Seductive Villains

Nicola here! First of all, apologies for the fact that there are no photos on this blog post. All my power and communications have been knocked out by Storm St Jude so I am posting this up using my iPhone, with thanks to the patron saint of computer geeks!

Yesterday saw the publication of ONE NIGHT WITH THE LAIRD, book 2 in my Scottish Brides trilogy. ONE NIGHT WITH THE LAIRD is Mairi and Jack’s story. They have already met in the first book in the series and I think it is fair to say that they disliked one another thoroughly. Jack thought Mairi was rich, beautiful and spoiled. Mairi thought that Jack was a handsome charmer who was all talk and no
substance. Both were right in some ways but they had a lot to learn about themselves and about each other.

 ONE NIGHT WITH THE LAIRD is also a book that bristles with villains. There were three at the last count. It’s no secret that I enjoy writing a good villain and that evil in a story fascinates me almost as much as the development of the relationship between the hero and the heroine.

 I was thinking about villains particularly this week because with the “re-imagining” of Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope as part of the Austen Project there has been a lot of discussion about the character of John Willoughby. Willoughby, like Wickham in Pride and Prejudice and Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park is a man whose moral compass has gone awry. He is a cad (which I know is slightly too modern a word for Jane Austen but it does sum him up rather well). And yet there is about him that tantalising hint that he is not all bad; under other circumstances there is the chance that he could have been a villain redeemed. It’s like that moment in Star Wars when Luke give Darth Vader the chance to turn his back on the dark side and Vader hesitates before giving himself up completely to evil.

This particularly interests me as I did a talk at a literary festival last week on the real life inspiration for John Willoughby, William, 7th Baron Craven. There is a strong suggestion that Jane Austen, who was linked to the Craven family through ties of marriage and friendship, modelled Willoughby on the extravagant and rakish Lord Craven. This is not the only time that Jane Austen used a member of the Craven family as the inspiration for a wicked character; there is also the suggestion that she based Lady Susan Vernon on another Craven relative. However, Jane herself did say that all her characters were composites: “I am too proud of my gentlemen to admit that they are only Mr A or Colonel B.” I think that most writers take elements of people they have met and pick and choose which qualities to use.

All this led me to wonder, though – Is a villain a necessary part of a story? Probably not but I love the complexity that a villain can bring to a book. Honorary Word Wench Elizabeth Hawksley, a big fan of villains, commented:

“A strong villain needs to have his own aims and objectives. I find a villain really useful. He can be a catalyst for change: exposing the heroine’s weakest point, for example, thus giving her the opportunity to learn things or move on. He can also challenge the hero who can stand up to him and
come good. Villains bring danger. But beware: villains can seduce the author and infiltrate any emotional vacuum. They can be dangerously attractive.”

In ONE NIGHT WITH THE LAIRD all the villains in their different ways bring danger to the heroine and a challenge to the hero because Jack, the hero, simply does not see himself as a protector. Jack is pretty bad himself, rakish and ruthlessly unsentimental. He does not want to be cast in a protector’s role and seeing him struggle with it and change as he accepts it, was part of the fun of writing him.

As for seductive villains, well, I think they need that element of uncertainty about them, the chance that they might come good. Pure evil isn’t that fascinating. It’s too one-dimensional. But villains who are nuanced, who have depth and motivation for their behaviour, who can even be a little bit sympathetic or poignant, can be very compelling. Tom Bradshaw, who featured in a number of books in my Scandalous Ladies of the Ton Series, was the most nuanced villain I ever wrote. Tom was usually doing something illegal, immoral or just plain bad. Blackmail, attempted murder, nothing was too low for Tom to stoop to it. He was eventually redeemed not so much by the love of a good woman but by the need to make himself more worthy of that love and in Lady Emma’s Disgrace he finally got his own HEA.

Do you have a favourite seductive villain from a film or a book? Or a favourite scene where there is a face-off between the villain and the hero? I’m offering a copy of One Night with the Laird to a commenter between now and midnight Thursday.

125 thoughts on “Seductive Villains”

  1. Villains are so very useful from a plot point of view! They provide that nice external conflict that helps anneal the romantic relationship of the protagonists.
    One of my favorite villains is Roland in Patricia Veryan’s Golden Chronicles. He goes from pure slimeball to a guy who admits to caring about his horse to a self-sacrificing hero in spite of himself. Such jolly fun!

