Villainous Writing Advice From Chris Pavesic (Unquiet Dead)- Writing Advice From The Pros

Villainous Writing Advice

I like reading advice on writing from other authors. Many times I find really great ideas that help improve my own writing abilities. For example, in On Writing, Stephen King (2001) recommends listening to music to help a writer block out the world and focus on the work at hand. I have multiple dedicated writing playlists for just this purpose. Certain advice, though, does not resonate with me. For example—certain writers suggest modeling villains after people in your own life that you dislike. I would find that difficult advice to implement in my writing.

First—there is the time factor. Writing a novel generally takes time. Even if a writer aims for a thousand words a day of good, solid prose, the writing stretches into months. Imagine this time actively thinking about people you do not like. This would not be an enjoyable activity in my perspective.

As a writer, I want to like my villains. Not everything that they do—many of their activities to me would be morally objectionable. But I need to understand them—to know why they are doing certain activities so that I can put this down on the page. I need to sympathize with their motivations and to realize that, in most instances, the villains do not see themselves as evil. These characters need the same depth as the heroes or, in my opinion, they will never be more than a caricature.

In Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett (1991, p. 185) has the villain of the story, Lilith, makes the following comparison: “She wondered whether there was such a thing as the opposite of a fairy godmother. Most things had their opposite, after all. If so, she wouldn’t be a bad fairy godmother, because that’s just a good fairy godmother seen from a different viewpoint.” Later in the story, readers learn that Lilith firmly believes she is the good fairy godmother and is not the villain. It’s a matter of perspective, and in her viewpoint, those working against her are evil. She’s trying to improve people’s lives, and those working against her are trying to impede progress.

This is not the only type of villain in literature, but it is the type that I tend to find the most interesting. It is why I can sympathize with Khan in Star Trek (both in Into Darkness and in Space Seed) and Loki in The Avengers while at the same time being morally appalled by many of their actions.

There are obvious exceptions to this—Sauron in The Lord of the Rings trilogy does not generate sympathy for many readers, (although Tolkien does give him a fascinating history in The Silmarillion that explains his fall into darkness) but the Nazguls always had a touch of sympathy to their story for me because they were tricked by Sauron into becoming the Ring Wraiths. The detail and care that Tolkien invests into the story keeps these characters from being caricatures.




Thank you, Chris, for sharing your writing wisdom with us!


Revisting a Meaningful Poem for National Poetry Day

In honor of National Poetry Day I would like to share a poem which has great meaning for me. There was a time in my life when my time was dedicated to raising my adorable children, and studying Reiki to the point that I could only read magazine articles and the only time I could give to writing was short poems. That time in my life revolutionized me into the joyful, peaceful, healthy, satisfied person I am today. This poem is a celebration of the day when clarity came to me in full force. I hope you enjoy:

July 1, 2009

I found something new in myself this day.

The keys to my life were in my hand the whole time.

Still I ran around looking over hill and dale, mountain and river, seeking, seeking, seeking.

It’s so simple I could almost slip back and think the illusion is a crime.

Here it is now, my life is found, my light shines clearly to light my way.

Today is the day I started living.

Dedicated to all my seeker friends. I love you!

As always, thank you for reading,


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It’s Release Day: Desert Sunrise by Gina Briganti (Book 2, Natural Gifts)

Desert Sunrise Cover for Kindle 8-28

Desert Sunrise by Gina Briganti, the second full-length book in the Natural Gifts series, is now available for Kindle and in paperback! If you want a signed paperback, let me know; Amazon doesn’t have them.  Desert Sunrise is an uplifting paranormal romance, and the Natural Gifts series is where fate gets a good name.

I’ve been enjoying this story for four years, and now I am able to share it with all of you!

This is what it’s about – Back Cover Blurb:

Life is good for Lucy Shannon. Love will be too, when the man she knows is out there for her finally shows up. Until then she is going to enjoy herself. So what if her ex-fiance tossed her heart into a blender? Years of therapy had put that in perspective.

Stan Spellman doesn’t think like her. Not in the least. Sure, life is good. He does what he loves every day, spends a pleasurable night with a woman when he wants to. Love? Happily ever after? He’s seen the rare occurrence of it. That’s as far as his thinking on the subject goes.

They’re both scheduled for a wake-up call that will change their lives forever, fulfilling dreams they never knew they had.

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Thank you for sharing this special day with me.

As always, thank you for reading!

Blogroll Tag with The Author Collaborative Network

Does my energy seem busy to you? Maybe excited? If you said yes, you are right. H.M. Clarke and I recently put together a wonderful group on Goodreads called The Author Collaborative Network, where authors come together to support one another.

If you are an author and would like to join us, please get in touch with me on Goodreads. We’d love to have you. Today’s blogroll tag is part of The Author Collaborative Network, a.k.a. ACN or the Network.

