Characters we love to hate: Bestselling authors talk about villains

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J.J. at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under Creative Commons.

We admit it: authors love creating villains, the characters readers love to hate. It’s a lot of fun! Over the next couple of weeks, some of your favorite bestselling author s will reveal the secrets behind the nastiest, creepiest, meanest and scariest people you’ll be lucky to find only between the covers of books.

This week, mystery author Gae-Lynn Woods and paranormal-romance-fantasy author Samreen Ahsan dish about the evil.

Which villainous character did you have most fun writing about?

Gae-Lynn Woods: The first character that popped into my mind when I heard this question was not one of my murderers or even one of the all around baddies in Forney County. It was a police officer named Hugo Petchard, and funnily enough, he’s the character people tell me they most love to hate!

Samreen Ahsan: Villains play a major role in any story, both in books and movies. If there is no villain, then we don’t see the importance of hero as well. In my books, villains are as important as main characters. I show my villains as more powerful than my main character. The hero doesn’t have to win against the villain all the time.

So far, the villainous character I enjoyed writing most is King Stefan from Once Upon A [Stolen] Time. He is a manipulative, mean and self-centered person who wants to break down his son to make a diabolical copy of himself.

How did you make him detestable?

Gae-Lynn Woods: Hugo Petchard is an absolute snot. Despite the grand name of Hugo, he’s small in stature, which bothers him mightily. Petchard is in his job because his daddy has money and the Forney County Sheriff owes Daddy for making significant campaign contributions. Deep down, Petchard suspects that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a real police officer, and that unacknowledged insecurity makes him show off in ways that inevitably lead to embarrassment for himself, his fellow officers, and occasionally the entire sheriff’s department.

Samreen Ahsan: King Stefan wants his son to be as ruthless as himself, not being able to love at all. As the [Stolen] series advances (coming soon), his character grows darker and darker, until my readers would hate him so much that they’d wish to kill him. But that’s not just the end. He will be there till the last book of [Stolen] series until everything around him is destroyed, including his son and his lover.

Why was it so much fun writing about him?

Gae-Lynn Woods: Hugo Petchard is the kind of person we’ve all worked with who thinks he’s more important / intelligent / better looking / funnier / and all around sexier than he really is. He’s that co-worker the boss tolerates despite his incompetence, that one person the boss refuses to fire. It’s a blast to put him in positions where he has the potential to succeed, but because he can’t contain his ego, he ends up falling on his face. It’s also fun to put the Forney County Sheriff in the position of having to defend Petchard’s stupidity to keep the campaign dollars flowing.

Samreen Ahsan: My villain is always more powerful than the hero in my books. They control minds, they hold more power and they have the ability to create destruction for all the main characters. I loved writing him in installments as he became more ruthless and vicious as you read further.

Which book is this villainous character in?

Gae-Lynn Woods: Petchard appears in The Devil of Light, Avengers of Blood and A Case of Sour Grapes, and you can bet he’ll worm his way into the novel I’m working on now.

Samreen Ahsan: Readers already have a glimpse of this cruel character in first book of the series, Once Upon a [Stolen] Time, and he will appear in the next volume,

Gae-Lynn Woods

Author of three mysteries featuring Forney County police detective Cass Elliott, bestselling author Gae-Lynn Woods makes her home on a ranch in East Texas, with her husband, British jazz guitarist Martyn Popey. When she’s not busy being a ranch hand or roadie, she’s working on the next Cass Elliot mystery and the next companion novel featuring Cass’ best friend, Maxine Leverman.

Get to know more about Gae-Lynn on her BestSelling Reads author page. You can also find her at Amazon, or her own website.

Samreen Ahsan

Since childhood, bestselling author Samreen has been into reading and writing—which can’t happen without imagination. Her Prayer Series, A Silent Prayer and A Prayer Heeded, have won numerous awards from critics and readers in North America and Europe. Samreen is hard at work on her new [Stolen] series from her home in Toronto, Canada.

Visit her Bestselling Reads page to get to know her better. You can also find her at Amazon, or her own website.

Next musings: BestSelling authors Toby Neal and Seb Kirby on their favorite villains.

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