I’ve always been an advocate for the underdog. Maybe that’s why I sympathize with my villains.
My villains are evil. They are vicious and they hurt people for the sheer pleasure of inflicting pain on others. They are bad and they deserve to die for their crimes.
I understand them. I see how they turned into a physical embodiment of evil. “Evil” is usually an adjective, to describe an action, but it can also be a noun. Evil kills. Evil maims. Evil does the dirty deed. People can become evil, and they are then responsible for their actions.
Yet evil is not born. It is created. I may be coming out of the closet on this, but I believe that all human beings are born in the image and likeness of God, their Creator. Can anyone honestly look at a newborn infant and see evil on her face?
When I wrote THE PREY, my villain was evil and I showed that he had evil tendancies from a very early age. Yet, his environment played a large part in the creation of his viciousness.
Don’t get me wrong: evil must pay. Justice must be served. Innocent people die at the hands of those who can not, or will not, control their rage and hatred and pain.
Victims, the living and the dead, must have justice. There must be a punishment for crimes committed, regardless of the remorse of the criminal. At the same time, we should endeavour to understand how the criminal came to be in the first place so that, maybe, we can stop it in the next generation. Or slow it down. Or limit it. Something, we don’t have to bury the innocent and keep asking why.
But the first step in seeking justice is preventing the creation of evil in the first place.
And that, dear reader, can’t be undone. Evil was created thousands of years ago, take or leave a decade, and it will be with us until the end of time.
What matters now is how we deal with it. And in that, I have no solid answers.