But where did it come from?
I grew up on Grimm and Mother Goose. Not the cutesy, happy versions, but the nitty-gritty, "Holy cow! Why are you reading this to children!" versions.
When I was asked where did my idea for "The House That Death Built" come from, the answer was easy. Did you ever hear of a fairytale villain by the name of Bluebeard? Yeah. That's where it came from. You'll find out that I am very contrary by nature. I love to play devil's advocate. (No, I really really LOVE it. ENTP Debater right here.)
So the idea came to me, "What if Bluebeard was the good guy?"
Wait, what? How can he have a literal room of dead bodies and be the good guy??
Good question! And then it began. How did he have so many wives die and still be the good guy? Why is this happening to him? Can he stop it? How do you write a scene of finding a room full of dead bodies and not really finding a room of dead bodies?
It was hard, it was challenging, it had so many plot holes to fill. But it was delightful, it was invigorating, and made for a good story.
Do I think that Bluebeard is a redeemable character? No. But I think Arthur Marco is. I think most people are. And I'll keep writing about the "what if?"
(Image by Gustave Dore)