Guest Blog & Giveaway: JC Nelson on how it’s good to be bad & win Free Agent

June 30, 2014 Giveaways, Guests 20

A big welcome to JC Nelson who is here to telling us how it’s good to be bad and celebrating the release of Free Agent, The Grimm Agency (published on 7/29/2014 by Ace books). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.

ATUF-guest

It’s Good to Be Bad

by

JC Nelson

I confess I love a great villain. Someone who isn’t just the man or woman in black, twirling his or her mustache and laughing evilly. Not that I have anything against evil laughs. In fact, it seems like most of the time, the bad guys and gals have more reasons to laugh.

But when I’m reading a great book, I want three things:
A fantastic hero or heroine. Someone I can root for, empathize with. Someone who makes me laugh, maybe cry, who can make mistakes and do wrong, but for the right reason.
A larger than life antagonist. A villain worthy of a villa in Mexico, who is going to give that hero or heroine a run for their money. One for whom raising the stakes is par for the course.
An ending that could only happen because of the hero, the heroine, and their conflict with the villain. If I can substitute a girl scout for the main character and get the same ending, I will be sad.

Today I’m focusing on number 2: The antagonist. Villain. Opposing force. I believe in villains who are doing what they do for a reason. They didn’t just get up in the morning, look at their phone and read “BE EVIL.” Or “BE REALLY EVIL.” I am ok if they get up and read the morning comics and laugh an evil laugh, though, because sometimes, Dilbert is really funny.

The point is, the great baddies are the ones who have goals of their own, the drive and power to get them done, and every intention of carrying them out. And if everyone in the build, city, or world winds up dead, that’s unfortunate but acceptable.

The best villains aren’t villains in their own eyes. They might not be sympathetic to the reader, but they’re consistent. They have reasons, and dog help anyone who gets in their way.

That’s what I strove for in Free Agent. I laid out my villains, put them to work accomplishing their dark designs, and then added someone guaranteed to conflict with them.

Marissa, the heroine, works for the Fairy Godfather. She’s a get-the-job done, genre savvy, intelligent woman who has survived the happily-ever-after business on skill, smarts, and high quality ammo.

Oh, and did I mention she’s stubborn, with a protective streak?

So when we put a smart, strong, stubborn woman on a crash course with someone who doesn’t care how many people get killed, you can bet we’re in for fun. Though I’m sorry to say there are no evil laughs, you are welcome to laugh evilly at all the right moments.

I love a great villain, because they’re what put the triumph in triumphant victory. And if they have an evil laugh, so much the better.

So the question I have for you is simple: What villain do you most love, and why?

JC Nelson is a Texas transplant to the Pacific Northwest who lives with a family and flock of chickens near Rainy Seattle.

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ATUF-giveaway

Signed ARC of Free Agent

 Free Agent by JC Nelson

  

Available on 7/29/2014 by Ace books

Description:

When it comes to crafting happily-ever-afters, the Agency is the best in the land of Kingdom. The Fairy Godfather Grimm can solve any problem—from eliminating imps to finding prince charming—as long as you can pay the price…
Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.
Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.
Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending…

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20 Responses to “Guest Blog & Giveaway: JC Nelson on how it’s good to be bad & win Free Agent”

  1. Jennifer Crawford

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. I’m TRYING to think of a villain that I like but I honestly can’t think of any right now. Well, I can think of ONE because of a movie . . . Cato (Hunger Games) is definitely my favorite villain in the movie, not the book though, because he’s SO. DAMN. HOTT!!! In the book I hated him (of course), but during the movie I was crying out for him as he fell to the dog creatures. So sad to lose a guy so hot!

  2. Janie McGaugh

    What comes to mind is the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He’s just wonderfully over the top!

  3. JC Nelson

    The Sheriff is a great villain, but I always wondered WHY he did what he did! And Cato feels like a villain “born to do” what he does. Like you, I rooted for him to die in the book, but felt bad for movie-cato.

  4. erinf1

    Voldemort!!! Mainly b/c he was such an evil villain :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Rhianna

    Loki, in all his many incarnations, because I like villains that have a complexity and unpredictable nature.

