BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH–VILLAINS AND TREACHERY! by Cheryl Pierson #blogabookscene #Prairierosepub

Oh, how I love a good villain! Whether I’m reading about one or watching him/her on film, or best of all—WRITING ONE!

What makes a good villain? Well, in my opinion, first and foremost he can’t be one-dimensional. I know in our “real world” there are those people that seem to be evil just for the sake of it and some of them probably are. But in our reading/writing, we want to know WHY. What made this person turn out like he did—a diabolical, cunning, demonic person that will stop at nothing to accomplish what he’s set out to do?

 

This leads to the question, is there anything at all that would stop him from carrying out his evil plans? Would a memory stop him, or trigger him? Would any one person be able to reason with him? Would a “new plan” divert him from carrying out the blueprint for disaster for the hero/heroine that he’s already come up with?

 

 

But there are other things that have to be reckoned with. Those things that might have happened to him in his past to create and mold him into the kind of person who would be so bold and determined to use anything—no matter how it hurts others—to his own advantage are important. But what are the factors that drive him presently? A circumstance of opportunity? A long-seated need for revenge and the path to that revenge being presented? Greed? Burning jealousy? Maybe even the death of a loved one that he may not have wanted to embarrass by his actions while they were still living—now that they’re gone, all bets are off! THE DEVIL AND MISS JULIA JACKSON has the heroine caught between a distant relative who throws her and her niece out of their home and the job as nursemaid she takes in Indian Territory, working for a man who is, at first, cold and unresponsive. The villain in this story shifts between the man who threw Julia out of her home to someone else who means to destroy her employer.

 

 

 

 

I’ve had so many villains I’ve created in my writing that were motivated by different things. My first one, Andrew Fallon, appeared in FIRE EYES. He was just pure evil. He didn’t care about anything or anyone—even his family, as his brother found out when he came looking for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my first contemporary romantic suspense, SWEET DANGER, Tabor Hardin has his revenge handed to him on a silver platter, being in the right place at the right time to turn the tables on the undercover cop who put him in jail—before his escape. He’s a man with nothing to lose at this point, and Jesse Nightwalker, the cop, has a new life hovering on the horizon—if he can survive.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The villain is paranormal in TIME PLAINS DRIFTER—a demon who can shape-shift. How in the world will the innocents he’s after survive? They have a reluctant angel or two on their side, but the demon is powerful. Can they overcome his strength?

 

 

Greed comes into play in BEYOND THE FIRE, when undercover DEA agent Jackson Taylor’s cover is blown and a drug lord comes after him, trying to use Jack’s undercover partner against him. But there is a secret that even Jack hasn’t known about his partner—and the woman he’s falling in love with. Is it enough to defeat the powerful drug cartel and keep Jackson, Kendi, and his partner safe?

Treachery comes in all forms and it’s most often quite a surprise. No matter how vigilant our heroes are, they come up against some very foreboding, sharp cunning from the villains—after all, they have to have a worthy opponent, right?

Speaking of worthy opponents, I’ll talk a little about my contemporary romantic suspense CAPTURE THE NIGHT—where the villain, Kieran McShane, runs his own rogue faction of the Irish Republican Army and plans to murder Great Britain’s Prime Minister while he’s on vacation in Dallas. Johnny Logan is an undercover Dallas cop, staying in the hotel as added protection for the prime minister; Alexa Bailey is treating herself to a one-year divorce anniversary vacation. When McShane takes over the entire hotel, it’s only a matter of time before he discovers them up on the roof in the maintenance housing—and collateral damage means nothing to him. With the hostages brought to the roof, McShane threatens to begin throwing them over one by one—unless his demands are met. Can Johnny and Alexa survive the whims of a madman, bent on political revenge?

 

One of my favorite recent stories is SABRINA, one of four novels that appears in the boxed set MAIL ORDER BRIDES FOR SALE: THE REMINGTON  SISTERS. Four sisters are at the mercy of their stepfather who plans to sell them to the highest bidder now that their mother is dead. But these girls have other plans. Can they manage to get away? Will they be able to keep themselves safe from Josiah Bloodworth no matter how far away they go? This is a very fun set of four full length novels, each sister’s story penned by a different author. Livia Washburn Reasoner—Lizzy; Jacquie Rogers—Belle; Celia Yeary—Lola; and Cheryl Pierson—Sabrina.  

