Guest Post: Tessa Gratton

I have yet another 2k11 debut author with me today: TESSA GRATTON! She's the author of Blood Magic, which releases on May 24th... oh wait, that means it's exactly a WEEK from today! Wow. I've been keeping the eagle eye on Tessa after finding out she was part of Merry Fates Fiction, so I'm excited like no other. And, now, handing over the spotlight to Tessa...

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I adore a good villain – in fact, they can make or break a book for me. I suspect I’m not the only one!

My favorites fall into generally three categories:

Total Bad-*ss: The Terminator. Grendel and his Mother. Maleficent.

Understandable, yet Evil: Lestat. Jareth. Claudius. Gaston. Cancer Man.

Just Plain Evil: Angelus. Iago. The Captain from Pan’s Labyrinth. Top Dollar. 

To me, the best villains need very good motivation, or they need to be so totally evil that you aren’t ever wondering WHY. Shades of gray are important, so that as a reader/viewer I can start to understand and maybe even sympathize. That makes their antagonism all the more repulsive, if you’re able to identify with them even just a little.

Some of my favorite books and movies ARE my favorites purely because of the delicious villain. Last year, I read FIRE by Kristen Cashore, and although he wasn’t the main antagonist, Fire’s father Cansrel was most definitely a villain. He was my favorite character in a book filled with great characters – because he was powerful, shocking, horrible, selfish, oh-so-evil, and also loved. I reread all the sections he was in, trying to pick apart exactly how Cashore developed him so well, despite him being dead before the book itself begins.

When I set out to add a villain into BLOOD MAGIC, I knew I wanted her to be of the “understandable, yet evil” type because of the way the magic works (it’s neither good nor evil in and of itself), and also because I wanted to try giving my villain a point of view. It’s something that’s done is a lot of high fantasy, but infrequently in paranormal novels. I wanted readers to see what made her into a villain – how much of it was her nature, how much of it was in her reactions – and to see if I could make readers sympathize with her despite the horrible things she does. Honestly, Josephine is my favorite character, and I think it’s because she’s passionate, loyal, fierce, and ruthless. Ok, also arguably in need of major therapy. She’s delightfully fun to write!

So, I hope you all enjoy Josephine and her wicked, wicked ways! 


Thanks, Tessa! I am 100% with her on the villains, especially Maleficent. *shivers* 

You can also check out her YouTube account for her readings of tiny excerpts from Blood Magic -- in character! The first chapter's video is below: