Evil Author Tag

Evil AuthorTag

I saw this tag over on Claire’s blog @ The Overactive Imagination and thought I would steal it because it looked like fun. We authors really are rather evil… our poor characters often don’t stand a chance against us.

Many thanks to Kate for creating the Evil Author Tag in the first place!

1. How many characters do you typically kill per book? And how many people have you killed in real life, dear? Do you… feel any remorse about this? I’m concerned about you.

Hmmm, well… based on books I’ve completed so far, I kill off a fair number of characters. Some of them have names and page-time of their own, though many of them are sort of the faceless multitudes that you know are there, dying in battle (I write fantasy, after all… epic battles happen).

I… dislike killing off characters. Partially because I get rather attached to them, and partially because I generally dislike it when one of my favorite characters in a book or movie gets killed off. At the same time, sometimes a character death is necessary in order to further the plot in some way, and in those cases… well, like Anne of Green Gables said of her audiences, “I prefer to make them cry.”

2. Do you prefer to use weapons of mass destruction like explosions and famine and world war or more personal torture like killing family and friends and pets?

Definitely the more up-close and personal methods. Large-scale threats have their place, but sometimes they are a bit beyond what the reader can really grasp and connect with.

3. Are you more like Loki, who perpetrates great evil with a creepy grin, or… Darth Vader, who secretly weeps inside his… fake head, whilst destroying the world?

I would say it probably depends on what I’m doing at the time. There are moments when I’m totally creepy-grin Loki, or delighted Rumplestiltskin…. causing disaster with a certain… panache.

I saw some writing advice a while back that has stayed with me: “Think of what your protagonist wants more than anything else. Now, your job is to do everything in your power to prevent him from getting it.” I see that as my most important job as the author.

However, I also love my characters rather a lot, and so, there are definitely times when I am weeping secretly inside my Darth Vader helmet.

4. What is the most dastardly crime you have ever committed as a writer?

According to my readers… that would be the thing I do to Brant at the beginning of King’s Warrior.

That… or ALL the things I do to Ky/Seamas in Second Son…

Though I can think of a few things in Minstrel’s Call that may… well… spoilers!

5. What kind of chocolate do you most like to devour as you burn things? White, milk, semisweet, or dark? Bonus points if you are so evil you find unsweetened cacao palatable!

I like dark chocolate best for most things (though if we’re talking about Reeses pb cups or some other candy bar like that, I generally prefer the milk chocolate version) but just straight-up chocolate, I prefer dark. Unsweetened cacao is inedible.

6. What is your villainous title? You may not have “Evil Overlord” because that one’s mine.

Stormaggedon, Dark Lord of All

7. Which of your characters would actually be a match for you if you were to duke it out one on one?

Like… in evil things?

I mean… all of my characters could take me in a one-on-one duel.

When it comes to thinking up villainous plots, though… I dunno. I scare myself sometimes with my capacity for darkness. The villains in my Turrim Archive would probably be a match for me.

8. Which character, in all the many books you have undoubtedly written, is most likely to be your Archnemesis?

Well, since I’m “Evil” hence the “Evil Author Tag” – there is little doubt that Kiernan Kane is my Archnemesis. He could beat me in no time flat, no matter what I threw at him.

9. Do you wear a cape? Face paint? A mask? Special underpants? Or do you hide in plain sight… like Moriarty? Give me details!

I totally hide in plain sight. I’m a pretty generally cheerful and comforting person… but I feel I have achieved something if I can make my audience cry. The people who know me best are the most surprised when something terrible befalls my characters. And I like it that way.

10. How do you react when you have to kill off a character that is dear to you? Do you laugh evilly out loud? Do you chuckle under your breath and quickly glance around for your next victim? Do you go and weep in a corner for a month because you just lost a best friend? Or do you just shrug indifferently?

I weep for a month. Then I frantically try to figure out if there’s any way to save that character instead. Then I waffle back and forth throughout the editing stages. If there isn’t any way to save them, I cry a lot throughout the editing process.

11. If you had to choose a fictional villain (from book, movies, etc.) to sum up your villainous style as an evil writer, who would it be? Why?

Sean Renard from Grimm. You never quite know who’s side he’s on, and while you really WANT him to be a good guy, you can’t help but admire his ability to be a cold-hearted jerk when he’s erring towards the side of villainy.

12. Do you believe in killing off main characters, or are they your smol precious babies whom you cannot even fathom laying a hand (or steel-tipped ax) upon? (#wimpyevilwriter)

I am totally a #wimpyevilwriter! I generally leave MCs alone… though anyone around them is fair game. However, in my up-coming and soon-to-be-released books… well… who’s to say?

13. Have you ever chickened out of your evilness and tried to resurrect a fallen character whom you have already brutally murdered? Or do you–as they say–let the sleeping skeleton lie?

So far, if a character dies in a published book, they stay dead. Now, until the book is published, anything is subject to change. I have killed off main characters in rough drafts, only to change my mind in the editing process. However, I can’t say that will always be a hard-and-fast rule…

14. When murdering a character, do you often describe it in cringe-worthy detail, or do you prefer to say “SPLAT! He’s dead”, and be done with it? (Bonus Question: have you ever actually said “SPLAT! He’s dead” in one of your writing projects?)

I’ve never said, “SPLAT! He’s dead.” in any of my writing projects.

I tend to describe the action that leads up to the death… and I like to give dying characters their death scene to try to get a few last words in and really grab the reader’s emotions and crush them into dust beneath the heel of my boot….

All images/gifs found via Google image search.

Are you an evil author? Consider yourself tagged!

Readers, do you prefer all the main characters to come through the book alive? Or do you like a little tragedy mixed in with your happily ever afters? Or do you prefer sad endings? Which character’s death most affected or traumatized you in your reading/movie viewing journeys? (They live on in our hearts…) Let me know in the comments!

~ jenelle


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