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Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Minette Meader - Creating Bad Guys



Welcome Minette Meador, author of the Belle Stalker. She's here today as part of her blog tour and she's sharing an inside look at how she creates a villain. There's also an excerpt from her new book and some great prizes.

Giveaway #1 Minette will be giving away a small Kindle worth $79, plus a Portland Tote filled with goodies to one randomly drawn commenter. Follow her tour for more chances to win. The tour dates are here:

goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/10/virtual-book-tour-belle-stalker.html

Giveaway #2 TODAY’S PRIZE: Recipe Box filled with Minnette’s favorite dishes..

Giveaway #3 And any reader who sends their name and address to Minnette will be sent a stack of signed swag. Just drop her a note at:

 mmeador@minnettemeador.com

THE BELLE STALKER
An Urban Fantasy Thriller
by Minnette Meador

The police have done all they can, but it isn’t enough. When Belle finds the mutilated body of her lover strewn across the furniture she knows only her ex-husband, Homicide Detective Mike Cranston can stop the maniac who has been dogging her steps for over a year. The only problem is the man who stalks her...is not a man at all. Belle plays a dangerous game and only hopes that Cranston can stop the monster before it’s too late.



ANATOMY OF A BAD GUY

He nodded once and took Belle by the throat, lifting her off her feet.
Remmick’s darkened teeth showed behind his lips as Tequelin applied pressure, and Belle began to fight. Tequelin could feel the dwarf lean toward them in his excitement. It was all he needed.

Tequelin released Belle and caught the dwarf in the chest with a kick. He went flying back into the others, and the sword sailed into the air. Tequelin turned and caught it as it finished its arch. His long fingers wrapped around the hilt. The sword flickered in the sparse light of the cavern.
A wave of scintillation traveled from the hilt to his hand, into his arm, and a sunburst exploded inside his head. His senses sharpened acutely, and his heart pushed vitality though his veins. Invincibility crowded out every other awareness. It had been more than a year since they had taken it from him, but his body remembered. Prehistoric spells filled his mind. Memories crashed through him in an avalanche. He threw his head back, slowly widened his mouth as far as it would stretch and shouted at the high roof of the cavern.

When he lowered his chin, the dwarves were scattering, but they seemed slow to his revitalized awareness. He swept Belle back against the wall and lifted the sword.
An image of dead dwarves piled high on the dais filled his thoughts. For the first time in centuries, Tequelin laughed.

The Belle Stalker – Chapter Thirty-Two
The Belle Stalker is available at:

AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
All Romance eBooks



TODAY’S PRIZE: Recipe Box filled with Minnette’s favorite dishes.

Don’t forget: If you send your name and address to Minnette, she will send you a stack of signed swag. Just drop her a note at: mmeador@minnettemeador.com

And Now Here's Minette...
Yesterday, over at Paranormal Romantic Suspense Reviews we talked about bad guys. Today, I’d like to share with you the characteristics of a bad guy and what my process is for creating them. I’ve taken out any spoiler info, but I thought you might find it interesting to see how a writer uses a character sheet.

CHARACTER CHART

Date this chart was completed: 12/15/09

Character's Full Name: Tequelin

Reason or meaning of name: na

Birth date: 10,000 years ago

Astrological Sign: Does not have a sign

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE:

Very slim, but muscular, elongated face, large hands

Age: How old does s/he appear? 40

Eye Color: Glasses or contacts: Bright blue Eyes, No glasses

Type of body/build: Tall and muscular

Weight: 185#

Height: 6’6”

Skin Tone: Olive

Skin Type: Smooth & Flawless
Shape of face: Long Oval

Distinguishing Marks: Faint scars

Predominant feature: Eyes

Hair color: White

Distinguishable hair feature (bald, receding hairline, etc.): Completely straight and very thick

Type of hair (coarse, fine, thick, etc?) Thick

Character's typical hairstyle: Parted in the middle, tied at the back most times

FAVORITES:

