Sarah Rees Brennan, on the subject of writing damaged heroes.
JANE EYRE: And then you decided to disguise yourself as a gypsy woman in order to tell me about our eternal love. 18753th count of lying to me. First count of cross-dressing.
ROCHESTER: And your point is...?
JANE EYRE: Kiss me, you mad bonnet-wearing fool!
But an important part of That Guy is that That Guy Is Not Right. My hero Nick doesn’t kill puppies or cross-dress, but he’s been raised in a atmosphere of constant violence. He learned to use knives when he was seven, he ditches bodies in the river and then drives home annoyed about being late for dinner. Finding true love isn’t going to fix him. Finding a voucher for five years of free therapy probably isn’t going to fix him. I wanted to show all that, and yet not write a book which made readers go ‘Oh my God, the main character... if only one could reach into the pages of a book and BEAT THE HERO TO DEATH WITH A SPATULA.’