    Reply
  2. Villains are so very useful from a plot point of view! They provide that nice external conflict that helps anneal the romantic relationship of the protagonists.
    One of my favorite villains is Roland in Patricia Veryan’s Golden Chronicles. He goes from pure slimeball to a guy who admits to caring about his horse to a self-sacrificing hero in spite of himself. Such jolly fun!

    Reply
  3. Villains are so very useful from a plot point of view! They provide that nice external conflict that helps anneal the romantic relationship of the protagonists.
    One of my favorite villains is Roland in Patricia Veryan’s Golden Chronicles. He goes from pure slimeball to a guy who admits to caring about his horse to a self-sacrificing hero in spite of himself. Such jolly fun!

    Reply
  4. Villains are so very useful from a plot point of view! They provide that nice external conflict that helps anneal the romantic relationship of the protagonists.
    One of my favorite villains is Roland in Patricia Veryan’s Golden Chronicles. He goes from pure slimeball to a guy who admits to caring about his horse to a self-sacrificing hero in spite of himself. Such jolly fun!

    Reply
  5. Villains are so very useful from a plot point of view! They provide that nice external conflict that helps anneal the romantic relationship of the protagonists.
    One of my favorite villains is Roland in Patricia Veryan’s Golden Chronicles. He goes from pure slimeball to a guy who admits to caring about his horse to a self-sacrificing hero in spite of himself. Such jolly fun!

    Reply
  6. Ijust love the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves !He is just pure evil but with undertones of humour! Thats it I am cancelling christmas fast became a catch phrase in this house !

    Reply
  7. Ijust love the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves !He is just pure evil but with undertones of humour! Thats it I am cancelling christmas fast became a catch phrase in this house !

    Reply
  8. Ijust love the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves !He is just pure evil but with undertones of humour! Thats it I am cancelling christmas fast became a catch phrase in this house !

    Reply
  9. Ijust love the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves !He is just pure evil but with undertones of humour! Thats it I am cancelling christmas fast became a catch phrase in this house !

    Reply
  10. Ijust love the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves !He is just pure evil but with undertones of humour! Thats it I am cancelling christmas fast became a catch phrase in this house !

    Reply
  11. Villains almost always add danger to the plot and lead to an explosive conflict that clarifies the hero and heroine’s feelings about themselves and each other. Someone recently said that some of the best villains mirror the hero’s journey in many ways but often opting to remain evil, selfish, or delusional. One of the things that I have noticed is how many villains are shipped off to America on the next ship.
    Chasity’s and Fort’s father in My Lady Notorious lingers in my mind. His death of course makes Rothgar into Fort’s nemesis.
    Female villains are the stock of fairy tales–evil stepsisters, witches, and frustrated queens but I’m trying to think of the last one that I’ve seen in a romance. The one that I remember is Elizabeth Rivers in Kingmaker’s Daughter.
    Fantasy has the best villains. One of my favorites is Anaris in the Exordium series by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge. I can still see him lurking and listening as Brandon is helpless to rescue his father.

    Reply
  12. Villains almost always add danger to the plot and lead to an explosive conflict that clarifies the hero and heroine’s feelings about themselves and each other. Someone recently said that some of the best villains mirror the hero’s journey in many ways but often opting to remain evil, selfish, or delusional. One of the things that I have noticed is how many villains are shipped off to America on the next ship.
    Chasity’s and Fort’s father in My Lady Notorious lingers in my mind. His death of course makes Rothgar into Fort’s nemesis.
    Female villains are the stock of fairy tales–evil stepsisters, witches, and frustrated queens but I’m trying to think of the last one that I’ve seen in a romance. The one that I remember is Elizabeth Rivers in Kingmaker’s Daughter.
    Fantasy has the best villains. One of my favorites is Anaris in the Exordium series by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge. I can still see him lurking and listening as Brandon is helpless to rescue his father.