Character's favorite color: An old worlds color that has no English translation

Character's least favorite color: Pink

Why? It reminds him of humans

Favorite Music: Singing

Least favorite Music: Human Pop

Why? Reminds him of humans

Food: Fruits, vegetables, nuts

Literature: Voracious reader of everything human - Wants to get to know them

Mode of transportation: Limousine

Daredevil or cautious? Cautious

Same when alone? Yes

HABITS:

Smokes: What? No

When and how much? Never

Drinks: What? Water only imported from Anglesey, an island off of the Welsh coast

When and how much?  Normal amount

Hobbies: Accomplished with the lute and the pipes - Though diminished from earlier times, still practices some white magic from time to time to sooth his nerves

How does character spend a rainy day? Often stands in the rain with his face up - Part of the reason he chose Portland to begin with, because of the similarities of climate with Anglesey

BACKGROUND:

Hometown: Eloriana

Type of childhood: spoiled, pampered, very well educated, allowed to do pretty much whatever he wanted unless his parents intervened - Overall kind to his peers, but cruel to servants

First memory:  His mother's face

Most important childhood event that still affects him/her: Almost losing their kingdom to the barbarian elves when he was six. His sister was killed that day.

Why? He was never mentally the same after that

Education: Dark and white arts - Heavily educated in the other human world by choice - was fascinated by them - It was on an excursion to 60 AD to the isle of Mona (now called Anglesey) that he was caught by surprise when the Romans attacked and wiped out the druids

Religion: Ancestral worship

Finances: 2000 years of accumulated wealth in various ventures and investments. He is quite wealthy.

FAMILY: Father and Mother, twenty siblings

Mother: Queen of Eloriana

Relationship with her: He loved her very much

Father: King of Eloriana, strained

Siblings: 14 brothers and 6 sisters

How many? 20

Birth order: He is the oldest

OCCUPATION

Where does Character work? Independently wealthy

Character's dream job: King

ATTITUDE:

Character's greatest fear:  Never being able to return home

Why?  He hates living among the humans

What is the worst thing that could happen to him/her? Being trapped in this world forever

What single event would most throw character's life in complete turmoil? If he fell in love with a human

Why? It would mean his continued damnation here

Character is most at ease when: Alone

Most ill at ease when: Around humans Depressive or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? Yes - Also, paranoid-schizophrenic disorder, sociopath, megalomania

Priorities: Escaping the human world and destroying the human as he leaves

Philosophy: There is only one superior race

How s/he feels about self: Feels he's superior to everyone

If granted one wish, what would it be? Why? To get back home

PERSONALITY:

Greatest source of strength in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not): Dedication to his goals

Greatest source of weakness in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not: He's a sociopath

Character's soft spot: Belle

Is this soft spot obvious to others? No

If not, how does character hide it? Denies it to self and others

Biggest vulnerability: Belle

Which of the 7 deadly sins does your character fight (or give into, willingly or not)?(lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride) Fights: lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, pride - Gives into (usually unwillingly): wrath

Which of the 7 virtues does your character have (or fight against)?

(chastity, abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience, kindness, humility) Gives into: Abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience - Fights: kindness and humility (considers them weaknesses)

TRAITS:

Optimist or pessimist: Why? Pessimist - He can be very cynical about others, but optimistic  about himself

Introvert or extrovert: Why? Introvert – stranger in a strange land

Drives and motivations: Getting closer to his goal of returning home

Talents: Skilled with both black and white arts, but dwindling, genius per human standards, natural leader

Extremely skilled at: Martial arts, weapons (except guns, which he abhors), recruitment and maintaining an army

Extremely unskilled at: Dealing with mundane day to day activities, petty foibles in others

Good characteristics: Dedicated to his goal, fair to his troops (for the most part)

Character flaws: Cruel to his underlings, sociopath, wants to destroy human kind

Mannerisms: Hands on his hips, scowls most of the time, very controlled in his manner, stiff

