Readers React to Luke Denevan (aka Mr. Bond)

Oct

6,2015
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***WARNING***:  This post contains spoilers.  If you have not yet read The Ghost of You but plan to at some point, I urge you not to continue reading this post until you’ve finished the story.

It’s funny, how you begin writing a story and you have visions of how that story will end, but when you finally reach the climax, something happens and the story veers off into a completely different direction, bearing little resemblance to the original plot.

It happened to me while writing The Ghost of You.  The concept for this book, as I have mentioned before, has been swirling around in my head for years, and I finally decided it was time to get it down on paper and share it.

As I wrote the chapters, I had a very clear vision of how the story would unfold.  Kaitlyn was damaged, but I wanted her to have a happy ending, and that happy ending was going to involve Luke Denevan.agree

I wrote feverishly, posting chapter after chapter for the beta readers to read and provide their own personal input.

What I found, as the story progressed, was that the readers did not share my own view of one central character – the antagonist, if you will – Luke Denevan.

The strong reaction to Luke surprised me early on.  The readers were almost unanimous in their distaste, anger and sometimes even hatred for this character, and for awhile, it confused me, until I realized that I was viewing him through the eyes of Kaitlyn, while everyone reading the story was viewing him from the outside looking in.

Something clicked, and I got it.  Luke Denevan was the villain in the story, he was the man who cheated on his innocent wife, who led Kaitlyn down a dark path, who kept vital information from her due to his own selfish needs.

I know I could have turned it around and made him likeable, but I found myself playing the Devil’s Advocate instead.  The minority of readers would relate to Kaitlyn’s perspective and share her helplessness when it came to Luke, but most readers would feel a deep sense of outrage each time they read a scene that included Luke.

He does have some redeeming qualities, I believe.  He helps tame one of Kaitlyn’s worst panic attacks, he is there for her when she truly needs someone, and in the end, his love for her outweighs his selfish need and he does provide her with the information she would not have, the future she would not have, had it not been for his decision to give this information to her (years too late, but better late than never, right?)

As for the title of the book, my readers all have their own opinions about who the ghost actually refers to.  Some have very strong opinions that the ghost refers to Luke, and Kaitlyn’s lingering feelings toward him throughout the story.  Some believe the ghost refers to Chris Anderson.  Some have hinted to me that they know the ghost refers to Kaitlyn’s father, and others believe the ghost is Kaitlyn herself.luked

When asked for my opinion, I have to stop and think about it.  In all honesty, the ghost in the story can refer to any and all of those characters.  I thought of the ghost as each one during my writing, so no answer is wrong.

I am still surprised, however, by how strongly readers react to the mere presence of Luke Denevan in any given chapter.  For me, he is the perfect villain; one who provokes anger, rage and hatred but can still be relatable to a small percentage of readers.  It has made for some interesting debates between right and wrong, good and evil, and the concept of love and desire in general.  Love him or hate him, you won’t be able to forget Luke Denevan or the emotions he forces you to experience.

Have you read The Ghost of You?  How did you feel towards Luke Denevan?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

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About The Author

Kristen

At my core, I am a writer and author, but I am also a crazy girl, a proud mama, a gourmet cupcake maker, a vixen, a website developer and a lost little girl.

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