Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sienna Skyy talks about Villains and American Quest

It's time for the bad guys to roll on out. Today's guest blogger, Sienna Skyy is going to talk about villains and her book, American Quest.

Don’t you just love villains? I can’t seem to get interested in the heroes until the unsavories have churned them through the wringer. And in my opinion those unsavories are juiciest when they’re on the bad, bad, extra-bad side, but with enough complexity and hint of redemption that they’re still interesting.

My heroes in American Quest, Bruce and Gloria, are young lovers with uncommon depths of passion—for their work, for life, and for each other. They’re completely unaware that there’s another world out there, one full of demonic creatures called Maculs who gain power through crushing human virtues. One in particular, Enervata, is on a mission to defile love.

Villains tend to grow so fast in scale that as writers, we don’t really have to work hard to bring their personalities to life. They’re already chock full of conflict. I found it easiest to write about Enervata and his band of nasty minions: two gluttonous brothers who swill honey wine and lay booby traps, a mouthless wretch with shifty loyalties, and two half-bird, half-human creatures called canteshrikes. The canteshrikes live for all things sensory, be it the thrill of flight, sexual pleasures, or the art of pain.

As American Quest unfolds, Enervata abducts Gloria and lays a trap of seduction and temptation, trying to turn her to his side and renounce her love for Bruce and all that she cherishes. If he succeeds in breaking her, he gains enough power to enslave the earth; but if he fails, he will kill her. Bruce sets off on a quest to save his true love, never knowing whether she will remain loyal to him, and unaware that Enervata’s minions are lying in wait.

I suppose writers have enjoyed working with the wicked characters since the beginning of time. We never know what our heroes are capable of until they have to face challenges, heartbreak, and even devastation. One of my favorite literary villains is Sir Bruce sans Pitié from Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. It seemed that any time the knights of Camelot achieved success on their quests, Sir Bruce would show up and wreak havoc. Some believed that he was actually one of Arthur’s knights who lived a double life as a rogue.

Another one of my favorites is Melville’s whale in Moby Dick, whose pure meanness drove Captain Ahab to conjure an even darker, more inescapable enemy: himself.

I’m curious about favorite villains among The Book Connection’s readers. Do you have a preference—man vs. man, man vs. beast, or man vs. nature? And who would you consider to be the best literary villains of all time?

Thanks for the opportunity to say hello. Happy reading!
--Sienna Skyy

The AMERICAN QUEST VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on October 1 and ends on October 30. You can visit Sienna's tour stops at in October to find out more about her latest book!

As a special promotion, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author with a recent release or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner will be announced on our main blog at on October 30!


Dorothy Thompson said...

Great post, Sienna! And thank you, Cheryl, for hosting her on her virtual book tour this month. For those who are following her tour, Sienna will be visiting Michy's Author Interviews and Book Reviews!

Margay said...

I love a good villain, too, Sienna. It's what truly defines a hero.