Friday, October 28, 2011

Scary movies with real life backgrounds

**The $25 Amazon Gift Certificate goes to... Brenda!**

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

As Spooky Day approaches, I thought I'd take a look at some popular scary movies that have more behind them than just a screenwriter eager to cash in on the paranoramal craze. These are oldies but goodies, and if you haven't seen them (or if you have), you might want to search them out for your Halloween fright-fest. Your friends might not believe you when you them them the background of these movies!

Jack Nicholson in The Shining
The Shining (1980)

This movie takes place in an isolated location, a large and luxurious hotel that is closed down for the winter due to impassable roads. This means the few who remain (caretaker, etc.) are trapped there as both the snow and the isolation deepen. Terrible things have happened at the hotel and left ghostly impressions behind that aren't exactly friendly to the humans in their midst. It's a psychological drama as well as a horror movie that will have you breathing fast.

Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
The background: The movie was based on the book The Shining by Stephen King. He was inspired to write it after a stay in Room 217 of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. In 1911, a housekeeper was nearly killed by a gas leak explosion in Room 217. Doors open and close and lights turn on and off by themselves in that room. Stephen King spotted the ghost of a small child who calls out to his nanny on the second floor. According the the staff, Room 418 is the most haunted room in the hotel. Ghosts of children playing can be heard in the hallway. The movie was not filmed in the Stanley Hotel, as many think, but the hotel does offer ghost tours and ghost hunts based on its many reported hauntings. EMF paranormal detectors are provided. There are tunnels beneath the hotel. Ooh!

Hollywood's Amityville Horror House
The Amityville Horror (1979)

In this movie, a newly married couple and their three children move into a large house on the coast of Long Island. They've been warned about the house's history by the real estate agent. A man had murdered his sister, two brothers, and father in the home, claiming that ghosts had lead him to do it. The couple bought the house anyway because it was perfect for their family and because the price was low due to the tragedy. But there's an evil spirit in the house, or is it the house itself that's evil?

112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, NY
The background: The movie was based on The Amityville Horror: A True Story by Jay Anson. The book was a purportedly factual accounting of the paranormal experiences of the family of George and Kathy Lutz. In 1974, Ronald DeFeao did murder his four relatives in the Amityville home at 112 Ocean Avenue. George and Kathy Lutz moved in, dismissing the warnings by locals that the house was haunted. The next 28 days convinced them otherwise. Among the sightings in the house were a little boy on the second story landing and a dark cloaked figure. The one that creeped me out the most was that daughter Missy had a ghost friend named Jodie. Missy described Jodie as an "angel who could change shapes" who told her "You'll live here forever." Uh oh. The Lutz family fled the house on a dark and stormy night.

Movie's Regan, possessed girl
The Exorcist (1973)

During the early 1970s, there were several movies dealing with possessed innocents (or not so innocents), including Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, and The Exorcist. Entertainment Weekly considers The Exorcist the scariest movie of all time, a prime endorsement for your Halloween entertainment. I've seen this movie several times, and it has me ready to run screaming from the room every time. Mom Chris MacNeil has a good relationship with her daughter Regan until the girl begins having seizures and levitating, all the while cursing creatively. After exhausting all other avenues (doctor, psychiatrist), Mom turns to a pair of priests to force the demon from her daughter.

Ronald E. Hunkeler,
possessed boy

The background: The movie was based on the book The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, describing the lengthy exorcism procedure performed on a teenage boy in 1949. The boy's name is Ronald Edwin Hunkeler. First in a private home and then in the psychiatric wing of Alexian Brothers Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, Fr. Raymond J. Bishop, Fr. Walter Halloran, and Rev. William S. Bowdern performed the ritual of exorcism. Rev. Bowdern took the main role; he was The Exorcist. The bed shook, Ronald spit and cursed, markings appeared on his body, and Ronald broke Father Halloran's nose while thrashing around in bed. A detailed diary was kept. Forty-one witnesses, including the priests who performed the ritual, signed statements that they believed the exorcism was authentic. Today Mr. Hunkeler is a married man with three children who lives in Maryland and has only vague memories of the events that took place when he was 14 years old.
What do you think of these supposedly true stories? Let me know by commenting below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate. The drawing ends at midnight CST on November 2nd. Plenty of time to trick-or-treat and still enter!

I'm starting a Facebook fan page because my profile page is going to hit the 5,000 friend limit. Please like the Dakota Banks page, where you can enter a drawing to win a Nook Color e-reader (drawing ends November 15th). Let your friends know, too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hunky vamps for Halloween!

