It's Bob and Lucille's favorite category.
I rather like handing out this award too. Because I'm not directly rewarding a writer, but one of his/her creations. Great characters are the key to great fiction. Have the baddest, most intricate and layered plot you want, if the reader has nobody to root for, he's going to zone out. I often say, the main difference between DIE HARD and TRANSFORMERS is John McClane. I'm oversimplifying the issue here (no need to remind me in angry, defamatory emails), but you get my drift. Right? RIGHT? Anyway, this year has been punctuated with amazing encounters. Characters that remained with me and crowded my mind for long time after I finished reading them. Here are the winners of both best male and female character.
Best Female Character
Trudy, from Joe Lansdale's SAVAGE SEASON
The great thing about Trudy is that she's highly toxic and yet, she's not a bad person. She does suffer from a horrible flaw, she can't accept responsibility for what she started. So Trudy seems like the sexy adventurous buxom at first, but she keeps backing up on her plans and creates all sorts of complex situations. SAVAGE SEASONS was my first Hap & Leonard novel and Trudy was a big reason why I loved the reading so much. She's as complex, tortured and impossible as they come.
Best Male Character
Doug Michie, from Tony Black's SAVAGE SEASON
Other than for his tremendous beanie hat, it's all about the inner conflict for Doug. The man is trapped in between two eras of his life he doesn't belong in anymore. This would've been a lot more straightforward and a lot less haunting. Doug is not only trying to solve a crime, but he's trying to heal his wounds and find a place in the world. The double nature of Doug's investigation made THE STORM WITHOUT a bleak, visceral and unforgettable read.
Congratulations to the winners! Thursday, the 2012 Dead End Follies Awards end with Best Novel.