Annette McLeave joined me for the launch of her debut novel Drawn Into Darkness, the first book in her Soul Gatherers series. I loved the down to earth heroine. Today she returns to launch the highly anticipated follow-up, Bound by Darkness.
Annette is giving away two copies of Bound by Darkness and will also be here to chat. Annette asks the question, "What quality do you think tips the scale between a mediocre villain and a great one?"
You can view Annette's previous post here and read my review of Drawn Into Darkness here.
The Demons Have It
My villains, on the other hand, are more organic. They owe an element of their personas to the demons of record—Lucifer, Beelzebub, etc.—but I take a lot of liberty with demonkind. Thanks to Dante’s Inferno, I envision hell as a series of rings, each world filled with unique horrors and each ruled by a powerful demon lord. I created my demons to match the horrors of the rings—but my own, rather than Dante’s. The demons in my hell are matched to the angels in heaven—for every righteous archangel, there is an ambitious archdemon; for every soul-collecting psychopomp, there is a soul-thieving pith demon.
My demons all have a common ability to manipulate fire, but each breed has its own skills as well. In Drawn into Darkness, the first book in the Soul Gatherer series, the primary bad was a lure demon—a demon who could appear as a human and manipulate thoughts. In Bound by Darkness, which released last week, the threat is a set of demon triplets known as Maleficus, Mestitio, and Malumos.
Here’s an introduction:
“Excuse me?”A formidable villain cast against a valiant hero almost always results in great entertainment. What quality do you think tips the scale between a mediocre villain and a great one?
She spun on her heel.
Standing behind her was a dark-haired man in a plaid shirt, maybe thirty-five. His arm was hooked over the shoulders of a young girl with glasses. He smiled and held out his Nikon camera. “I wonder if you’d be willing to take a picture of my daughter and me in front of the temple?”
She peered deep into his blue eyes before responding. He seemed genuine.
“I’d be happy to.”
They got into position, beamed into the camera lens, and remained pleasantly patient as she snapped a couple of photos. Family photos. Cheery mementos of happy times. Her hand trembled as she passed the camera back to him.
“Thanks,” the man said. His daughter tugged on his arm, stage-whispering a plea to go throw a coin in the huge L-shaped reflecting pool. He handed her a pocketful of change, watched her wander off for a moment, then favored Lena with another smile, this one laced with warm interest. “I really appreciate your help. It’s always hard to get shots of the two of us.”
Lena racked her brain for the right words to discourage her new admirer. Before she could speak, however, a frumpy woman with gray hair and a wooden walking cane bumped his arm. Her admirer gasped. A perfectly natural response to a sudden jarring, one that would have gone unnoticed by someone less attuned to the sound of a thrall demon passing from one host into the next.
The ancient gold amulet around her throat began to pulse, and her gaze zeroed in on his eyes again. Yes, there it was: the inky stain of evil. The demon Malumos had made his entrance.
ANNETTE'S GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:
To celebrate the release of Bound by Darkness, I’m giving away two signed copies to today’s commenters. I’m also running a release contest on my website until the end of May, so stop by for more chances to win. Good luck!
- Open internationally.
- Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
- Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
- Giveaway open until Midnight, May 19, 2010 EST.