Guestpost Author Sherry Ficklin + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Guest Post , Sherry Ficklin Posted on September 3, 2010 @ 6:01 am 20 comments
We are very happy to have author Sherry Ficklin here today. Foresight, book 1 in her Gods of Fate Triology was released in July and she is here today to talk about Characters we love to hate“. Be sure to stay tuned till the end and discover your chance to win a wonderful prize-pack offered by Sherry. Please give her a warm welcome.
As writers we tend to spend our time focusing on our main character, or hero/heroine. They are what the story is about, they are often the ones telling it or at least in some way, we are seeing the world through their eyes. So we labor over every minute character detail. Our MC is brave, honest, smart, but also scared, clumsy, or challenged. We know them better than we know ourselves. We know their dreams and desires, and in the end, we want the reader to know them that well too. 
I have notebooks FULL of random info about my MCs.
But all too often we writers forget about an equally important character in our story, the villain. In the old silent movies villains could be identified by the black cape and the twirling of the mustache, but for a reader, that will not due. Sure, your villain can be ugly, warty, with a hump in his back and crazy eyes, but isn’t it better when a villain is handsome, charming, even kind to some degree?

Let’s look at a few archetypal villains. I’m going to Star Wars (please don’t sue me Mr. Lucas) for just a second. Let’s examine Darth Vader. In movies 4 and 5 Vader was a class one villain, mean and nasty through and through. He even had the black cape. But we never connected with him, at least not in those movies. He was simply evil. Someone to hate. And that’s fine. Sort of. As a reader, I look for more depth in my villains than that. A really good villain can tell you the world is purple and you kind of believe them. They aren’t all bad, often they have some really good qualities, but back to that later. In movies 1-3 and 6 we get to see Vader/Anakin in a whole new light. He was a good guy with legitimate complaints who was lured into making all the wrong choices, both by external and internal influences. But we see him struggle with those choices later in life, and ultimately, we see him redeemed.  

In the hit new show Glee we meet Sue Sylvester. Mean, nasty, and totally hilarious. Soon, we see that she has a sister with Down Syndrome who she loves dearly and who makes her (try to be) a better person. This is a great way to make a villain memorable. Give them something good and pure to love. Yeah, maybe your crazy scientist is out collecting brains, but it’s only to try to save his brain damaged wife who is living in a vegetative state. It begs the question, how far will a good person go? Your villain is just a person who will go one step too far.  

Another classic villain is Lord Voldemort. Voldy is a bad seed, through and through. He has no redeeming qualities and is another bad guy you love to hate. To me, however, voldy wasn’t really the villain of the HP books. It was always Snape. From the word go we suspected the big nosed, greasy haired potions teacher who took every opportunity to demean and ridicule our hero. But wait, and the end of the FIRST book, we learn that he was actually trying to save poor Harry? Why? And that brings the point home. Voldy was a silent movie villain, while Snape was the one we cared about, the one who amassed so much fan loyalty. If you can make people root FOR your villain, you know you’ve done your job as a writer.  

There’s also villains like Hannibal Lector. He’s creepy. He’s crazy. He’s 100% evil. So why are we intrigued by him? Another great villain is the justified villain. He sees the world from a skewed perspective. But whatever he’s done has been for a reason. A good reason, according to him. You don’t agree, but you can sort of see where he’s coming from. 
And my VERY favorite type of villain, the sneak attack villain. I’m not going to name names here for anyone who might currently be reading a book with a sneak attack villain, but I will say, wow. The set up is simple. Your hero has a brother/friend/girlfriend who you trust. You love. Only to discover, at the end, that they have betrayed your MC. They are the bad guy, have been all along, but your MC didn’t see it, so neither did you. Snape killed Dumbledore. We forgave him for that because he came through for us in the end. But what if he hadn’t? What if Dumbledore had been wrong about him and he’d been evil all along? What if you’d trusted him, and he’d turned around and killed our beloved Harry? It would have been the ultimate betrayal.
A good villain can make or break a book. If your villain is evil because they need to be evil so your hero has someone to fight against, than you haven’t done your job. Your villain should have dreams and desires just like the hero. Only you know, evil. 

So you tell me, who are your favorite literary villains?


About the Author:
herry is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other.

About the Book:
All Grace Archer wants is to graduate from high school and get on with her life. But the Gods of Fate have other ideas. Attacked at graduation by a mysterious woman with gruesome henchmen, Grace is lucky to escape with her life. Rescued by a Fae warrior named Chris and her Aunt Phoenix, Grace learns that her mother was the Greek Goddess Pandora. Now Grace must protect her mother’s urn from the crazed demi-goddess Lilith, who is determined to unleash its horrors on an unsuspecting Earth. As if her blood legacy is not bizarre enough, Grace begins to develop frightening powers that threaten to destroy her from the inside out. Can Grace find the strength to defeat Lilith? Can she learn to control her powers before she loses her mind?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~*~*~Giveaway~*~*~

Thanks to Sherry we have a wonderful prize pack  to give away.

You can win:
– a book tote
– a bunch of book swag
– and an ebook copy of Foresight

All you have to do is answer Sherry’s Question at the end of the Guestpost. .

Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name is okay- no way of contact – no way to win).

This giveaway is International!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, September 18th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good Luck everyone!

About Susi


Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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20 Comments

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  • Elzahh September 3, 2010 at 6:49 am

    my favourite villians would have to be Valentine -Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series, Victor Dashkov -Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series, and Sergei -Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels series… I love how well they are written that it makes you hate them.

