Following on from my guest post on Bella Settarra’s blog last week about ‘Defining Erotic Romance’ I had some interesting feedback including one writer who said she used her ex-husband as a villain in one of her stories and thoroughly enjoyed whipping his butt (in the story!). http://bellasettarrabooks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/jennifer-denys-talks-about-erotic.html
And another who said that using bad people we know as our villains was a great way to work off angst.
That made me wonder how many other authors have used the names (or even the characters) of people they hate/dislike/who have made their lives a misery for their villains.
I then found this link to the 50 greatest villains in literature: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3560987/50-greatest-villains-in-literature.html
Looking down the list I see Cruella de Vil is quite high however, it took me years to realize this actually reads ‘cruel devil’!
However, did J K Rowling know someone called ‘Voldemort’? Where did the inventor of Hannibal Lecter come up with that name? Did a ‘Bill Sykes’ do bad things to Dickens?
Some villain names have become so well-known that we use them as descriptive terms like a Svengali meaning ‘someone who manipulates’, Machiavellian meaning ‘someone who schemes maliciously’, Jekyll or Frankenstein – both of whom were doctors who created monsters, to be a Don Juan is to be ‘a womaniser’.
How fabulous it would be to have a villain of mine used in this fashion…. Maybe I need to give more thought to my villains!