Here’s an excerpt of Sabrina facing down the villain, her stepfather, in the dressmaker’s shop. Cam is listening to it all from the back, waiting for his chance to save her, his sister, and the proprietor of the shop. Here’s what happens:

“So you see, dear Sabrina, you have no true choice about what you do—and neither do your sisters.” Bloodworth spread his hands as he spoke. “You will, indeed, come home to Pennsylvania from this godforsaken place and do exactly as you are told. You will marry a man—a proper gentleman—of my choosing.” He took a step closer to her.

She faced him unflinchingly, her head held high. “I will no more return to Philadelphia with you than fly to the moon. You would do well to carry your pompous, maggot-ridden self away from here and get as far east as you can go posthaste—before my husband returns for us—and sends you straight to hell.” She spoke as regally as a queen to the lowliest dregs of society, without a trace of fear.

A thin smile touched Bloodworth’s lips, but the calm iciness in his pale eyes was what put Cam on alert. This man was determined, and he believed no one could stop him.

His muscle-bound cohort stood near the door, keeping watch so that Bloodworth didn’t need to worry about any distractions—from the two other women, or from any of the townspeople.

“My dear Sabrina, you are most definitely going to do exactly as I tell you. Or else.”

Else what? You’ll drag me back by my hair like the brute that you truly are?”

Bloodworth chuckled. “Well, well. Our little Sabrina has come into her own, hasn’t she?” He stroked his chin. “Actually, I don’t believe I shall have to drag you back. I think you most likely will do anything I say once I lay my hands on that half-breed husband of yours…even if I tell you to climb up on this counter and spread your legs like the whore you are…just like your mother was—”

The slap Sabrina gave Bloodworth echoed through the room, and brought a spot of blood to the corner of his mouth. Unruffled, he took out his handkerchief and dabbed at it.

“I’m going to kill your husband, Sabrina Rose. It will be a long…slow…and very, very painful death. And you will have only yourself to blame.”

 

So many wonderful reasons for becoming a villain! The motivations are just endless, aren’t they? It’s a fine line to walk, making them evil, yet sympathetic in some instances, and letting our readers see a glimpse of their humanity—if they have any left.

Do you have a favorite villain you’ve written or read? What about your favorite film villain?

PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS WEBSITE:  http://prairierosepublications.com/

Cheryl’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.pierson.92

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.pierson.92  

Cheryl Pierson
A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work: https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 37 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here: fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.pierson.92
http://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules

28 Comments

  1. Superman had Lex Luther to contend with. A man of greed, power, and a hatred fueled with evil.

    Sabrina sounds like my kind of woman. I want to know more about her and the other ladies.

    1. Hi Jerri! Oh, yes, Lex Luthor! Was there ever anyone more evil? The villain we LOVE to hate. LOL I think you will love Sabrina and her sisters. They all do a lot of “growing” as characters through their stories and I love the idea that while they’re running away from evil they’re running to their HEA! Thanks for stopping by Jerri!

  2. Great blog Cheryl, your villian in Fire Eyes is one of my favorites. Still my favorite book I’ve read of yours. A true life villain which I guess if you love our Cheyenne Indians would be John Chivington, that man was pure evil and what he did to the peaceful Cheyenne at Sand Creek just infuriates me and breaks my heart. You have a great week and thanks for the great blog.
    Love & hugs!! ???????

    1. Chivington was pure evil! It’s hard to believe he was a real person and not just a fictional character! We only wish he was fictional. I loved Fire Eyes!

      1. Yes, Stephanie, he sure was pure evil. But he was not alone. There have been so many purely evil people in this world–another one that comes to mind is Hitler, though it is said he liked children…I’m not sure that’s true.

    2. Oh, Tonya, yes! John Chivington. Such a villain. I can’t even comprehend someone having such a mindset as he did. I think it’s even more chilling when we know of a real person who was filled with such evil, don’t you? And there are sure plenty of them–presently and in the past.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I’m so glad to know how much you loved Fire Eyes! Have a great week, too, Tonya! XOXO

  3. There are so any villains out there. I think the worst one is Voldemort in Harry Potter.

    1. Voldemort is really one very interesting character, isn’t he, Debra? Very complex and of course just dripping with evil. Glad you stopped by. I am always interested to hear what others think of different characters and what makes them “tick”–in all genres.

