Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why I'd Want to be a Villain

I was skimming through Monday’s headlines and saw that the Teen Choice Awards had recently been held. The title of the article was “Vampires Rule at Teen Choice Awards” and it was enough to capture my interest even though I knew the majority of the awards would be won by the Twilight Saga. Sure enough, The Saga was at the top with twelve awards and The Vampire Diaries was close behind with seven in the television category. No surprise there—even if you don’t watch television, you only have to go to the library or bookstore to see that vampires are still ultra popular.

What surprised me was that along with best actor and best actress awards, there was also an award for best villain. How cool is that? Not only do you get to do exactly what you want, but you also get an award for it.

I let my dark side out and compiled this top ten list of reasons why it would be cool to be a romance novel villain. (True, female romance novel villains are rare, but please play along with me anyway.)

1. I'll have a side-kick – Heroes get them, so do villains. What's more fun than having someone you can boss around? My side-kick (not unlike many others) will be a little on the dumb side so he will take orders well and won't be able to put two and two together in order to uncover my evil plot.

2. I am rich/powerful – If I’m going to be superb villain, I’d better be super rich or at least have enough connections to ensure that I get what I want. Maybe I’m smart enough I made myself rich. Either way, when the novel begins I’m driving a sleek red speedster in the south of France.

3. I am extremely good looking - Classically villains are as ugly on the outside as they are on the inside, but not so for the modern villain. Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries and Halle Berry in Catwoman are just two examples. I predict the creepy axe murderer look will remain popular for villains, however. Since this is my list, I’m going to be a bombshell.

4. I am very motivated – No worthy villain lacks this characteristic. Whether it is a woman scorned or a serial killer stalking her prey, every villain is relentless and will go to any means to achieve their desired outcome. My mother always said it was good to have goals. Right?

5. I have a high IQ – If I’m going to battle a determined heroine (especially with an equally impressive hero at her side) and captivate the reader, then I’d better be smart. Otherwise I’ll be written out in the first scene or have readers snoring in their books. I always wanted to be a genius!

6. I am incredibly hard to kill – Any worthy foe must have at least nine lives (or so it seems). I can leap across roof tops, climb over fences, scale an eighty-story building all with the knowledge that I likely wouldn’t die doing it...not until the end of the book anyway.

7. I am either magic or mental – In all likelihood I was either corrupted by magic (drawn in by the dark forces) or I’ve lost my mind due to some horrific past incident. A sad case for sure, however either situation ensures that I’m not accountable for my actions, no matter how devious they are. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to conform to society’s dictations of what is normal and right. Suddenly Facebook stalking looks entirely harmless.

8. I skip the mundane – Can you picture Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman in Batman & Robin) doing the dishes or scrubbing the toilet? Me neither. As a romance novel villain, I’ll be too busy plotting and scheming to care about the state of my house or whether I make it to my boring office job on time (my office job isn’t actually boring...).

9. I get an action scene – Only the heroines get stunt doubles (haha!). At some point in the book, there is going to be a fight and I’m going to put Jackie Chan to shame by doing all his moves in four inch spiked heels. I’ll have to fight dirty, but as long as I look cool, who cares.

10. I will live guilt free – The great thing about being a villain is that you have a small or non-existent conscience. This means that stealing, manipulating, and lying are par for the course. Hmm, does that mean I can eat guilt free too? Double-fudge Sunday here I come...

Maybe I had a little too much fun with this exercise!!


Karyn Good said...

I hate to say it, but I'm with the teens on this one. Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder, is my favorite villian out there right now. I'll be watching when the new season starts!

I'm with you on the bombshell decision. And the rich decision. And all the others! I'd also have a favorite weapon, or method of destruction to go along with the no guilt thing.

Anne Germaine said...

I'd have to chose stiletto knives to go with my stiletto leather boots...

A super power would be fun lightening shooting out of my finger tips.

Joanne Brothwell said...

My favorite villain is Damon Salvatore, no doubt!

If I got to choose which villain I would be, Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer)and Victoria (Twilight Saga) are in close running. I love the leather suit and whip, but not so crazy about the mask and kitty ears. Victoria on the other hand - I'd get to wear a creepy fur coat and have wild red eyes (and super strength would be cool)!

Jana Richards said...

Gee Anne,
You make being bad sound so good! Who wouldn't want to be fabulously rich and good-looking and get to eat fudge sundaes guilt free? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.


Jennie Marsland said...

LOL! Having a minuscule conscience would be great when it comes to food, but I'm afraid it would make me a rather hefty villain.

Anne Germaine said...

You raise a good point Jennie. I'll have to balance the chocolate with the Jackie Chan moves!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Anne, as soon as you mentioned female villains, I thought of Anne Bonny and Mary Read - fearful villains in their own right. One source described them thusly, '...violent tempers, blood thirsty natures and fierce fighting abilities. They were not nice women.' LOL
Oh, btw, they were 18th century pirates.

Great post, Anne.

Anita Mae.