How do we play blogroll tag?  One of us asks a question, the person who is asked the question answers it, and then asks a new question of the next person, and so on until it stops.  If it stops.  Who says it has to?  Not me.  🙂

Fellow Network member Melissa Barker-Simpson, author of several wonderful books including her new release Hands of Evil: Morgan and Fairchild Series (Volume 2), asked me this question. To see the question that H.M. Clarke asked Melissa Barker-Simpson, click here.


“What do you think paranormal romance novels like The Dreaming and Desert Sunrise contribute to the world?”

Well, Melissa, I think that books like The Dreaming and Desert Sunrise potentially contribute a lot to the world. For one, they help people with paranormal abilities to understand some of the ways those abilities can work to improve the quality of their own lives; they also offer a realistic view of how to use those abilities.

In addition to those reasons, romance novels likes the ones I’ve published also offer uplifting entertainment and raise the bar for what people can offer one another in real life romance.  As a bonus, if the stories put the reader in a good mood, that’s good for them and everyone around them.

Now, I get to ask my question. I chose Hiram Crespo. You can read Hiram’s answer by clicking here. Hiram, will you share three books that inspired or influenced you to write your book Epicurean philosophy?

As always, thank you for reading.


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Look! It’s the Desert Sunrise Cover!

Desert Sunrise Final Cover 2

Dance with me, people!  This is a day to celebrate!

This is what it says on the back cover:

Life is good for Lucy Shannon. Love will be too, when the man she knows is out there for her finally shows up. Until then she is going to enjoy herself. So what if her ex-fiance tossed her heart into a blender? Years of therapy had put that in perspective.

Stan Spellman doesn’t think like her. Not in the least. Sure, life is good. He does what he loves every day, spends a pleasurable night with a woman when he wants to. Love? Happily ever after? He’s seen the rare occurrence of it. That’s as far as his thinking on the subject goes.

They’re both scheduled for a wake-up call that will change their lives forever, fulfilling dreams they never knew they had.


The rest of the book will be available in September.  If you would like to order a signed paperback, please do let me know.  The Kindle version will also be available in September.

As always, thank you for reading, and for sharing my excitement.


Welcome, Book Marketing Challenge Blog Hoppers!

The Book Marketing Challenge BannerGina Briganti


I’m Gina Briganti.  Thank you very much for stopping by my blog today.

If you’re like me, you can hardly believe that the challenge is ending.  I’ve been privileged to get to know some of you through the challenge, and I look forward to connecting with more of you as a result of this blog hop.  This has been an exciting 30 days!  I’ve learned incredible amounts of information.  Information I was able to put to use right away and see results from.

I offer my gratitude to all the presenters.  You are all amazing!  I have registered with many of you to continue learning from you, and purchased some of your products.

When D’Vorah Lansky asked us to choose one favorite book marketing strategy, I viewed it as a great thought exercise.  I have many pages of valuable notes I’ve collected throughout the challenge.  One does stand out for me, and that is collaboration.  I’m excited about sharing virtual book tour dates, writing Kindle book series, and guest posts; all because they’re amazing ways to get together and amplify our individual skills and reach.

Signing up for my newsletter is the entryway into working together.  Each month I’ll share which opportunities I’m offering, and looking for, on my editorial calendar.  My newsletter is the only place this calendar, and these offers, will appear.  I’ve made it easy for you to join me with this helpful link.

Reciprocation is a key word.  I always want to create in a way that benefits all of us.  Are you curious about what my topics are?  I hope so!

You see in my banner that I am a Reiki Master Teacher, Author, and Holistic Health Consultant, which is a good introduction into a few of the topics I write and read about.  I’m interested in collaborations involving:



Developing intuition

Deepening intuition

Living intuitively


Power animal guidance







Romance of nearly any genre

Paranormal Romance – I have a paranormal romance series with 17 releases planned.  My newest release is

Non-fiction self-help – This is my workbook.  I post exercises for this workbook here on my blog.

Lifestyle coaching


Holistic health

Positive mental attitudes

Emotional balance


Who knows where we’ll go with all the fabulous opportunities we have in front of us?  We have everything we need to entertain, inspire, and inform our target audience of women and men looking for ways to live a happy life, whether that’s through books, direct coaching, or team support.  This is what we do, because it’s what we love to do.  Our audience will appreciate us because they know the value of our expertise and commitment.

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.  I truly appreciate you.  I’ll be seeing you on your blog soon!