    Reply
  13. Villains almost always add danger to the plot and lead to an explosive conflict that clarifies the hero and heroine’s feelings about themselves and each other. Someone recently said that some of the best villains mirror the hero’s journey in many ways but often opting to remain evil, selfish, or delusional. One of the things that I have noticed is how many villains are shipped off to America on the next ship.
    Chasity’s and Fort’s father in My Lady Notorious lingers in my mind. His death of course makes Rothgar into Fort’s nemesis.
    Female villains are the stock of fairy tales–evil stepsisters, witches, and frustrated queens but I’m trying to think of the last one that I’ve seen in a romance. The one that I remember is Elizabeth Rivers in Kingmaker’s Daughter.
    Fantasy has the best villains. One of my favorites is Anaris in the Exordium series by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge. I can still see him lurking and listening as Brandon is helpless to rescue his father.

    Reply
  14. Villains almost always add danger to the plot and lead to an explosive conflict that clarifies the hero and heroine’s feelings about themselves and each other. Someone recently said that some of the best villains mirror the hero’s journey in many ways but often opting to remain evil, selfish, or delusional. One of the things that I have noticed is how many villains are shipped off to America on the next ship.
    Chasity’s and Fort’s father in My Lady Notorious lingers in my mind. His death of course makes Rothgar into Fort’s nemesis.
    Female villains are the stock of fairy tales–evil stepsisters, witches, and frustrated queens but I’m trying to think of the last one that I’ve seen in a romance. The one that I remember is Elizabeth Rivers in Kingmaker’s Daughter.
    Fantasy has the best villains. One of my favorites is Anaris in the Exordium series by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge. I can still see him lurking and listening as Brandon is helpless to rescue his father.

    Reply
  15. Villains almost always add danger to the plot and lead to an explosive conflict that clarifies the hero and heroine’s feelings about themselves and each other. Someone recently said that some of the best villains mirror the hero’s journey in many ways but often opting to remain evil, selfish, or delusional. One of the things that I have noticed is how many villains are shipped off to America on the next ship.
    Chasity’s and Fort’s father in My Lady Notorious lingers in my mind. His death of course makes Rothgar into Fort’s nemesis.
    Female villains are the stock of fairy tales–evil stepsisters, witches, and frustrated queens but I’m trying to think of the last one that I’ve seen in a romance. The one that I remember is Elizabeth Rivers in Kingmaker’s Daughter.
    Fantasy has the best villains. One of my favorites is Anaris in the Exordium series by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge. I can still see him lurking and listening as Brandon is helpless to rescue his father.

    Reply
  16. BTW, don’t consider me for the book. I’ve just gotten to “meeting” Cadross again. Oh, this is going to be fun; well, not for Mairi.

    Reply
  17. BTW, don’t consider me for the book. I’ve just gotten to “meeting” Cadross again. Oh, this is going to be fun; well, not for Mairi.

    Reply
  18. BTW, don’t consider me for the book. I’ve just gotten to “meeting” Cadross again. Oh, this is going to be fun; well, not for Mairi.

    Reply
  19. BTW, don’t consider me for the book. I’ve just gotten to “meeting” Cadross again. Oh, this is going to be fun; well, not for Mairi.

    Reply
  20. BTW, don’t consider me for the book. I’ve just gotten to “meeting” Cadross again. Oh, this is going to be fun; well, not for Mairi.

    Reply
  21. I do love a good seductive villain! Alan Rickman’s character in the first Die Hard movie comes to mind. And the final face off between his character and the Bruce Willis character was priceless!
    I love the sort of villain no one suspects – the kind of handsome, charming guy who ends up being a snake in the grass.
    Oh! And Benedict Cumberbatch’s KHAN in Star Trek INTO DARKNESS! Good heavens! Sexy as the devil and frightening as hell!

    Reply
  22. I do love a good seductive villain! Alan Rickman’s character in the first Die Hard movie comes to mind. And the final face off between his character and the Bruce Willis character was priceless!
    I love the sort of villain no one suspects – the kind of handsome, charming guy who ends up being a snake in the grass.
    Oh! And Benedict Cumberbatch’s KHAN in Star Trek INTO DARKNESS! Good heavens! Sexy as the devil and frightening as hell!

    Reply
  23. I do love a good seductive villain! Alan Rickman’s character in the first Die Hard movie comes to mind. And the final face off between his character and the Bruce Willis character was priceless!
    I love the sort of villain no one suspects – the kind of handsome, charming guy who ends up being a snake in the grass.
    Oh! And Benedict Cumberbatch’s KHAN in Star Trek INTO DARKNESS! Good heavens! Sexy as the devil and frightening as hell!

