Lord Lion, Home Secretary of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, lifted the chalice of blood that Brabham, his butler, had brought for him. It was only midday, but he needed a drink.
In fact, I had a particular politician in mind when I wrote the story (I'm obviously not going to say whom, but not our current Home Secretary, who is female and, I'm sure, not undead). My Home Secretary is pretty vile and, among other things, a racist. And I have to confess that, much as I despise racism, I found him fun to write. Partly because of what I do to him in the story, sure, but also because he's evil.
Which is odd, now that I think about it. And also perhaps a little worrying. Lord Lion's Design is not a dull moralistic debate (I hope), but it does contain a debate of sorts. And I suppose it's possible for some readers to react differently to that debate. Maybe, even, to admire characters I would despise in real life.
But that's good, right? It's good to dramatise a debate rather then lecturing. Still, I feel this slight urge to preface the story with an "I'm not racist, honest" disclaimer. Which I'll resist as the story needs to stand (or fall) on its own. But, see, now I've written this blog post which reads very much like just such a disclaimer...
So, do you read/write "evil" characters? Do you find doing so hard or strangely liberating?