I'm working on the second draft of what is tentatively titled DARK WATERS, the sequel to DANGEROUS WATERS. It features an ex-con hero and a school teacher heroine. I never planned to write an ex-con, especially a murderer. Especially a "yes, I did it, lock me up and throw away the key" type of character. It's a taboo.
I was thinking about how in many of the books we read (I read), taking a human life is treated lightly even by the good guys. Killing guards to get into a compound, shooting a criminal in some bad act and it seems acceptable--we want the good guys to win, right? The key is always in the motivation and set up of a character. It's like figuring out when you yourself would take another human being's life. If you were being attacked? If your children/significant other were in danger? If someone kicked a kitten? If a suicide bomber was headed your way with his hand on the cell phone trigger?
It's interesting going on this particular journey with this particular felon. He might be one of my favorite heroes to date and yet I'm sure I've failed to do him justice. I guess that's what second drafts are for, a second chance at getting things right. Here's hoping everyone believes this guy deserves his HEA.