Who doesn’t love a good villain? Or rather, love to hate a good villain? That’s why I am so excited about Because You Love to Hate Me, a new anthology of short stories by some fantastic YA authors – each focusing on a villainous character. What’s more, the authors were paired with Booktubers – who offered a prompt to inspire their stories.
For today’s blog tour, I am delighted to host a Q&A with author Adam Silvera and vlogger Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl). Plus, keep reading for your chance to win a copy of this gorgeous new anthology!
How is your approach to short story writing different from writing a novel? Is there more to Slate’s story that you might want to write someday?
Adam: Writing this short story was so fun but it also feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever written. I had to resist to the temptation to dive deep into world building and just focus on the character and her moments at hand. And I don’t think I’ll be revising Slate’s story anytime soon. Writing a villain was really dark and something else I resisted was making her TOO dark. And she’s plenty dark already. If I wrote more of her, it would be to explore if she’s able to bounce back or doomed to a life of crime.
What surprised you the most when you first read Adam’s story after issuing your story “challenge”?
Catriona: The first thing I noticed was that it was written in 2nd person, which you rarely see. I think Adam did a great job writing this story from this perspective and I loved that we not only get inside the villains head, but we become the villain in the story.
What is it about masks? Both heroes and villains alike are often masked in fiction; how do you think this impacts the way we view these characters?
Adam: The mask was my favorite part about the prompt. I immediately wanted to know who she was underneath. It’s always interesting to see how the same character just their interactions depending on whether they’re in disguise or not. In the case of Slate, when she’s got her mark on you don’t want to mess with her. And when she’s done working, she’s trying to live a normal life, or what she believes to be a normal life. Even her normal life is a mask from readers until you get closer to the end.
Catriona: Masks are often a tool to amplify a particular trait or ability a hero/villain has, or to hide their identity. For heroes, their super-human/abnormal abilities and strengths draw too much attention and this would prevent them from any normalcy day-to-day. Villains behave in ways that don’t conform to the social norm and are often highly illegal. By hiding their identities when performing villainous deeds, they can avoid punishment and continue to do what they love to do.
What do you find so intriguing about villains?
Adam: I’ve always been a major fan of villains. My brother used to make up superheroes and I would make up super villains. I was a mess. If he created a sand castle for his superhero, I would “summon” the ocean to do my bidding and destroy it. The villains who aren’t “MUHAHAHA I AM EVIL” are just so interesting characters. I’m working on a book right now where I have a rule: “No one is a villain-y villain.” Characters are allowed-and encouraged-to wreak havoc, but they have to have their reasons. Even if those aren’t lengths I would ever walk myself. I love a villain that captures that feeling. I almost want to be able to root for them, but can’t ever sign off on their approach.
Catriona: I am so fascinated by their minds and how they think. More often than not we are privy to the inner workings of the heroic protagonist and, from afar, the villain is often a really mysterious but intriguing force. The purely evil villains, those driven by pure ambition and a hunger for power, are so different from the heroes and I love seeing that contrast. But you also have those villains that are a little more complex and you actually develop empathy for them. I find it so fascinating to learn about their lives, what drove them to act the way they do and also discovering some of those redeeming factors that make you almost love them.
VILLAIN-THEMED FLASH QUESTIONS:
If you were a villain, what would be your theme song?
Adam: Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” because villains always get so close to reach their moment of triumph. And then heroes get in the way. Womp womp.
Catriona: Entry of the Gladiators. Let’s be real, I wouldn’t be a very serious and scary villain. I’ll have to settle with comical and/or dramatic.
Favorite Disney villain?
Adam: I really love Hades! He was so funny and calculating and evil.
Catriona: Ursula from The Little Mermaid. She is so dramatic and ambitious and I love it.
Evil laugh or stony silence?
Adam: Stony silence, which is literally how I am when I’m upset.
Catriona: Evil laugh – I already have a super loud and obnoxious laugh so it wouldn’t be a stretch.
Villain you most love to hate?
Adam: Voldemort and his merry band of Death Eaters!
Catriona: Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. He repulses me and I really enjoy hating him.
Choose your villain sidekick.
Adam: My dog, Lucy. Every villain needs puppy love to avoid going too far over the edge 🙂
Catriona: Either a dragon (that’s the only way I could be a scary villain tbh) or a snarky talking animal – they make the best companions!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.
In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.
These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!
Featuring writing from . . .
Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon
BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).
- July 11: The Candid Cover
- July 12: Once Upon a Twilight
- July 13: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
- July 14: Lost in Literature
- July 17: Nicole’s Novel Reads
- July 18: curlyhairbibliophile
- July 19: Page Turners Blog
- July 20: A Page with a View
- July 21: Novel Novice
- July 24: Peace Love Books
- July 25: The Plot Bunny
- July 26: The Eater of Books!
- July 27: Read.Sleep.Repeat
Oh, this seems cool. I’m very intrigued with the anthology (lots of great authors). I’m excited for Adam’s story, especially a story written in 2nd person–it’s not my favorite, but it works well for villains and is very effective when written well. Thanks for hosting!!
This was such a fun interview to read! I love the questions that you asked, I really can’t wait to read this book. I love my villains 😀
I adore Adam Silvera, so it was really fun to read his answers to these! Thanks for sharing!!
i’ve never tried writing in second person and haven’t read much of it either. I know this author can pull it off. I can see why going from writing novels to short stories would be difficult with word limits.
I’m so excited to read this book! It looks so good!
I’m so excited to read this book! It looks really good! 🙂