    Reply
  24. I do love a good seductive villain! Alan Rickman’s character in the first Die Hard movie comes to mind. And the final face off between his character and the Bruce Willis character was priceless!
    I love the sort of villain no one suspects – the kind of handsome, charming guy who ends up being a snake in the grass.
    Oh! And Benedict Cumberbatch’s KHAN in Star Trek INTO DARKNESS! Good heavens! Sexy as the devil and frightening as hell!

    Reply
  25. I do love a good seductive villain! Alan Rickman’s character in the first Die Hard movie comes to mind. And the final face off between his character and the Bruce Willis character was priceless!
    I love the sort of villain no one suspects – the kind of handsome, charming guy who ends up being a snake in the grass.
    Oh! And Benedict Cumberbatch’s KHAN in Star Trek INTO DARKNESS! Good heavens! Sexy as the devil and frightening as hell!

    Reply
  26. Favorite Villain?
    IT from A Wrinkle in Time.
    Meg was told, “You have something IT doesn’t have. That is your greatest weapon, but you have to find it for yourself.” (paraphrased from memory, but that’s the essence)
    Meg has Love! and it is what saves her & Charles Wallace.
    IT doesn’t have or understand Love. That’s what makes IT the best villain. It is very easy not to like something/someone who doesn’t have, know, or understand Love.

    Reply
  27. Favorite Villain?
    IT from A Wrinkle in Time.
    Meg was told, “You have something IT doesn’t have. That is your greatest weapon, but you have to find it for yourself.” (paraphrased from memory, but that’s the essence)
    Meg has Love! and it is what saves her & Charles Wallace.
    IT doesn’t have or understand Love. That’s what makes IT the best villain. It is very easy not to like something/someone who doesn’t have, know, or understand Love.

    Reply
  28. Favorite Villain?
    IT from A Wrinkle in Time.
    Meg was told, “You have something IT doesn’t have. That is your greatest weapon, but you have to find it for yourself.” (paraphrased from memory, but that’s the essence)
    Meg has Love! and it is what saves her & Charles Wallace.
    IT doesn’t have or understand Love. That’s what makes IT the best villain. It is very easy not to like something/someone who doesn’t have, know, or understand Love.

    Reply
  29. Favorite Villain?
    IT from A Wrinkle in Time.
    Meg was told, “You have something IT doesn’t have. That is your greatest weapon, but you have to find it for yourself.” (paraphrased from memory, but that’s the essence)
    Meg has Love! and it is what saves her & Charles Wallace.
    IT doesn’t have or understand Love. That’s what makes IT the best villain. It is very easy not to like something/someone who doesn’t have, know, or understand Love.

    Reply
  30. Favorite Villain?
    IT from A Wrinkle in Time.
    Meg was told, “You have something IT doesn’t have. That is your greatest weapon, but you have to find it for yourself.” (paraphrased from memory, but that’s the essence)
    Meg has Love! and it is what saves her & Charles Wallace.
    IT doesn’t have or understand Love. That’s what makes IT the best villain. It is very easy not to like something/someone who doesn’t have, know, or understand Love.

    Reply
  31. At last! I have the power! (and can answer the comments.) Thank you all very much for keeping things going whilst I was offline.
    Jayne I don’t have a UK date for One Night with the Laird yet but it should be soon as the books usually come out quite soon after the US publication these days. I will let you know and thank you for asking!

    Reply
  32. At last! I have the power! (and can answer the comments.) Thank you all very much for keeping things going whilst I was offline.
    Jayne I don’t have a UK date for One Night with the Laird yet but it should be soon as the books usually come out quite soon after the US publication these days. I will let you know and thank you for asking!

    Reply
  33. At last! I have the power! (and can answer the comments.) Thank you all very much for keeping things going whilst I was offline.
    Jayne I don’t have a UK date for One Night with the Laird yet but it should be soon as the books usually come out quite soon after the US publication these days. I will let you know and thank you for asking!

    Reply
  34. At last! I have the power! (and can answer the comments.) Thank you all very much for keeping things going whilst I was offline.
    Jayne I don’t have a UK date for One Night with the Laird yet but it should be soon as the books usually come out quite soon after the US publication these days. I will let you know and thank you for asking!

