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You know, creating devious, diabolical, despicable villains really is too much fun. Take Ryan Knight from The Reunion. He's certainly raised a few eyebrows and he sure got both my editor's and my proofreader's dander up. That's when I knew I'd created a great villain.
Ryan appears in the flashback chapters. He's a college student getting ready to graduate and embark on his career as an architect. He and Gillian, the leading lady, have been dating for a couple of years, but lately their relationship has become strained. Ryan's been putting in a lot of overtime at the architecture building. He says he's having to work late on class projects, but Gillian is having her doubts. A few days after his graduation he asks her to stop by his apartment. He has news he wants to share. Gillian believes he's going to propose to her, but Ryan's idea of a proposal is the last thing she ever expected to hear.
Ryan was inspired by several real life men I've known; a moody ex-boyfriend, my ex-husband, and a good friend's ex-husband. With a cocktail like that you know you've got a real monster on your hands. My editor commented that Ryan was, "a bit mental." But my proofreader had me rolling on the floor. Apparently she'd printed out some of the pages and was working on them in her apartment complex laundry room, and Ryan had made her so mad that she started yelling at him and calling him an S.O.B. (Only she didn't say the abbreviated version.) She then told me that she looked up and noticed other people in the laundry room were giving her some very strange looks. She was so mad at Ryan that I worried she would quit on me. I had to keep reassuring her that Ryan only appeared in the flashback chapters, early in the novel, and that his appearance ended at chapter six, with only rare mentions of him throughout the rest of the novel. Thankfully she stayed on board, and all I can say is that's a real villain.