Popping the Cushy Bubble – Cake.shortandsweet Wednesday Write-in #89

My entry for this week’s Cake.shortandsweet prompt, Wednesday Write-in #89, is “Popping the Cushy Bubble”. The words to use this week were disown, doldrums, narrow, curse, and assemble. This is the original post:

His threat to disown me was the better road. I see that now. Instead, I’ve ended up witH a curse. A curse of unImaginable proportions. WhEre once I had been able to sculpt the most complicated of subjects, now I could barely assemble a Lego city with my son. Rather than settling into the doldrums that would end any happiness I could still muster, I chose to meet with Esmeralda. Esmeralda insisted in meeting in the dark, narrow rows of an odd shop that smelled of things I didn’t want to name. “What is it that you like about this place?” I asked her. Her answer made sense to me. True, no one would look for us there. No one who had a working nose, anyway. Or a curse driVing them to despEration. “Are you suRe this is what You want?” Esmeralda inquired of me in her rough, thrOaty voice. “It is. I’ve lived with this curse for three years. I waNt it gone.” I answered cErtainly. Esmeralda waved her hands around me, then asked me to drink a vile brew she held in a test tube. Before swallowing I asked her if she was certain it would work. She answered as any practitioner of her art would when their ability was questioned. By taking the tube back. “Wait.” I dared to touch her shoulder. “I’m ready.” I took the tube from her and swallowed the potion quickly. “I don’t feel a difference,” I gestured helplessly to her. “It worked, my son. It worked. When you wake, you will have all of your skill, and none of your father’s backing. It’s the price you pay for being better than him. In all ways, you are better than him. I am thankful that you have finally shed your need of him. You’ll stand taller, and prouder, on your own.” The old woman, Esmeralda, would know. It was she who had first defied my father, her former husband. It was she who now restored my life. I could have my skills, the love of my mother, and my happy family once again. Once again, life is good.

What Lucy Thinks About Royal Siam Thai

What Lucy Thinks About…


By Lucy Shannon, Restaurant Critic


When my best friend Dana told me that Joe brought her and the family to this restaurant to celebrate the release of Dana Cooks Healthy Food for Kids, I knew it was past time that I checked it out for myself.

I know I’ll be bugging Dana and the family to go there next time I’m in town so I can try some dishes I didn’t get to this time. For example, Gai-Gra-Buang, described as a deep fried ground chicken and shrimp pancake from the appetizer menu. Sour cabbage soup, made with crisp sour cabbage, garlic cloves, black pepper, and your choice of chicken, pork, beef, or vegetarian, also sounds too interesting to pass up on our next visit.

If I wasn’t stuffed from the wonderfully prepared, traditional, me-krob appetizer (sweet crunchy noodles and shrimp, accompanied by bean sprouts and scallions), I would most definitely have ordered the mushroom salad (abalone mushrooms prepared with special Thai herbs, ginger, spices, and lime juice). That’s just the start of what I would like to try.
So what did I try, and what did I think of it? I tried the yellow, red, and green curry. You get to choose from spice level 1-4, or 5 which the chef does not recommend. I chose level 2. Joe was happy with level 4. Apparently he has asbestos in his mouth. He thought level 3 was only starting to be flavorful. I liked all of the curries. They were tasty, the vegetables were fresh and balanced well with the proportion of meat.

Thai iced tea is another star on the menu. Their blend of the traditional sweet drink was really flavorful. Joshua Tree Noodle (stir fried rice flat noodle with bean sprouts, carrots, and your choice of meat or vegetarian) had to be good, right? They couldn’t let them keep it on their menu if it wasn’t. Royal pork is a slight misnomer, because you can get it made with any meat you like. I got it with the pork, stir fried onions, celery, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. I thought it was very good with the vegetables and delicious sauce.

One big plus for Royal Siam Thai Restaurant is that they are extremely vegetarian friendly. Dana and I like our vegetables, you know?

Now it’s time for the prices. Appetizers and soups range between $3.95 and $10.95. The daily lunch special has lots of great choices on it and ranges between $7.25 and $8.95 per person. You get a vegetable spring roll, soup, vegetarian fried wonton, entrée, and steamed or fried rice. All were enjoyable. The most expensive entrées on the menu are seafood, naturally, topping out at $15.95.

Thai restaurants aren’t known for their desserts, but this one served two the day we visited.  The tapioca, coconut milk, corn dessert was one of the most unique I’ve tasted.  I would love to have it again.


Deep Fried Banana Coconut Dessert

It was a great end to the meal. We rolled out of there, happy, satisfied, and looking forward to our next visit.



If you haven’t read


yet, you haven’t met the characters of Lucy, Dana, and Joe.  The restaurant and the review are real.

My Published Works

I have the extreme pleasure of having published two books. The first was published in 2010. I affectionately call it the workbook. I post workbook exercises from time to time to keep momentum going for those who have a copy and are actively involved with it. if you have a question, comment, or suggestion for a workbook exercise, please do share it with me.

My second lovely is a new release. The Dreaming, a paranormal romance, made its way into our hands on March 7, 2014. It is the first in the Natural Gifts series.

If you’re looking for the paperback version, click on the The Dreaming from the Amazon page and you’ll see more options.