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?


Cheryl’s Amazon Author Page:


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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:
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here:
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24 thoughts on “BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH! — VILLAINS AND TREACHERY! by Cheryl Pierson”

  1. Soooo weird to see my name this morning…lol Sounds like a villain in that book for sure! Have a great day! 🙂

    • Hi Sabrina! You know, I had to think long and hard about a name for my character in that set of stories. I have always loved the name Sabrina, and I thought it sounded kind of “feisty” and very independent. And that was what her story was about, being the youngest in the family and learning that she could be her own person (even though she was one of the rebellious ones in the group of sisters, as youngest sisters usually ARE!) LOL Can you tell I’m the youngest in my family? LOL So glad you stopped by today.

  2. CHERYL- Wow you listed many of my favorites you’ve written.
    My favorite villain I r read, well he’s not some one I like, but he was a true villain was in Linda Broday’s To Marry A Texas Cowboy. Yuma was as evil as one could be. I’ll always remember what evil he landed in Houston, Lara, and Sweet Gracie.
    I can’t wait until you give us another suspense contemporary book.

    • Miss Tonya, thank you so much for mentioning To Marry a Texas Cowboy. I think you’re right. Yuma Blackstone even made my skin crawl. He was definitely the most evil villian I’ve written. He was Satan, stalking and killing them one by one. You have a beautiful day, sister friend. Love you dearly.

    • Hi Tonya! Oh, my brain is working away! I’m anxious to have some time to just sit and write, and I’m hoping that will happen next month–trying to get everything caught up and ahead on the publishing end so I can devote some time to my own stories!

      YES! Linda has a wonderful flair for writing evil villains, doesn’t she? I love her stories!

    • Oh, yes, Debra! SNAPE!!! He was wonderfully evil, wasn’t he? Gosh I wish my brain worked like Rowling’s. She has the most delicious characters, doesn’t she?

      • But Snape wasn’t really a villain. He was working with Dumbledore – sort of an undercover agent. It is really too bad he was the bad guy through so many of the books. He did have a grudge against Harry’s father, but was actually placed to protect Harry Potter. He did do a wonderful job portraying evil, though.

  3. A favorite villian?!?! My favorite villains are the ones that are righting wrongs, seeking justice, saving someone when the true villains may become a casualty…but in they’re everyday life they are the great husband, great son, the guy that always lends a helping hand… Example, Jake Harkner in the Outlaw Hearts series by Roseanne Bittner or any of the Legend Men in Linda Broday’s, Men of Legend Series.

    I loved Fire Eyes and plan to read Sweet Danger soon. The boxed set sounds great too. Loved your blog!

    • Stephanie, you made me laugh! Yes, I agree with you–lots of great “villains” that deep down are not villains at all, aren’t there? Roseanne and Linda write some terrific villains, for sure! One of my “favorite” villains in film was Jack Palance in the movie SHANE. You know, he only had like 12 lines of dialogue but look how memorable he has been all through the years.

    • I have a writer friend who just loves to be scared to death and loves horror (shudder) but anyhow, his “favorite” villain is Hannibal Lecter. Now to me, that’s ‘creepy’ villainous. LOL I don’t want my villains “quite” that terribly evil.

  4. Love your post, Cheryl. I did redeem a villian once– in Texas Redemption. A memory and a wolf dog turned him from being evil. All my others were too far gone to have much of a conscience.

    • Howdy, Linda! Well, I tell you, if he couldn’t be redeemed by a dog and a wolf-dog at that, there wouldn’t have been any hope for redemption. A dog can really bring out the best and change a person. I think it’s a great thing they’ve started having dog training programs in prison. When they interview the prisoners that have taken part in that, they all talk about how it has changed them, made them better, and so on. Here in OK, they started teaching women inmates dog grooming so that when they are released, they’ll have a skill. Dogs are the best!

      I don’t think I’ve ever actually completely redeemed a villain. I came closest in Time Plains Drifter, but he was still evil, even though he showed some redeeming qualities at the end.

      So glad you stopped by. I know you are BUSY! Hugs, filly sis!

  5. Great post (and books), Cheryl. Your Fallon is unforgettable in Fire Eyes. I confess I cannot torture my h/h by writing a truly evil villain and so admire writers who can. We just watched a new series on Netflix last week called Bonfire of Destiny. Wow, did it have a villain. I’m wondering if there’ll be a second season as it left the door ajar for that possibility. We were so hooked that we binge watched it over two nights.

    • Elizabeth, Fallon was totally evil. No redemption there. My sister told me she couldn’t believe her baby sister could write someone so evil. LOL I knew my work was done. LOL Bonfire of Destiny sounds great. Something to watch now that we’ll be “hunkered down.”

  6. Cheryl, thank you for the great post! One of my favorite villains is George Warleggan from Poldark.

    • I have not read or watched Poldark. I need to do that, because it’s something I have always thought I would like. But my problem is TIME. Now that you mention the villain being such a memorable one, it adds fuel to my fire of wanting to watch it. Maybe I can binge on it. Did you like the books or the series better?

    • Caryl, you can probably tell I have ‘bright shiny object syndrome’–Poldark caught my eye and I jumped right in to answer. Let me say, thank YOU for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed the post! (I love to talk about villains and heroes–you can probably tell.) LOL

  7. Back to my comment earlier, Voldemort is definitely evil incarnate. I don’t think there are any redeeming qualities in him at all.
    Your villains in FIRE EYES and SWEET DANGER were definitely evil and enjoyed it. Linda, your most recent villain in MAIL ORDER BRIDE’S SECRET is a vicious, evil excuse for a human being.
    I think the best villains are those who have no soul and enjoy destroying people, physically and mentally, just to do it. You both give us great villains and the heroes and heroines to counter them.

    • Yes, Patricia, I agree. My villains are always damaged somehow, but it just doesn’t matter in the end because they are — VILLAINS. LOL We really didn’t know what happened to Fallon–I think he was just born evil. Tabor Hardin in Sweet Danger had a lot of “back issues” but that was dangerous, because Lindy almost began to see what had once been the human side of him. In Capture the Night, Kieran McShane is a power hungry guy who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, now that he is in control of things. I think I just love getting into the mental/emotional thought processes of them. Thanks for stopping by–always love to hear from you!

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