Out Today! 13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black #AmWriting #PublicationDaySale

 

Today I’m spotlighting and reviewing the lovely Sacha Black’s debut non-fiction book – a masterclass in writing villains – for all you writers out there.

About the Book

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Title: 13 Steps To Evil- How To Craft Superbad Villains
Where is it published: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Tolino, Barnes and Noble, inktera
No of Pages: 222
Release Date: 30th May
Formats: Paperback and eBook
Purchase: All good retailers! Universal book link.
Publication day sale: You can snap up the e-book for just £1.99 today! Limited time only!

Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.

Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?

  In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover: 

  • How to develop a villain’s mindset

  • A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up

  • Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible

  • What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs

Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.

 If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

Meet the Author

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Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Contact Information

Non-fiction Website: www.sachablack.co.uk

Fiction Website: www.sachablackbooks.com

Social Media

Twitter: @sacha_Black

Facebook: Sacha Black author page

Pinterest: Pinterest profile

Instagram: Sacha Black profile

Goodreads non-fiction: Sacha Black profile

Goodreads fiction: Sacha de Black profile

Tumblr: Sacha Black profile

Google+: Sacha black profile

Linkedin: Linkedin Profile

Amazon Author Page

Excerpt

Why Writers Fudge Up Their Villains

Villains are like newborn infants. So much glorious potential. Until we writers get our grubby mitts on them and balls it up. With the careless flick of a pen, we can turn a finely sculpted baby villain into a cringe-worthy cliché because we didn’t make him bad enough, or we create something so heinously evil it’s unrealistic.

A villain might be a plot device, but he still needs a purpose and a goal, or he’s unworthy as an opponent for your hero (See STEP 3 for motives and goals).

While researching this book, writers told me all kinds of problems they encountered while creating their villains. From getting the dialogue right and avoiding clichés, to knowing how evil to make a villain, to how to reveal her motives without using blatant exposition.

Behind all these issues lie two basic barriers that are the Achilles in every writer’s villainous heel:

1. Depending on the point of view (POV) the book’s written in, the villain is usually seen through the eyes of your hero.

A solitary POV gives you a page-limited amount of time to show your villain’s best, most authentic and devilishly evil side. Page-limited to the point it makes it eye-wateringly difficult to convey her backstory effectively without information dumping. You have to be better, clearer, more tactical and more concise with your words to create superbad villains.

2. Writers are hero worshippers.

We love our heroes and protagonists more than our spouses. And as a result, we spend shameful amounts of time honing our protagonist’s muscular heroics into shape. But that relegates our villain (the plot-driving conflict-creator) to the corner of our book, complete with a nobody-loves-you-anyway hat. In other words, writers don’t pay enough attention to their villain.

Review

I’ve been following Sacha’s blog for a while now and love the energy, humour and passion that she puts into helping writers hone their craft. In 13 Steps to Evil, Sacha has put together everything she has learnt about writing and focused on how to create superbad villains – something she believes is often overlooked.

I thought this book was brilliant. Even if like me, you’re not currently writing anything and therefore not using it directly as a writing tool, it’s still a great read and one that you can apply to any kind of writing. It’s full of tips, examples, and in-depth exploration of writing bad guys (and girls).

“It will teach you to craft villains so brilliantly twisted they’ll make your readers throw themselves like sacrificial lambs between the pages of your book.”

I was especially impressed by the way the book structured with each chapter acting as a different step, exploring a different facet of writing a convincing and complex villain, and each point is backed up with an example from a well-known book or movie. I thought this was a great idea – it made it really easy to picture exactly what Sacha was explaining, and each example was totally spot on.

The end of each chapter also has a bullet-pointed summary and finishes with questions to ask yourself as you work through your own manuscript. But the best part of this book, is definitely Sacha’s wit and wisdom. Her personality (and potty mouth – which I love, obviously) really shines through, making it an enjoyable read and not something to trawl through like a lot of writing books.

“Motives are story mechanics, pillars of structural necessity. Without them, you’re fuckled, sideways…With a giant piranha covered pogo stick.”

It’s also clear that Sacha did a lot of research for this book, and I felt like I was in good hands the whole way through! If you’re struggling to create an evil character, or even if you’re just interested in the writing process, I think this book will help and entertain.

Many thanks to Sacha for providing me with a copy of the book and letting me join in the publication day partayyy! Let’s dance!

 

 

 

Friday Feature: Easter Deals (Books, Flowers, Gifts & more)

To celebrate the long Easter weekend, I have some great deals and promos to share with you!

Book Deals

30% off Bestsellers and selected titles half price

deals

1. The Secret Garden: £8.95
2. The Girl on the Train (hardback): £10.99
3. The Miniaturist: £5.99
4. Go Set a Watchman(hardback/preorder): £9.49 RRP £18.99!!
5. Mr Impossible and the Easter Egg Hunt: £2.99

Plus many more…

Click on the banner to get an extra 10% off at checkout
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Spring Flower Bouquets

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ASDA are offering free delivery (UK) on all bouquets – for any occasion – and Lipsyy Lost & Found readers can also claim an extra £2 off on orders over £25 with code: SPRINGFLOWERS2 or £3 on orders over £30 with code: SPRINGFLOWERS3.

Click on the banner to claim your discount

Days Out & Half Term/ Easter Trips

Asda are also offering 10% off a range of experiences, including some Easter and Half Term Fun… From Sporting Days out, Historic attractions and Animal Experiences to exciting Junior Driving and Segway Thrills.
Click on the banner below and use the code EASTER10 ! before 6 April 2015.

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T&C’s apply. See the website for more info.

Disclosure: I am part of the Waterstones and Asda Gifts affiliate programs. Any purchases will result in me receiving a teeny bit of commission

Happy Easter!

My Favourite Bedtime Story!

Today, in honour of National Young Readers Day, innovative mattress start-up Casper are encouraging everyone to share their favourite bedtime stories… and you know me, I didn’t need much encouraging!

I did have a hard time deciding what my favourite bedtime read was, though. So many to choose from! I almost went for Spike Milligan’s Silly Verse For Kids because I loved reciting all of his nonsense poems, and still know some of them off by heart. Then I almost went for The Chronicles of Narnia, but I don’t actually remember ever reading it at bedtime…

So, what was my favourite bedtime story when I was a Young Reader myself?

Adventures of the Wishing-Chair by Enid Blyton

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Once Mollie and Peter have discovered the Wishing-Chair, their lives are full of adventure. It takes them to all sorts of magical places, from the giant’s castle where they rescue Chinky the Pixie, to the amazing party at Magician Greatheart’s castle.

 

All these years later it seems like a unpopular opinion, but I actually remember loving these books more than Blyton’s Faraway Tree series; I  certainly remember reading this one with my parents more as well. I was totally gripped by Molly and Peter’s adventures, and rather than each book having a different adventure, in this book almost each chapter did.

As much as I enjoyed The Enchanted Wood in the Faraway Tree books, Fairyland was just as magical to me, if not more.

Just seeing the cover brings back great memories. I must pick up a copy again soon, and I think you should too!

Casper – ‘Because Bedtime is the Best Time’

Casper recently launched an innovative new mattress, because not only is bedtime the best time, but everyone deserves a great night’s sleep! They are celebrating Young Readers Day by sharing everyone’s favourite bedtime stories.

The Casper Team have already shared their own on their blog, here.

For more information, check out their website, and follow on Twitter and Facebook to see what bedtime stories have been shared so far!

Or why not share your own?