Friday, July 5, 2013


by Michael J. Molloy

Whether it’s a romance novel or a thriller, there’s always one particular character that you’d like to see boiled in oil. After all, these characters leave an indelible impression on the reader just as much as the hero. And when you create such an evildoer that the reader would like to personally reach into the book and strangle, then you have accomplished what you had set out to do as a writer. In this piece, I’d like to discuss the villainess of my soon-to-be released romance novel THE DIAMOND MAN. Don’t worry, ladies. I have plans for a male rogue in my next romance book! Both genders deserve equal time.

Her name is Maureen Bell. She’s 46 and is three years removed from divorcing the hero, Jim Monahan. Four years earlier Maureen ran into an old flame, Harley Bell, from college, who made it big as an investment banker with a prominent Philadelphia financial firm. They had an affair that night and Maureen became pregnant as a result, thus forcing Jim to cut his ties with her. She since married Harley after their son was born.

Since her association with Harley and the wealth he possessed, Maureen became a snooty and arrogant person, who often chastised Jim and looked down on him. Her treatment of Jim, a generally easy-going sort, was uncalled for. She would always make things difficult for Jim to see the one child they had together, their 15-year-old daughter Madison. And if that wasn’t all, Maureen puts down the heroine Anne Finley, Jim’s new love in his life. Maureen treats Anne with equal venom, referring to her by a number of colorful terms, none of which are true, for Anne is the kind and loving person any respectable man would love as his wife or girlfriend, and any decent woman would appreciate as a true friend.

In creating Maureen, I wanted to depict a person so cold and irreverent that it’s difficult not to hate her. The animosity towards Jim is one thing, given their divorce. But then she attacks a sweet person like Anne, someone she hardly knows. And everyone connected with Jim despises Maureen with equal passion. Even her own daughter Madison wants to run away from her. And the only conclusion for the readers is that they, too, will love to condemn Maureen. As a writer, you can’t ask for anything more.

Michael J. Molloy recently sold his mainstream romance novel, THE DIAMOND MAN, to Gypsy Shadow Publishing, which will debut in Fall 2013. To learn more about him, visit him at

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