Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Wendy S. Hales guest post
We're joined today by the talented Wendy S. Hales. She 's going to give us a sneak peak into her head, and an excerpt from her new book Immortal Becoming.
The expendable goons who get killed for an antagonist … what are they thinking?
The bad guy usually gets a POV (point of view) in the story. At least enough to know he’s psycho or someone twisted. You know he/she/they want something or someone for some reason that is totally logical to them... even if the reader is scratching their head thinking, that's nuts buddy, can't wait til my peeps (aka hero/heroine/protagonist) kick your sorry ass!
As an author perhaps doing the muse snuggle with the antagonist is enough. Yet I always find myself questioning why the bad guys goons are going along with his megalomaniac schemes? I have to connect with the idiots who inevitably sacrifice themselves in defense of the antagonists even if their intent doesn't translate to paper. Money? A cause? Brainwashing? Slavery? Threats? I'm never comfortable with the bad guy’s goons heading blindly to the cliff edge and jumping just CUZ! ...Hey Luther run into that sword – WHY? … because you’re a minor character and I am the shit. Just do it! Come on. How realistic is that? Now add this: Bad guy felt a flush of sadistic satisfaction at the flash of fear in Luther’s eyes when the barrel of the shotgun turned on him. A slow smile spread across bad guy’s face, his finger itched to pull the trigger.
I've read many fabulous books with a single antagonist working alone and that might be the easy solution … but there's something about the mob/mafia style antagonist that calls to me. The guy who sits back strategically plotting while his Guido henchmen go out to do the dirty work. The corporate giant that throws his co-conspirator/accountant under the bus when his embezzlement is uncovered. The junkie with a big score idea his other tweeker pals are too wasted to realize is stupid/dangerous.
In Immortal Becoming many of the enemy soldiers were bred in their communities. They don’t know any different. They’ve been raised in a cult-type environment. Part of the reason the heroine Jess makes the sacrifice she does is to reduce the loss of life on both sides of the battle and give those that can be rehabilitated a chance at clemency.
I pose the question to you … why do your goons follow your antagonist?
Such an awesome topic, don't you guys think?? Now, here's an excerpt from the book.
Jess jogged out to the parking lot, not surprised to see him leaning against her Jeep.
He was taller than she had realized at about six foot three, with long, lean, well-defined
muscles beneath his jeans and T-shirt. In the waning sunlight, his hair appeared darker,
with auburn highlights. What captured her attention was the deep forest-green of his eyes,
the color darkening the closer she came. A kaleidoscope of brown specks clustered in the
She studied him. He gave her a cocky grin. She was pretty sure he was reading every
thought in her head, and yes, she thought he was even sexier up close, the bastard. It
didn’t change the fact that he knew her name, what she drove, probably her weight and
favorite color, all without her telling him, and she still didn’t even know his name.
“You can stop shielding me or whatever you are doing now,” she grumbled, knowing
she should feel grateful for his help. Instead she felt uncomfortable with him having so
much knowledge about her. She hated that he was aware of her weakness when it came to
“I haven’t been shielding you for awhile now.” He shrugged, following her around to
the driver’s side of her car, holding out his had for her keys. She blinked up at him.
“You are not driving my Jeep! Where do you think you are going with me anyway?”
She tossed her bag into the back seat “What do you mean you aren’t shielding me? I
would be in agony if you weren’t.” Turning to face him, she shot one question after
another at him. A dam of curiosity burst through her. Pointing her finger at his chest, she
interrogated him. “What did you do to make it better? Can you teach me how? Why did
you call Jerika your protégé?” Hands on her hips, she had backed him several steps away
from the door of the Jeep. “What is a protégé? Why are you watching her? How come the
officers let you be there at all?” She hoped that last bit didn’t sound quite so jealous and
petty to him as it did to her. Jerika was none of her business.
“Whoa, damn female. The deal was I shield your psyche, and you answer a few
questions. What the hell?” Holding up both hands defensively, he was laughing at her
again, a deep, sexy sound. Her first reaction was to purr and rub up against him like a cat.
She felt the blush rising up her neck to redden her face.
“Sorry. Sorry, I know … I just, wow. Today was such a great day. I don’t hurt, at all.
I can’t remember not being in some sort of psychic pain. At least … not since my mom. I
guess I’m just excited.” She chewed her bottom lip, thinking. Was excited too forward a
term? ”Could you at least tell me your name?”
“If I can drive?” He was grinning at her again.
She was so sick of being his private little joke, his arrogant attitude instantly spiraled
her to pissed-off. Grateful to feel something empowering rather than the awkwardness he
seemed to bring out of her, she pounced. “You seriously expect me to hand over my keys
and get into the car with you? Without even knowing your name? Really?”
His grin only widened. “You, Beauty, can definitely take care of yourself. Don’t
even pretend to be afraid of me. I’ve watched you kick ass all day.” There was admiration
underlying the amusement in his gaze.
“Not being afraid of you does not mean being stupid. If you don’t want to tell me
your name, then we can stand right here … safely and in front of a police academy.
While you ask me whatever it is you seem to think you want to know.” Still irritated
at him, she retraced the few steps back to the side of the Jeep. “Of course, if you really
aren’t shielding me, then maybe the deal is off anyway.” Spinning her keys to make loud
snapping sounds into her palm, she pretended to consider whether she should leave.
“I really was beginning to like being called Bleacher Boy.” He sighed. “My name
is Shanley Einar. You and I both know that we are not going to be able to speak freely
here.” He held his hand out for her keys again. “You already knew my name the same
way I knew yours. Call me Shane.”
She realized she did. When he said his name, she realized she already knew it. She
had known it from the minute he spoke to her. The keys slipped from her hand into
his, and she pivoting to walk back around the Jeep, taking a seat on the passenger side.
Shane stood at the driver’s open door, holding her hard-won keys. He stared at her a few
moments, then climbed into the driver’s seat, adjusting it to fit his long legs.
“Where to?” he asked, starting the motor.
Ok, wow, how awesome does Immortal Becoming look?? I know I'm super excited to read it!
Website – www.wendyshales.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Barnes & Noble/NOOK-http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/immortal-becoming-wendy-s-hales/1108569220?ean=2940014115629&itm=1&usri=immortal+becoming