Bad Guys On the Brain

10 Mar

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time with villains.  I’m still writing romance, but my latest WIPs have had an element of danger and at least one character who wants to make the hero/heroine bleed.

They say that the villain is the hero of his own story, and I used this liberally for my Serial Killer Romance. It was rather fun to cartwheel through the crazy of my honest-to-bob lady killer and show that twisted logic on the page.

I knew this was going to have a tragic ending, knew that my killer wasn’t going to be redeemed, so I could be as disturbing as I wanted and there are parts I wrote that scared even me. But my latest WIP is quite the opposite.

My current villain is very much the hero of his own story, and I hope to make him the hero in a future book. He’s going to do something despicable in this book, something that will affect and destroy several lives. I want the reader to hate him, to shun him and want him to suffer, but I’ll want them to root for him when he gets his own book.

It’d be so much easier if I could use the picture above and cute-kitten him into readers’ good graces, but I don’t think that’ll be possible with the blood of innocents on his hands.

In all my years of writing, I’ve never taken a selfish, soulless man and tried to redeem him enough to be lovable. So I’m looking for help. Anyone have recommendations for a books with dirty rat bastard types who are later redeemed to love him status?



Who likes bad boys, but is not sure yet how she feels about bad guys. And yeah, there’s totally a difference. If you want to hear more of Sasha’s ramblings, visit her at or follow her on Twitter @SashaDevlin

5 Responses to “Bad Guys On the Brain”

  1. Val March 10, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Kresley Cole’s Lothaire comes to mind. It’s the latest in her Immortals After Dark series.

  2. Kaily Hart Hart March 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    I don’t have any recommendations, but I’m planning to attempt this myself for a future book. For mine though, he does bad things, horrible things with terrible consequences but he had his reasons. I’d find it difficult to take a truly “bad” guy and try and turn it around. For me I think there has to be some element of “good” that he’s retained, even if that doesn’t come out until some time into the story. It’s sounds intriguing though!

  3. Marilyn Campbell March 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Look to Dexter! It’s not just a Showtime series – it is a series of brilliantly crafted books about a serial killer with a set of rules. But if you don’t have time, just rent the first season – they did an excellent job of maintaining the characterization. You can’t help but love him!
    Along those lines, I have spent the entire week updating my first thriller, Come Into My Parlor, so I had to smile when I saw your post today, Sasha. But my killer is a very damaged female (who still scared the heck out of me as I was reading my own writing!) Lots of luck & have fun!

  4. Shannon Emmel March 11, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    Love the dark and deadly types, but then again, I write Vamps and other paranormals!

    Redemption is the key… Did a post on it a while back, “Fangs a LOT, Pal! What IS this facination with Vampires?”

    Dexter, Dracula, whatever! It’s tricky, but it CAN be done!

    Great post!


  5. mywithershins March 11, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    I loved your expression, ‘cute-kitten him into the reader’s good graces’. I didn’t realize ‘cute-kitten’ was a verb! lol

    Seriously, though, as a teen I was sort of drawn to the bad boy types, so when I met the man who would be my husband, I knew I’d found a keeper. I’d always had a goody-two-shoes sort of image all through high school so when my true love showed up at school and whisked me away on his motorcycle, I shocked so many people! It was kind of fun to see their faces as I rode away with him and hear the concern in their voices the next day. Little did they know, hubby was a pussy cat. He wasn’t in any gang. He just liked to ride motorcycles. He’d give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it, help you through any crisis and was gentle as a lamb, but he looked really good in tight jeans and a jean jacket! (He was an iron worker with 40″ shoulders & a 30″ waist!)

    Amazingly, I had my mother’s approval to go out with him because she knew him before I met him. She knew him as the helpful guy who was giving his brother-in-law a hand at the local Aquarium Society display at the mall. It was a win-win situation because I could never pull anything over on her. If I went out without her permission, I could not keep the guilt off my face and I’d be grounded for life. Anyway, that’s what I think of ‘bad boys’. They don’t have to be as bad as everyone thinks!

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