    -Elzar

    Email: elzar_valdivia@msn.com

  • Jessica September 3, 2010 at 6:59 am

    When I think literary I tend to think classics first off. So in a way Dracula was sort of villainish. But with new modern twists he really wasn't a villain but yet he was in the original version. I thought he was anyway.

    With modern novels, my fave might be Al from Kim Harrison's Hallow series. He can be devious yet funny and sometimes helpful. Jarbari from Jocelynn Drake's Dark Days series is also good, totally evil and manipulative, but a good villain in the definition of villains. 😉

    jessbess2505[at]yahoo[dot]com

  • Sharon S. September 3, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I was going to mention Al from The Halllows too! . I like it when the villian seems so bad for a while then you start to get glimpses of who they could become under the right circumstances. The whole bad boy thing . I also like Edward from Anita Blake.

  • Kulsuma September 3, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I think Voldemort is the first that springs to my mind- but then also Saruman and the Ring Wraiths from Lord of the Rings. They were very scary.

    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

  • Renee September 3, 2010 at 9:46 am

    The literary villain that first popped into my head was Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. I think, for me, he's so notable because, in a strange way, I understand his villainy. I know WHY he acts the way he does. Jealousy is a strong motivator.

    Of course, another that pops into my head, and I've mentioned before in one of your blog entries is Dolores Umbridge. There are very few characters that fill me with such rage, such fire as she does. I loathe her with the fire of a thousand suns. I don't know that she's someone I would call a favorite villain, but boy is she a villain.

    Julian from L.J. Smith's The Forbidden Game trilogy was always a favorite villain of mine. I guess ever since I was little I wanted to be kidnapped by David Bowie's Goblin King Jareth, and Julian reminded me a lot of Jareth.

    I also have to mention from Stephen Donaldson's Mordant's Need Duology (The Mirror of Her Dreams, followed by A Man Rides Through) Master Eremis. He is such a creepy, slimy bastard! It is difficult to understand why Terisa feels drawn to him and yet it isn't. When I first read Harry Potter, Snape reminded me quite strongly of Master Eremis. A creepy, slimy, hateful man with power…

    marvolosriddle (AT) gmail

    🙂

  • Victoria September 3, 2010 at 10:40 am

    My favorite villain is Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. He was so tragic that I had to love him. I also love Dracula. It's a vampire thing :).
    vsloboda@gmail.com

  • curlypow September 3, 2010 at 11:40 am

    The first one to pop into my mind is Valentine from the Mortal Instruments, but another favourite love to hate is Sauron from Lord of the Rings.

  • Dwayne September 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    This might sound old school, but I do like Iago from Othello. He's so devious and so cunning, which of course makes him my favourite literary villain!

    dwaynehalim@hotmail.co.uk

  • jen7waters September 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Sherry!
    Well, my favorite villain yet is Somerled from Juliet Marillier's "Wolfskin". He just scares the hell out of me through the entire book…I can never tell what he's going to do. It's actually heartbreaking watching him being evil, because he loves the hero so much (it's not a gay thing, they're like brothers), that in a way it pains him to be and to do evil…he has a lot of issues. I love to hate him 🙂

    jen7waters(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Allison September 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    My favorite literary villains are ones that are "grey." Villains that are all "black" are no fun. Lord Voldemort is the "go to villain" for potters, but I LOVED Snape. I loved how complex he was. Was he evil? Was he good? Was he really protecting Harry or was he trying to get Harry killed? He abused his powers, he was petty, but, oh! the backstory! What he REALLY TRULY did for Harry because of Lily.

    akbabcock at gmail dot com

  • rachel445 September 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Hmmm, I like Darroc from Karen Marie Moning's Fever series, Valentine from Mortal Instruments, and Victor Dashkov from Vampire Academy. Those are the guys that I love to hate.

    Res498(AT)aol.com

  • Jennifer K. September 6, 2010 at 3:35 am

    My favourite literary villain is definitely The Joker from the Batman comic books. Oh, he is so manipulative and planned – he is always ready.

    mashimaro_18@hotmail.com

  • mbreakfield September 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I love Snape, but one of my favorite villains is the sheriff of Nottingham as played by Alan Rickman.
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Misha1989 September 7, 2010 at 6:23 am

    My favorite literary villain is Voldemort from the harry potter series.

    Misha
    mishamary@gmail.com

  • van_pham September 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Mab Monroe from Jennifer's Estep Elemental assassin series.

    Littopandaxpress(at)yahoo(dot)Com

  • jmspettoli September 9, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Usually my favourite villains are from books have Queen Mab or King Oberon as the villain. There is always something unsettling about fey royalty.

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

  • REGINA ROSS September 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    my fav is somerled from wolfskin by juliet marillier.

    reginamayr@aol.com

  • Mysteriousrose September 11, 2010 at 7:03 am

    My favorite literary villain is Damon from The vampire Diaries by L J Smith.

    forceofstars(at)yahoo(dot)dk

  • Dana September 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    My favorite villain would have to Jean Claude from the Anita Blake series but only in books 1 thru 6. He really begs the question can you love someone and hate them at the same time?
    Thanks for the great giveaway.
    danasandstrom@sbcglobal.net

  • Png September 16, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Can I say my fave villian is 'Maleficent' from 'The Kingdom's Keepers' by Ridley Pearson. Since I doubt you might read this book, she's described as 'black-stockinged legs,green hands, as green as a lizard, the knuckles bent and bumpy, the nails as long as claws, she wore a robelike black dress with jagged purple fringe and a purple stripe running up the middle, her face all green,wretched, yet somehow beautiful'. this is directly quoted from the book, the book is rightly published by scholastics.
    :DDD
    regards: maidenhealer@hotmail.com

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