Weekly Update – Crafting a Villain

In the midst of editing this week, I decided to work a little more on Heir of Vengeance, Book Five of The Ripple Affair Series.  It’s about 80 pages in, and so far…so good…but I can tell that this one is going to be a fun one to write!

Because in this story, one of the biggest villains in the series is about to take center stage.

Now, keep in mind that there’s some spoilers ahead.  Okay, maybe they’re big spoilers.  So you have been warned!  Stop reading now unless you want to be spoiled (or you’ve already read the ending to Book Four, Heart of Deceit)…

Remember, spoilers ahead…

Keep going…

Almost there…

Okay.  If you’ve scrolled down this far, you’ve decided to enter spoiler territory.  In Heart of Deceit, we learned that Malum (the leader of the Velori) is none other than Edward’s older brother, Stephen!  No, he’s not a ghost.  He’s very much alive.  And after years of being amongst the Velori, I can tell you right now…he’s out for vengeance (hence the title).

What’s been interesting about writing Stephen’s character, though, is just how different he is from Malina, the series’ original villainess.  I’ve always imagined her as the kind of classical villain-type.  Egotistical, powerful, no moral code, and occasionally snickering, “mwa ha ha ha ha!” when no one is looking.  Malum (or Stephen, as he will eventually be known), is far from her type.  He’s more centered, grounded, clever…and he still has some good in him (even if it’s buried really deep).

One of the things I’ve been working on this week is some backstory for Stephen.  Just how did he go from the quiet and shy little boy to the ruthless people-puppeteer bent on destroying everything his brother touched?  What is his agenda?  Why was he gone for so long and why is he just now coming back?  Are he and Edward really so different, and if they aren’t…just how are they the same?

As I work on Stephen’s story and how it fits in The Ripple Affair, I can’t help but think back on all of the changes that’s happened just within the last year or so while writing.  Originally, Malum was meant to be a separate character (and Stephen was really, truly gone).  But as anyone who has ever written a story knows, characters often don’t listen to their authors and tend to go their own way.  Stephen is such a character, and once I decided for him and Malum to be the same person, everything seemed to flow a little easier.  Of course, once I started writing him, he was similar to Malina – a classical villain type.  But now that I have to write his backstory, and now that he has a bigger role to play in the overall series, he’s once again changing.  No longer is he the typical villain.  Now, he’s got more conflict, and that conflict may make him more similar to his brother than he realizes.

All in all, I’m super excited to get this written and published so you can read the next installment of The Ripple Affair!  And I’m even more excited about showing you the cover for Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance!  Stay tuned to the blog as I’ll be premiering the cover soon!

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