    Reply
  35. At last! I have the power! (and can answer the comments.) Thank you all very much for keeping things going whilst I was offline.
    Jayne I don’t have a UK date for One Night with the Laird yet but it should be soon as the books usually come out quite soon after the US publication these days. I will let you know and thank you for asking!

    Reply
  36. Thank you for the Patricia Veryan recommendation, Mary Jo. A guy who loves his horse can’t be all bad!
    Jo, I was thinking of the Sheriff of Nottingham when I was writing this piece. So funny. Alan Rickman almost stole the show!

    Reply
  37. Thank you for the Patricia Veryan recommendation, Mary Jo. A guy who loves his horse can’t be all bad!
    Jo, I was thinking of the Sheriff of Nottingham when I was writing this piece. So funny. Alan Rickman almost stole the show!

    Reply
  38. Thank you for the Patricia Veryan recommendation, Mary Jo. A guy who loves his horse can’t be all bad!
    Jo, I was thinking of the Sheriff of Nottingham when I was writing this piece. So funny. Alan Rickman almost stole the show!

    Reply
  39. Thank you for the Patricia Veryan recommendation, Mary Jo. A guy who loves his horse can’t be all bad!
    Jo, I was thinking of the Sheriff of Nottingham when I was writing this piece. So funny. Alan Rickman almost stole the show!

    Reply
  40. Thank you for the Patricia Veryan recommendation, Mary Jo. A guy who loves his horse can’t be all bad!
    Jo, I was thinking of the Sheriff of Nottingham when I was writing this piece. So funny. Alan Rickman almost stole the show!

    Reply
  41. Hi Shannon. That’s a really interesting point about villains mirroring the hero’s journey. I hope you enjoy Cardross – I did have fun with him!
    Ooh, Louisa! Benedict Cumberbatch does play a good villain of the most seductive sort. That kind of evil is fascinating to watch.

    Reply
  42. Hi Shannon. That’s a really interesting point about villains mirroring the hero’s journey. I hope you enjoy Cardross – I did have fun with him!
    Ooh, Louisa! Benedict Cumberbatch does play a good villain of the most seductive sort. That kind of evil is fascinating to watch.

    Reply
  43. Hi Shannon. That’s a really interesting point about villains mirroring the hero’s journey. I hope you enjoy Cardross – I did have fun with him!
    Ooh, Louisa! Benedict Cumberbatch does play a good villain of the most seductive sort. That kind of evil is fascinating to watch.

    Reply
  44. Hi Shannon. That’s a really interesting point about villains mirroring the hero’s journey. I hope you enjoy Cardross – I did have fun with him!
    Ooh, Louisa! Benedict Cumberbatch does play a good villain of the most seductive sort. That kind of evil is fascinating to watch.

    Reply
  45. Hi Shannon. That’s a really interesting point about villains mirroring the hero’s journey. I hope you enjoy Cardross – I did have fun with him!
    Ooh, Louisa! Benedict Cumberbatch does play a good villain of the most seductive sort. That kind of evil is fascinating to watch.

    Reply
  46. Suzy, that is such an insight into what is lacking in a villain’s life. I think the same applies in Harry Potter; Harry has friends who love him. Voldermort doesn’t even understand the concept.
    Shannon, I totally agree – Valmont is another fascinating and seductive villain.

    Reply
  47. Suzy, that is such an insight into what is lacking in a villain’s life. I think the same applies in Harry Potter; Harry has friends who love him. Voldermort doesn’t even understand the concept.
    Shannon, I totally agree – Valmont is another fascinating and seductive villain.

    Reply
  48. Suzy, that is such an insight into what is lacking in a villain’s life. I think the same applies in Harry Potter; Harry has friends who love him. Voldermort doesn’t even understand the concept.
    Shannon, I totally agree – Valmont is another fascinating and seductive villain.

    Reply
  49. Suzy, that is such an insight into what is lacking in a villain’s life. I think the same applies in Harry Potter; Harry has friends who love him. Voldermort doesn’t even understand the concept.
    Shannon, I totally agree – Valmont is another fascinating and seductive villain.

    Reply
  50. Suzy, that is such an insight into what is lacking in a villain’s life. I think the same applies in Harry Potter; Harry has friends who love him. Voldermort doesn’t even understand the concept.
    Shannon, I totally agree – Valmont is another fascinating and seductive villain.