  4. The only book of yours I’ve read so far is Fire Eyes and I loved it! What a great blog! I did not realize that you wrote so many genres! I barely started reading again in late November 2016 after decades of not reading therefore’ boy oh boy am I behind! I would love to read this series and many of your books! I’m home 24/7/365 almost, I’m on disabilty. I have MS. My adventures come to me via reading! So many adventures but not enough time! I have a bad memory when it comes to recalling the names of books and villians. I tend to remember the heros and heroines better than the evil men. I’m an ID addict so I do now that there is true pure evil in this world and we just have to hope we do not ever have any of those evil people in our lives!

    1. Oh, wow, Stephanie! I couldn’t survive without my books and reading–I don’t know how you did it for so long! But I’m sure glad you’re back into reading again and gosh, I think everyone is behind–I know my “to be read” stack grows daily and I never seem to make any headway, but that’s a great place to be, isn’t it? When I think of how scarce books were “back in the day” and how limited reading material was, I’m so thrilled to be living in a day when we know there’ll never be any way we can ever read everything available to us. So glad you loved Fire Eyes so much and I hope you’ll enjoy some of my other work, as well. It’s all at the Amazon Author Page! LOL Happy reading, Stephanie!

  5. I enjoyed reading this post and I always like to learn or try to determine why a person has chosen to be the “bad guy”. I wasn’t aware of all of the different genres you write and I look forward to reading them.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Connie I’m the same way when it comes to trying to figure out people and why they behave as they do. Villains are really complex and sometimes there are hidden factors–that’s why it’s fun to write them–you can’t let too much out of the bag at once, but gradually, the reader comes to know them just like knowing the hero or heroine. I really had trouble with my villain in Sweet Danger because we knew him as being evil (he could be nothing else, because the hero’s testimony had sent him to prison)– now that he has Jesse (the hero) and Lindy (the heroine) among others as hostages, we start to see another side of him. There are kids present. Will he harm them? Is the THAT evil? It seems he might be, but for Lindy’s intervention. We almost begin to see him as a human…but then…NOPE. Something is revealed by him to Jesse that makes us KNOW he is nothing but evil. I’ve had a couple of people write and say, “Hey, I thought for a bit you were going to redeem him.” But I couldn’t–because to redeem him would have meant that Jesse had been totally wrong in putting him away for life, or returning him to prison. It’s fun to think about and write, but sometimes you have to take a break and figure out what comes next. LOL Hope you enjoy some of these other stories, Connie! I enjoy writing in different genres!

  6. Thank you for sharing your great post, Cheryl. Villains certainly make a story interesting. Emotions rise when an evil villain enters the picture.

    1. Hi Melanie! I agree. I love a villain that not only pits his strength of will against the hero, but also his cunning and wiliness and makes the hero have to try to figure out what he’s going to do next. The hero always has so much more at stake, trying to stay alive to protect the heroine. If something happens to him, the heroine is at the villain’s mercy!

  7. Lots of great stories, Cheryl! I always like a hero that’s a little tarnished. I think that makes them a lot more realistic. Everyone has to some degree a bit of the devil in them. We’re never really pure. Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner playing Wyatt Earp had quite a bit of the villain turned hero in them. And James Spader on The Blacklist plays a villain type hero.

    Good luck with these wonderful books. Everything you write is excellent!

    1. Linda, you just made my week! Maybe my month! LOL Thanks so much for your very kind words, my friend. You know, you brought up Kurt Russell who I’ve just been so totally in love with since The Travels of Jamie McPheeters was a “thing” many years ago. LOL I saw Kurt in a movie–I can’t remember the name of it now, but he was a murderer, and he had a car that was built specially for that purpose. He was a stuntman in movies, and the car was built to protect him, but not the passenger. Wish I could remember the name of it. Anyhow, he was so happily evil in that movie I couldn’t finish watching it. He’s a wonderful actor, IMO–someone who always plays the hero, who we think of being heroic, and then to take on a role like that and make it so believable–it was genius.