Congratulations to Regina from Maryland who won the signed Vampire Mine poster and book! Many thanks for all the comments! Please come back November 25th for another chance to win a signed book.

In honor of Halloween and to thank my awesome readers, I'm posting photos of handsome vampires! Here's the first vamp who convinced me to throw away my wooden stakes and leave the window open at night: Frank Langella.

And are you excited about the upcoming Dark Shadows movie where Johnny Depp will play Barnabas the vampire? Aw, Johnny! Love Alex, too!

And here are more handsome vamps for you to enjoy cause you guys are the best! I've been on tour lately, and everywhere I go, some readers stop by to make my day. In Portland, a reader brought a tray of Chocolood cupcakes! And another brought bags of Gummi Vamps and Gummi Weres! At my last signing in Katy, TX, readers drove from San Antonio -- that's a six-hour round trip, and one came all the way from Dallas-- a ten-hour round trip!!

The tour will continue into Ohio (Cleveland and Cincinnati areas) and Lansing Michigan. Please check the Appearances page on my website, for details. I would love to meet you!

And how about this gorgeous vamp-- Connor on the cover of Vampire Mine! To thank my readers, I'm giving away the small signed poster of Vampire Mine (9 x 5.5 inches) plus a signed copy of the book, Vampire Mine. Just leave a comment telling me who you think is the most handsome vampire. International entries are welcome, and the winner will be selected at random. Good luck and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Want to know more about the gadda?

My secret project has been revealed. is the resource for all things gadda, the secret race I developed for the Dream of Asarlai series. It's written from the point of view of one of the gadda, so was loads of fun to create.

If you want to know more about the secret people that live among us, go have a look!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bringing the Passion

Write while the heat is in you. -- Henry David Thoreau

Passion translates through the pages and to make sure readers are enthralled, the writer must be too. But deadlines don’t go away when there is a lull, or the holidays have arrived, or there’s a new show on HBO. Writers must write, high, low, rain, sleet or perfect beach weather. Where does the inspiration come from? Here are a few ideas:

Tip #1 Show up: Writing is like a date; you have to show up if you want something to happen. Get to your desk every day, turn the computer on and say here we go! Sooner or later the Muse will be there, but you have to make the first move. Always.

Tip #2 Set an intention: State your goal for the day. Say it aloud. You might also write it down on a post-it and stick it to your monitor. It might be, two thousand words a day, flowing like a river, or ten pages edited, clean and easy. Setting an intention keeps the goal in sight. Adding a ‘feel good’ to the statement lifts the spirit.

Tip #3 Write what you love: This is major. If you aren’t passionate about your story, readers won’t be either. This isn’t something you can fake. Write what lights you up. If your current assignment doesn’t, find a way to change your mind about it. Throw caution to the wind. Fall head over heels. You have to LOVE the thing to make it sing!

Tip #4 Look after yourself: When others are on holidays, splashing in the pool or gliding down the ski slope, the ‘blank screen’ can seem like a punishment. When this happens, amp up the self-nurturing! Good food, power naps, exercise and socialise. Deadlines to not equate with prison sentences. You’ll get more done if you schedule in daily ‘me’ time.

Tip #5 Evoke the muse: In ancient times, no story told without calling on the Muses. ‘Tell me, O Muse,’ Homer begins, and we know where that got him. Stephen King suggests that when writers feel blocked it’s not because the Muse has abandoned them: I think what happens is that the writers themselves sow the edges of their clearing with poison bait to keep their muses away, often without knowing they are doing it. Love your Muse and she will love you back! More on evocations

Tip #6 Ghost write: If the keys aren’t clicking, open a new word .doc and write a few paras in another voice. Choose some author with a different style. Ask yourself how Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde or even Homer Simpson would write. After a few hundred words, take a break. Have a cuppa. When you come back to your work, your fingers will fly!

Tip # 7 De-clutter your desk: Clear out all the old cups and wrappers, organise your notes, clean the draws and vacuum under your chair. This Feng Shui tip really lights a fire in the belly. You can clean up your virtual desktop too, and tighten your backups and files. The outer environment reflects the inner. Take a look around and see if anything is askew. It will boost you Qi big time.

Any other ideas? I’d love to hear how you all bring the passion!

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing epic science fantasy novels. Kim’s latest series is Quantum Encryption. You can find out more about her at She posts on the 16th of every month.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trick Or Treat!

