one, and because of this, he fights what destiny has decided will happen. That he eventually gives in is a testament to the goodness in him triumphing over his past.

For an excerpt from Stolen Destiny (ADULT EXCERPT), go to

To purchase the book, go to

To find out more about my writing, go to my blog at


Gabrielle said...

Thanks for having me here today, Erin! :)

shah wharton said...

Fabulously convincing post Gabrielle. He sounds sexy in a mean and moody badass kind of way ;D My favourite bad-guy (because I have yet to read your book ;D) is Damon from Vampire Diaries - its very tame writing as its YA but that aside hes seriously hot. (in the show he couldn't get hotter) because although he's bad - shamelessly killing for kicks and bloody - when you know his back story and his capacity for love/to change for his love - you fall for him (well i did - hook line and doo dah).

Hope you're well Gabrielle -And hi Erin - I'm off to read your post now. ;D X

Gabrielle said...

Thanks, Shah! I do love to write the brooding bad guy, don't I? :)

Erin O'Riordan said...

It's a pleasure to have you here, Gabrielle. Thank you for hosting my guest post on your blog.

Shah, thanks for dropping by. You and I continue to agree to disagree on which Salvatore brother is the hero of the Vampire Diaries series. Personally, I always root for Stefan. If I had to pick a favorite bad boy from the TV series, it would be Tyler Lockwood, who has also shown a capacity to grow toward a more loving person. I root for an unlikely vampire-werewolf romance between Tyler and Carolina. Plus Michael Trevino = some hot young Latino!

But to return this discussion to literature, I'd have to say the ultimate bad good guy for me is Heathcliff in 'Wuthering Heights,' possibly my favorite book ever.

Erin O'Riordan said...

Obviously, that should say Tyler and Caroline, not Carolina. I guess thinking about the TV series made me think about the Southern USA.