The Jasper Character - Poet’s Pursuit of Pleasure (Hustler’z Code)“The hero in a story is only as good as the villain is bad” – Unknown

My earliest memories of childhood are filled with flashes of a curious mind. Tape recorders taken apart and dismantled screw by screw. Flashes of clock radios, VCRs and answering machines also sharing the same fate. Inner workings/moving parts now exposed and naked without their plastic, fiber glass or aluminum coverings. All the while, a younger version of me was peering into the guts of the victim. Ever since I can remember, I always had the desire to learn how things worked. However, this “obsession” with knowing how things work isn’t limited to electronics. I constantly examine the dynamics of romance for example, the laws of power and teachings of the spirit. That being said, I also obsess over the “inner workings” of the characters I write about most of all. The heart and soul of what drives a story forward is the motivations of its characters. Which brings me to the “Jasper Kelly” character in the Poet’s Pursuit of Pleasure series. Years ago, when “An Emotional Affair” (book 1) was an 11,127 word document on my Sony Vio, Jasper Kelly’s motives were left ambiguous. I wrote Jasper to be a very large and very mysterious fellow. He was introduced as the personal guardian of the father of the main protagonist. (Levi) I wrote him to be a philosophical brute, an intellectual thug, an incredibly large, dark, and complexed man for reasons stated in the subtitle above. Any character can be written to be mean, rude, sarcastic, vulgar, cold and so on. However, to simply write a character’s traits in the form of his or her responses does little to entertain the reader. A better or richer experience for the reader may be for that reader to identify with the character’s motivation. Darth Vader for example was a bad ass, but he became an interesting bad ass when the world found out that he was the father of Luke Skywalker. Thumbing through the pages I once wrote, I found the Jasper character to be a villain with a sense of justice that borders on the edge of cliche. Simply put, he loves doing bad things to bad people. He is amazingly loyal to those he loves and incredibly suspicious of those he doesn’t. Reading the previous works (research) I found that leaving his motivations ambiguous did not hurt the quality of the story. How you ask? Just revealing or even subtly suggesting that the Jasper character has deep seeded motivations (even if the author doesn’t reveal what they are) transforms a book from a dust collector into a page turner. So as the last book in this series takes shape (Hustler’z Code) I dig deep into Jasper’s back story, events that shaped his personality and motivations. Looking to parlay my obsession with inner workings into a New York Times best seller.