Peculiarities: Enjoys torture

Biggest regret: Being trapped on earth

Minor regrets: That he is weak when it comes to Belle

Biggest accomplishment: Rebuilding the underground city beneath Portland

Minor accomplishments: Able to control his rage most times

Character's darkest secret: That he desires the human woman almost more than he desires his home

Does anyone else know? No

If no, how did they find out? Belle finds out during the story

SELF-PERCEPTION:

One word CHARACTER would use to describe self: Superior

One paragraph description of how CHARACTER would describe self: Intelligent, talented, entitled, he feels the world should pay for his imprisonment and all the wrongs that have been heaped upon him

What does CHARACTER consider best physical characteristic? His hands

What does CHARACTER consider worst physical characteristic? His ears - they are difficult to conceal

Are these realistic assessments? No

If not, why not? This eyes are the most compelling part of his body - His ears are beautiful

How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her:  They fear him as they should

What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self? (#1 most

important, #2 second most important, etc.)

1.       That he were stronger where it comes to Belle

2.       That he was weak when he agreed to take on the company to help him with his plans

3.       That his magic was so weak

4.       Inability to rest

Why? He would be running things much differently

If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks? No

If not, why not? He will never be happy because of his condition

INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS:

How does character relate to others? His servants fear and hate him, his troops respect, but fear him

How is s/he perceived by...

Strangers? Mysterious, angry

Friends? Has no friends

Hero: Perceives him as a psychopath
Heroine: Fears his power over her and her attraction to him

How does character view hero/heroine? Loves Belle, wants to kill Cranston

First impression: Wants to possess her

Why? He doesn't know why and it drives him mad

What happens to change this perception? Her hatred towards him

GOALS:

Immediate goals: To get Belle and force her to tell him where the gem is and to take her as his own

Long-range goals: Take them both to England to open the gates to the other realm

PROBLEMS/CRISIS:

How character reacts in a crisis: The warrior inside him comes to life - Is extremely good in a crisis

How character faces problems: Petty problems he delegates to others - Major problems he handles himself

Kinds of problems character usually runs into: Small mutinies among his soldiers (he publically executes traitors himself in front of his assembled armies when he can), the police and particularly Cranston interfering or destroying his plans

How character reacts to NEW problems: Formulates a plan quickly based off his experience

How character reacts to change: Gets angry and usually takes out his frustration on an underling then takes care of it

GENERAL:

Favorite clothing: His royal robes

Why? Makes him feel at home

Least favorite clothing: Human clothes - They make him feel soiled somehow

Jewelry: The royal ring on his middle right finger, jeweled sword belt when in his robes, golden armband with his family crest

Other accessories: Sword, short blade, and crystal knife

Drives: No - Walks or is chauffeured

Where does character live? In a mansion in downtown Portland

Where does character want to live? Eloriana

Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc): Very frugal, except on his home & services

What does s/he do too much of? Planning - Would rather take action - Watching Belle when he should be working

Too little of? Getting to know his soldiers

Most prized possession: His sword Why? It gives him power

UNCATEGORIZED:

Person character secretly admires: Cranston

Why? The human has amazing abilities and luck

Person character was most influenced by: Himself

Why? He takes no other's advice or counsel

Most important person in character's life before story starts: Belle

Why? He needs the gem she carries and secretly loves her

How does character spend the week before the story starts? Laying the last plans with the Company and stalking Belle – killing a rival

After I fill out one of these sheets, I then do a backstory for the character. If you’d like to see the backstory for Tequelin I’m afraid you’ll have to wait and read the book. It would spoil the plot otherwise.

So, just for fun, walk yourself through this character survey. What kind of character would you be? Would you be the good guy or the bad guy? Use your imagination and come up with a character on your own and tell us about him/her. Have fun! Minnette :o)


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26 comments:

marybelle said...

