We asked Anthony Award-winning thriller author Chris Holm about how he crafts brilliant sidekick characters and what their most important qualities are.
I’m tempted to say loyalty—but from a writerly point of view, I think the most important quality in a sidekick is that they serve as a good foil for the protagonist. Left to his own devices, my protagonist—Michael Hendricks—is a prickly, self-destructive loner. His sidekicks—Lester in The Killing Kind and Cameron in Red Right Hand—are funny, sociable, and surprisingly well-adjusted given the circumstances in which they find themselves. (I’d like to think they’re also quite different from one another.) Each injects their story with an interesting friction that’s fun to write, and hopefully to read. Each sees the good in Hendricks, and refuses to let him give into his darkest impulses.
Discover Chris Holm’s Michael Hendricks Series:
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Chris Holm is the author of the Michael Hendricks thrillers and the Collector trilogy, which blends crime and fantasy. His first Michael Hendricks novel, The Killing Kind, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and won the Anthony Award for Best Novel.