Mark your calendars! From June 7th to June 17th, the fine folks at Herding Cats and Burning Soup is bringing us all the best of the baddest, so please check them out and tell your friends. There’s a rafflecopter full of fun prizes, one of which is a copy of Cottonwood! With almost one hundred participating authors of all genres and heat-levels, you are guaranteed to find someone bad to bring home!
I have to admit, when I was first made aware of the Bad Boys Blog Hop, I was eager enough about reading my way through it—who doesn’t love a bad boy?—but did not immediately think of adding my name to the linky list (which you can find by clicking on the Bad Boys Badge on the sidebar to the right). After all, I reasoned, my heroines’ love interests are all good guys. As is so often the case, it took my sister, Cris, to point out the obvious: “What do you call Kane?”
“I call him the villain,” I replied, in some surprise. “I’m not sure how I could call him more of a villain unless I gave him a cape and whip-thin mustache he could twirl.”
“Sure, he’s a villain. But he’s not unlikable.”
Why do we like the bad guys anyway? Because I won’t lie, I’ve been rooting for the wrong team in my favorite movies for as long as I’ve been buying my own tickets. In fact, if a movie is on my Favorites list, it’s almost always because of the villain.
Pitch Black was supposed to be a sci-fi monster flick with a strong Ripley-esque heroine, but who even thinks of her when someone mentions that movie? No, that movie is all about Riddick—cold, predatory, deadlier than the monsters the movie was ostensibly about, and smoking hot in a pair of black-tinted goggles. Is Silence of the Lambs about Clarice Starling pursuing Buffalo Bill? Or Hannibal Lecter preying on Clarice? Anyone who’s ever seen the 1980s fantasy Legend may have forgotten Tom Cruise was even in it, but nobody forgets Big Red stepping out of that mirror to kneel beside a fainted Lily and just loom over her. And in Jurassic Park, when the raptor’s breath fogs the glass and then he slowly opens the door…okay, that one’s probably just me.
But I know I’m not the only one who feels that little tug for the bad guy. See, the thing is, there’s a certain kind of villain who’s really just a darker version of the archetypical Alpha Male hero. Think about it. He’s successful. He’s either a leader or a lone wolf (always by choice). He’s ambitious and confident. There’s usually some emphasis on his virility—a bevy of evil concubines in the background or some scene where he smirkingly manhandles the hero’s love interest—but in any case, he’s always fit and attractive in a dark way. A feral way. His eyes are always the hungry eyes of an animal and that animal is always carnivorous. There is really only one way in which this kind of villain is different from the Alpha hero and that is that the hero ultimately bows to an authority greater than his own, whether it be law, love or God, and the villain bows to no one.
Now we come back to one of my bad boys, Kane in Heat. Yes, he’s still a villain, but he’s a hot villain and he didn’t get that way by accident. Somewhere in this house is a notebook with pages and pages of doodles showing Kane in various poses and I don’t believe he wears a shirt in even one of ‘em. I made him strong, broad-chested and lean-hipped. I made him intelligent and resourceful. I gave him a sense of humor. I dressed him in a long black leather coat and a snap-brim fedora, for God’s sake, I knew he was hot! And then I let him kill a hundred people while the reader watched, usually with his bare hands. He is a very bad man. But he’s really good at it and I should know. I built him that way.
The Bad Boys of Romance has given me the opportunity to sample dozens of different bad boy flavors. Now I want to hear from you. Tell me about your favorite bad boy—from books, movies, comics, or whatever!—and what makes him so appealing. Everyone who comments on a post on this blogsite with the Bad Boys tag between June 7th and June 17th will be entered in a drawing to receive one of my books (ebook format only) of the title of your choice (including an advance copy of The Last Hour of Gann, due to be released at the end of the summer). If you wish to enter the giveaway, make sure you leave your information in your comment. Only one comment will be counted per post, but commenting on multiple posts (with the Bad Boy tag!) will increase your chances of winning. Please be aware that all my books contain a certain element of sci-fi, fantasy or horror violence as well as strong sexual content! If you would like to comment but do not wish to enter the giveaway, simply omit your contact information from your comment. One winner will be drawn on June 18th. Until then, be sure to visit the Bad Boys of Romance by clicking the helpful link in the sidebar (second from the top). And if you liked what you read in today’s post, then don’t miss this weekend’s Sunday Sneak Peek, WeWriWa and Bad Boys of Romance special installments June 16th and 17th for a super-sized super-scene from my book, Heat!