Trick or treat,
Smell my feet,
Give me something
Good to eat!

Ah, saying that felt good, just like it did when I was a kid.  That's why I love Halloween so much now, as an adult... it's the one time of year I truly do get to feel like a kid again.  I can be anyone I want to be: a witch, a ghost, a zombie, a fairy princess, or even the Pillsbury Doughboy.  I can decorate my house with cobwebs and put gravestones in the front yard, I can make cupcakes with fake spiders and gummi worms on them, and spike the Halloween punch with ice molds that look like body parts.  I can turn on the fog machines, the green and purple floodlights, and have my friends over for Blood Lite and Guacamoldy (with chips!). But the best part of Halloween, to me, has always been handing out the candy to the adorable little ghouls and goblins who come knocking on my door.  We have so many kids in our neighborhood that my husband and I don't even bother to go inside... we sit on the front porch and watch the freak show parade go by.  :)

Anyway, in the spirit of Halloween (as I do every year), I'm giving away some ghoulishly great treats to my readers! 

First up, during the month of October, you can not only download the e-version of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY for the limited time price of $2.99 (that's $5.00 off!), but you can win one of the super cool DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY t-shirts to go along with it!  You can find out all the details, including quick links to all the different e-book versions, by taking a peek RIGHT HERE.

Don't have an e-reader?  No problem (even though Kindle has a PC app that will allow you to read e-books right from your desktop), because I'm giving away a couple more t-shirts AND a really cool "Come to the Dark Side" gift basket, filled with an autographed set of all five books in the Nicki Styx series, and a Come to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies t-shirt, too!

Yep, signed copies of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY, A MATCH MADE IN HELL, YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I HAUNT, SILENT NIGHT, HAUNTED NIGHT and the anthology WEDDINGS FROM HELL, along with a t-shirt, some Halloween candy, and matching bookmarks, all in a cute Halloween tub.  No tricks, ghoulfriends, only treats, treats and more treats!  Pop on over to my special Halloween Contest Page to find out how you can enter!

In the meantime, I'm curious - anybody else out there a fellow Halloween fiend?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Cometh

Congratulations to Jennifer Mathis!! You won a $25 Amazon gift certificate, plus a copy of FEAST. Yay and have a Happy Halloween!!

When I was a kid, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. Autumn came with brisk winds and falling leaves and carved pumpkins that lined everyone’s porches. Days grew shorter and shorter, as if soon it would be one continuous night. My neighborhood was filled with old, Victorian homes, tall houses with wrap-around porches and too many windows. It always seemed like some creepy person was watching me from behind the curtains, so that made trick-or-treating seem all the more dangerous.

For years, all of these elements stayed with me, through my teenage years and adulthood. Whenever Halloween approaches, my skin shivers and I expect something—insert sound of creaky old door opening here—unexpected, but slightly magical, to happen.

That was why I wrote FEAST: HARVEST OF DREAMS, and why I set it in a quiet mountain village, during Halloween. I wanted to share those emotions and expectations I had as a child. My main character, Ash—who is more than a little bit magical and possibly quite dangerous—even lives in a creepy, old Victorian house.

So, to celebrate the approach of one of my favorite holidays, I’m having a giveaway.

I’m going to give away a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of FEAST to one individual, hoping to make his or her Halloween really special this year.

Here are the rules and the points you can earn toward the prizes:

1. Comment below. Tell me what your favorite Halloween candy is. (Yum!) Also, include your e-mail address in your comment (so I can contact the winner.) Doing this will earn you five points and enter you in the contest.

2. To earn another five points, post a link and a comment about this giveaway on Twitter.

3. To earn yet another five points, post a link and a comment about this giveaway on Facebook.

4. And if you want to earn another five points, post a link and a comment about this giveaway on your blog.

The winner will be chosen and announced here on this blog next Thursday, October 20. (Yay!) That should give me time to get the winner his/her prizes in time for Halloween.

And thanks for entering!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Single-tasking in a Multi-tasking World


Please email me your addresses:

I'm the first to admit that I'm a terrible multi-tasker. And though I'm a decent juggler, able to keep an impressive number of balls in the air at one time, I much prefer to focus on one thing at a time. I actually love being under deadline. I love that crunch at the end when everything else must, out of necessity, be pushed aside. Because then I get to focus on ONE THING. The book. Nothing but the book. And I love that.

