One of my earliest memories is of sitting in the living room with my father on a Sunday afternoon–back in the days when there were only five TV channels–and watching a black and white version of Frankenstein. I’ve always assumed it was the Boris Karloff version, but I distinctly remember the monster crying over dead Victor and then wandering off to die in the ice. This happens in the books but not the Karloff version, so it must have been another one that I saw that day. Anyway, I also clearly remember feeling really sorry for the poor monster–even when he accidentally drowns the little girl.

I’ve always tended to empathize with villains and monsters, but perhaps none more so than Frankenstein’s monster. Maybe that’s because I always felt a little different and socially awkward myself. And it’s not the poor monster’s fault when people are so repulsed by his looks that they won’t even try to understand the sensitive creature.

I think Frankenstein’s monster was one of the things that influenced one of my own creations–Brute. Luckily, things work out considerably better in the end for my guy than they did for Shelley’s.

Frankenstein’s monster was also the inspiration for the anthology Stitch, which releases April 21 and is available now for preorder. The book contains four stories–by me, Sue Brown, Eli Easton, and Jamie Fessenden–about created men. I think you’ll really enjoy them. My story is about a very particular sort of created man: a golem. I’ll tell you about golems next week.

Do you empathize with monsters and villians too? Which ones?