That's a very comprehensive over-view of your character Tequelin. Do you find that this changes as you write?

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Kathryn Merkel said...

Wow, did you have all that before you started writing or did some of it evolve during the writing process?

drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

Gram said...

That's quite a list (and a lot of work)! Would be happy to receive recipes - I read them like I read books! Dee

Minnette Meador said...

Good morning, everyone and thanks so much to Gale for putting us up today! That a beautiful site... make sure to follow. She has some great articles here!

Hi, Marybelle - It always changes when I write. Different ideas come up, a new motivation I hadn't thought of before. This give me a good solid skeleton to work with in the beginning.

Nope, I developed this all before I started writing. Sorry it's so long but the survey is very thorough and it really helps.

Hi, Dee! Thanks so much for coming over... I have to write them all down; I cook by feel, taste, and touch anymore, but I've come up with some good recipes... well, according to my family. I hope whoever wins will like them!

Don't forget to send me an email if you'd like to receive sign swag as well: mmeador@minnettemeador.com. And you can get the book by clicking any of the links. I keep forgetting to mention that! Don't be afraid to ask questions... I will be back at 12 today and around 5:30... :o)

Yami Neko said...

Hey Minnette! Awesome character profile there. You certainly did get inside his head and lay him out very well. Was it easy to do?

yamikokoro(@)gmail.com

Calisa Rhose said...

This sounds like a very interested creature! Also a very tortured one. Congrats and have a great tour!

Karen H in NC said...

WOW, there's a lot to this character building stuff. I was struck by the fact that His sister was killed and he was never mentally the same after that day. Was this sister by any chance his twin?

LadyVampire2u said...

Wow, lots of insight into Tequelin. That had to take a lot of time to come up with that kind of depth. And I am so glad you shared this. Gives me a whole me look at the book and why some things are as they are. Loving this book by the way. Congrats!

LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

JP said...

Tequelin would be a tough dinner date! But an interesting character non the less.
Best of luck with your latest release.

booklover0226 said...

This was a really enjoyable post. I fell like I really know Tequelin, now.

I can't wait to read The Belle Stalker; it is on my must have list.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Jean P said...

That is quite the list, very interesting how you build the characters. Found Tequelin an interesting character to read.

skpetal AT hotmail DOT com

Laura said...

Wow! Quite an impressive bit of work on the character bio.

lauraalbert@hotmail.com

Shelley Munro said...

Minnette, wow you do a ton of work on your characters. It's interesting seeing how other writers work. I tend to discover my writers as I go, which often means rewriting, but I'm good with that. Your villain sounds great, as does your book.

Minnette Meador said...

Hi, Yami! It was harder than I thought it would be. I didn't have too clear of an idea when I started on him, so it developed through this process and some things have changed since I did this, so it's a developing tool mostly.

Thanks, Calisa! Glad to see you here!

Not a twin, Karen, but he was very close to her. It's funny 'cause I didn't even use this in the book (you sometimes have to pick and choose your back story), but it was quite integral to his personality, so you don't always use the stuff from this survey.

I'm so glad, Lady! It really helps me to focus in on who the characters are and is great for layering in back story throughout the book.

Thanks, JP... I hadn't thought about having dinner with him. I have a sneaking hunch he'd be very taciturn (i.e. quiet and moody). :o)

Thanks, Tracey... I really hope you like it. :o)

Thanks, Jean... I did this for the three major characters in the book and for Cranston's partner. I love doing these since they open a whole new world for me.

Thanks, Laura... I hope it makes them more three dimensional.

Thanks, Shelley! I love your books! Believe me the characters change a lot in the course of the book. This just helps me keep my writer's feet on the ground so I don't go too astray. They ALWAYS have ideas of their own as you probably know! Thanks so much for coming over! ~squee!~

Bama said...

that just boggles my mind.... oooh loves authors' favorite recipes:)

tammy ramey said...

