A – Z Challenge V is for Vince’s Visibility

Visibility is not a name. I know. Trying to find a name starting with has brought up lots of lovely people.

People like Vesna, Veronica, Veena, Veta are known to me.

You’re maybe getting my drift. Lovely folk, but none of them universal or in one of my novels; and none of them villains.

Villains have appeared on a lot of blogs and are of great interest to the writer. I love writing my villains, if only I’d thought to call one of them Vince, and I think that stems from the degree of complication I can craft into them.

Villainy is not always visible and in fact succeeds the better if it’s hidden. Bella’s Betrothal has a villain called Graham Direlton. To start with he’s the universal bogeyman, but that changes…

BELLA’S BETROTHAL at a special price till April 28th:

Amazon UK http://goo.gl/P3lmzk US http://goo.gl/7mh8FI  AU http://goo.gl/3yj8U1

Ca http://goo.gl/1j33Tk

Kobo http://goo.gl/k0b8SN

MuseItUp http://goo.gl/f0zFKa

/apple itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id713274218

smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/355001



So we all know the De’il has the best tunes. Have we wondered why? Why are villains so often the most attractive character on the page or stage and why, oh why, do girls fall for the baddie?

It’s true in every aspect of life. That cake with two inches of frosting is chosen nine times out of ten, but the slice of fruit cake languishing quietly has more depth and intensity of flavour. It just didn’t wear its best clothes to the party.

In sixth year I took what were called sixth year studies in Scotland. As part of the English exam, I had to write a ‘dissertation’: in reality a long essay supporting my chosen theme and including references. I went for the anti-hero. It was a time when Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels were all the rage and boy did they enrage my Head of English.

What can I say? Dr MacQueen was a dedicated teacher whose attention got me into my choice of course at my choice of University. I was a teenager.

Writing that essay began to let me see how the surface story isn’t the whole reveal and people, characters, have light and shade, good and bad. Would the hero necessarily have chosen the ‘right’ path if he’d been dealt the same chances in life as his antagonist?

I have villains in my two published books, Mariah’s Marriage and Bella’s Betrothal. They are crafted from known personality traits. The abuse of privilege is behind Lucas Wellwood but he adds murder, gambling addiction, physical mistreatment and theft along the way. It all sits purposefully in the story and moves it forward. How much did he get away with? You can find the answer in Mariah’s Marriage?

In Bella’s Betrothal there’s a male antagonist for my hero. He’s called Graham Direlton and he is a dissolute personality nursing a deep sense of grievance. This book, however, also hosts two female villains whose behind the scenes behaviour is deeply rooted in the restrictions and constrictions of being female at any time. Intelligent, feisty women get on with making life what they want. There are others who work to bring down their sisters: who cannot, as we say in Scotland, allow anyone to ‘be better nor she should be’. In other words, if I cannot achieve that, I’m not going to let you. It’s a theme I’ve used often in playwriting.

These are a few of my thoughts on my villains. If the subject interests you there are other blog posts up today about it. You can visit any of the following:

Aimee writing as A.J. Maguire at http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/
Diane Bator at http://dbator.blogspot.ca
Fiona McGier at http://www.fionamcgier.com
Ginger Simpson at http://mizging.blogspot.com
Geeta Kakade at http://geetakakade.blogspot.com/
Connie Vines at http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Beverley Bateman – http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Rhobin Courtright – http://rhobinleecourtright.com

http://goo.gl/pASdjp Mariah’s Marriage amazon US
http://goo.gl/NxYxj5 Mariah’s Marriage UK
http://goo.gl/PKptQg Bella’s Betrothal US
http://goo.gl/5RBzIm Bella’s Betrothal UK




Titles are not copyright, but I wouldn’t presume to write a novel under the one above which was so well served by Nigel Nicholson’s portrait of his parents, Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson.

I’m borrowing it here, however, because their story is a fascinating example of what a marriage might contain, suffer, exhibit and yet still survive. When I thought up the title for my debut novel, E-published on Friday 3rd May by MuseItUp, I was looking very clearly at the creation of a marriage, not its endurance. That’s why it was surprising to have to constantly bring myself back to what was going on in getting to the altar. The brain was racing on with scenarios of what these people would do later. Maybe that’s where the title, Mariah’s Marriage came from because it served as an anchor holding me in check.

I find one of the hardest things about writing is the constant need for the protagonist to lose out and suffer. As a fairly rational individual, I do find it hard to write characters who make wrong decisions even if for the very best of reasons. I do find it incredibly hard to write quarrels which could be resolved in a few minutes by some clear-headed thinking.

However, I did find it therapeutic to write the villains for Mariah’s Marriage. Lucas Wellwood and his sister, Amarinta, gave me hours of satisfaction. There are those, maybe in the counselling worlds, who would say the real villains in any marriage are found within the psyches of the partners. No villains needed.

Maybe after you’ve read Mariah’s tale, you’ll have a view. I’d love to read it.