I've often tried different ways of scheduling my days. At one time, I attempted to partition each day--write a couple of hours, cleaning/laundry for an hour, website updates/answer emails for a couple of hours--you get the idea. But this kind of schedule never works well for me. It takes me time to switch gears and I don't like doing it. I've found that I work best when I can partition weeks, not days. Devote five days to writing...and nothing else. (That's not to say I don't do anything else, but that I don't have to.) The other two days are for everything else. If I wake up knowing it's a Business To-Do list day, I'm ready to tackle that list and tackle it hard. I can get so much done when that's my focus. If it's a writing day, my mind goes to the book and stays there, even when I take breaks to fold a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher or take a walk around the neighborhood. Switching from writing the book to writing a blog is painful. For me, at least.

We all work best in different ways and it's taken me years to figure out what works for me. For the past couple of weeks I've been swamped with business To-Dos (website updates, launching my blog, writing blogs and interviews for guest appearances in conjunction with the upcoming release of Ecstasy Untamed, prepping packages for mailing, etc.). I've also been working on revisions of my first Vamp City book and copy edits for my third Esri book. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In that light is the time to start writing Feral book 7 and that's what I'm looking forward to, immersing myself in the writing once again. Another week, I think, and I'll be there, back to my five writing days, two business days schedule. And that's the one I like the best.

On another note, for a limited time Avon has dropped the ebook price of DESIRE UNTAMED, book 1 in my Feral Warriors series, to $1.99! If you haven't read my books, yet, here's your chance to get book 1 at a great price. If you do read my books, don't forget that ECSTASY UNTAMED comes out in less than two weeks, October 25th!

Back to the multi-tasking discussion. What about you? When you can, do you prefer to concentrate on one task at a time, or juggle several at once? I'll give away signed copies of PASSION UNTAMED to two commenters.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Giving Thanks...

Hello all! Today is Thanksgiving Sunday, here in the land of Canuk! So to al my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving. In my area of Canuk land we've been enjoying amazing weather this past week and today is no different. Warm, sunny...and my husband has decided that we're cooking Fred the Turkey on the barbecue. (we always name our birds). Cross fingers that it tastes great!
Anyhoo, because of the holiday I'm in a thankful kind of mood. So todays post is going to be a list of what I'm grateful for.
1. Family. Sure my husband and kids drive me crazy sometimes but hey, isn't that what makes life interesting? My parents are awesome and I'm forever grateful that they let me find my own path...the one that led me to where I am now.
2. Girlfriends. I have the best girlfriends in the world. HANDS DOWN. The Mudslides rocked the ball diamond this year and already I miss our games.
3. HBO for giving me True Blood, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and Dexter.
4. The CW for giving me Vampire Diaries, the most pleasingly esthectically wonderful show on television. RAWR
5. Music. It will always be important to me and I'm so happy my kid is following a path that brings him the same joy.
6. Wunderbar. nuff said but I do so enjoy this chocolate.
7. I'm so happy t have met a host of awesome authors since I've been published. And some I consider to be amazing friends! Among them, Eve Silver, Michelle Rowen, Tiffany Clare, Elisabeth Naughton, Amanda Vyne, The Sirens and Scribes, Karina Cooper and Sable Grace.
8. I'm so excited about my new series League of Guardians the first full length book, Wicked Road to Hell. (click on the title and you can read the first chapter!)
9. And how about this yummy little bit of cover?

I can't wait to show the entire thing, but alas, I have to wait!

So, on this beautiful Sunday morning....I'd love to hear from you guys...what are you most grateful for?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Giving In To Addiction

Poetry proved to be my gateway drug to a life-long addiction to the written word.

It started with me the same way it did with so many.  I was just some aimless teenager with little self-esteem, looking for something to make the world a little more tolerable.  Sadly, I can't remember who came first, the years and writers have so blurred in my syllable-addled mind.  It was probably Emily Dickinson, with her simple lines and questionable punctuation choices as she talked about death, nature, and love.  Good, old Emily.

But it didn't stop there.  The high school years were quickly filled with Robert Frost's Two Roads, Birches, and Hyla Brook.  From there, I found myself stirring Shakespearean sonnets, Whitman, Tennyson, Wordsworth, both Brownings, and Randall Jarrell into my morning Mountain Dew just to get through the day.

College was no better.  In fact, I found myself carrying a couple pieces of e.e. cummings on scraps of paper just so I could keep the twitching down (there was no breathing without "She Being Brand").  By the end of the first year, I was mainlining Wallace Stevens, Berryman, T.S. Elliot, Lowell, W.D. Snodgrass (particularly Heart's Needle #5), and Wilbur, while licking a little William Carlos Williams off the tips of my fingers (I mean, who knew how much depended on the red wheelbarrow?).

