May 30 2012 9:30am

Author Jennifer Bosworth on Her Favorite (Fictional) Addicts

Struck by Jennifer BosworthToday, 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:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn1. 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.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier4. 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.

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Megan Frampton
1. MFrampton
Jennifer, what I think is fun about addicts (fictional ones, at least) is that they are so very focused and determined. Sort of like me when it comes to Belgian beer (an addiction I share with you!). I want to read Sharp Objects now, too.
Christopher Morgan
2. cmorgan
I too have a weakness for Belgian beer and whiskey. The thing I like about damaged heroes is that they are never going to be put on a pedestal, never be perfect. They will always have that very visible achillies heel. They'll always be damaged goods, like the rest of us.
Lege Artis
3. LegeArtis
Great post, Jennifer! First of all, I love your book taste, it's similar to mine. I own three of these four books.;-) Rebecca- classic. The Gunslinger gave me one of the best quote ever: "I don't like people. They f**k me up." and Gillian Flynn is brilliantly freaky- I have Sharp Objects and Dark Places and both are twisted and amazing in the same time. @Megan- I recommend it wholeheartidly.
"Characters who struggle with such longing are like a drug to me."- I have one such character. It's Jack Caffery from Mo Hayder's series of same name. Mo Hayder is not for everyone, her books are dark and disturbing, and Jack is not easy to love. So, Jack is handsome young police inspector, one of those pit bull detectives- persistant and smart, but he is also deeply flawed. When he was child, his younger brother disappeared and he was never found. But, Jack is convinced that their neighbour, convicted pedophile, had something to do with his brother's abduction. Twenty and some years later, he is still obsessed with this man- he still lives in his parent's house, he watches him constantly, he knows his habits. Pendercki (pedophile neighbour) knows about this and he plays this sick teasing game. For example, Jack was regulary going through his trash trying to find some kind of proof or lead. Pendercki found out about it and he starts to burn his trash in yard, but he makes such a big show of it. He burns it only when he is sure that Jack is watching. And they go on like this for years. Jack's demons affect his life: he is uncapeable to maintane any relationship (he doesen't want to move from that house, he doesen't want to have children), he drinks, his moral boundaries are blured... In one word, he is a mess. I can't even say that he's tortured hero. Mo didn't even try to make him likable- he is one slightly deranged man. And I come to love him.:)
My addictions: David Garett. ;)
4. superherolza
Chess Putnam from Stacia Kane's Downside Series. An actual addict who uses to forget a lot of the really effed up shit that's happened to her in her life. Somehow, she's amazing and just keeps on trying to be better.
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