I don’t know why writing the sinister antagonist in Restored Grace was easy, but I’ve discovered that if I’m going to write a bad guy, he’s most likely going to be unredeemable. Except maybe in Book 4, Renewed Joy (2024 release), …I’m still working on it. Although, in an ideal story, I’d love everyone to repent and receive Christ, but history and I mean the Bible, shows us this is not to be.
Evil vs. Good
It’s tough for me to reconcile God’s grace with the horrible things that happen to innocent victims, such as many trafficked girls. Yet, I know Him to be an all-loving and gracious God. I believe His Word and trust, ” … that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” That’s such a difficult scripture to grasp when we’re in the midst of a tragedy. That’s why it’s so important to cling to Him, especially when things are good. It’s that strong foundation we need when our world crumbles. I can’t explain how such horrific events could possibly be in His realm of “working together,” but I believe it is… in His way. Perhaps that’s why I won’t write why my antagonists are the way they are. I can’t even fathom the mind, yet I know this world is corrupt and perishing, but the hope of Jesus gloriously reigns.
What I do want is to show redemption in the lives of those who believe and trust. And it’s not the perfect redemption as we’d like, but reconciliation with the Lord and receiving the faith to trust when it seems impossible. It’s challenging to show this in fiction if you don’t have evil as the contrast to goodness. This is why I write Christian fiction, to show God’s gracious goodness in tragedies and blessings.
Bad guys are just bad.
I created Will Boudreaux ten years ago in Book One, Shattered Guilt. The first time I read his chapter, and chapter thereafter, my critique group booed him. Our writing coach suggested I didn’t need to explain his penchant for evil, and another said he was perfectly corrupt. The bad guy you love to hate. Thankfully, I’ve never personally encountered any such person, so I don’t have much of a back story for him. But he’s returned with all his malevolent wickedness in Restored Grace.
Without getting into political correctness or the psychology of an evil mind, suffice it to say that Will Boudreaux made choices that exploited women and did so without conscience. Still, who was he, and where did he come from? And why was he in Bay Town?
So who’s Will?
Will was raised in Mississippi but lives in New Orleans. In Shattered Guilt, he appears because his cousin, Hilly, has a beautiful teen niece. He’s set the two up in a ramshackle old house in Bay Town until he’s ready for Virginia. He’s been grooming her since she was young and supplying her aunt with the drugs that cripple her life. Although Hilly’s minor character is so sad, she’s one of my favorites with the bit of hope offered. Unfortunately, she only appears in Shattered Guilt.
In Shattered Guilt, Will Boudreaux pretends to be Virginia’s father so that he can move her to New Orleans for his prostitution business when the time is right, and it was. In Restored Grace, I bring him back. No spoilers…but when he returns, Carol stands in his way, and he resolves to be rid of her.
Although I wrote Restored Grace as a standalone, as is my intent for all the books in the Bay Town series, your reading experience may be enhanced by reading my books in order. Still, I hope you’ll enjoy Restored Grace as is, also.
I want to assure you that I don’t write graphically. My reviewers call my books “clean romantic suspense.” I can’t watch graphic violence, and I can’t read it myself, but I believe God’s given me a gift to articulate a vile person without having to be explicit. But I’ll admit, the more I write, the more I want to redeem the bad guy. In Book 3, Shadowed Doubt (2023 release), I dabble with the antagonist at least having feelings of remorse. We’ll see how that turns out. But with Will Boudreaux, it’s another story.
Celebrity Crush … Nope.
Just for fun, here are a few pictures of celebrities I imagined Will Boudreaux to look like. What do you think? One played Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, and the other was the bad guy in Reel Steel (one of my favorite movies). I’m leaning toward Mr. Darcy.
I wish I could share more about Will Boudreaux, but he’s not a complex, troubled soul. He’s just bad through and through. But I promise you, he won’t keep you up at night, and you won’t be jumping at every sound.
Tomorrow, I’ll share about our Police Chief, Bert Hidalgo. Another favorite Bay Town personality.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a paperback copy of Restored Grace. Just click below.