Sunday, October 6, 2013

MY FAVORITE KIND OF VILLAIN


Congratulations to "Colleen C." the winner of Angi's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

What makes a good villain? Or maybe I should ask… WHAT KIND OF VILLAIN SCARES YOU?

Way back in 1980 (yes, I was barely born, snort) there was a movie: THE CHANGLING with George C. Scott. It's a ghost story (okay officially classified as horror). The unseen force in this film was scarier than any fictional murderer. I was compelled… What? Why? How? I still talk about it as one of my favorite films. (It might be outdated and I'm certain other films have done the subject justice…remember it was 1980.)


I've never been a fan of "slasher" movies. It always seems to me that the ones being murdered set themselves up, never seek true protection, etc. I mean, let's get real, if I'm in a cabin in the woods and there's a maniac with a hatchet killing people…I am NOT (repeat NOT) going to leave to look for him. We have a term in the writing world: the character is too stupid to live. The unseen villain always scares me more. Ghosts. Water. Space. Fire. A villain who manipulates, teases, and ultimately who's smart--not just killing because he has a hatchet.

Again, back in 1980…I read a book by Stephen King: THE SHINING. 
 I don't read too much horror. Maybe because the written word sticks with me even longer than a movie. I remember reading that book, alone at night, ALL night. As the book got scarier, I placed my back against the headboard and pulled pillows up around me. I can still draw on that feeling today. Thinking about it makes my eyes water, my spine tingle, I shiver a little. The movie didn't disappoint me either.

NATURE--the uncontrollable villain who has no motive. What's scarier than that? I saw JAWS in 1975 and couldn't sleep without looking under the bed. WHITE SQUALL was "a box office disappointment" in 1996. Starring Jeff Bridges and directed by Ridley Scott. I must be one of the few people who found it so scary I couldn't watch it again. It took me a while to determine why. Of course…I have an unnatural fear of being underwater. So now I know that kind of film will scare the bejeebers out of me every time. I highly recommend THE IMPOSSIBLE (2012 Ewan McGregor & Naomi Watts)--the true story of the Belon Family. I felt like my abs had a two-hour workout by the end of the movie because I was so tense. Monday night we're going to see GRAVITY. A new film with Clooney & Bullock where just the trailers make me shake in my boots.

The villains I write tend to be more manipulative, out to get something they desire. They tend to have an ulterior motive. I'm going to have to branch out one day soon and write a killer. But for now…I'll use nature as the unpredictable second villain as often as I can. In my January release, THE MARINE'S LAST DEFENSE, the hero and heroine are battling a "Texas White Out" near the Panhandle. I hope you'll catch me next month for a chance at an early copy.
~ ~ ~
Angi Morgan writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi's work has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.
~ ~ ~
FIND ANGI
Website   Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr
A Picture A Day   Goodreads   Pintrest  Book Trailers on YouTube
~ ~ ~
LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT. ENTER ANGI'S October contest: register at Rafflecopter through October 31st for a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Speaking of giveaways… I'll draw from blog commenters for a signed copy of Addison Fox's THE PARIS ASSIGNMENT, Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

WHICH DO YOU LIKE BEST… PSYCHOLOGICAL VILLANS or VILLIANS YOU WANT TO WIN?  THRILLER SCARY or GHOST SCARY?


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST October 7th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

37 comments:

  1. I'm pretty flexible with my villains in terms of their design but the ones that seem to frighten me the most are those that are highly intelligent and lack empathy. They almost always are several steps ahead of the good guys and take a lot of time and resources to capture. And, lots of characters pay the price along the way so I'm always tense about who may be next and worry that someone I've grown attached to will bite the dust!

    Thanks for the post.

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way --I recently got hooked on JUSTIFIED...I was wondering during every episode if someone was going to get killed or not. I'm amazed that I have just as much invested in the bad guys on that show.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  2. Oooh - Angi - I love a good villain! That counterbalancing force of evil to the hero and heroine just gets me every time!

    And thanks so much for sharing THE PARIS ASSIGNMENT with readers!!!

    xo,
    Addison

    ReplyDelete
  3. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceOctober 6, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I agree with Jonetta! Smart villains that lack empathy are really scary. I am not really into blood and gore and prefer psychological thrillers if I am in the mood for something scary. Which is why I enjoy Intrigues so much. They have a perfect balance of good vs evil without being to scary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceOctober 6, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Totally forgot my e-mail:

      fantum2004ATsbcglobalDOTnet

      Delete
    2. Awesome. I'm glad I write them ! Maybe that faceless killer will wait a while.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  4. I like a villain who outsmarts the good guys and doesn't care about anyone he hurts along the way. He never gets caught because he is smarter than the ones looking for him.

    joanneboykoATyahooDOTca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Several times on the contest route to publication I was told my villain was too smart. HA! At the Police Academy, they warned us that burglars look up addresses for dogs and handguns. Smart burglars? Hard to believe.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  5. I like a villain who is not all bad. Someone who seems like he/she could be someone you might see around town.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maureen, you know, in JUSTIFIED...one of the villains is very sympathetic. Perhaps it was because he tried to change but his methods were too bad. Boyd is hard to hate.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  6. Don't have a preference; depends on how the villain's written

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. For me it depends on the book I am reading... I enjoy regular bad guys that cause trouble to the really evil ones that keep you guessing who they are and what they will do next... their deeds keep you glued to the book to see how everything turns out at the end... to see good win!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, yep, yep, Colleen.
      Good over evil is a must.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  8. I like a villain who is sympathetic, smart and challenging enough to test the hero and heroine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gotcha, C.J. I want to redeem everyone.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  9. I don't like the sympathetic villains cuz I want the to stay "bad" so I don't feel bad for disliking them ;) Congrats to Angi on the new release and thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Erin. THE MARINE'S LAST DEFENSE hits shelves at the end of December. I love my cover. LOL
      ~Angi

      Delete
  10. Villains who also have political power and ruthlessly use it as a bargaining chip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Jade. Politics is a hard one to write. But I totally get that!
      ~Angi

      Delete
  11. I like the psychological villain. I don't want to feel any sympathy or empathy for the bad guy! :) it is the bad guy after all! LOL thank you for sharing. your book looks like a great one! Mandy Blackwell 25 at gmdot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mandy! Real bad bad guys are always welcome. I hope I've done that in The Renegade Rancher (wow, that title does not match a serial killer does it? LOL)
      ~Angi

      Delete
  12. I don't do scary well, so I need to be in the right frame of mind for a psychological villain. I don't find ghosts very scary and thrillers are sometimes too scary.

    The day light hours work best for me.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOVE IT MARY !!
      I swear, reading THE SHINING the pillows kept getting closer and closer (for protection obviously), but I couldn't stop reading.
      ~Angi

      Delete
  13. I like Silence of the Lambs. So scary... but what a fun villain!

    ReplyDelete
  14. MAY... SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is one movie I've never watched. I just can't make myself and I'm an Anthony Hopkins fiend !! (I loved him in RED 2)
    ~Angi

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am not particular in villainese( Yes I made that word up) but I do love an author that keeps you guessing til the end when the villain is revealed and the hero triumphs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with that !! And I love the word "villainese".
      ~Angi

      Delete
  16. The psychological villian gets me every time. They are unpredictable and that scares me. It could be someone you thought you knew well but, it is a mask and they truly have a dark under layer. Then you have to question your own choices and judgement. Or maybe they are a stranger that is so twisted even your darkest thoughts don't compare to the evil they are capable of doing. Sometimes you authors make me wonder if your family members sleep with one eye open. :)
    Julie O
    jo1963jo at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THAT IS TOO FUNNY, Julie !
      My husband's never said that...going to have to point it out to him!
      ~Angi

      Delete
    2. Oh no... if you point it out it is NOT my fault if he never has a peaceful nights sleep again! LOL
      Julie

      Delete
  17. I do have a shirt that reads and my family is very aware (glad to tell all their friends) to remind people:
    DANGER! WHAT YOU SAY MAY APPEAR IN MY NEXT BOOK!
    And...I have used lots of stuff.
    ~Angi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as they don't confess to a crime... not sure but I don't think there is an author / commenter confidentiality law. :)
      Julie

      Delete
  18. I like true crime stories more than blood and guts fiction. I love to analyze the way a villain thinks, especially those that seem to blend into society. I don't think anything is scarier than the thought that the crazy person on the loose could be your next door neighbor. I love reading stories that keep me guessing about the villain until the very end!

    ReplyDelete