    Reply
  51. I always have a soft point for seductive villains. I have a problem!
    I don’t mind if they are in Nottingham, Hagwarts or Gotham City. I was really worried when I considered my attraction for Joe Carroll in “The Following”, because he is really, really, really devilish.
    I liked Tom Bradshow very much and I hoped the Writer could save his life miraculously!

    Reply
  52. I always have a soft point for seductive villains. I have a problem!
    I don’t mind if they are in Nottingham, Hagwarts or Gotham City. I was really worried when I considered my attraction for Joe Carroll in “The Following”, because he is really, really, really devilish.
    I liked Tom Bradshow very much and I hoped the Writer could save his life miraculously!

    Reply
  53. I always have a soft point for seductive villains. I have a problem!
    I don’t mind if they are in Nottingham, Hagwarts or Gotham City. I was really worried when I considered my attraction for Joe Carroll in “The Following”, because he is really, really, really devilish.
    I liked Tom Bradshow very much and I hoped the Writer could save his life miraculously!

    Reply
  54. I always have a soft point for seductive villains. I have a problem!
    I don’t mind if they are in Nottingham, Hagwarts or Gotham City. I was really worried when I considered my attraction for Joe Carroll in “The Following”, because he is really, really, really devilish.
    I liked Tom Bradshow very much and I hoped the Writer could save his life miraculously!

    Reply
  55. I always have a soft point for seductive villains. I have a problem!
    I don’t mind if they are in Nottingham, Hagwarts or Gotham City. I was really worried when I considered my attraction for Joe Carroll in “The Following”, because he is really, really, really devilish.
    I liked Tom Bradshow very much and I hoped the Writer could save his life miraculously!

    Reply
  56. LOL, Carla! Yes, some of these devilish villains are so attractive. I’m glad you liked Tom. Thank you. I had no intention of redeeming him to begin with but I couldn’t help myself. I enjoy a challenge!
    Pamela, it’s interesting how legends such as Robin Hood can create villains who are almost as attractive as the heroes. Thinking about it I have to nominate Richard Armitage in the role of Gisborne for that very reason!

    Reply
  57. LOL, Carla! Yes, some of these devilish villains are so attractive. I’m glad you liked Tom. Thank you. I had no intention of redeeming him to begin with but I couldn’t help myself. I enjoy a challenge!
    Pamela, it’s interesting how legends such as Robin Hood can create villains who are almost as attractive as the heroes. Thinking about it I have to nominate Richard Armitage in the role of Gisborne for that very reason!

    Reply
  58. LOL, Carla! Yes, some of these devilish villains are so attractive. I’m glad you liked Tom. Thank you. I had no intention of redeeming him to begin with but I couldn’t help myself. I enjoy a challenge!
    Pamela, it’s interesting how legends such as Robin Hood can create villains who are almost as attractive as the heroes. Thinking about it I have to nominate Richard Armitage in the role of Gisborne for that very reason!

    Reply
  59. LOL, Carla! Yes, some of these devilish villains are so attractive. I’m glad you liked Tom. Thank you. I had no intention of redeeming him to begin with but I couldn’t help myself. I enjoy a challenge!
    Pamela, it’s interesting how legends such as Robin Hood can create villains who are almost as attractive as the heroes. Thinking about it I have to nominate Richard Armitage in the role of Gisborne for that very reason!

    Reply
  60. LOL, Carla! Yes, some of these devilish villains are so attractive. I’m glad you liked Tom. Thank you. I had no intention of redeeming him to begin with but I couldn’t help myself. I enjoy a challenge!
    Pamela, it’s interesting how legends such as Robin Hood can create villains who are almost as attractive as the heroes. Thinking about it I have to nominate Richard Armitage in the role of Gisborne for that very reason!

