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To write a character well, I believe the writer must be empathetic to him or her. That applies to the unsympathetic characters as well. I never think of any character as evil. They each have reasons that are internally valid for their actions. It's just that their goals are diametrically opposed to the protagonists. That said, in my writing, protagonists are good guys and the antagonists are bad guys and never the twains shall meet. I have never had an occasion to turn a protagonist into an antagonist until now.
In A Soldiers Destiny, my enigmatic vampire, Simon Molinar from Demon Under Glass, is a less than sympathetic character. He is not quite an antagonist, but he is highly problematic for Rik and Vincent. Simon remains one of the most complicated characters I have ever written. I never write him from his point of view, so those who interact with him – mostly Joe McKay – have to sift through the words and motives and hope they can figure out the truth. Simon has centuries of experience in manipulating humans. Thus, aside from being innately funny and charming, He knows how to read people quickly and completely from his experience. He can be all things to all people. This works in the Demon Under Glass books, because Simon's goals are the same as Joe's for the most part. And those goals keep Joe by his side without any manipulating. Their pursuers' motivations and goals are horrific, thus it is easy to portray Simon as a protagonist.
The Foundation for Alterds is not like the Delphi Project. They have no sinister ulterior motives. The organization exists to better the lives of those with the genetic mutation whether they become soldiers or not. There are gaps in their knowledge about Delphi that Simon can fill. Also, he knows a great deal about where Delphi technology traveled beyond US borders and what has been and is being done with it. For that more than anything else, the Foundation is willing to extend him their considerable resources and protect him in great comfort indefinitely. Simon's situation is dire because the word has become much smaller than it is now. It is virtually impossible for anyone to exist without detection of a government. And there are organizations as powerful as some governments who know what Simon is.
Rik and Vincent's motivation is simple. They want to find ways to protect mutants like them from exploitation and death. They also are very protective of the family they have cobbled together at the Foundation. They have found a happiness and contentment with this odd collection of people that neither had known since entering the Altered Program. For Rik, it's the only family he has ever known. They view anything that might threaten their goals or their family with great suspicion and, in Vincent's case, hostility. Readers who have taken the journey with them through the previous books understand how hard they fought for the lives they lead. They understand the kind of friendship and support Simon could have if he can resist his impulses. So, I suggest to the Demon Under Glass fans who have not read the Soldier's books to go through and read the excerpts from both books at http://soldierschoice.com or by the books at Smashwords (scroll down to the middle of the page). The ebooks are really cheap and you can read 20 percent of the book free on that site.
Simon is in a position with these men that he has never known. Charm will not work on them. They are soldiers. Actions are what impresses them. Simon is thus faced with the notion of going through both basic and advanced military training with these men before he can hope to cut any ice with them. That gives me an opportunity for a lot of humor. Which is a relief, because I find writing these scenes very awkward. It's like having an intimate dinner party with groups of friends who don't like each other and who each wonders why I bother with the other. Since I enjoy writing all of them – or I wouldn't write them – it's been a conundrum. Still, I think the story is coming together well and will be something both factions of my readers will enjoy.