On Misdirection, Magic, and Muzzling Characters: Interview with Paul Southern!

Last week I posted a review of Paul Southern’s latest release, Daddy DearestI was absolutely blown away by Southern’s ability to create suspense and such a compelling first person narrative. Daddy Dearest is the definition of a page turner, and Paul Southern acts a magician as the reader spirals quickly parallel to the main character’s psychological meltdown. I’d like to thank Southern for answering my questions, and I am so excited to share this interview!

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Interview

NS: In Daddy Dearest you blur the line between protagonist and villain. Is this kind of character similar to characters found in your other books?

PS: I have never been a fan of heroes; I much prefer villains, who are intrinsically more interesting. I think my work is broadly nihilistic, which is indicative of my own general pessimism, so my characters are up against it from the get-go. Even when they are predominantly good and virtuous, they usually have a fatal flaw which brings them down, or fate conspires against them. Everyone is a mix of good and bad, and I do not subscribe to the oft-quoted mantra that you need a (good) character you can root for in a book or a film. What you need is a character you can relate to. Daddy Dearest may occasionally test that resolve, but there will be moments when you’ll identify with the narrator, maybe in spite of yourself. Terrible circumstances change people. They expose our petty prejudices and our general selfishness. As a writer, it is far more interesting to have a character say and do what they feel, than have to muzzle them for fear of what people say about them.     Continue reading “On Misdirection, Magic, and Muzzling Characters: Interview with Paul Southern!”

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