Thursday, October 4

Quote Me: Villainous - J. A. London Interview

Art being used with permission of
Answer to Quote #1:

If you guessed DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN then you were right!

I asked J. A. London a few villainous questions.  Below are her answers. I really enjoyed them and I hope you do as well. She was also kind enough to donate a copy of Darkness Before Dawn for giveaway so keep your eyes peeled.

Villainous Interview:
Favorite line:
“Poor Dawn. You think everything’s been taken away. But you have so much more to lose.”

Should villains be seen in black and white? Are they just made in that mold and always will be. Or do you think that villains are made by a series of events that shape them? Is there room for change and redemption?

The best villains reside comfortably in the gray. If they’re “black and white” then they become cartoon cut outs and hard to take seriously. When they’re complex and dynamic, moving from villain to anti-hero to psychopath, they become unpredictable, just like any good villain should be.
One of the most interesting parts to crafting a villain is the question of “why have they become evil?” Make it society, then suddenly they become a rebel. Make it beyond their control, and they become sympathetic. The best is when you combine all these elements, and the reader can see how they too could become a villain if their hand had been dealt a little differently.
Change and redemption? That’s a line you have to walk carefully.
Darth Vader is remembered because of his act of  redemption at the end. Of course, a villain doesn’t have to take that redemption—that can be just as powerful, and really leave an impression on the reader.
My rule of thumb: the best villains are the ones where a teeny-tiny part of the reader is actually rooting for them.

Did your villain form out of necessity, develop to fit the needs of the story, or come fully formed? Who came first the villain or the hero?
Dawn, the hero, came first. Strangely, I always saw this brooding villain in the shadows whose dreams of chaos rivaled the heroine’s hopes for a better tomorrow. Really, he almost formed all by himself. It was like I was slowly building him through the pages, without realizing his name yet. But when I saw him, I’d known him all along.
Once that happened, the epic battle between good and evil could be set into motion. But then again, nothing is ever as simple as black and white, good and evil.

If placed in current reality how do you think your villain would fare? Would he turn into a couch potato? Would his will for power shrivel up in the face of the Cheeto? Or does he have what it takes to dominate no matter the situation?
Dawn’s nemesis wouldn’t stop until he had the world in his hand, comfy couch or not.
Our villain would have to approach things differently, but he’s charismatic, and in some ways that’ll get you farther than anything else right now.

What advise would your villain give to aspiring  villains?

If they hate you, you’re doing something right. If they admire you, you’re really doing something right.

J.A. London