    Reply
  61. “But beware: villains can seduce the author and infiltrate any emotional vacuum.”
    The most obvious case of this I know of: Hannibal Lecter, who completely took over Thomas Harris’ career! In fact, he so enthralled Harris that he eventually got the girl who had defeated him, basically destroying her — Harris has explained Lecter’s evil, at least has attempted to justify it. I find myself somewhat outside the later books, watching Lecter defeat Harris’s plot arc over and over …

    Reply
  62. “But beware: villains can seduce the author and infiltrate any emotional vacuum.”
    The most obvious case of this I know of: Hannibal Lecter, who completely took over Thomas Harris’ career! In fact, he so enthralled Harris that he eventually got the girl who had defeated him, basically destroying her — Harris has explained Lecter’s evil, at least has attempted to justify it. I find myself somewhat outside the later books, watching Lecter defeat Harris’s plot arc over and over …

    Reply
  63. “But beware: villains can seduce the author and infiltrate any emotional vacuum.”
    The most obvious case of this I know of: Hannibal Lecter, who completely took over Thomas Harris’ career! In fact, he so enthralled Harris that he eventually got the girl who had defeated him, basically destroying her — Harris has explained Lecter’s evil, at least has attempted to justify it. I find myself somewhat outside the later books, watching Lecter defeat Harris’s plot arc over and over …

    Reply
  64. “But beware: villains can seduce the author and infiltrate any emotional vacuum.”
    The most obvious case of this I know of: Hannibal Lecter, who completely took over Thomas Harris’ career! In fact, he so enthralled Harris that he eventually got the girl who had defeated him, basically destroying her — Harris has explained Lecter’s evil, at least has attempted to justify it. I find myself somewhat outside the later books, watching Lecter defeat Harris’s plot arc over and over …

    Reply
  65. “But beware: villains can seduce the author and infiltrate any emotional vacuum.”
    The most obvious case of this I know of: Hannibal Lecter, who completely took over Thomas Harris’ career! In fact, he so enthralled Harris that he eventually got the girl who had defeated him, basically destroying her — Harris has explained Lecter’s evil, at least has attempted to justify it. I find myself somewhat outside the later books, watching Lecter defeat Harris’s plot arc over and over …

    Reply
  66. Kudos to you for posting from your iPhone!! I’m impressed!! I have never had a favorite villain because I just don’t like them. Sad, I know, but true. I’ll go back to my writer’s cave now.

    Reply
  67. Kudos to you for posting from your iPhone!! I’m impressed!! I have never had a favorite villain because I just don’t like them. Sad, I know, but true. I’ll go back to my writer’s cave now.

    Reply
  68. Kudos to you for posting from your iPhone!! I’m impressed!! I have never had a favorite villain because I just don’t like them. Sad, I know, but true. I’ll go back to my writer’s cave now.

    Reply
  69. Kudos to you for posting from your iPhone!! I’m impressed!! I have never had a favorite villain because I just don’t like them. Sad, I know, but true. I’ll go back to my writer’s cave now.

    Reply
  70. Kudos to you for posting from your iPhone!! I’m impressed!! I have never had a favorite villain because I just don’t like them. Sad, I know, but true. I’ll go back to my writer’s cave now.

    Reply
  71. I loved how Mary Balogh made the villain of Choosing Julia (I think that was the title) into the hero of Dancing With Clara.
    Very believable and lovely to watch.
    He wasn’t an evil-through-and -through villain, though, just a man who was desperate.

    Reply
  72. I loved how Mary Balogh made the villain of Choosing Julia (I think that was the title) into the hero of Dancing With Clara.
    Very believable and lovely to watch.
    He wasn’t an evil-through-and -through villain, though, just a man who was desperate.

    Reply
  73. I loved how Mary Balogh made the villain of Choosing Julia (I think that was the title) into the hero of Dancing With Clara.
    Very believable and lovely to watch.
    He wasn’t an evil-through-and -through villain, though, just a man who was desperate.

    Reply
  74. I loved how Mary Balogh made the villain of Choosing Julia (I think that was the title) into the hero of Dancing With Clara.
    Very believable and lovely to watch.
    He wasn’t an evil-through-and -through villain, though, just a man who was desperate.

    Reply
  75. I loved how Mary Balogh made the villain of Choosing Julia (I think that was the title) into the hero of Dancing With Clara.
    Very believable and lovely to watch.
    He wasn’t an evil-through-and -through villain, though, just a man who was desperate.

    Reply
  76. I am amazed that you could post using your iPhone! I don’t particularly have a favorite villain but I am amazed when authors manage to shift the reader’s perception from villain to misunderstood or someone with extenuating circumstances!

    Reply
  77. I am amazed that you could post using your iPhone! I don’t particularly have a favorite villain but I am amazed when authors manage to shift the reader’s perception from villain to misunderstood or someone with extenuating circumstances!

