How villainous should a villain be and how do you balance him out?
Note: Leave a comment. One lucky person will a print copy of my best seller Joy Ride.
First of all, thanks to Delilah for hosting me today. She’s been one of my aspirational authors from the day I joined my RWA chapter and met her. The lady knows how to turn a fine word!
When writing a villain in an erotic romance the question always sits there as to how totally bad the villain should be. And is he or she a major player in the story or just a means to an end.
The dictionary defines a villain as an evil character in a story. The villain usually is usually referred to as the antagonist the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters. A villain is “a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.”
When I was creating the villain for Out of Control he was definitely not a deliciously wicked person. In fact, he’s the kind of person you want to shoot on site. He’s a major, major player in the story, because the history of his interaction with the heroine is the pivot on which the entire story turns.
“He sat in his den, pouring another shot of his favorite, aged whiskey, hoping it would calm his nerves. His hand trembled slightly as he lifted the glass to his lips again.
The whiskey burned as it slid down his throat, but it was a good sensation of heat. Comforting. Settling his jittery nerves. Last night’s little…adventure…had soothed him for a while but seeing her again this morning had jacked him up again. Brought all those tiny lovelies back again.
She had returned, his elusive little flower. This morning, he’d seen her entering Cole Landry’s office. So sweet, just like he remembered.
He’d Googled Dana Moretti last night on the computer, and the face looking back at him made his blood run hot all over again. He’d never forgotten his little Carrie. She’d been special. The only one who hadn’t cried out. The only one who’d struggled against him, turning him on with her odd sense of bravery. Now she was back. Finally. After all these years. She wasn’t getting away from him again. Not this time.”
And the heroine. The fear he instilled has been with her for most of her life. How would she feel being back in the place where her life took a turn for the worse with the villain still at large? What effect would it have on her digging into the files of the other crimes, ones where the victims hadn’t been lucky enough to escape as she had?
“She studied the screen on her laptop. The notes she’d transferred from her study of the case files stared back at her. There was nothing dressed up about the facts. They were brutal. Gruesome, even, and very explicit. The deputies who’d found the bodies had left nothing to the imagination. The pictures they conjured were like something out of a torture chamber.
A shiver skittered over her spine as she felt the ghost touch of those calloused fingers probing her body, heard Kylie’s high-pitched little screams. Remembered the terrible pain. Felt the tape ripped from her mouth and strange hands trying to be gentle with her.
When she’d seen Kylie’s body, she’d thrown her head back and screamed so long and hard her throat ended up raw for days. She’d fought to get to her sister, but other hands restrained her, voices tried to soothe her, and finally the sting of a needle had plunged her into blackness.
Now, with each case she examined, she relived it over and over again. Her stomach convulsed, and once more, she felt like throwing up.”
And then of course I needed a hero who was heroic enough to balance the villain, because I’d taken a chance and made the villain a totally despicable person.
“She was still rocking when she heard sirens in the background and the squealing of tires as a car–maybe more than one–pulled up behind her. Then her door was yanked open and Cole was crouching beside her, unbuckling her seat belt, putting one arm around her and smoothing back her hair.
“It’s okay.” His voice was calm and reassuring. “It’s okay, Dana. I’ll take care of whatever it is.”
He reached over her to pull the keys from the ignition. She was peripherally aware that he handed them over to someone behind him and was talking to him, swearing under his breath before he turned back to her.
“Dana? Listen to me. I’m here and you’re safe now. I’m going to help you out of this car, okay?”
She felt as if she was walking through water as she uncurled herself from the seat and let Cole help her stand. She leaned into him, drawing on his strength. The last time she’d fallen apart like this she was seven years old. That’s how old she felt right now.
“The house,” she moaned into his chest. “It’s not even mine. Cole, who would do something like this?”
He stroked her hair, his arms still around her. “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”
Out of Control is the story of a woman who survived the attack of a predator when she was seven years old, the only survivor of his crime spree. She’s battled emotional lockdown all her life and now realizes she can’t go forward unless she deals with the past. Back in the small town where it started she encounters hostility from people who want to keep it swept under the rug, and a sheriff, a former Marine, who is the first man in years she’s not afraid of. Check out a couple of the reviews:
Fallen Angel Reviews gave it a Recommended Read: I applaud Desiree Holt for creating a serial killer that even now still blows my mind away and how badly Dana just wanted to be normal like every other woman. The killer is still loose and the killings that occur in the book just prove how devious and clever Desiree Holt’s brain can become.
From Sizzling Hot Books: While tastefully and accurately written, Out Of Control might be a little gritty for some people. But, if you are looking for a story to keep you on the edge of your seat and maybe cause you to tear up a time or two, pick up Out Of Control and join Dana and Cole on their journey.
And from Seriously Reviewed: The scenes are well written, with compassion and feeling. The sex scenes are descriptive yet leave enough to the imagination to make them believable. Carrie/Dana is such an amazingly well written character with depth, feeling and believability. With everything that she has been through and all the baggage that she carries around with her also gives her the lovability factor.
Where can you find Out of Control? It’s available at all online bookstores and from Amazon and The Wild Rose Press also in print as well as ebook.
Where can you find me?
www.desireeholttellsall.com (UNDER MY HAT)
Facebook: Desiree Holt
And check out my publishers: Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, Decadent Publishing and Total-e-bound.
Desiree, this book sounds fabulous! I love a good serial killer book 🙂
This book does sound great. The villain sounds truly evil and scary. Cole sounds like the perfect hero (and he’s a former marine – what more could a girl want?) This is definitely going on my TBR list.
I’m gonna see if my library has any of them. Sounds like this one is definately a must read! Looking forward to another new author for me. 🙂
A hero who is a sheriff AND a former Marine? Yes, please!!
Wow I would have to agree that this sounds like a really good book…I love it when the villian is a major part of the book and the hero has to be strong enough to out smart the villian and that the heroien can stand on her own feet but gets the extra boost of strength from her hero. that is my favorite type of book is having a strong heroien, weak don’t work form…lol..
As the song says the plot demands an evil man….
I’m looking forward to this one.
Sounds like a great book and your right the villian is the type you want to shoot on sight.
I love it when the heroine & the hero team up to defeat the villian – so very satisfying when they give that nasty villain their comeuppance. 😈
I think there is room for the gritty stories. I love the serial killer stories. I’ll have to look for it. Thanks for the giveaway of Joy Ride
Sounds like an intense book to read! I am fine with evil heroes as long as there is someone heroic to take him or her down and provide just punishment. I like heroines who are able to hold their own and overcome past traumas and of course I have to have HEA endings. Thanks for sharing.
The villain for OUT OF CONTROL gave me the chills just reading the passages here. GREAT writing!!! I’ll be reading OUT OF CONTROL during the daytime.
I’d love to read JOY RIDE thank you.
Eeeeekkk! Yikes on the scary villain, Desiree! But I admit they do make the stories so much more compelling 😉 No need to include me for Joy Ride–just bought it 😀