Archive for March, 2011

Guest Blogger–Donna Milward–Good to be Bad

March 19, 2011

This week, my guest blogger is a very sweet lady and fellow Canadian Donna Milward, whom I met on the Net over a year ago. She is charming, witty, and has a heart of gold. She is also an emerging romance writer who you should keep an eye on because I’m sure you will be seeing a lot of her work in this genre in the years to come.

Her blog is about the antagonist, usually my favourite character. In my opinion, the antagonist either makes or breaks a story.

You can also check out her enchanting and quite unique blog “Earth to Thoeba” at: http://earthtothoeba.blogspot.com/

Plus don’t forget to check out the question and answer section that comes after Donna’s blog.

Happy reading. 🙂

Gio

Good to be Bad

I love villains. I love reading them and watching them. But above all, I love writing them.

Consider this. Our protagonist, or hero if you will, has to be likeable. If you are a writer, you’ve often heard that your protagonist has to be ‘sympathetic’. He or she has to be someone everybody can relate to.

Would you support the family man who beats his wife and kids, but ‘only when he’s drunk.’? When he’s drafted into the army after aliens invade Earth, do you want him to come back alive? Or how about the shy teenaged Satanist? Do you care if he gets the girl?  Do you want him to?

No, the heroes and heroines of this world are designed to be reliable. Generic. Predictable.

The antagonist, however, can do anything. Admit it, you love it when the villain enjoys doing something that appalls you. Like reading the obituaries for light reading before bed. Or dining on lost pets.

Is it our powerful desire to see them get what they deserve? Or our need to feel superior?

But of course no one grows up deciding to be evil, right? They all have their reasons for revenge and world domination. Perhaps a bad childhood? A government conspiracy? The radioactive-mercury-laced doughnut that killed his pa?

The possibilities are as limitless as your reaction to them. You can love them. Hate them. Love to hate them. Hate to love them and secretly cheer for them.

That is why I love villains, and I know some of you agree with me. The rest of you should just agree with me now. It will save so much time when I take over the planet.

Donna Milward

 

1. When did you really know writing romance novels was what you wanted to do?

It wasn’t until a friend asked me to join her at a RWA conference in Washington D.C. two years ago that I got into romance. What an eye opener! The more I learned about that genre, the more I respected it and the more I wanted to be a part of it.



2. I see you love mythology, what Greek or Roman god or goddess is your favourite and why?

It’s always been Athena, goddess of strategic warfare, craft, and wisdom. I appreciate how she is the cunning side of war, not the brutality of it. She knows when to fight, and when to “extend the olive branch” as they say. She invented the concept, just as she created the olive tree as a gift to Athens. She’s a multi-talented deity. Having said that, Demeter, goddess of harvests is my favorite in gardening season 🙂

 
3. You enjoy gardening. Do you have any tips for fellow gardeners?

I cannot stress the importance of weeding. Some find it a chore, I call it therapy. Sit cross-legged (or however you feel most comfortable) in your plot with a trowel and stir gently. Take your time and enjoy it. Remember, these unwanted plants steal water and nutrients from your precious flowers and vegetables. Watch how your plants thrive when they’re not being strangled and are given space to grow.

If your soil is hard enough that it bends your trowel, this means you have clay soil. You either have to replace the dirt or nourish it extensively with manure, compost and lime.

4. Who would be your all time favourite character ever created in fiction?

That one’s hard. I would have to say the companions from the Dragonlance series. Which one I like best depends on my mood. I love Raistlin the dark mage sometimes, but mostly Tasselhoff Burrfoot the kender. He’s adorable!



5. Who would be your all time favourite character ever created in a movie?

Darth Vader!! Best villain ever! When Star Wars came out, there had never been anything like him, and there still isn’t.

6. As a child, what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?

There was a long list. Teacher, ballerina, actress…I know author made it in there somewhere. I remember my first book in grade two was about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It had pictures I’d drawn myself and began, “The storm that sank that boat was bad. You should have seen it!” I’ve improved since then…



7. What is the most memorable childhood memory that brings a smile still to your face today?

I’m privileged to remember the day I officially learned to read.  It was a book about horses, and I remember it was a night scene. The word was ‘flashlight’. I was an excellent phonics student, and I applied them, right down to what ‘ght’ represented. I read it in one go, and the doors of knowledge opened for me. From that day forward I could read anything and did my damndest to read everything. It’s a favorite day in my life.

8. Who do think is more important to a story, the protagonist or antagonist?

I have to say antagonist. I’m not just saying that because I love writing them. I find that most protagonists are very much the same-they’re likeable people that something bad happens to, right? A villain you can love, hate, love to hate, relate to, and feel sorry for. You have no story if you have no conflict. Without the antagonist, there is no conflict.

My Story “One-Way Trip for the Damned” is featured in “Tales of the Talisman”.

March 7, 2011

Greetings 🙂

My Sci-fi/horror short story “One-Way Trip for the Damned” about a man who wakes up on a space cruiser with no memory and a dead crew is featured in Volume 6, Issue 3 of “Tales of the Talisman.”



Here’s a blurb for the issue:

This winter, we present an action-packed issue of Tales of the Talisman. Ernest Hogan takes us aboard the luxury spaceship Mars-A-Go-Go where a private detective gets caught up in the search for a famous actress’s lost body. Meanwhile, Mike Brines takes us to Arizona where another private detective attempts to discover what those elves at The Muffin Man bakery are cooking up! Head back into space with Giovanna Lagana as she introduces us to a man who wakes up on a space cruiser with no memory and a dead crew. Kristin Davis shows us that selkies can learn to love their human forms and humans can learn compassion. These and other fantastic stories and poems await you in this exciting issue of Tales of the Talisman!

http://www.talesofthetalisman.com/bookstore-v6.html

The Amazon link is:

http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Talisman-6-3-Ernest-Hogan/dp/1885093578/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299531570&sr=8-7