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May 01, 2018 at 08:51 PM UTC

Hey Kitty!
For Villian turned Good, you can always do someone who is evil because they are focused on self. Kind of like Phile, who’s a robber, ’cause yeah, that’s fun, but then present them with people who are in far worse shape/worse conditions than they are. Something that makes them have a change of heart. Something that drives them to look beyond selfish needs or desires, and pushes them to change their ways. It almost feels like a reverse of what you did in Red Rope of Fate with Tari’s cousin, who seems good then grows selfish because of the slight they received.
Personally, a Sherlock-type would be my favorite. And why can’t that be someone who sort of competes with the heroine? It can be a competition of wits that becomes a partnership as they work together for good.
Sorry to hear Tired Panda is back! Make sure you take a good time for rest for yourself! I personally recommend finding a good B and B, taking nature walks and then curling up before a roaring fire with tea or hot chocolate.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR WORKS! I adore reading them!


April 21, 2018 at 08:12 AM UTC

I don’t know if it helps, Kitty (are we allowed to call you that, or would you prefer Ms. Shea?), but I’ve seen a couple of different tactics when trying to do a villain turned hero as a central part of the story. There’s what you did with Farrin (who is one of my favorites), and then there’s also The Redeemed (that’s what I call it). The most prominent example would be Darth Vader at the end of Ep. VI, but I think Edmund Pevensie and Eustace Clarence Scrubb from Narnia would also be good examples.
It could also be something which had happened in his past: he used to be a villain, but isn’t now, but his past won’t go away, and he has to deal with it for the sake of the story’s goal.
There’s my two cents, anyway. Please, take a break and enjoy it! You have more than earned it!!!


April 23, 2018 at 11:18 PM UTC

Hi Megan–and yes, please call me Kitty!
But those examples do help! I completely forgot about Edmund–which is a shame as he and Lucy are my favorite Narnia characters! That was a very good example! 🙂


April 19, 2018 at 05:00 AM UTC

I’m excited to see how you pull the villain turned hero off (I’m thinking Aladdin would be a good fit). Congrats on finishing The Revived, I absolutely loved the first two novels and can’t wait to see what trouble Kit finds herself in. However… As much as I want a new novel, I think you deserve a nice day off. Patience is a virtue for a reason after all. 🙂


April 23, 2018 at 11:20 PM UTC

Thanks, Ashleigh, for understanding!

And to answer your question, I do have plans to do a retelling of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, which will feature multiple villains turned heroes, but as Foxinsocks suspects, that won’t be for a while. (I’m trying not to plan anything after I finish Angelique’s stories as I don’t know what that is going to do to me. Those books are going to make The Revived look like a cakewalk!)


April 21, 2018 at 08:14 AM UTC

Ooo! Aladdin would be really cool!


April 19, 2018 at 10:36 AM UTC

Ahh yes, Aladdin! My sister also just realized that Rapunzel hasn’t happened yet. Maybe those two stories will come later (Probably 2020, though)


April 18, 2018 at 01:47 PM UTC

Not to be super nosy or impatient, but when is The Revived available for purchase?


April 23, 2018 at 11:27 PM UTC

I’m glad you’re so excited for it, Foxinsox! Sadly, it probably won’t be out until July.

I need a break from the series, so I’m actually going to start working on the Red Rope of Fate sequel next week. I’ll write and edit that story, and then after that I’ll go back to The Revived and immediately jump into the Second Age of Retha book 4. (After that I have Snow White, and that will be all of my books for 2018!)


April 24, 2018 at 12:49 AM UTC

Wooo! More Elves of Lessa!!!


April 18, 2018 at 01:43 PM UTC

I agree with all of the above! 🙂 I’m SOOO excited for the Revived!!! 😀 XD


April 18, 2018 at 09:08 AM UTC

The villain an anti hero are definitely my two favorites just because villain turned good guy isn’t something you see too often or if you do it’s like Farrin who I think of as a good character (personality) but in a gray situation. Anti heroes are more common, but there haven’t been many I’ve liked. However, I think both of these from you would be super awesome because your characters are always thought out and have shape to them not flimsy cardboard cut outs of a the same character just with different looks and names. They feel like individuals and I think you would do really well with any of the ideas in this poll. I know I’d read whichever you use just because even if it’s not the type I voted for it’s still going to be a good character.


