30 Days NaNoWriMo Meme – Day 18 – Who is the antagonist in your novel? What drives their actions?
My antagonist is Justin Brailsfield, Adam’s older brother. I had (I’m still having) a great time writing Justin, because he’s a character with a great arc, who’s going to change a lot in the course of the trilogy. Because yes, he’s my antagonist, but I never meant him to be a villain.
He’s a man with a lot of flaws and misguided ideas. He was raised to become the heir of the family, but when he was a teenager, two shocking things happened: his father left for the war in Europe and died there, and the neighbourdood he was born and had grown up in slowly turned into a black ghetto. Justin couldn’t cope with this and one day he simply left, never giving any news to his family again.
He lives a wild, unsatisfying life, always on the edge of a knife, surrounded by mean people, never finding a stable relation or situation, never finding a home or a respectable occupation. In the end, he just can’t take it anymore and goes back to Chicago. Here he discovers his family thought him dead and when aunt Edith died, all the properties went to Adam, including the saloon he had turned into a speakeasy.
Adam welcomes him with open arms, he makes room for him in his business (Justin becomes the manager of the Old Shelter), shares the family house with him. But that’s not enough for Justin, because he thinks it’s unfair Adam should have everything, especially considering their father always meant him to be the heir of the family. When Justin get caught in gambling debts and attached problems with gangsters, things get even worse for him and he becomes even more bitter since he thinks all his problems would go away if the club was his and he could sell it. But Adam has this romantic idea that that’s their family’s place in the world, their home and he will never sell it.
But then Adam starts having strange episodes, such Justin remembers from their childhood. Adam got over it back then, and he may get over it now as well, eventually, but if in the meantime Justin can snatch the club from him…