  6. Jamie Martin

    The Bone Collector in the book of the same name.. He was just extra creepy; I loved his creepiness. That makes me sound weird.

  7. JC Nelson

    @Rhianna – Loki reminds me of Heath Ledger’s Joker. His motives are inscrutable, and you simply never know what kind of chaos he’ll invoke next.

    @erinfl – Voldemort is one of those “So evil he’s awesome” villains, even if we don’t understand his motivations for most of the series. The question of “Could Tom Riddle have been saved?” is a great one, one I don’t have an answer for.

    @Jaimie – I regret to say I’ve never read the Bone Collector. Though with a name like that, I would expect him to go door to door selling aroma therapy oils. Some names set you down a path to a certain destiny. If your name is “Hexacious Kingslayer,” no matter how much you want to pursue that career in yoga meditation, you’re probably destined for bloodshed.

  8. Lingeorge

    I really like the creepy Auphe in Rob Thurman’s Leandros Brothers. Of course there is also the evil “Mastermind” Gini Koch has come up with.

  9. Cathy S

    My favorite “villain” would have to be the Wicked Witch of the West from the “Wizard of Oz.” I grew up in the birthplace of the author of the books so I grew up around the story. Once I was older I saw Wicked on stage and loved her character. Every Oz story has her characterization slightly different and I think they all add to her entry into becoming a villain.

  10. Mlleinformed

    One villain (turned hero) that I loved was/is Trent in Kim Harrison’s the Hollows series. I love any villain that also has some kind of redeeming quality – partial or whatever – that makes you root for them even if they’re being bad. I know there’s others out there that I liked, just drawing a blank right now (baby brain).

  11. Natalia J

    My favorite Villian would be the evil Queen in Once upon a time. I think that she is great and in the beginning you get to see how evil she is but through out the seires you see that she once was nice and kind. I love it how in the show they can make her love/ hate her at the same time. She does have a good reason to evil deeds with reason .

  12. Michelle Willms

    The villain in Stephen King’s Dark Tower (or Gunslinger) series, Randall Flagg, is an excellent villain. He is extremely intelligent. His plan is well thought out and appeals to a vast group of people. He meets their needs, though he is a very, very cruel man, the people understand him. Of course, they are pretty cruel themselves. Without this villain, there would have been no story.

  13. Barrie

    One of my favorite kind of villain is a motorcycle, tattoed, scary looking man…especially when he becomes less of a villain later!

  14. Stephanie F.

    Maleficent has always been my favorite villain. She was one that you loved to hate.

  15. Leah Goodreau

    Many of my favorite characters are villain-protagonists (or heroes whose choices morally questionable enough that, in a different story, they could be villains). Victor from VE Schwab’s Vicious or Con from Robin McKinley’s Sunshine are good examples. I think my favorite straight-up villain is the big bad of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Michelle beat me to the Stephen King villain-love, but George Stark is fantastic as well. Perfect blend of charisma and nightmare fuel.

  16. michaela

    I really loved Tate Langdon from American Horror STory because he was so sweet and so sensitive, but also kind of creepy and unhinged. I thought that they found a great balance of innocent denial and sociopathic plotting that even though he was a complete maniac who made everything hell for everybody, it still broke your heart to see him cry and you still wanted to hug him and his sad puppy dog face despite everything he’d done.

  17. C.L.

    Maleficent, the original. There was something about her in the the cartoon Sleeping Beauty that was charismatic and evil at the same time. She felt like a woman who had reasons, but had no reason to share them. She didn’t have to justify herself, she just did. The terrifying bit didn’t hurt, either. Plus she could turn into a dragon, that’s an awesome villain.

  18. Chelsea B.

    Loki from Thor. He’s got that I-cover-up-my-wounds-with-sarcasm thing going on that just makes me want to cuddle him ;-)

  19. KimG

    One of my favorite villains is Mab from the Dresden series. She is consistent and can only be trusted to act in her own interest (that of the Winter Court). She is cruel and cold but her motives (even the ulterior ones, when revealed) are true to form, following her own agenda, and using whomever she needs.