Friday, 20 September 2013

Hunky Heroes and Vile Villians

I’m working on a workshop for our next education session for the group with Julia Phillips Smith on writing hunky heroes and vile villains.  It’s been torture, really, having to meet with Julia and discuss our favorite alpha heroes and our favorite beta heroes. Such a chore! Not really. Who knew work could be so fun? And speaking of fun, villains are a favorite of mine, too and can be a lot more fun to write than the  good guys.

A good hero can make or break a book in our genre. To be honest, what I loved about Twilight wasn’t the vampire thing or the main character, it was Edward. He made the book for me, so what was it about him that I like and that so many others who read it and loved him found so swoonworthy?

For me it was how he whispered, how he had a hint of danger, how he protected and rescued Bella, how he was drawn to her though he didn’t want to be. All of those things made him irresistible for me. And for me, none of them were there in the rest of the books. Edward wasn’t the same after Twilight, so my love for him faded with my interest in the series.

But that’s just me.

In my first and so far only book, though the sequel is in production right now, Speak of the Devil, I tried to create that same swoonworthy hero. I tried to make Luc mysterious and dangerous. I tried to make him protective and all that, I mean he is a guardian angel after all. But on the other hand, I don’t like my leading ladies to be damsels in distress, so they had to take turns on the rescuing side of things. But he whispered some and was definitely drawn to her, but maintaining that in the second book is a challenge. And what about villains? The best villains don’t believe they’re villains, right? They believe their cause is just. I realized that my villain was mainly behind the scenes in Speak of the Devil, so I brought him out front and center for book two, The Devil Made Me!  I wanted a good, nasty villain but one you might almost root for if things were slightly different. One you could almost see his point. Since I didn’t have one really in the first book, I went all out and picked Lucifer, the devil, as my villain, and boy was he fun to write. 

So what do you look for in your heroes? Your villains? Are you an alpha male lover or do you prefer the beta males? Who’s your book boyfriend? Who are your favorite heroes and villains and why?

Shawna Romkey, Author of  Speak of the Devil
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  1. The Count Saint-Germain is pretty high up there for me, being a compassionate vampire and all. Also, Prince Corwin from the Amber series, and Prince Rilian from Narnia's Silver Chair. I love that term, 'book boyfriend'!

  2. Great post! I like heroes with a touch of vulnerability thrown in with their alpha characteristics - and they have to be flawed. And tortured in some way. I couldn't really name a favourite, but two of Pamela Clare's heroes - Iain and Morgan MacKinnon from her MacKinnon's Rangers series - are high on my list. As for villains, I perefer them when they aren't totally evil - when they have at least one quality that makes you think that in other circumstances, they might have been redeemable.

  3. My book boyfriend is Gideon Cross. There I said it. I have a huge, gut wrenching, huuuuuurt me crush on Gideon Cross. Feels good to get that off my chest. Mmmmmm, Gideon's chest...

    Ahem, what were we talking about? Right heroes and villains. I love your character, Luc, in Speak of the Devil and I think you accomplished exactly what you set out to. He's definitely swoon worthy.

    As far as villains go, I'd have to say I love Flagg in Stephen King's, Eyes of the Dragon. You always think he's gonna win and I love that.

    Awesome post!!

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  5. Haha, I didn't really reveal my weird deep dark crushes. I like the goofy nerds like Joxer from Xena, Xander on Buffy. I think they need to make me laugh and have a good sense of humor. Like a puppy. :p

    I love that Michelle tagged this post "swoonworthy."

  6. Dammit, I'm typing too fast.... they need to have a good heart is what I meant to say.

  7. I like my book boyfriends,(and by the way, perfect term), to be a little mixed. A little mongrel. The pure alpha or pure beta doesn't do it for me.