Anna writes, "My occupations have included computer programmer, historic preservation planner, and U.S. Foreign Service officer. The first job was so I could eat, the second (for less pay) was for fun. The only reason I left that job was because working overseas sounded even more fun, which it was. I changed countries every two or three years, except for Algeria. A terrorist threat forced an evacuation even before my household shipment arrived.
Working in Muslim-majority countries strengthened my core Christian beliefs. It encouraged me to know what I believed and why and how important Jesus is to my faith."
Interview with Ann
What characteristics make up a good antagonist?
A good antagonist pulls a measure of sympathy from the reader. At the same time the reader is repulsed at the way the antagonist chooses to act.
Who is your favorite fictional antagonist from a novel you have not written?
Jack Boughton, a mild antagonist in Marilynne Robinson’s Home, comes to mind. Jack is a likeable character, one sinned against by his father as well as sinning against him. He is the prodigal who chooses that way even if it saddens those who love him.
How did you come up with the idea for your antagonist?
Antun isn’t based on anyone I know. Rather, I think he formed in my imagination from the type of person I would fear and loathe. Yet, as I got to know him, I realized he had a reason for the way he became. One who has been a victim of evil must have deep faith to overcome the temptation to become evil and instead to swim against the currents of his own culture. Antun chooses the easier, more common way.
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