I have a surprise visit for you today. Carrie Lofty is getting ready to celebrate the release of Scoundrel’s Kiss, the follow up to What a Scoundrel Wants, and she’s here today to talk about Villains and Heroes.
Turning his back on his old life as a rogue, Gavriel de Marqueda has joined a monastic order in Spain and taken a vow of chastity. Before he becomes a monk, he must pass one final test: help a woman who has lost her way. But when he lays eyes on Ada of Keyworth, he is tempted beyond measure by her sultry beauty and dangerous curves. Far from her home in England, Ada has been battling inner demons for more than a year. When she discovers that her only friend has abandoned her, she has no choice but to grudgingly accept Gavriel’s help. But Ada is not fooled. Though Gavriel wears the robes of a monk, Ada sees that he is a virile man who looks at her with a hunger that matches her own – one that begs to be satisfied again and again.
Doesn’t this sound good? Want to read an excerpt? If it does, stick around as we’re giving away a copy at the end.
Villains to Heroes
In What a Scoundrel Wants, my Robin Hood-themed debut, I introduced the character Ada of Keyworth. She was abducted and unjustly held captive by the Sheriff of Nottingham, and she behaved with tenacious resolve to escape that captivity. But she was not heroine material. Not by a long shot. The way she treats her sister, Meg, borders on deplorable. She is angry, bitter, scarred, and self-centered.
Thus, although Ada was not a villain–there were plenty of other folks in What a Scoundrel Wants who could rightly lay claim to that title before her–she wasn’t an angel either. If Ada were a shade of gray, I’d call her smoke bordering on charcoal.
So when I sat down to write her story, Scoundrel’s Kiss, I had my work cut out for me. Not only did was I charged with curing her of the nasty opium habit she develops in the interim between the two novels, but I needed to make her likeable enough for readers to root for her and celebrate her happy ending. What a task! To be honest, I jumped in long before I considered how difficult it would be. Only when I was halfway through did I realize what a sticky situation I’d created.
The first thing I needed to do was create a man who could put her in her place. I don’t mean that he needed to behave like an overbearing ape, but he certainly needed to muster more backbone than anyone Ada had ever known. Gavriel, a warrior monk and former slave raised to kill a king, was just the hero for the job. He has dark places and hidden hurts of his own. He knows the darkness that so terrifies Ada. But he won’t let her go, either.
So even though I wasn’t turning a full-fledged villain into a perfect heroine, I was trying to redeem a fairly selfish, wounded woman. I’ll leave it up to my readers to determine whether or not I succeeded. I like to think I did, because no matter the hair-pulling this book caused me, I hold it to my chest with complete happiness now. The most difficult tasks are the ones we’re most proud of achieving. Believe me, Ada learns that lesson too.
What do you think? Are villainous characters from previous books redeemable when they get their own stories? Does that process of villain-to-hero(ine) appeal to you? Where would you draw the line?
Contest Time! Carrie is offering up a copy of her new release, Scoundrel’s Kiss. In order to get your hands on one of these puppies, all you have to do is answer this simple question: Since I totally dropped the ball on the question, just leave a meaningful comment on Carrie’s post. International entries are welcome, but shipping may be delayed a little!
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat:
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and/or follow LE on Twitter
- +1 subscribe to Literary Escapism – either via a reader or email (see the RSS button at the bottom of the sidebar)
- +10 purchase What a Scoundrel Wants or any novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.