Saturday, June 27, 2015


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Reviewers always notice my villains, and this is no accident. I do like my villains as much as my heroes and heroines. I enjoy developing and refining my bad guys. I make them believable, strongly motivated, and intelligent. I believe the stronger the villain, the more heroic the hero or heroine will have to be, in order to defeat him (or her).

Debbie at ck2skwips&Kritiques said about the Ancient Enemy series:
"...the evil Captain Kavak certainly ranks as one of the worst villains ever encountered!"

Captain Kavak is a woman and a general. Her ancestors were once human, Anasazi taken to the stars by the Star People eight hundred years ago (according to Native American legends). The Anasazi were feared warriors, their name means "ancient enemy," according to my Native American sources, and after many modifications in the Pleiades system, they still are a bloodthirsty lot. But now they are part flesh part machine, and they call themselves Anaz-voohri. After slaughtering their captors and stealing their technology, they are coming to reclaim the planet of their ancestors... Earth.

In science fiction, the possibilities are endless. In this series, Captain Kavak is ruthless, part human and part alien cyborg. To enforce her authority, she sacrifices her opponents from the top of a pyramid. She hates the inferior humans. She wants to make Earth the Anaz-voohri home base, from which to build a fleet and launch her conquest of the entire galaxy. Unfortunately for her, her people and her fleet have been decimated in too many bloody battles, and she needs human breeders to birth her new army. She is more threatening due to the fact that she is desperate. Her motivations are all too understandable since her people face extinction.

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In PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE and PAGAN QUEEN my villain also shines.

"Schartz is an accomplished writer, whose pacing, conflicts, and goals are always complex and whose good characters are always likeable, and whose villains are evil incarnate. You have to like her villains as much as the good guys! Mattacks is a magnificent example of this!" - 5 stars - Manic Readers

In BELOVED CRUSADER, I have two immortal villains. One is the Great Goddess herself, who turns against the heroine for disobeying and questioning her faith. The other villain is a Naga shape shifter, half serpent half man, an instrument of the Goddess, and possibly the Prince of Darkness himself. This is the first of my villains to be irredeemably dark.

But my villains also have their vulnerabilities. In the Archangel series, I have the reptilian devil himself being harassed and belittled by his nagging wife. It was fun to write. I also have a villain in book 1 who is so seductive and handsome, women hate themselves for liking him.

My secret to writing a great villain is  to make him, or her as three-dimensional, threatening, and interesting as possible, without out-staging the hero or the heroine. No matter what we are, we all have deep motivations, and I make sure theirs are clear and easy to understand for the reader. We can all relate to the thirst for power, the lure of riches, pride, revenge... In his mind, my villain is the hero of his own story.

Vijaya Schartz
Swords, Blasters, Romance with a Kick