When I wasn't reading poetry, I was bouncing between writing fantastic stories of impossible things and poetry about death, pain, and the occasional kitten.  It was bad poetry that dripped angst and sweat in a stinky yellow pool.  Oooh, but it felt so good, like that first hit of Blake or Shelley after a long absence.  Poetry taught me the value of words.  It taught me to taste them, rolling them around in my mouth like a fine wine.  I weighted words in my hands before plunking them down on the page like a barbarian with a club.  It taught me that power of the simple and the beauty of the understated. 

Fast-forward more years than I'll ever admit to now, where I am a published author.  I'm still not completely clean, though I'm no longer sucking down Ginsberg in dirty bathroom stalls or popping Poe to get through dinner.  The clawing hunger climbs into my lap between projects, leaving me scrambling into the waiting arms of some old favorites.  It's like knocking the crust and scabs off of my soul.  The pain is swift and the ache is deep, but the slow burn that follows feels so good.  Poetry is the quickest way to getting back to why I started writing in the first place; the dark spots in the soul.    

For the writers out there, here's a link to a constant favorite.  If you can, actually listen to the recording.
The Writer by Richard Wilbur.

And for the dreamers, I leave a link to this perennial favorite that keeps so many marching forward.

Do you have a favorite poem or poet?  Who makes your soul twitch?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This and That

Am I the only one wondering HOW it could be October already? This year has flown by! Furthermore, this fall is shaping up to be my busiest yet. First, if you didn't already hear, a special $1.99 ebook edition of Halfway to the Grave is available from now until October 25th.

Go back to the beginning of the Night Huntress series with lots of additional bonus material. This includes never-before-published scenes featuring a hunt with Cat and Bones, a scene with Bones mischievously tormenting Cat during her makeover, a new sex scene, and an alternate villain at the end. Plus, it also includes the first four chapters of One Foot in the Grave, an excerpt from the upcoming The Bite Before Christmas anthology, and an excerpt from the upcoming novel Once Burned, book one in the new Night Prince series with Vlad and Leila.

I was going to embed the book trailer I had made for Halfway to the Grave, but after waiting 30 minutes and STILL blogger didn't load it, I gave up. Click here if you're interested in watching it.

Don’t have an e-reader but still want to get in on the fun? You can download software for free to read on your computer or other mobile device. Click here to see how.

Plus, as mentioned, The Bite Before Christmas releases on October 25th. I'm very excited to be in an anthology with fellow SU author Lynsay Sands, and since there are only the two of us, our stories are much longer than you would normally find in an anthology. From the back of the book:

This holiday season, join two of today’s most popular paranormal authors for a special look into their worlds, where creatures are always stirring and no one sleeps through the night. . . .

The Gift by Lynsay Sands

Teddy Brunswick knows about the immortals among us. He’s worked with them, called them friend—but he never counted on being snowed in with one over Christmas. Katricia Argeneau is a tasty little bundle and she seems to feel the same way about him. Problem is, he’s not sure she feels quite the same way. After all, the snowstorm has derailed her blood delivery, which leaves him the only available meal on the menu. . . .

Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost

Cat and Bones are looking forward to a normal holiday—at least as “normal” as it gets for the combustible vampire couple and their otherworldly friends and family. But their yuletide plans are shattered when a stranger shows up and reveals long-buried family secrets that threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer . . . and lives.

Look for startling revelations about Bones's past in my contribution to The Bite Before Christmas. This is information I've long wanted to reveal to Night Huntress readers, so I can't wait to finally share it.

Finally, I am attending ComicCon in New York city from October 15th - 16th. Here's where you can find me:

Saturday, October 15th, 6pm – 7pm at the HarperCollins booth #944 on the main show floor.

Signing “A BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS” (special early release!) and “ONE GRAVE AT A TIME.” Books will be available for purchase.

Sunday, October 16th, 1pm – 2pm at the HarperCollins booth #944 on the main show floor.

Signing “First Drop Of Crimson,” Free giveaway of book.

Sunday, October 16th at 2:30pm-3:30pm, Room 1A23.

