Where in the world is Sable Jordan?"
You may have noticed Sable's been M.I.A. from her blog for the past 2 weeks. She was last seen partying with Tonya (and it was quite the party), but then she sort of disappeared. Don't worry, she's not completely gone. She's locked in her dungeon so she could bang out a few stories she's way behind on. Way, waaaay behind on.
Which means you're left with me, one of her ids. Who am I? you ask. Isadora Monday, at your service. But you can call me Izzy. I'm the thriller/suspense side of all that smut Sable writes.
Not really sure about this blogging stuff, so bear with me. Sable's instructions weren't the clearest. She was thinking some naughty things at the time...she's always thinking naughty things. It's a wonder the girl remembers to eat. And we definitely need to have a chat about having our mutually shared boobage on display in her profile pic. Sheesh! So, anyhow, here we go. Today's topic: Villains.
Like I said, I'm the thriller writer, and what got me really interested in this genre is the lady in the pic above: Carmen Sandiego. I so wanted to be Carmen when I was a kid. I remember going to a friend's house who had the game on floppy disks (yes, I'm dating myself...and Sable). We, the determined agents of the ACME Detective Agency would sit down with a notepad—we were serious gamers—and work out the clues to track down our perp, the crafty Miss Sandiego. We'd hunt her for hours and hours, traveling to distant lands, solving math equations and reading riddles, but the dastardly V.I.L.E. ringleader would slip through our grasps at every turn. Good times.
What endears me the most to Carmen is that she's such a badass villainess. And that theme song: "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego." Every villain should have a theme song. I'd sit there trying to be a good little detective and catch my perp, and all the while I'm like damn, wish I could play from Carmen's perspective. She got to run around the world with a seemingly limitless supply of cash doing all kinds of villain-type things. If they ever make a movie about her I'm sure they'd get A.J. to play the lead. (FYI A.J. is Angelina Jolie, 'cause yeah, we're tight like that).
Carmen comes up a lot when I'm writing. Why? Because to write great thrillers, you need great villains. Villains are my lifeblood. They drive the plot behind my plot. Carmen's bold, she's ruthless (or as ruthless as a pre-X-Box game let's you get without simulated blood spatter), she's clever, she's extreme. She wears confidence as easily as she wears that hat cocked on her head, and she uses her beauty to disarm. Great villain. And whatever her flaw, we don't know it yet.
When I read Sable's stuff, the aim is different. She starts with an idea of her leads and, as she says, figures out how to get them from "hello to the Big O" in as many words as she's allowed herself. Then she throws in the drama they go through (if drama's needed). In my thrillers, I have to approach things differently. I start with my villain, my Carmens. Because a hero is as useless as tits on a bull without an evil to fight. Turns out, I might actually know my villains better than I know my hero(ine).
Being a villain is a proactive thing; a hero, reactive. Villains have the burden of crafting their evil, working out all the kinks to make sure they get everything to go KABLOOEY! before the hero can stop them. And it's a tedious job. Everyone feels badly for the hero, but villains are so misunderstood. All that planning, holding on to all that rage, keeping so many secrets, sometimes switching identities to get everything together an all so the hero can come along and "Keep the bomb from being" to quote the maniac from Speed. (To be clear, I don't quote Keanu movies much...Let's move on.)
I feel badly for villains. Not so bad that I don't want my heroes to win, mind, but there's a little tug at the heartstrings sometimes. It probably all stems from my love for Carmen. I'd secretly applaud when she got away, because I knew the pursuit was still on. And that's the fun in chasing a worthy opponent. My tip if you're a thriller writer: Know your villain(s) inside out. Know what makes them tick. Know what color their underpants are. Know whether they like Corn Flakes or Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. Your job in writing thrillers is to make your opponents, and their causes, worthy enough of the heros you create to thwart them.
*Shameless promo*. I'm working on a book. Several, actually. And while I know you're all Sable fans, I hope you'll swing by and check out my work too. Not to worry, there's always a romance thread, because it ups the stakes...and because Sable is a controlling id. She likes to stick stuff in where she can. (yes, there's a pun in there somewhere). Expect a release from me late 2011, early 2012. I seriously hope we get through the whole "Mayan Experience" unscathed because I have some stories to tell.
To update you about little miss Lick My Ink, Sable's working on an anthology, a FREE anthology, among other things. It'll be out soon. I won't say much about it because I'm sure she'll want to inform you of all the sticky goodness in there herself. Plus she's trying to release a few more books before the year's out and I know she's not finished writing them all. *sigh* Which means I'll swing by again to yammer on about thrillers and how much they rock :)
I'm supposed to plug Sable here so thanks for #LickingMyInk.