Hi Minnette,
very interesting post. i just wanted to say hi really fast as i keep losing the internet connection. have a great weekend everyone.

trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

Sheila Deeth said...

Thank you Minnette. It's so easy to wonder how much detail to use. Reading how much you've listed gives me more confidence to think further. Thank you.

Leanne109 said...

Holy WOW! That is so cool! Thanks so much for sharing minnette! My fave post so far :D

leanne_gag{at]hotmail[dot]com

Minnette Meador said...

Hi, Bama! I'm hoping whoever wins will like them... They are some of my favorites!

Sorry you're losing your connection, Tammy! I'll send healing thoughts to your computer....~think~think~think~

I think I said it before, but I don't use all of it. It is like a looking glass; you can peer into someone's life and see what motivates them, what their upbringing was like, etc. It helps me shape their responses to things throughout the book. I try to use some but still have to be careful about giving too much background; just what I need for the story. Sometimes that's really hard to do! :o)

I hope you can use it, Leanne, and other writers out there. It is one of my favorite tools and it is an eye opener. Plus, you'd be surprised how quickly you can get through it. Every time I do one of these for my character my opinion and view of them changes completely. :o)

Chelsea Rafferty said...

I agree with Leanne, this is my FAV post out of past and present hops :) I'm always soooooo very curious how writers do things/develop plots etc and its just amazing to me how many questions you answered about him, even if they were really short answers it really does give you a feel for his character. If I had to do the character sheet I'd probably be a good character BUT if you burned me in a bad enough way (hurting my kid, my friends, family) well I'd probably hunt you down and hang you by your balls :D not that I'm mean or anything *grins* but yeah some lines you just don't cross :P

I'm curious.. once you write this basic character sheet, do you ever go back and like redo things from the character? Like for example, you have all your character sheets and you're actually writing the story and Uh oh something that you wanted to use in the story didn't match the character.. so do you go back to edit the character sheet or do you just use the info anyways and just use it as a really basic guideline and let your imagination run free? What do you do if you send someone a character sheet? do they answer all those same questions or just basic ones and you build the other questions yourself from their responses? :) Just curious! Truly awesome post and I love the background on this site :) I'll be GFCing :D

Minnette Meador said...

Good questions, Chelse - I usually don't go back to the character sheet once I've started the story (except to check on things). If there is a shift in the character I let it ride... there are some things even on this sheet that I changed in the story. It's kind of like a sketch book for an artist: I use it to get a general idea about the character, but usually change it as I go along. This is true of all the characters. Again it's just a sketch... I fill in during the story. I've never used real people before in my books (i.e. people I know), but I am giving away some parts in upcoming books during the blog hop. I will probably have those people fill this out... that will give me a nice solid base to start from. :o)

Minnette Meador said...

Well, it's about time for this princess to turn into a pumpkin for the night. What wonderful questions and discussions today about characters! I had such a great time (as always)... I'll draw our winner in the morning as usual and don't forget to send me your name and addy if you want swag mmeador@minnettemeador.com - A special thanks and kudos to this BEAUTIFUL SITE!!!! Don't forget to follow them... they have amazing articles.

The next stop will be on Monday: http://wendizwaduk.blogspot.com/ See you there... in the meantime, I'm on FB most of the time, newly on G+ for you who are following that, or you can always drop me a note: I love to chat (obviously!). Goodnight all! Minnette :o)

Anonymous said...

Hi Minnette This is so awesome, so happy that you were here posting. Your book sounds really great and i love the cover. Happy Holidays!

Gale Stanley said...

Thanks for posting Minette! And thank you to everyone who visited.
Good luck on the giveaways!

Minnette Meador said...

And the winner of the recipe box is...

Tammy Ramey! Congrats, girl... drop me a line with your name and addy and I'll get it put together and off to you...

Thanks to everyone else who commented yesterday... Have a great weekend and see you on Monday! Minnette :o)

cait045 said...

Wow thats quite a character survey! Can't wait to read it.