Sunday, August 14, 2011

When a Writer Takes on the Head Trips!

Ever written a book that seemed to write itself and you feel it is just so different everyone is going to want it? Of course you have. So have I. Better Off Without Her is now ready for preorder from Secret Cravings Publishing. If that's not a blatant plug for my book I don't know what is.

But hey, I'm not just here to tell you about my newest book. Although feel free to place your pre-order at my publisher's site now. LOL

Better Off Without Her is different! Oh, you've heard that story before? Well, let me explain. When I began writing this book, I delved into Victor Frank's head, the villain. No, I didn't just write his part, I felt it, I felt his depression, I felt his helplessness, and the dark side of him that was perceived as evil. When I would stop writing for the day, I would have to bring myself up out of the defunct. Not an easy task, once you get to know Victor. Have you ever lived in a villian's head before? I have and it is a trip that is scary. It is hard to get out of, once you are there.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't as though I wanted to go out and kill someone. No, it was rather the depression he suffered from his lifetime abuse. This was hard to crawl out from under. You see I knew what made him evil. I knew the man…no…not in human form, but on my paper, I knew him. I knew how out of place he felt with humanity. I knew how he wanted to smile but found it too painful to do. I knew how he so desperately wanted to fit in, but didn't, and knew he never would. I felt it for him. I endured what he endured. For a short space in time, I played his part in the story.

It's easy as a writer to play the hero or heroine's part in a book. They represent the good in people. But what about the villain. What do they represent? What makes them tick? What triggers them over the edge? My villain, Victor Frank has one redeeming quality that even he recognizes as good. However, although his reasoning is good, his actions take on a different turn. Can good become an act of evil? Can facing your demons make you a demon?

To create the ultimate bad guy, one must know him thoroughly. Become him in the mind.

I think I succeeded in Better Off Without Her, but you be the judge. I gotta go pull myself out of him, once more….

Pre-order Better Off Without Her at:



Tina Donahue said...

How interesting to have the villain be a victim too. Since I read a lot of true crime, I tend to see villains as sociopaths (psychopaths, if you will). Amoral and hardwired that way. Their only concern is for themselves (think Bundy, Gacy, Casey Anthony). But I'd like to read a book where the villain can perhaps be redeemed. Looking forward to reading Better Off Without Her, Rita.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Rita, Better Off Without Her sound like a great read. I love to get into my villains' heads. In my book, SWEET DANGER, I did that with Tabor Hardin, my villain. In fact, the heroine, Lindy, began to "understand" him too much at one point--until he lashed out and showed the cruel side of himself again. When a person has an understanding heart, they can't imagine the villain doing the things they've heard about--they have to SEE it sometimes, and that's what it took for Lindy. By the end of the story, there wasn't one ounce of understanding left in her. LOLLOL Your villain sounds positively real. That's what I like--I want people who are real in the stories I read and write. That's what makes them interesting.

jean hart stewart said...

I did this once, got into the villain's head, and it pratically scared me. That one was published long ago, by Red Rose Publishing, nook I'm not advertising because of their questionable business practice. But he was a very villainous villain. When I re-pub it I'll let you know. Jean

Anonymous said...

Hi there ladies, thanks for stopping by. Well, Tina, Cheryl and Jean, we are all in good company.

A good villian is as hard to forget as a good hero, remember that. And succeeding in building him is an accomplishment earned.

I challenge all writers to get into the heads of their villians and let us see what makes him tick. Let us feel his festering anger, his grief if you will. We need to know why people do evil, to ever win the battles. Sometimes you have to dig deep inside and find the key that triggers the evil.

Better Off Without Her is now on sale at Secret Cravings Publishing. If you do read it, and I am warning you now, it has some very graphic scenes, let me know if I succeeded in showing you a side you never imagined.

Also, inside Better Off Without Her is the actual death of Sam Bass the outlaw. I hope you enjoy it, as it took everything out of me at the time to write it.

And may you never know a real Victor Frank....

God Bless
Rita Hestand

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Victor Frank sounds like my kind of villain. I have always felt that the meaner the villain, the better the hero. Better Off Without Her sounds like a fantastic book, Rita, and I wish you every success with it.

Anonymous said...

Yo thanks Sarah. Well, I am sure that all of us feel close to our villians too in our books. But unless this book flies off the shelf I don't know if I will write another serial killer book. Although, it was so easy to edit, and I think it had to do with being that close to him that made it so. That, and the fact that I had a terrific editor.One of the few books that both the editors and the publisher liked the story.

Now for the real test, the readers.

Love you guys.

Love and blessings

Anonymous said...

Don't hate me guys but the romance in this one takes a back seat to the serial killer. But we do see our hero, JOhn T. Cole sorta grow up in this book. How do you plug a book like this? Like many mysteries, the romance is there,it just doesn't take the book over. However, my editor loved the heroine immediately for her spunk and attitude. Four people go after Victor Frank, who will come back?
Love and blessings

Hales said...

Taima in my Demonic Triolgy is the villainess. Her trait is rather normal since she's demonic of course she's power hungry but making her was really hard. I'm hoping by end trilogy the heroine in the series will think she deserves a second chance.

Now Revenge is bad he's a villain that needs to die. I never thought I could do evil and make it so distasteful it bordered on useable. Man I was wrong lol.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hales. Yes, villians are interesting, especially when you get inside their heads. ANd there does have to be something redeemable about them, or they are just crazy killers.

When Better Off Without Her opens up, Victor Frank is feeling the fingers he cut off from the women he killed. He's culling the really bad ones from the fresh ones. He knows pain, he's lived with it all his life, mental and physical.

Unless they have a story behind them, killers are just that, killers. It's what made them that way that makes it all more interesting.

Love and blessings

Fiona McGier said...

There is a small part of each character we write in each author. To create a villain we must be able to envision being that person. It's difficult to do, even harder to make that person live in the book.

But hey, writing novels is cheaper than paying for a therapist to tell us the meaning of all of the "voices" in our heads, right?