Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Not-So-Dark Side of CLYDE BARROW in WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE by Kym Brunner

You probably think that EVERYTHING about Clyde Chestnut Barrow is DARK, right? And you ‘d probably, almost certainly, be right.

After all, he was a bank robber, a killer, car thief,  an ex-con who escaped from jail and who helped others escape as well, and a man kept the Feds after him for two years straight.

He was shrewd, crude, bossy, and had only one thing on his mind––escaping the life he had found himself in without a way out––but the truth is, he had a soft spot.

A few of them even.

First of all, he was only 24 when he died. It wasn’t like he had decades of criminal activities. His first arrest was when he was 16––for failing to return a rental car. His second arrest, for stealing a turkey.

It was 1932 and in the midst of the Depression. He lived in West Dallas – the poorest slum of the already destitute area. His family had no money and there weren’t very many jobs.

And a guy with an arrest record wasn’t about to get one of the few jobs that existed.

In WANTED:  DEAD OR IN LOVE, I portrayed Clyde as a person––someone who has both flaws and good qualities. He was very much a family man, and often found ways to visit his family when he was out on the run. He looked out for his moll, Bonnie Parker, and carried her when she couldn't run fast enough. (She suffered a horrible injury following a car crash during a getaway).

I’m not making excuses for his behavior—he committed a lot of crimes and deserved to be punished––but I tried to show how a boy from a decent family made some horrible mistakes as a teenager that set him off  on a destructive path.

I'm hoping that maybe, somehow, a person reading my book might think twice before taking that first step toward a life of crime.
Have you ever changed your behavior/ mind about someone based on something you read in a book?

For more information about WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE, or about Kym Brunner, check out her website HERE. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. This is what I love about writing, showing how a behavior, even an anti-social one, can stem from a motivation most people can relate to. Intriguing!

  2. I look forward to reading your book!!! :)

  3. I don't believe anyone is born "evil". Some get to a point of being beyond redemption, or don't even want redemption, or have such a severe mental illness that their reality is incomprehensible to most of us. I spent most of my 20s working with kids who were in bad situations and were already making bad choices, and I often wonder what their lives look like now. Thanks for the peek at Clyde's softer side :)

    1. Sounds like a tough job, Rhiann. The longer I teach, the more I see how screwed up so many kids' lives are. Not that it's an excuse for crime or deviant behavior, but I see what sort of shaky framework these kids' values are created upon, and many are just following the unspoken message of their parents.

  4. I learned a lot about Bonnie and Clyde while you were writing this book. And I do like learning more about people and what might have led them to a life of crime. Can't wait to read the finished novel. =)

    1. Thanks, Cherie! The novel I wrote wasn't the one I "planned." His life story made me do a little thinking and changed the direction of the book.