What makes a good villain?

The villain – don’t underestimate your baddie.

The baddie has to be just as developed as your good guy or gal. They require good and bad points and a way for your reader to identify with them.

Yes, readers do need to have some sort of love for your villain. I’ve skimmed through loads of books when the villain is on stage, because they just don’t appear real.

They need some good motivation for being evil. Did they lose the girl to their best friend? Did their best friend bully them and now they are getting their own back? Were they abused as a child and that’s all they know? Got into the wrong crowd? There are lots of reasons.

Add in a description. Give your readers a way of imaging them. Maybe not a full description but enough to wet their taste buds.

Give them the past your have come up with. Not all in one go – all that narrative can turn a reader off, but in bits and bobs where required. Have they abducted someone? Add in some memories why. Have they killed someone? Again, get some thoughts running through their heads. A person rarely kills without something in his mind.

You might even give them a love interest.

Above all else, most baddies I come across have something in common with the hero. A shared past or partner. Same upbringing – hero comes out better then them. There’s the jealousy.

In a twist, you might start with a hero who turns evil. Or the villain becomes the good guy. Play around and give your readers a hook.

Most baddies aren’t stupid. They are more clever than anyone takes them for. That’s why they get away with things. They make your hero look good.

So, go and plan out your bad guy or gal. Make them lovable. Make them cry out for attention. Give them a backstory your readers are dying for.

First Book Talk

I’ve been doing craft fairs for a few years now. Always before I actual began writing. So now I sell my books at the craft fairs, I can talk direct to potential readers.

It was at one of last year’s fairs that a lady brought a copy of Persecuting Abi. After mentioning me to her book club, I got an invite to talk to them. Imagine me shaking and not in delight.

Public speaking? Me? Eh, no way? Yes, you heard. I do not do public speaking. So why on earth did I say yes? Eh, even I can’t answer that one.

Anyway, I went to meet them earlier in the year and booked in for June. Still shaking here. If anyone felt an earthquake, it was me. Sorry. So, I toddled of for the evening and they were so nice.

Anyway, June appeared, I ignored the talk as long as I could. By this point the Persecuting series was unpublished. The first thing I spoke about was myself. Another thing I hate, talking about myself. This is where you are probably asking yourself why I became an author. If you ever get an answer, can you let me know? Next, I talked about the Persecuting series. The woman who bought the book told me it gave her nightmares. But that series is very dark. Next I talked about the Romancing in Scotland series and my future Fareious trilogy.

After that came the questions. Which I think I fielded quite well. I remained nervous the whole time, and repeated myself a few times. However, the experience will make me better the next time. I hope.

The happy group.

New Newsletter sign up

I’ve re-set up my newsletter and have a competition.

How would you like a kindle copy of Persecuting Abi? I’ve one, or maybe two, to give away and all you have to do is sign up to my newsletter.

This book is now out of print. Yes, it’s being re-vamped, but come on, an original copy? You know you want one.

And, you get to stay up to date with the latest news and a chance to become arc readers – get the new books before release.

And those who were signed up, need to re-sign.

https://mailchi.mp/c86f61e564aa/jmralley

Thank you’s

Yeah, I got the cover I wanted for the first in my Hunter’s series. By the way, that’s not the actual series title, just shortened stand-in. Don’t want to give too much away.

It’s stunning and I’d like to thank Kim at Atlantis designs for producing the prefect premade.

I’ve also got a second cover to match another premade I fell in love with. It was a standalone, but now a series of two – but will that change? Another thank you to Moorcrooft designs, who will hopefully deliver the latest cover to my collection tomorrow. They are going to match the typo and remove the border. The colour base is blue.  Going to be a fab series.

Plots are outlined for all of the three above books, but the Fareoius trilogy must come first. I’m close to three quarters through the first edit of the first book. Hope to get that over to my editor by July. A month behind.

I’m nearly 20,000 into the second book, after deleting the whole 21,000 words last week. But it’s stronger and better.

And last but not least. Not been a bad month fore sales. So, a big thank you to my newest readers. Enjoy.

Why Indie Publish

I get asked this a lot. Why did I self-publish?

The main reason was because I get to keep full control of my book. Yes, I have to hire an editor, cover designers, find arc readers – all done by publishers if traditionally published, but I don’t have someone telling me to change the story, give the characters different names. I even know authors who are told to change the book’s name.

My editor is brilliant. I can fly ideas across her. She points out plot faults and problems. Makes comments on what needs changing, but at the end of the day, I make the final decision – usually I accept them all, she knows what’s she doing. Believe me, editoring isn’t easy.

Covers, which I’ve done myself, are now professionally done, apart from one series and that might change. The designer’s I use know what they are doing and the covers you’ll see coming through soon are great. If it’s not premade, they listen to what you want.

And the title remains the same. Characters I’ve grown to love aren’t changed. The book I put out there is the novel I wanted too. Just a hell of a lot better than my first draft.

I’m not dishing traditionally published books, they are just as good. But the time for Indie authors is growing. Give us a go. You can approach us just as easy, we don’t bite. We’ve just a friendly bunch who have stories to tell and will fight to do it.