Friday 3 August 2012

My Friday Fantastic Feature: Kelly Hashway - Heroes and Villains Guest Post

 Another Friday, yay! Thanks for stopping by, hope you had a great week. :) Today I have the pleasure of hosting Kelly Hashway, my forever patient and awesome editor and the talented author of  Touch Of Death to be released in January 15th, 2013. I, for one, look forward to reading TOD. :) Before I hand the reins over to Kelly, here's a bit about her.

About the author: 
I write young adult and middle grade novels and am proudly repped by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. Look for my upcoming YA novels, TOUCH OF DEATH (Spencer Hill Press, 1/15/13) and STALKED BY DEATH (Spencer Hill Press, 7/23/13), and my debut MG series CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE (Month9Books, 1/21/14)

Creating Complex and Memorable Heroes and Villains

Every writer wants to create the next big character, and every reader wants to dive into a book with a great MC who they're willing to follow anywhere. But how does that happen? How does a character, good or evil, become memorable?

I think there are a few key elements to every great character. First, they have to be real. Readers can spot stereotypes and flat characters in seconds. And that book will go back on the shelf, unpurchased. So make sure your character is someone you'd want as a friend or someone you'd never want as an enemy. Every character has to have good and bad traits. Yes, even your villain has to have some likability, some justification for why he/she is evil. A redeeming quality might not make the reader cheer for your villain, but it will make your reader understand him/her better. 

But the biggest thing you need to do when creating your characters is to make them evoke feeling in the reader. If the reader cares about your character or feels strongly in some way about them, they'll follow the character willingly through the entire story. I love to hate characters. Why? Because hate is a very strong emotion. If I hate a villain, I keep reading and hope for their downfall. In the same token, when I fall in love with an MC, I cheer him/her on to victory. It doesn't matter what kind of emotion your characters create—as long as it's a strong emotion. Readers don't care about characters that give them luke warm feelings. 

So give your heroes and villains dimension, make them real, and have them evoke emotion (good or bad) in your readers, and you'll have memorable characters.
 Touch of Death Description:

 Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.
To link up with Kelly on her blog @ 
Goodreads: Goodreads


  1. Thanks for having me Cecilia! If anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

  2. Great post, Kelly!

    All my favorite villains are the ones that have well defined motivations ... the villains you sympathize with so much you almost cry for them when it all falls apart, like Captain Barbossa from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. God, he was a great villain!

  3. Great post. Yes even the bad guys need a good quality. Why are they evil? And the good guys need a bad trait or too, just like real people.

  4. Yes, characters need to evoke feeling in the reader and need to be unique, so Kelly's got it right. Can't wait to read her upcoming novel!
    Catherine Stine’s Idea City

  5. wow what an imaginative mind!!

  6. @Emily McKay, I'm the same way. I love to fall in love with villains.

    @Beverly Stowe McClure, exactly! My thoughts exactly!

    @Catherine Stine, thank you! So sweet of you. :)

  7. Ooh, I can't wait to read this book. Kelly is right. You must make your villain have a reason for being evil. When I watched the TV series Once Upon A Time, some viewers were angry because an episode explained why the queen is evil. I hate villains who are evil without a reason.

  8. Kelly,
    My pleasure. Thank YOU for the wonderful post.

  9. I agree. I think villains don't become evil for the sake of being evil. there is always a cause, what is their motivation and show a part them - no matter how small - that's not tainted.

  10. @Ednah, I agree. The reason is so necessary. Even Lord Voldemort had reasons for being evil. Look how many people loved him. I had students who were bigger Voldemort fans than Harry Potter fans.

    @Cecilia, thanks for giving me such a great topic to talk about. It's a fun one. :)

  11. So agree here, Kelly. You have to feel emotion toward the main character - whether it's love/hate. Some excellent advice.

  12. @Carol, exactly! I don't care if a character makes me love or hate them. I just need to feel strongly about them either way.

  13. Great interview. Kelly is a great writer and her works are intriguing.

  14. I love feeling strong emotions towards heroes and villains. I feverishly turn the pages when that happens.

  15. @Donna, thank you! You're so sweet!