NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I heart Villains!

Psst, I'm going to tell you a secret. I'm not so much a sucker for a hero that makes my heart pitter-patter as I am for a villain who can make my heart race.

When people ask me how I managed to write a character as evil and twisted as The Babydoll Strangler in my romantic suspense novel The First Victim, I tell them it was easy.

The rules that govern polite society don't apply to villains. They are scheming, ruthless, narcissistic, soulless predators who think they're above the law. These cruel, malevolent sociopaths enjoy frightening and hurting their prey. They're fun to write. They're even more fun to read!

I'm a huge fan of authors who can create the kind of bad guys (or gals!) that have me checking to make sure I've locked the doors. My favorite villains and their creators include:

Arthur Conan Doyle's Moriarty

Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley


Ed McBain's The Deaf Man

Daphne Du Maurier's Mrs. Danvers

Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter



James Patterson's
Cassanova

Stephen King's Pennywise

JK Rowling's
Voldemort



All of these villains wield fear as their weapon of choice. Some with charm. Some with violence. All with surgical precision.

The authors who created them have branded these characters in my imagination with the kind of skill that leaves me both jealous and amazed.

How do you feel about villains? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Or love to hate them? Which ones are the ones you can't forget (even if you wanted to)?

12 comments:

Shirley Wells said...

I love villains. The creepier the better. :)

My favourite is probably Hannibal Lecter. I'd forgotten the charming Mrs. Danvers. Hmm, I may have to read the book again now.

The Babydoll Stranger was a wonderful villain. Thoroughly enjoyed The First Victim!

Kate Perry said...

Magneto from X-Men is one of my favorite villains. He had such great motivation and reasoning for his deeds.

On a random note, did you know that in old French "villains" is the word for a farmworker or serf?

Toni Anderson said...

Waves hello to JB :)
I love villains too. Billy Zane in Dead Calm. Still gives me the creeps.

JB Lynn said...

Shirley -- Mrs. Danvers totally creeps me out. Thanks so much for your kind words about The First Victim!

Kate -- You're right! Magneto's motivation and reasoning makes him a great villain! And no, I didn't know about the origin of the word, thanks for the info!

Toni - ((waves back!)) Billy Zane, Gary Oldman and Kevin Spacey all play great villains imho.

MaureenAMiller said...

Oh villains are so delightful! And JB, your Babydoll killer had me so nervous. :)

The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of my favorite movies. But when Toni threw out Billy Zane in Dead Calm...I had completely forgotten about that! He was insane, and perfect!

Alan Rickman in Die Hard is still way up there for me too.

Great post, JB!

Anne Marie Becker said...

I think I *heart* you, JB! LOL

Favorite villains? I agree about Alan Rickman in Die Hard. (Sigh. Why am I so attracted to that man?) And Magneto - also a great one. I like villains who have a psychological reason to be bad.

My villain in my upcoming release, Only Fear, is a serial killer named Fearmonger. He recreates his victims' worst fears. In my WIP, I was shocked at who my villain was at the end. Can't tell you more, or I'll spoil it! LOL

Jenny Schwartz said...

I'm another villain fan.

I love romantic suspense, like those by Barbara Michaels, where the villain and the hero are both wooing the heroine and she and the reader have to pick who to trust.

JB Lynn said...

Maureen - I suspect that Rickman could manage to sound ominous reciting a love poem. He's THAT good. I'm thrilled to know the Babydoll Strangler made you nervous -- thank you!

Anne Marie -- Ooooh, I love the idea of a villain who recreates peoples fears. Can't get creepier than that. How funny that the identity surprised you!


Jenny -- LOL, I have that exact scenario going on in my current WIP.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Villains? *ears perked* Did someone say villains?

I love all the villains on your list. You already know my favorite bad guy is Hannibal Lecter, but I'm also a big fan of Gretchen Lowell from Chelsea Cain's Beauty Killer series, because she's such an ice queen (Gretchen, not Chelsea). I really villains can make or break a book.

Congrats on the new gig, JB!

KC Burn said...

Villains can be fun (although I do find them terribly difficult to write). Absolutely agree about Alan Rickman in Die Hard & Billy Zane (but in Demon Knight). I also really loved Keanu Reeves in The Watcher, and Loki in Thor (don't know who played him but he's super sexy).

Rita said...

Oh my goodness Hannibal. And Billy Zane. I had completely forgotten that one. Arnold in the first Terminator. Or the shark in Jaws. Just to be silly Jack Palance in City Slickers.

Clare London said...

I'm very late with my response, sorry :(. But I *love* villains! There's so much more scope both in reading and writing LOL. I love the type who look normal and calm, yet there's a screw or two loose. The best scenes are when the writer lets that slip out in the character's conversation, and other people suddenly realise this person is not *exactly* what they thought ...

*chilly feeling*

Great post :).

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