Hi, everyone! It’s a pleasure to be visiting here with you all—and thanks so much to Katie for inviting me over! I can't wait to read her sexy new paranormal series, but to keep me busy, I will dive eagerly into Dangerous Secrets.
Today, I thought I’d talk about villains. The bad guys (or girls). Those wicked ones that can send shivers down your spine or have you shuddering in disgust. Oh, I do so love a good villain.
To me, a good villain isn’t some card-board character with only one dimension (and that dimension is, of course, EVIL!). Instead, I like to learn more about the villain. I want to see his character develop. Because even the villain should develop over the course of the story.
Let me use a super famous villain example—Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal didn’t stay the same during SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and HANNIBAL RISING. He changed. He evolved. That’s what all characters are supposed to do.
Villains have pasts, they have futures—and I like to know about them. So when I wrote DEADLY HEAT, I deliberately started the book with a prologue that would show my villains past. My villain isn’t some guy who just woke up one day and decided, “Hey, I’ll start some fires.” Instead, like Hannibal, he evolved, and the signs of the monster where in him even when he was a child.
But…just because a character is the villain, just because he’s incredibly bad—well, that doesn’t mean that a villain can’t have good points, too. All characters should care about something—or someone, and I believe a villain can show his emotional attachments. Sure, sometimes that love is twisted and broken, like an obsession, but for the villain, that feeling may be all that he has.
So don’t give me a one-dimensional guy. Give me someone I can fear. Someone who will make me double-check my locks at night. Give me a monster *and* a man.
Now it’s your turn…what do you like to see in a good villain? I’ll pick one commenter to win a copy of my latest release, DEADLY HEAT.
DEADLY HEAT—Available now from Grand Central Publishing
DEADLY LIES—Available 3/1/11 from Grand Central Publishing