    Reply
  78. I am amazed that you could post using your iPhone! I don’t particularly have a favorite villain but I am amazed when authors manage to shift the reader’s perception from villain to misunderstood or someone with extenuating circumstances!

    Reply
  79. I am amazed that you could post using your iPhone! I don’t particularly have a favorite villain but I am amazed when authors manage to shift the reader’s perception from villain to misunderstood or someone with extenuating circumstances!

    Reply
  80. I am amazed that you could post using your iPhone! I don’t particularly have a favorite villain but I am amazed when authors manage to shift the reader’s perception from villain to misunderstood or someone with extenuating circumstances!

    Reply
  81. That’s fascinating about Lecter and Thomas Harris, Sue. I’m not sure I would want any character to consume me so completely, or take over in that way. It feels very disturbing.
    Thank you, Ella. We rigged up a complicated arrangement of the iPhone and the iPad and a no one was more amazed than I was that it worked! But the pictures were just too much for it to cope with. Which was a shame as there was a great one of Greg Wise as Willoughby looking like a very seductive villain indeed!

    Reply
  82. That’s fascinating about Lecter and Thomas Harris, Sue. I’m not sure I would want any character to consume me so completely, or take over in that way. It feels very disturbing.
    Thank you, Ella. We rigged up a complicated arrangement of the iPhone and the iPad and a no one was more amazed than I was that it worked! But the pictures were just too much for it to cope with. Which was a shame as there was a great one of Greg Wise as Willoughby looking like a very seductive villain indeed!

    Reply
  83. That’s fascinating about Lecter and Thomas Harris, Sue. I’m not sure I would want any character to consume me so completely, or take over in that way. It feels very disturbing.
    Thank you, Ella. We rigged up a complicated arrangement of the iPhone and the iPad and a no one was more amazed than I was that it worked! But the pictures were just too much for it to cope with. Which was a shame as there was a great one of Greg Wise as Willoughby looking like a very seductive villain indeed!

    Reply
  84. That’s fascinating about Lecter and Thomas Harris, Sue. I’m not sure I would want any character to consume me so completely, or take over in that way. It feels very disturbing.
    Thank you, Ella. We rigged up a complicated arrangement of the iPhone and the iPad and a no one was more amazed than I was that it worked! But the pictures were just too much for it to cope with. Which was a shame as there was a great one of Greg Wise as Willoughby looking like a very seductive villain indeed!

    Reply
  85. That’s fascinating about Lecter and Thomas Harris, Sue. I’m not sure I would want any character to consume me so completely, or take over in that way. It feels very disturbing.
    Thank you, Ella. We rigged up a complicated arrangement of the iPhone and the iPad and a no one was more amazed than I was that it worked! But the pictures were just too much for it to cope with. Which was a shame as there was a great one of Greg Wise as Willoughby looking like a very seductive villain indeed!

    Reply
  86. I must read those Mary Balogh books, Anne. That sounds wonderful. I love it when an author redeems a villain so beautifully and credibly. I think the key is definitely giving them convincing motivation. Which is what ELF is saying – it’s a real skill to present a villain so that readers see him or her differently and can believe in the redemption.

    Reply
  87. I must read those Mary Balogh books, Anne. That sounds wonderful. I love it when an author redeems a villain so beautifully and credibly. I think the key is definitely giving them convincing motivation. Which is what ELF is saying – it’s a real skill to present a villain so that readers see him or her differently and can believe in the redemption.

    Reply
  88. I must read those Mary Balogh books, Anne. That sounds wonderful. I love it when an author redeems a villain so beautifully and credibly. I think the key is definitely giving them convincing motivation. Which is what ELF is saying – it’s a real skill to present a villain so that readers see him or her differently and can believe in the redemption.

    Reply
  89. I must read those Mary Balogh books, Anne. That sounds wonderful. I love it when an author redeems a villain so beautifully and credibly. I think the key is definitely giving them convincing motivation. Which is what ELF is saying – it’s a real skill to present a villain so that readers see him or her differently and can believe in the redemption.

    Reply
  90. I must read those Mary Balogh books, Anne. That sounds wonderful. I love it when an author redeems a villain so beautifully and credibly. I think the key is definitely giving them convincing motivation. Which is what ELF is saying – it’s a real skill to present a villain so that readers see him or her differently and can believe in the redemption.

    Reply

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