Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Wednesday Guest- Kathy Lane
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that a villain is just another character in a story. Villains, or antagonists, serve a two-fold purpose. One, they act as the adversary who throws up obstacles the hero/heroine must struggle to overcome. And two, they provide readers with a diametrically opposed set of characteristics that make it easy for us to identify and love the protagonist. Quite often, it’s the villain who turns a good story into an exceptional story.
Whether in movies or books, we all love to hate the scoundrel who’s trying to ruin the lives of our hero and heroine. Villains, however, need not be hand-rubbing, mustache-twirling, monsters to do their job. Nor are they always male. Some of the most nasty villains in literature are female. Who didn’t hide their eyes from the Wicked Witch of the West the first time they saw the Wizard of Oz as a child? And did anyone really empathize with the Ice Queen of Narnia? Not me!
Even modern day fiction (i.e. romantic paranormals), has its share of hateful ladies. Take Artemis, the self-centered femme-fatale who lives to make Acheron’s life miserable in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. Anyone who has read these books, especially Acheron’s story, can’t help but wish the selfish goddess would get a taste of what she’s dealt out to others.
Some might argue that Artemis is more of a secondary character. While that’s true in some of the books, it can’t be denied that her malicious meddling is a wonderful tool that adds tension and conflict throughout the Dark Hunter world. Nalini Singh also handles this well in her Psy/Changling series with her Nikita Duncan character. As the mother of the heroine, Nikita starts out cold-blooded and easy to hate in book one, Slave to Sensation. Her sole purpose seems to be to heap stress and heartache on her daughter. I’m not giving away anything here, but exploring this character’s growth over the arc of the series is well worth the read.
Male or female, villains are integral members of a plot, especially if your story arc spans more than one book. In my Bloodsworn series, the protagonists face numerous hurdles, but none so daunting as the main villain. Camarie, that power-hungry Bloodsworn, is out to rule the planet, Avalyr. Nothing and no one is going to stand in his way, least of all his nephew Devlin’s new Starmate, Avera St. John. Find out what new plans he has for her and her First Blade, Bracca Cu-Laurian, in Bloodsworn II: Linked by Blood, due out July 15th from The Wild Rose Press.
Bracca has plenty to worry about as he struggles to cement his place as Avera’s First Amber Blade. His determination to gets thrown off course when he meets Sheren Ni-Annun, a young widow who wants nothing more to do with Blades. She’s seen first hand how their loyalty to their Bloodsworn can poison a family. But when Camarie’s hate oozes out to threaten her son’s life, who better than a Blade to help her keep her child alive?
For those playing my Scavenger Blog Game, here’s question (2): Who is the nastiest villain you can think of. Male or female, human or…something else altogether, name the favorite character you love to hate.
My website: www.kyrlane.com