Thursday, May 20, 2010

Good + Evil = Gray

In many of my books—for adults readers AND for young adults—I write about certain themes. And one constant theme seems to be my fascination with Good vs. Evil. The guys wearing the white hats or the black hats aren’t the ones I tend to focus on. I’m more interested in the characters (or real people) who don’t wear a hat—the gray people in between. I think in all of us, we have some of both, good and bad. And it’s all about keeping a balance. We all have baggage, maybe things we’re not particularly proud of, but how well do we understand what’s in that suitcase of ours?

That’s why I chose my YA website page header to flash shift between similar images, only going from the light to the dark side, color to black and white. And these images roll continuously, back and forth, both vying for control like it’s a struggle—a war waged every day.

When I create a “villain”, for example, he’s never all dark. I give him a strange sense of humor or make him do a good thing once in a while, to put “balance” into his suitcase. Even a villain is the hero to his own story. And the same goes for my good guys. Everyone has a dark side. A guy might be obsessed in doing the right thing, no matter what the cost. Does that make him right?

You see? It’s all in your perspective. For a writer, the gray is more interesting. The gray makes you think. The gray is in each of us.

Talk amongst yourselves ...


  1. I agree with your comments about the color grey, I like to choose books for my 16 yr old away from straight fantasy and show her the real world that she is approaching soon.

  2. You're a smart mom, I think. It shows your daughter that you have an open door if she wants to talk too. I ahve funny stories about things I went to my mom for and what her answers were. So I had to find other places to find what I needed. She and I laugh about that now, but kids can get real innovative when they need to know something.

    Thanks for your comment. And happy reading.