WE’RE NO ANGELS: The Leading Ladies of SF/F

Beware the women of Sci-Fi/Fantasy…and their kick-ass heroines. Danger just might be these girls’ middle names. But no amount of bad guys can keep these ladies from doing what’s right. Whether standing up for friends and family, or just plain kicking some ass, these girls don’t shy away from a fight. Femmes Fatales on the panel include Patricia Briggs; Alison Goodman, Kim Harrison; Jeaniene Frost; Marjorie M. Liu, Sabrina Benulis and Kristen Painter.

Hope to see some of you there. Have a wonderful fall, everyone!

-Jeaniene Frost

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Heroines & Villainesses—Which Do We Prefer? (Plus Giveaway!)

Giveaway Result!

We have now passed the witching hour of midnight (EST) on October 2 so I have closed and drawn the giveaway, & the lucky commenters are:

That Brunette (proving that 3 is indeed a lucky number) has won Feed by Mira Grant

zzebra 138
has won the copy of Phoenix Rising (A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel) by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

I very much enjoyed the comments on heroines, antiheroines, and villainesses--thank you all for participating!

'ThatBrunette' & 'zzebra138', if you email me through my webmail, contact(at]helenlowe[dot]info, I will arrange to get the books in the mail to you.


Recently, I ran a competition on my blog where I asked readers to nominate a character from my first novel, Thornspell, whom they would like to see a short story written about. (And our very own, stanch Supe follower and ismellsheep blogger, Sharon Stogner, was one of the judges—thanks again, Sharon!) Some really great comments came in and I am looking forward to completing that story and posting it on my blog soon. :)

But I was also intrigued at how—when it came to the main female characters in Thornspell—commenter preference was almost equally divided between the heroines, Rue and Syrica, and the arch-villainess, the Margravine zu Malvolin.

Just to give you a feel, here’s a sample of the comments:

About Rue:
  • Well I would like to see a short story about Rue. There is a lot that could be said about her struggle against the Magravine’s spell, and her efforts to help Sigismund while her own power (or most of it) remained bound and fettered by the … [ thorn spell ] …
..........(This was the winning comment, btw, so the short story is about Rue. :) )
  • … I thought …[ Rue] … was a lovely character and I liked how her role in the story was mysterious
About Syrica:
  • I’m going for a story about … [Syrica] … because when you think about it she was stanch, countering the death spell and then hiding out for a hundred years to see things through.

About the Margravine:
  • Well, I would have to say the Margravine because I always have an interest in villainous ladies …
  • I can’t help but admire the Margravine’s brand of egocentric malevolence …

Often, in fiction, the antihero, or even the villain, can be as interesting and fascinating as the hero. I’m thinking about Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth, for example, where it’s the villainous Duke of Andover who steals the show; or the appeal of the wolf lord, Galadan, in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar trilogy—and then there’s Jaime Lannister in George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones series.

But what do we think about heroines and villainesses like the Margravine? Are they often more interesting than the heroine? Do we want them to be—e.g. do we prefer Faith to Buffy, or more tellingly still, Drusilla to Buffy? Or do we prefer our heroines to stand straight and true and always win the day, no matter how interesting the villainess? And is there such a thing as an anti-heroine? What do you think?

The vampire, Drusilla (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Let me know right here on the Supernatural Underground and your name will go in the draw for the two books I’m giving away this month—both with feisty heroines, I hasten to add! :)

First to be drawn will be Mira Grant’s novel of the post-zombie apocalypse, Feed, which was one of the finalists for this year’s Hugo Award for Best Novel.

And for all you steampunk lovers out there, I’ve also got a copy of Phoenix Rising (A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel)—currently a finalist for an Airship Award—up for grabs. To read my recent interview with co-authors Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris, click here.

I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on heroines vs villainesses!

You can earn points in the draw by:

+1 Linking to this post on Twitter
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook
+1 Linking to the Supernatural Underground blog on your own blog/website
+1 commenting on my Helen Lowe on Anything, Really blog.
Just post the total number of points that you’ve earned in your comment, and your name will be entered in the draw again for every point you earn.

Eligibility will close at midnight, US Eastern Standard Time, September 2—just before my next Super(-natural) colleague is due to post. I will then draw the two winners via Random Number Integer and post the result here.


Supernatural Underground author Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet and interviewer. Her latest novel, The Heir of Night, the first of THE WALL OF NIGHT quartet, is published in the USA, UK, and internationally and recently won the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2011 for Best Novel. Her first novel, Thornspell, is published in the US by Knopf. Helen blogs every day on her Helen Lowe on Anything, Really site and on the first day of every month right here on the Supernatural Underground.