Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Post: Jessica McHugh, author of Danny Marble...

Please join me today in welcoming author, Jessica McHugh, as she shares with us her 'Degrees of Dick'.

Degrees of DICK
The Meanies of the McHughniverse

(disclaimer: This entry says “dick” a lot. A dickish amount, actually. Enjoy!)

My favorite type of character to write is “The Dick”. This person can be protagonist or antagonist, male or female. The most important thing to remember is that “dick” does not equal “evil”. Like real people, fictional characters have their motivations for behaving the way they do, and because of that, there are different degrees of the dickish character. Listed below are some of my characters with their dickish qualities highlighted.

The Born To Be Dicks Dicks
(The Oneiroi from Danny Marble & the Application for Non-Scary Things)

The sons of Hypnos and Nyx, the Oneiroi traffick in dreams. Once three separate entities, they decided they were tired of waiting for their birthright and joined into together, literally,to wage war on their father. Not only do the Oneiroi monitor the creation of dreams, they use dreams to ensnare humans. They play with mortals' fears and feed upon those who fail the tests. They fought for their birthright and they're enjoying every eon of it while Hypnos rots in an eternal cage, and boys like Danny Marble stumble into their traps.

The Self-Loathing Dick
(Captain Jack Racine of The Sky: The World)

Jack Racine hates being called “his father's son”, mostly because he believes the insult is true. An admitted lush and cad, he treats himself like that's all he is, and when others are wounded by his words and actions, he can't apologize because they should have known better. Jack wants to be more than he is, but he's too afraid he doesn't deserve it to even try. Instead, he masks his inadequacies with liquor, laudanum, and an endless stream of ladies. He is harsh to those who love him because he thinks their love misguided and himself unworthy. But when the better brother dies and Jack is all that's left to redeem the Racine name, he uses his dickish powers to his advantage.

The Selfish Dick
(Benjamin Robeson of Song of Eidolons)

Benjamin Robeson is an intelligent and well-respected man, but after discovering he has an accelerated expiration date, he becomes an extremely selfish man. He is determined to survive and will do whatever it takes, even if it means killing the only person his best friend, Arthur Dagson, cares about. He doesn't particularly need to kill her to maintain his current state, but he will just to show Dags he can. 

The “Mother Knows Best” Dick
(Faye Norton of Rabbits in the Garden)

Raising two daughters on her own in the 1950s, Faye Norton is religious, sensitive, and absolutely insane. Or is she? After all, it's not easy being a single mother, and in times of diminishing morals, someone has to stand up for what's right. Someone has to teach the world that bawdy is naughty. But most of all, Faye Norton wants to teach her daughters that the last person they should ever challenge is Mother. She teaches that lesson frequently. Faye's particular brand of dickishness could also be classified as “The Psychotic Dick”. 

The Bully Dick
(Preston Michaels of The Dangerous Life of Darian McCloud)

Preston Michaels has done a lot of bad things: things he doesn't think are so bad, at least not on the surface. Born into an assassin family, he takes pride in his work and eventually falls in love with another assassin. Unfortunately, her part in the tale is short-lived. After having two children together, Preston murders Darian McCloud because she posed a threat to the organization. To cope with the murder and abandonment of his children, he turns to alcohol and adopts a son whom he verbally abuses for amusement. There aren't many redeemable pieces of Preston Michaels. 

King Dick
(Chancellor Rojer Doa of From the Herald's Wearied Eye)

Rojer Doa and Preston Michaels could be related. In fact, they are. The ELM Corporation for which Preston works is a precursor to The Council which Chancellor Doa heads. But while Preston has a cruel tongue, Doa uses other instruments of torture. He has little restraint when it comes to his enemies...or his daughter, but it's to be expected. The Chancellor has rights others do not, and very few who still live free in Cartesia are likely to dispute it. He takes what he wants and deserves to do so.

Some are lovable, some are reprehensible, but they all have valid reasons for being dicks, whether the reasons justify the actions or not. I could go on and on, and I would if I didn't have The Prince Charming Dick (Kit Marlowe from Verses of Villainy) waiting for some tender loving care.

Thank you so much to Castle Macabre for having me on their blog. I had an incredibly awesome time. To anyone interested in my work, please visit or

Jessica McHugh is an author of speculative fiction that spans the genre from horror and alternate history to epic fantasy. A prolific writer, she has devoted herself to novels, short stories, novellas, and even playwriting. She has had nine books published in three years, including "Song of Eidolons", "The Sky: The World" and the first three installments in her "Tales of Dominhydor" series.

Danny Marble and the Application for Non-Scary Things releases today from Reliquary Press. Watch for my review coming later today.


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