Yikes! A new story in draft: I'm excited!!!
Author's Response: Thanks! Saruman's hard to write about, because I have trouble getting inside his head. But he's consistant with my theme, "How does a respectable person fall into evil?" Saruman's path into evil is different than Sauron's. It's harder to understand his motivations. Sauron's infatuation with Melkor almost completely explains why he went to the Dark Side. (I see him as Mrs. Soffel, the respectable woman who ran off with a handsome sociopath, Pitsburgh ~1900.) Saruman's path into evil seemed to be due to being jealous of Sauron and imitating him. But he never had the hero-worship, infatuation, loyalty, etc. that Sauron had for Melkor. I don't know if 'I like you' imitating is different from 'I'm competing with you' imitating. Perhaps they give the same result. Or maybe I'm wrong and both Sauron and Saruman followed the same path, "I am imitating someone more evil than myself."