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Bad Boy Characters

Posted by on June 26, 2013

Tuesday, the Christian Book Lovers Hop began, and if you haven’t seen it, stop by and enter for a chance to win a Kindle copy of Daughter of Light, as well as my two short stories, Desert Rose & Dragon Thief, and a $10 Amazon gift card. 🙂

Morgan L. Busse, author of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth, shared with us about Bad Boy Characters on my old blog, and I thought what perfect timing to reshare her post with you all as I’m giving away one of her books. So without further ado:

Bad Boy Characters

I never set out to write a “bad boy” character. In real life, I was not interested in them. I had been taught at an early age to stay away from that kind of guy and diligently did so. They were trouble, and I didn’t want trouble.

Daughter of Light Cover--Adjusted

So how did an assassin not only sneak into my book, but also become one of the focal characters? I’m still not sure.

As I wrote Rowen’s story, there was another character standing in the shadows. The first time I met Caleb, he had just murdered a man. Really, Morgan? This was not the kind of book I had set out to write. But Caleb would not leave.

This man intrigued me. Here he was, a cold-hearted murderer, driven into this profession by his thirst for gold and women. He was ambitious, focused, and prided himself in always getting the job done.

But I came to realize Caleb had one fear, a fear no one else knew about because it lived deep inside him: he knew someday he would pay for the lives he took. It came to him at night, when his subconscious would speak to him. He dreamed of his victims killing him.

At first, he found ways to suppress those dreams. He filled his life with everything he desired. He used people, money, and power to distract himself. But when Caleb was shipped up north, the dreams came back tenfold. And this time he couldn’t hide from them.

New SoT cover

When I realized Caleb’s fear, I knew I had to write him. How could I not explore this complex and dark man? I had to know what would happen to him next. And so Caleb stepped out of the shadows and entered my first book, Daughter of Light.

I am now finished with Son of Truth, the second book in the Follower of the Word series. It’s been fascinating to watch his story unfold more and his interactions with the other characters introduced in Daughter of Light. I never set out to write a bad boy character, but here Caleb is. And he’s here to stay.

How about you? Do you enjoy books or write books with a “bad boy” character? How would you define a “bad boy?” And why do you think readers are enamored with this kind of character?

WhonPhoto_MBusse_003 MFinalDarker

Morgan L. Busse writes speculative fiction for the adult market. She is the author of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth, the first two books in a series from Marcher Lord Press. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at




2 Responses to Bad Boy Characters

  1. Rebeka

    Fascinating post! I usually try to refrain from writing ‘bad boys’–at least as any sort of love interest–because personally I don’t find them attractive at all, either. But if the story calls for one, there will be one; just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    The term ‘bad boy’, to me, constitutes someone who glorifies in whatever evil he does, so much so that readers admire his confidence and often describe him as ‘sexy’, giving him even more power because not only has he manipulated his fellow characters, but, in a sense, his audience as well.

    In regards to your last question, I find this trend disturbing. I’ve seen other authors defend the use of the ‘bad boy’ and readers’ reactions to them. One said that readers would know the difference between bad boys and good boys to date in real life. But these same people vilify Bella and Edward’s relationship in Twilight as a bad role model for young girls. Books obviously have power, and I believe glorifying and encouraging such glorifying of a ‘bad boy’ character is using that power for ill.

    Of course, there is a difference between glorifying and using a bad boy character in a novel. From your description, Morgan, Caleb sounds like a very intriguing, complex character, someone whose journey I’d love to follow. I hope to pick up and read the books someday soon!

    God bless!

    • jlmbewe

      Hi Rebeka! Such a detailed, and well thought out response! I’m glad you pointed out your definition of what makes a “bad boy character” for you. It’s good to consider what different connotations people have over certain words. I hadn’t thought about it like you put it, but makes sense. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

I love hearing from you!

J.L Mbewe - Author