Thursday, July 30, 2015

Unlikeable Characters by Pembroke Sinclair, Author of Good Intentions - Giveaway

I love this guest post by Pembroke Sinclair, author of Good Intentions. We run into unlikeable people all the time, yet there is a stigma about writing about unlikeable characters. Nobody is likeable all of the time. I actually prefer my characters to have faults and quirks-- you know, like real life. Like all of us.

Unlikeable Characters
By Pembroke Sinclair

Characters, like real people, have their quirks.  There are parts of them readers may like, and others readers may find loathsome.  Katie, my main character from the Road to Salvation series, isn’t always liked.  In fact, some readers have even gone so far as to say they hate her. 

My first reaction to that was that I needed to come to Katie’s defense.  I felt like I needed to protect her like I would protect my own children.  I would explain that she acts the way she acts because she’s a 17-year-old girl or give some other excuse, like she’s naive.  I was upset that they would attack her like that.

Then, I stopped.  I was talking to an author friend of mine about how not all main characters have to be likable.  The point of stories is to put characters in challenging situations and see how they react to them.  Not all of them come out fighting.  Some are more passive and maybe a lot more self-centered.  Some are unreliable.  You can’t trust anything they have to say, and they often twist the truth to their own benefit.  Some are sneaky.  Like the real world, characters in fiction display a wide range of personality traits--not all of which are desirable.

Katie is young, naive, self-centered, needy, and whiny.  She has moments of being strong, but they are fleeting and quickly devolve into self-doubt and insecurity.  Katie is who she is, and she shouldn’t have to apologize for that or explain it to anyone.  And neither do I.  If she was any other way, it wouldn’t be the same story.

I understand that readers don’t like her, but some do.  And both of those feelings are correct.  Katie isn’t always my favorite either, and I know her really well.  I don’t cringe anymore when reviewers write about how much they despise her.  In fact, I laugh.  To me, that’s an awesome compliment.  I love to see that my character evokes such a strong emotional response.  It means I’m doing something right.

Good Intentions
The Road to Salvation #3

Pembroke Sinclair

YA Paranormal Romance
Booktrope Publishing
July 28, 2015

Amazon | Goodreads

Katie has been through Hell—literally—and discovered that it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. In fact, she kind of enjoyed it. She got to be with Josh, found out about her past, and discovered who she wanted to be as a person. Katie didn’t care that her actions went against social norms. She was happy.

But things are changing—again. Wes has come back into her life, and that can only mean trouble. His presence threatens to unravel her new-found happiness. She can’t allow that. She won’t let him back in. Yet, Katie can’t push him away.

Thrown back into a state of confusion and uncertainty, Katie is once again forced to pick sides, and in the process, she may lose herself.

About the Author

Pembroke Sinclair is a literary jack of all trades, playing her hand at multiple genres. She has written an eclectic mix of fiction ranging from horror to sci-fi and even some westerns. Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming--the home of 56 nationalities--it is no wonder Pembroke ended up so creatively diverse. Her fascination with the notions of good and evil, demons and angels, and how the lines blur have inspired her writing. Pembroke lives in Laramie, Wyoming, with her husband, two spirited boys, a black lab named Ryder, and a rescue kitty named Alia, who happens to be the sweetest, most adorable kitty in the world! She cannot say no to dessert, orange soda, or cinnamon. She loves rats and tatts and rock and roll and wants to be an alien queen when she grows up. 

You can learn more about Pembroke Sinclair by visiting her at

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  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog!

  2. This sounds so good ! I think it is so much better when characters aren't perfect because no one is perfect :) so it makes it more realistic to me !

    1. I agree. I really don't like perfect characters... they're just too good to be true.

  3. I like imperfect characters. They are more realistic and more easily to relate to. I have a pet peeve when people complain if a main female character is not a "strong" enough heroine. Not everybody is assertive and self-sufficient but that doesn't mean they can't over come struggles. Anyways, thanks so much the giveaway!

    1. I agree. I hear that complaint often-- that the female lead isn't strong enough or that she's too emotional, especially in YA. It annoys me to no end. Personally I like my characters real.


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