I’ve been shoring up the characterizations in The Cipher, as I’ve mentioned before. On thing that I noticed, in a happy way, is that the character of Edgar and the way I wrote him reminds me of Red Reddington on The Black List. This makes me very happy. He’s exactly the character I want him to be. And I wrote him long before The Black List ever came into being. I don’t want to say a lot about what I’m doing with Marten and Lucy as characters. I wanted to shore up Lucy’s independence, yet lend her a little more empathetic characteristics, and shore up her bravery. For Morgan, I wanted to similarly make him more empathetic to readers. To give him qualities that make him someone a reader can like and respect, even as the reader hates him for being an ass. Yeah, I’m not sure I pull it off either, but that’s what I love about this book.
Think about that though. In romances, you have male characters who are alpha and asses and still come out okay fairly frequently, but most of them aren’t asses in the way that Marten is. He does something really really bad. And then he compounds the issue and doesn’t learn his lesson. That totally makes sense given who he is and that he’s a gambling addict. He comes through in the end, but it isn’t quick or easy. It’s not so simple to a) learn your lesson, and b) quit your addiction, and c) take the consequences of what you’ve done.
This is one of my favorite books because these two characters seems so real and complex to me. I don’t know if anybody else likes them as much as I do. I’m having fun revisiting them. I hope I’m still doing them and the story justice.