      I love a tarnished hero, too. One who is just this side of the law…and maybe has overstepped that line a few times. LOL That’s one reason I like to write about undercover law enforcement officers in my contemporary stories–they are the law, but there are some things they have to do in their undercover work that is really “iffy”–makes the story even better, because having that sense of doing the right thing has to become blurred when the means justify the end. Thanks for stopping by today! I know you are busy! XOXO

  8. Oh yes, so many reasons for villainry! (I just made that a word) My favorite movie one is Loki. I do like it when authors give a reason, even if subtle, for a villain to be the way he is.

    1. Hi Susan! I love your new word! I am going to start using it! I think it should BE an actual word. LOL Like in the dictionary, the opposite of chivalry should be villainry. And why not? LOL

      I like to be able to try to give some kind of reason for the villain to have turned out like he did, but in many cases, there really isn’t any reason, and that, too, is interesting to think about. How two people who are raised in the same home by the same parents, with the same values, can come out completely different in so many ways is amazing. In Fire Eyes, when Andrew Fallon’s brother, Dave, comes looking for him, he tries to reason with him, and talk to him as a brother. But too late, he realizes that Andrew doesn’t have any brotherly feelings for him at all. There are some people in the world like that–and Andrew Fallon was one of them. In Time Plains Drifter, because of the supernatural “good vs. evil” — there really didn’t have to be a “reason” because the reason was already determined. Angels and demons. BTW, it’s not a religious story at all–which was oddly easier to do than I thought it might be when I came up with the concept. LOL

      Thanks so much for stopping by Susan! And thanks for adding a new word to my vocabulary!

  9. Mr. Wickham

    1. Oh, yes, Denise! Mr. Wickham! Great example!

  10. Some stories call for the pure-evil variety of villain, but I have a tendency to really like the villains that can actually turn out to be heroes in the end. The one that is top of mind right now is Garcia Flynn, the “villain” from the first season of Timeless on NBC (my fave new show of last year). With each new episode, we learn more about why Flynn is traveling through time, trying to change things. And as we headed into season 2 (started last night), we’ve realized that there is something out there that is really the villain, truly evil where Flynn had an understandable reason for doing what he did and may actually now help our heroes. I just love those kinds of characters, and the show is awesome because it mixes two of my favorite genres — sci-fi and historical. For the western lovers, I think you’d particularly like the Jesse James/Bass Reeves episode from last year.

    1. Hi Trish! I have not watched Timeless–I don’t watch a lot of tv, but that sounds really really GREAT. I wish I had seen the first season. Maybe I need to binge watch and catch up on it. I do like a premise where the hero seems like he’s doing something wrong but maybe it’s because he can’t say WHY he’s actually doing what he’s doing, and then it all comes to light later on. I think that’s really hard to write because you have to sway your audience into believing something about him that will be hard to fix later on and then make sure it’s solid enough to prove to them that there really WAS a reason why he did what he did. Thanks so much for stopping by–and especially for letting us know about a great series to watch!

  11. Film villain would be The Joker.

    1. Oh, yes, Kim, he was one crazy villain! I think villains that can’t see reason of any kind are the scariest–and those that understand reason but ignore it.

  12. A “good” villain makes a story so much better. Tabor Hardin in SWEET DANGER worked perfectly. The backstory was there, the motivation, the total disregard for others. They all come together to make a character who does evil and enjoys it. It gives an author the opportunity to create the perfect hero we can cheer on to defeat such evil.
    Referring to Trish’s comment, I agree with her about TIMELESS. The characters started out as Good vs Evil, but everything was fluid with revelations changing who or what was evil or good. You began to not really know where anyone stood as the lines between the two kept shifting. I didn’t realize it had restarted. Darn, I missed it. I hope I can find it On Demand.

    1. Patricia, I’m so glad you liked Tabor Hardin. He was a conflicted soul in some ways, and Lindy ALMOST forgot that he was PURE evil. But Jesse never forgot what Hardin was capable of. I think that was another thing that was so much fun to write in that story–how can you tell someone how evil the villain really is? You can’t–you have to experience it, which Jesse had, but Lindy had no idea of. And then to find out there was even MORE depth to his “villainry” as Susan says (I love that word!) than even Jesse knew…it was one of those moments that was not what I would call and “aha” moment, but more of a “gasp” moment.

      So glad you stopped by! I always enjoy your comments, and now I KNOW I have to see TIMELESS!

  13. Great post, Cheryl! I don’t have a favorite villan.

    1. I understand, Caryl! So much evil to choose from. LOL Thanks for stopping by!

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