Today, I have author Allison Pang here with us talking about characters and their flaws.

Welcome Allison!

One of the things most readers come to expect of their heroes or heroines is some sort of flaw. It’s a strange dichotomy, really. On one hand, many of us strive for perfection in real life – our looks, our jobs, our homes, our children – and so often something “perfect” is held up as the ideal.

On the other hand? Reading about a perfect person becomes very boring. Most of us *aren’t* perfect (at least, I’m not), and having a character with too many “Mary Sue” traits can make it difficult for a reader to connect to the protagonist. I think this is particularly true when a book is written in first person. The reader needs to be able to relate to the voice (or be intrigued by it), or the story can become grating.

In A Brush of Darkness, I wrote Abby with both physical and emotional flaws, but in some ways it’s the emotional flaws that drive the story. Physically, Abby was in a car wreck a year before the story takes place. The accident takes her mother’s life and destroys Abby’s dream of being a dancer, leaving her with a gimpy leg, a metal plate in her head and unpredictable seizures. Her whole life had been centered around being able to dance and she’s understandably bitter about that loss.

She pushes it down as best as she can, but her internal denial of her mother’s death results in terrible nightmares. She has a tendency to lash out in anger at times, perhaps more than she might otherwise, even though she tries to hide her agitation behind a bit of snark. She also doesn’t want to admit her own physical weakness, and often takes her anti-seizure meds haphazardly. Obviously, this is a bit on the self-destructive side, but a fairly human response to tragedy.

It’s this level of despair that leads Abby to her first Contract with the OtherFolk, and eventually to her position of TouchStone to the Faery Protectorate. Her carelessness and ambivalence at her situation come with unfortunate consequences because she doesn’t bother to read the fine print of her Contract, and I think that’s something that many people can identify with. I wanted her actions (or lack of) to play a specific part in how she finds herself in this magical world, as opposed to some sort of destiny. As the story progresses, the way she sees herself and her situation have a direct impact on what happens, leading to additional character growth and greater sense of self-responsibility.


A Brush of Darkness

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Buy A Brush of Darkness


A marine biologist in a former life, Allison Pang turned to a life of crime to finance her wild spending habits and need to collect Faberge eggs. A cat thief of notable repute, she spends her days sleeping and nights scaling walls and wooing dancing boys….Well, at least the marine biology part is true. But she was taloned by a hawk once.  She also loves Hello Kitty, sparkly shoes, and gorgeous violinists.

She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids and cats, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes.

Find Allison Pang online: website | blog | twitter


Thanks to Allison Pang and FinePrint Literary Management, I have a print copy of A Brush of Darkness to giveaway to one lucky winner!! Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents. Comments are appreciated, however, you must fill out the form below in order to enter the giveaway. Please read the Contest/Giveaway Policy for complete list of rules. Giveaway ends Sunday, February 20, 2011. Good luck to all who enter!

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. Nice guestpost :=) And lol, loved that about author piece. Some just create the funniest ones

  2. I so agree with the flawed vs. perfect character, I don't want to spend all my time rolling my eyes at the story. Sounds like a great book :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. I just finished reading A BRUSH OF DARKNESS about 15 minutes ago - I enjoyed it. The characters were cool and the world building was great.

    Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)

  4. Thanks for the great guest post. It's true that I like to see heroes/heroines with "flaws". Or maybe it's better to say, with regular characteristics, feelings and reactions that I know would occur in real life. If I can't identify with the person, the book usually won't be finished.

  5. Great post.I really want to read this book.

  6. I'm not sure if I have a preference about flawed characters. I do know that I don't care for writing that talks about how bad @ss the heroine is, over and over and over.

  7. I have been following along with the blog tour and have found all of these tidbits have whetted my appetite for the book. Yeah for imperfect heroines, much more fun to read about.

  8. Abby sounds like an interesting character.

  9. She is such a wonderful and talented person. I cannot wait to read this book. She just talked about how people were pirating it on the internet and I want to either buy it or win it. I think it is going to be a spectacular read. Thanks for the great post and interview. Especially the opportunity to win her book!

  10. Thanks for the giveaway & guest post =)

  11. I love when I read a interview are post about a author I've been wanting a read. Thanks for everything this books looks great!


  12. My favorite part is the author bio, LOL. Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Thanks for the great post &giveaway. This is a new author to me and I am looking forward to reading her books. Have a great day.

  14. Abby sounds like a character I'd love to read about. I have been seeing really great reviews for this novel lately! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  15. Been looking forward to this one! Thanks for the giveaway!


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