Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Maggie Kavanagh for stopping by today.
Title: Inner Sanctum
Author: Maggie Kavanagh
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Gay, M/M Romance
Six months into a relationship, things have heated up between political blogger Sam Flynn and FBI special agent Nathan Walker. Though Sam is happy with Nathan and proud of his own sobriety, he’s anxious about what their future holds. Things are also heating up in Stonebridge, Connecticut, as a series of deadly fires puts the community on edge and eventually threatens Sam’s comatose brother. As Halloween approaches, fears rise that the arsonist will strike again.
When Sam encounters the main suspect, seventeen-year-old orphan Damon Blake, Sam’s not sure what to do. He knows obstruction might land him in jail, but he finds himself increasingly skeptical of Damon’s guilt. He takes matters into his own hands and investigates, but doing so means keeping Damon’s whereabouts a secret from Nathan and the police. Meanwhile, Nathan wonders what Sam is hiding and grapples with insecurities of his own. Sam wants to confide in Nathan, and Nathan wants to trust Sam, but they discover negotiating new love can be as dangerous as solving crime.
Who’s Bad?: My Top Five Literary Villains
Since I’ve been writing murder-mysteries lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about bad guys. The best antagonists are complex. They engage—and enrage—the reader, serve as a foil to the hero/heroine, and usually also provide a means for the writer to dabble in social or political critique.
It’s not an easy task. Writing a complex antagonist takes skill, effort, and most importantly, research.
Here are my top five* fictional antagonists:
5) Gollum in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I know, I know, Gollum isn’t the big baddie in LoTR, but while Sauron is the obvious evildoer in the trilogy, Gollum is a much more compelling antagonist. The thing about Gollum, is he used to be Smeagol, and is a living embodiment of the corruption of the ring and the power it represents. While he is grotesque, he is also pitiful, and he inspires a complex reaction in readers. He is also a fabulous example of character naming: the term ‘golem’ comes from Jewish folklore, of course, and refers to an animate being made from clay who serves a master, but may also strike against him.
4) Hannibal Lecter. One of the most chilling antagonists of all, Hannibal manages to seduce as well as disgust. His refined sensibilities and bewildering moral compass lend complexity to a character who might otherwise be labeled a pure sociopath. Over time, his character has evolved in film, literature, and television to become one of the most well-known, and strangely beloved, antiheros of all time. Just look at all the Hannibal/Will fanfic out there!
3) Kurtz in Heart of Darkness. Like Hannibal, Kurtz represents the evil at the heart of all men. He is corrupted by wealth, but he is truly lost because of the unchecked power he wields over the native people in the Belgian Congo. At a time when European forces exploited and murdered at whim, Kurtz is the ultimate indictment of colonial power, and a reminder that such forces still exist today.
2) Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. Without Tom Riddle, Voldemort would not be on my list, but his childhood history creates the compelling portrait of a young, abused, and self-hating man who makes all the wrong choices. Of course Voldy’s history does not excuse his atrocities; however, it does give them context. He serves as the perfect foil for Harry—and their similarities and resonances are developed through the series.
1) Iago from Othello. Out of all of Shakespeare’s villains, Iago stands out as the most reprehensible. He acts purely out of jealousy and spite, and causes one of the most tragic climaxes in all of literature. I still throw my copy of this play whenever I read the handkerchief scene.
Who are your favorite antagonists? Please comment below for the chance to win an ebook copy of Inner Sanctum!
About the Author
Maggie Kavanagh writes gay romances that explore flawed, human characters finding love. She went to graduate school for English literature and reads and writes voraciously, whenever she can get a moment alone. You can find her in the wee morning hours typing away with coffee at hand and cat in lap, happily embodying the romance writer cliché.
While she focuses mainly on contemporary romance, don’t be surprised if a historical or supernatural tale slips into the mix, as she’s always eager to discover different genres. More fiction is forthcoming soon, so stay tuned!
Carly’s Book Reviews—Monday, September 14
The Novel Approach—Wednesday, September 16
Diverse Reader—Friday, September 18
Prism Book Alliance—Monday, September 21
MM Good Book Reviews—Tuesday, September 22
Keysmash Blog—Wednesday, September 23
Joyfully Jay—Thursday, September 24
Sinfully Sexy—Friday, September 25
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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