Bad Boy Characters

Today I have the special privilege of welcoming Morgan L. Busse, fantasy author of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth. Please welcome her as she shares a little bit about:

Bad Boy Characters

I never set out to write a “bad boy” character. In real life, I was not interested in them. I had been taught at an early age to stay away from that kind of guy and diligently did so. They were trouble, and I didn’t want trouble.

Daughter of Light Cover--Adjusted

So how did an assassin not only sneak into my book, but also become one of the focal characters? I’m still not sure.

As I wrote Rowen’s story, there was another character standing in the shadows. The first time I met Caleb, he had just murdered a man. Really, Morgan? This was not the kind of book I had set out to write. But Caleb would not leave.

This man intrigued me. Here he was, a cold-hearted murderer, driven into this profession by his thirst for gold and women. He was ambitious, focused, and prided himself in always getting the job done.

But I came to realize Caleb had one fear, a fear no one else knew about because it lived deep inside him: he knew someday he would pay for the lives he took. It came to him at night, when his subconscious would speak to him. He dreamed of his victims killing him.

At first, he found ways to suppress those dreams. He filled his life with everything he desired. He used people, money, and power to distract himself. But when Caleb was shipped up north, the dreams came back tenfold. And this time he couldn’t hide from them.

New SoT cover

When I realized Caleb’s fear, I knew I had to write him. How could I not explore this complex and dark man? I had to know what would happen to him next. And so Caleb stepped out of the shadows and entered my first book, Daughter of Light.

I am now finished with Son of Truth, the second book in the Follower of the Word series. It’s been fascinating to watch his story unfold more and his interactions with the other characters introduced in Daughter of Light. I never set out to write a bad boy character, but here Caleb is. And he’s here to stay.

How about you? Do you enjoy books or write books with a “bad boy” character? How would you define a “bad boy?” And why do you think readers are enamored with this kind of character? 



WhonPhoto_MBusse_003 MFinalDarker

Morgan L. Busse writes speculative fiction for the adult market. She is the author of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth, the first two books in a series from Marcher Lord Press. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at




Twitter: (@MorganLBusse)


6 thoughts on “Bad Boy Characters

  1. I think people are drawn to dark characters because we all know we have some level of depravity within us, and we want to find the hope of redemption we have from that depravity. While we are repelled by despicable characters, some part of us still identifies with them. While we can admire the noble character, we don’t really empathize with them–in my opinion, empathy is far more powerful than admiration.

    As a writer, I think the “bad boy” character is freeing to write because there is no answer to “What if…?” that character won’t entertain. The bad boy’s presence, like Morgan has already mentioned, takes plot and theme in directions we ourselves never expected. And if we choose to write repercussions for a bad boy’s wayward choices, there is potential for a powerful message to come through these characters as well.

  2. Personally, Bad Boys only appeal to me if they’re not only likable but redeemable and do in fact turn around and go on to be Good Boys.

  3. J. L. Mbewe says:

    It takes me awhile to gather my thoughts, but for me, I’m drawn to Bad Boy Characters because they tend to reflect my inner turmoil in their outward behavior. Does that make sense? Ha! Also, like in Caleb, I see by the fact that he’s having those dreams, it’s bothering him, but he’s in denial. They aren’t truly “bad” or they wouldn’t necessarily be believable. Right? Plus, Bad Boy Characters go against the grain and don’t seem to notice or care, and I think there’s a little rebel in me that wishes I could do the same, but I’m not talking about murder or anything like that. There are several different shades of Bad Boy Characters.

  4. […] week Morgan L. Busse shared with us about Bad Boy Characters, and I thought you might like to know that she is running a giveaway on Goodreads for Son of Truth, […]

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