Ugly. Inside and out. A nutshell. That’s Maxine. The pleasure I got from making such a repulsive character for my book was absolutely exquisite. It was a new and wonderful experience. I’d definitely do it again!
When it comes to writing novels, male characters fit ‘ugly’ much easier. And, as long as there’s a redeeming counter-force, readers don’t usually give Mr Ugly a second thought about his ‘ugliness’. He was made that way and it’s okay. Giving ‘ugly’ traits to a female character in modern fiction is risky. Many of us want to protect femininity at all costs. Putting a flawed female upfront defies logic. Women should be empowered. They are to be seen as an uplifting force in a world long fractured by outdated patriarchy. Vulgar female behavior doesn’t exist today and, if it does, it doesn’t need discussing.
Wrong. It does.
I’ve met vile females. They do exist. Regardless of what society thinks about the matter of bringing the bitch to the page, she is a very real person. She’s a shitty individual. The she-narcissist lives amongst us — and she’s definitely worth mentioning. I wrote Maxine until I birthed her into life, and then I wrote until she was dead and buried. As a nod to feminism, I conceded to one thing when writing about this obnoxious super bitch: Her name. When it’s shortened, a man appears in its place.
I don’t apologise for creating this royal pain in-the-ass. I’m just glad to have had so much fun making and breaking her, using her demise to take charge of a much larger story. Her corpse was used to lay an original path for readers to walk. Now tread slowly and read where it goes and why I set up Maxine up to fail.
-Michael Forman (Author – Dark, Adult Fiction)