Guest Blogger, Patricia Rosemoor on Sympathy for the Villain

June 16, 2008 at 8:31 am (General, Guest Bloggers) ()

All villains are not created equal. Some are hidden and some are out in the open. The most interesting villains for me—the ones most fun to write—are ones who are portrayed in three dimension. Even more interesting are the conflicted villains who do bad things for a “good” reason. They keep me glued to the story, wondering if there is some way he or she will be redeemed.

In WOLF MOON, I wrote two villains, both werewolves. I used Magnus, the violent, unredeemable werewolf to threaten the mortals and his wife who thought she killed him because their relationship was abusive. Hopefully the reader buys in to his being the only villain until the reveal. The main villain of the piece is a hidden villain—Valerie. But the other side of her—a victim turned without her permission, abused by the husband who turned her, now doomed to live a long, lonely life without children, without other werewolves to keep her company—is tragic. I hoped to gain the reader’s sympathy for her, not only because I wanted to fool them into thinking she was innocent, but because I thought it made her more interesting. She is a murderer, but there’s a very different side to her.

Then there is Rebecca Dumas, an open villain in THE LAST VAMPIRE. The vampire himself is a villain, but so is the voodoo priestess who restores him from his mummified state to save her brother’s life. Danton is dying of leukemia, and Rebecca has done everything in her power to save him. Nothing the doctors could do worked but voodoo did. Now that is failing him as well. Desperate to save the young man who saved her from the stepfather who sexually abused her as a teenager, Rebecca will stop at nothing. And so her good intentions lead to a hell she couldn’t have imagined.

I loved writing Rebecca’s scenes, and I’ll be anxious to see how readers respond to her when the book is released next week. In the meantime, is there a villain who really sparked your imagination? One you wanted to read about despite everything he or she did?

Good reading,
Patricia Rosemoor


  1. Michele Hauf said,

    I love a well written villain. Good or bad (because sometimes authors do redeem their villains). I usually fall in love with my villains , and most of the villains I read. If there is no love, then he’s not villainous enough, in my opinion. 🙂

  2. Sierra Wolfe said,

    Personally, the hidden villains are my favorites. I love to wait until the end to find out who the culprit is. I always want to try to figure it out on my own. I also like the villain to be redeemable in some way, they’re more interesting that way. So I think it’s cool how you have the really bad guy looking like he’s the one, when in reality it’s the hidden villain. Your book sounds really interesting, good luck with it! I’ll have to check it out.

  3. teresadamario said,

    I’m a little slow, but thought I’d respond.

    I too love the surprise villain – the one you didn’t expect, but I also like the one who can be redeemed later, that maybe all you think about him in a book is how evil he is, then later you discover there’s more than meets the eye on this hot hunk of bad boy.

  4. Bitten by Books said,

    I think the hidden villain often makes the story. That added element of surprise makes a book memorable to me.

    Looking forward to reading your work someday! 🙂

    Thanks for being here today.

  5. char said,

    I really enjoyed reading wolf moon.I think most women can sympathize with Valerie.I liked wolf moon so well that I tracked down the rest of the series and am looking forward to reading them

  6. Greta said,

    I love the hidden villians. Valerie threw me for a loop in Lone Wolf. I was expecting it to be Magnus doing everything. I so have to read The Last Vampire.

  7. Destiny Blaine said,

    I love your opening line! It’s nice to meet you!

    Destiny :))

  8. Patricia Rosemoor said,

    Hi, all —

    Thanks for stopping by and welcoming me. I’m glad you enjoyed my take on the sympathetic villain.


  9. Savanna Kougar said,

    Hi Patricia, thanks for your thought-provoking blog on villains. I personally like a strong colorful villain, whether known or hidden. Reedemable is okay, but so is not redeemable. I just want the villain to fit the story itself.

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