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:
Book 1 of 2
Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he’s not so bad a guy. Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the US military, Hendricks now makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts–he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he’ll make sure whoever’s coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill set to make a living–but a great way to make himself a target.