There's nothing like a good antagonist to perk a whole story up. Sometimes it's a villain, sometimes just the opposing force -- but evil or not, the antagonist is the one who raises the challenge for the hero. An intelligent, experienced and even ethical bad guy can raise the standard for the hero's behavior as well.
Today, J. Carson Black, otherwise known as Maggy, is going to tell us about Cyril Landry, a complex and interesting hit man from her crime thriller, The Shop.
Camille: What made you create Landry?
Maggy: Since I started The Shop with a contracted hit on an actress and her entourage in Aspen, Colorado, I needed a professional killer to lead the team -- someone who would give instructions and they would follow them.
I had to plunge right in, and the first person the reader meets is that killer, Cyril Landry. Little did I know that he would be one of the most important characters I’ve ever written, and that he would eventually gain the trust of my main character, sheriff’s detective Jolie Burke.
Camille: That sounds promising. What was it that made him so important to you?
Maggy: First, I sure as heck didn’t know that when Landry killed the actress, Brienne Cross, it would change his life forever. In the moment before he kills her, she awakens, and there is a communion between them that drives him to find out why he had to kill her.
Then his personality took over. For instance, he was an assassin, but he was married and had a daughter. Further, he acquitted himself admirably as a Navy SEAL in Iraq and Afghanistan. He prided himself on clear thinking, on good grammar and good manners. He's a professional and has been taught to kill quickly and mercifully. He did it for his government and now he does it to support his family--it's a job. And, most important to me, Landry shared my love for horse racing. In fact, he grew up in the business---it’s important, even for a bad guy, that he LOVE something, feel a passion for something.
Camille: Do you have more planned for this character?
Maggy: I left it up in the air whether or not he survived in my thriller, The Shop, but I’m pretty sure he did, because I just put him in a short story called "The Bluelight Special." I guess he made my mind up for me.
J. Carson Black writes write crime fiction thrillers, including the Laura Cardinal series. Her new thriller, THE SHOP, spotlights corruption in the highest levels of government, pitting a small-town Florida sheriff’s detective against a cunning, powerful foe. New York Times Bestselling author Gayle Lynds says of THE SHOP is “an exciting, sweeping crime thriller that will linger in your mind for a long time.” And New York Times Bestselling author David Morrell says, “THE SHOP is a thriller to pay attention to.”
THE SHOP is on sale for a limited time for 99 cents.