Because I'm a big fan of unlikeable characters, I've created a few. The very likeable Cathy Zane gave me a chance to expound on this subject in her blog where I also got to give a shout out to Julie Zuckerman's wonderful "The Book of Jeremiah" and Kasey Elizabeth Thornton's terrific "Lord the One You Love is Sick."
Here's a snippet of what I wrote:
The women in my debit novel The Lockhart Women (She Writes Press, June 2021) are good examples of not always sympathetic human beings. The mother, Brenda Lockhart, is judgmental and egotistical, sure that she’s entitled to a bigger life, convinced she’s settled for less by marrying beneath her. Her oldest daughter Peggy is a self-described doormat and younger daughter Allison enjoys sex, drugs, and shoplifting, not necessarily in that order.
Some readers can handle unlikable characters as long as they are either punished or eventually redeem themselves. While both outcomes can be gratifying, real life doesn’t always work out that way. Good things happen to bad people. Bad people get away with murder sometimes. For example, O. J. Simpson.
Please read the rest of interview here and check out Cathy Zane's website.