Do all ex-girlfriends have to be nasty? I was wondering about that while writing my latest novel.
I don't think it's necessary. In Tilly's Trials my hero has a new girlfriend. She is, I think, justified in being very wary of Marsh's ex-wife. She isn't popular with his family but that is to do more with them realizing that she isn't right for him. I don't think she is particularly nasty just human,.we have all been there I'm sure!
My next book out has a real humdinger of a love rival. She is a genuine nasty piece of work.I loved thinking up the tricks she got up to. However, was that also her nature? Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca was an unpleasant woman, her malign presence, even though she is dead, haunts this novel, she is kept alive by the equally horrid Mrs Danvers. These women can really take over a novel. Care is needed to sometimes reign them in.
Is my rival for Lander's affections justified in being an arch manipulator? Of course not. Certainly she could be hurt and upset but she takes it much further. She is selfish and unkind and not only to my heroine but to her daughter as well. There is no excuse for her behaviour.
On the whole though my love rivals have not been particularly nice. Sometimes it is not that they are still in love with the hero. Sometimes they just can't help themselves, like Maddy's twin sister Milly, in Eden's Child. Upbringing, lifestyle choice and an inbred instability make it impossible for Milly to be anything other than malign.
Let's face it really bad girls are fun to write about - rather more enjoyable than bad men - but that's only my opinion What do you think?