Today, Heroes and Heartbreakers is pleased to welcome Jennifer Bosworth, whose novel Struck has just been released to talk about some of her favorite character addictions. Thanks, Jennifer!
I’ve been addicted to many things. Horror movies. Stephen King novels. Making out. Popcorn and lemonheads. Christopher Pike novels. Whiskey. Belgian beer. Sleeping. Puppies. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Those butterscotch flavored See’s lollipops. I’m just getting started. My list of addictions could go on all day.
It’s no wonder a chronic addict like me coined the term “lightning addict” in regards to the character in my debut novel, Struck. I’m fascinated by addiction of all kinds, the ones I’ve experienced, and those to which I have yet to fall victim. It’s the addict’s constant state of desire that intrigues me. The endless wanting that begins anew as soon as an addiction is satiated.
I’m going to go all highbrow on you for a second and quote philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who said, “If I satiate my desires, I sin but deliver myself from them; if I refuse to satisfy them, they infect the whole soul.”
Quite a conundrum this is. An addict can either live in a constant state of desire and denial, or give in to her hunger and live with regret, only to find the hunger awakened again too soon.
Characters who struggle with such longing are like a drug to me. Here are a few of my favorites, the fictional addicts to whom I’ve found myself addicted:
1. Camille Preaker, from Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects – Camille is a cutter, but she’s unlike any you’ve ever encountered before. Camille carves words into her skin. She can’t help it. She hears them speaking to her, and the only way she can quiet the voices on her skin is to make the words whisper permanent. When Sharp Objects opens, Camille has only one tiny patch of unmarred skin left at the small of her back, and it sings a siren song to her, begging for words. Camille refuses to answer . . . but for how long can she hold out?
2. Roland Deschain, from Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series – Roland, the last gunslinger, has an odd addiction. He’s addicted to a building. A tower to be specific, albeit the tower that stands at the nexus of all things and all worlds. When the first book in the Dark Tower Series begins, Roland has already been searching for the Dark Tower for an indeterminate amount of time. Those who stand between him and his tower usually end up full of holes. Roland is even willing to sacrifice his closest friends to the cause, to his addiction. Throughout eight novels and a number of graphic novels, Roland chases the tower, and the tower eludes him. And his compulsive need to find the tower never wanes.
3. Kit and Fancy Cordelle, from Dia Reeves’s Slice of Cherry – Kit and Fancy are the daughters of an infamous serial killer, and they’ve inherited his thirst for blood. They’re shameless in their desire to kill, and at times make Dexter look like a saint. The only thing stopping them from giving in to their addiction? The fear of getting caught. But guess what happens when they find a surefire way to keep their murderous activities hidden . . .? Here’s a hint: there will be blood.
4. The second Mrs. de Winter, from Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca – Mrs. de Winter can’t leave well enough alone. From the second the wealthy gentleman Mr. Maximillion de Winter marries her––a woman far beneath his station––on impulse and whisks her away to his mansion, she can’t stop obsessing about Maxim’s first wife, the hauntingly beautiful Rebecca. But the second Mrs. de Winter isn’t the only Rebecca addict in the house. The housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, can’t let Rebecca go. Maxim’s mansion is her shrine to Rebecca, and she considers the new Mrs. de Winter an imposter. Put these two Rebecca addicts together, one obsessed with the woman she knew, the other tormented by what she doesn’t know, and there isn’t room for the both of them.
I’ve shared my favorite addicts with you. Care to share yours with me?
Jennifer Bosworth lives in Los Angeles, California, where lightning hardly ever strikes, but when it does she takes cover. She is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth.