Today’s guest blogger is the always awesome Karin Tabke. Though she’s best known for authoring romance novels featuring buff contemporary cops, Karin has recently burst onto the historical romance scene, writing books about buff medieval knights. (You see the common thread: sizzle.) Thanks for being here, Karin! (Therese, by the way, is being all controversial elsewhere today. Check it HERE.)
Guest blogger Karin Tabke on bad boys
First of all thank you, Teri, for having me back!
Today I’m going to chat about villains. Muwahahahahahahaha!
I like villains. The good meaty complex ones. I find them fascinating.
The more layered and humanized the better. I’m a writer who believes for a story to work the writer should know her villain as intimately as she does her hero and heroine. The villain often drives the plot. And if one isn’t careful, a villain can take over the story.
Here’s what Merriam-Webster has to say about the bad guy:
1 : VILLEIN 2 : an uncouth person : BOOR 3 : a deliberate scoundrel or criminal 4 : a character in a story or play who opposes the hero 5 : one blamed for a particular evil or difficulty
Yep, the villain throws the wrench and causes the problems. But villains are people too! For a villain to work, he/she must have layers. They must be complex and they must have believable reasons for being, well, villainous. The one-dimensional villain falls flat. He’s bad because he wants to conqueror the world. So? Not good enough. Why does he want to conqueror the world? Because he’s a power monger? Not good enough. Does he have deep seeded insecurity issues? Does he have something to prove to his evil stepfather? Was he orphaned and had to fight for every scrap of food to survive?
And what about the classic bitch villains? Being a bitch for the sake of plot is not going to pull me along. In fact, I start rolling my eyes. Why is she a bitch? Is she afraid? Insecure? Was she laughed at in elementary school? Was she victimized and now she lashes out before being lashed at? Give me a good villain, and I will read your book!
Of course, for me, the best kind of villains are the ones who are heroic. A perfect example of this is John Travolta’s character Gabriel in Swordfish. At his core, Gabriele is a patriot. He kills a lot of innocent people to protect America against terrorists. The killing of innocent peeps bugged me, and I’m not sure I could justify in my mind Gabriel as a true hero, but he was so simply complex in his life’s mission, one understood his reasoning for what he did. He was driven. Driven for a noble reason. His methods however were that of the same people he strived to protect America from.
In the anthology WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE I’m in with my good friends Allison Brennan and Rocki St Claire, my story REDEMPTION is about Zach Garret, a bad ass vigilante cop who is given a second chance as he is thrust into the fires of hell. Here’s a guy who took the law into his own hands and destroyed bad guys on his terms, not the law’s terms. Zach has a particular appetite for removing pedophiles and rapists from the face of the earth. His emotional back-story supports it. Zach was one of the most complex yet easiest heroes for me to write. I understood his anger, his pain and his burning desire for justice when the time honored judicial system failed. He goes a step further and does a bad thing to protect the woman he loves, and in effect destroys their love. But for him, the suffering for them both is worth preserving her life. He was not hard to redeem. Everything he did, he did with passion and for the love of a woman. He could have easily been the bad guy, but there was too much good in him.
All villains, like our heroes and heroines, have issues. Baggage, and a deep seeded belief in their particular means to an end. And so long as they stay true to it, they are believable. It doesn’t matter if the villain is male or female, for to them work they must have a cause, a deep rooted belief, even if the motive is revenge, or power or for so many, love lost.
Who is your favorite villain? And why?
I’d also like to take a quick moment to let you all know, MASTER OF CRAVING, book three in my Blood Sword Legacy series releases today! Happy dance! Talk about a tortured hero! Stefan de Valrey was one tough nut to crack. And my bad guy in this story? The husband of Princess Arianrhod of Dinefrw, the one woman, Blood Sword, Stefan de Valrey must have at all costs!
To celebrate the release of MASTER OF CRAVING, I’m having an 8 Days for 8 Knights of giveaways at my place, www.karintabke.com/blog, and my publisher, Simon & Schuster, has released A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER, a short story featuring one of the hotties in MASTER OF CRAVING as a FREE read. Here’s the link to download it!
Oh, and before I forget, I’m going to give away a signed copy of WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE, to a lucky commenter!
Readers, don’t forget to comment if you’d like to win a copy of WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE.
Write on, all.