Guest Author: Carrie Lofty

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.
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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?
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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.

The contest will stay open until January 8th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

20 Comments

  1. I like the idea of taking a villainous character from a previous book and making them the hero/heroine of the next book. It’s always fun to find out that character has redeeming qualities that weren’t shown previously, or that in the meantime something has happened to them to bring out those hidden depths. It’s an interesting twist to a story to find that terrible person in a previous book really isn’t so bad and now they’re going to get their happily ever after.
    I commented on the Anya Bast – Wicked Enchantment review.

  2. Answer: I think it is acceptable to change a character from a villian to a hero provided it is done very, very carefully and the motivation for the change is properly worked out and explained but it can be a minefield and very difficult to attempt.

    I subscribe.

  3. I can accept a former villain as a hero if the story is done right and the turn seems genuine/believable.

  4. I like books with former villains as heroes, I’ve always liked the “bad” guys, but I agree with the others about the believable story.

    Congrats on the release!I loved What a Scoundrel Wants and I’d love to read this one too.

    I’m a subscriber

  5. I think it really depends on how it is done. There are some stories where the villain still has some of those qualities that make him so villainous, even though he has redeemed himself, but you know they are still there and he has utter control over them. What girl deep down doesn’t like the bad boy qualities even though he may never use them, just knowing they are there is enough? In some books, he becomes too good and it can actually be a turn off. I’ve actually stopped reading series because this has happened.

    Congrats on your new release. I loved What a Scoundrel Wants and can’t wait to read this one.

    I subscribe by email.

  6. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for stopping by, and best of luck with the drawing. And keep the answers coming…I love the feedback and discussion.

    All the best for 2010!

  7. I think villainous characters can be a hero in another book. I’m sure he had a reason to be a villian in the first book!

    I am a friend on Facebook.
    I am a follower on Twitter (as bl0226)
    I subscribe via email

    Thanks

  8. The reformed bad boy is certainly popular, given that he didn’t cross the lines of, say, raping and pillaging. The more fleshed out and believable his back-story (in addition to having a great reformation at the hands of a fantastic leading lady), the more accepted he’ll be, in my eyes.

    +1 Tweeted about it here

    +1 Followed LE on Twitter

  9. I love to read a villian or villainess-redeemed books. Sometimes villians make far more interesting reading than the usual hero.

    Loved your book What A Scoundrel Wants and am dying to read Scoundrel’s Kiss!

  10. I totally think villainous characters are redeemable. Things can happen in their lives that help them grow and change. If the story is well told, the villian to hero process definitely appeals. As to where to draw the line, it totally depends on the story itself.

    +1 subscriber

  11. I had to follow this Facebook link! After reading the excerpts, I will be stopping by the bookstore today after work to buy What a Scoundrel Wants. Sounds good!

  12. Thanks, again, for the thoughtful discussion everyone. I’ll be around through the end of the draw if you have particular questions.

    All the best for the new year,
    Carrie

  13. I think its really good to take a villain and make him into a hero. Just look at Darcy from Elizabeth’s point of view! all in one book at
    that.

  14. I like that way of thinking, Mystica! Although with the way most heroes and heroines dislike each other when they first meet, you could argue that romance readers are programmed to accept big shifts of opinion!

  15. I love a villain getting his or her own book so that you can see their redeeming qualities. Several authors have done this very successfully.
    As long as there are believable reasons for doing what they have done(you know- to save the world or THE girl)This possibility is one of the many factors that causes me to love series.

  16. Villians from previous books could possibly be redeemed when they get their own books. The author can delve a little more into that one character’s personality & write some redeeming qualities into the story line. Thanks!

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