Sunday, September 10, 2006


You have to survive villains, but it's stretching a point to say that they are related to survival romances... unless the theme is historical/political survival, in which case I have to think of Catherine Parr and Henry VIII.

My survival romances are futuristic.

My most powerful villain is the god-Emperor Djohn-Kronos, who dominates MATING NET (at least for me). I gradually fell in love with him, and one day I will have to write him a happy ending, although he can never get married. That's the problem with publishing a wide ranging Family Tree. He is a Henry VIII type, only not fat, not gouty, not afflicted with any medieval diseases.

I've just spent ten terribly long days and nights doing the edits for INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL, and much of the trouble was caused by the villain.

He wasn't quite nasty enough, and one of his reasons for being the way he is, was too interesting for my editor (unless I added more details). Since I don't like to explain all bad behavior on insanity or an uncomplicated delight in evil-doing, I had to add lines.

All well and good, you might think, but IMHO a villain can't just crank up the nastiness out of the blue. Either his
nastiness has to be apparent all the way through, or else his nasty habits have to build like storm clouds
gathering throughout the course of the book.

That takes time for me, especially since there are knock-on consequences. Pages and ink cost money, and there is a certain size that a mass market paperback needs to be ... or you can't fit 48 in a box? Or they topple off the bookshelves if placed face out? I don't know. I don't argue. However, if my villain needs an ugly habit (like scratching himself in public?) and doing it once might be excused by the reader, so he has to do it often, then less necessary lines devoted to birds, flowers, eviscerating fish have to be cut.

I'd already cut at least 150 pages from the manuscript, so removing more was no easy matter.

The copy editor has it now. IMM should be released in February 2007.

Best wishes,


Brit Blaise said...
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Brit Blaise said...

I'd much rather read about your hero scratching himself than about eviscerated birds...

Brit - rapidly becoming your devoted fan:-)