April 23, 2018 at 11:29 PM UTC

Thanks, Olivia!

It’s safe to say I have a few stories planned for the villain-turned-good-guy type, but that is a character I want to be veeery careful with. (Mostly because if I present the guy wrong, my heroines are 100% likely to slug them in the face.)

But I appreciate your support, and your kind words! Thank you! 🙂

Mary Davis

April 18, 2018 at 12:47 AM UTC

Whew, so glad you’re done with that! TAKE A BREAK. 😉
Yaaaaay, two of mine made it into the top ones: villian turned good guy and Sherlock guy! 😀 I loooooved what you did with Farrin. I thought it was so realistically done in a gradual way. He is one of my favourite characters EVER in a story. Yes, he wasn’t really *bad* to begin with, he had his own honour and strong loyalty, but I wouldn’t want a horribly evil bad guy to turn good anyway. 😉 I love mysterious fascinating characters and Farrin epitomizes that! 😀
The Sherlock one would be so cool as I love the sharp intelligence and social ineptness combination – it’s fascinating, endearing and hilarious. That type of character isn’t done often enough in books! 😀
Have a lovely week Kitty! xx


April 23, 2018 at 11:34 PM UTC

I’m really excited the Sherlock-type made it to the top this time, as well! That’s a character type I’ve been dying to explore–but I haven’t really had a place for one in my books yet.

The poll certainly gave me a lot to think about!

But I’m glad you like Farrin so much–I really had fun turning him good. (Though I was a bit nervous about it!)


April 21, 2018 at 08:01 AM UTC

YUS! Exactly!


April 17, 2018 at 10:19 PM UTC

CONGRATULATIONS, Kitty! You deserve a long nap. xD


April 23, 2018 at 11:31 PM UTC

Thank you, Kaitlin! 🙂 (I did feel a bit like a bear waking up from hibernation last week.)


April 17, 2018 at 09:14 PM UTC

None of the ones I voted for came out on top – sigh! I guess the hero of the Snow Queen falls in the catagory of bad guy turned good and I really liked him, so I can go along with that one – but the class clown one??? Not so much. Too immature for me. The other one near the top is offensive to me. Oh well, I’m not the only one out there voting. I still like the idea of a character like the little white dragon being the hero! LOL! Little guy with a big heart and a big secret. I can’t wait to see how you use this information in a story! Kim


April 23, 2018 at 11:37 PM UTC

There’s always next year! (As I mentioned in the post, this year’s results is a lot different from usual. I almost always get a request for a nerdy guy and he didn’t make it very high this time around.)

Although, I think it’s safe to say I’ll try to pull off the character types in unexpected ways, so hopefully you’ll still enjoy them! 😉

Kenzie R.

April 17, 2018 at 08:38 PM UTC

I am very excited!! Pretty much all my picks made the top 10 last I checked. While probably no one will ever top Stil, in fact I’m shocked he was suplanted by Merlin and suspect that might be a temporary thing, Farrin has always been a relatively close second. According to the Hero poll, he’s up there on other people’s lists too. And it isn’t just his personality that is so interesting. His story is what makes him so interesting to me. He is the one, out of all your heroes, that comes to mind when I think of chivalry. He was always good he was just too loyal to object to the plans made by a leader who saved him. Maybe the next turncoat could originally actually believe in his cause, because it felt like Farrin was never totally on board to begin with. Just a thought.


April 23, 2018 at 11:40 PM UTC

I’m glad you’re excited with the winners, Kenzie!

And Kaitlin hit the issue right on–I would probably try to pull of my villain turned good guy in a way that’s different from Farrin. (It would be boring to do it the same way twice!)
Trying to save Rothbart would be interesting. I actually REALLY liked him as a character, and his end was tough necessary. I would love to see if I could get one of my heroines to get her claws into a similar character earlier, though, and save him, muwahahah!


April 17, 2018 at 10:12 PM UTC

I very much agree with you about Stil, and I love your take on Farrin! It’s so true. Farrin is such a GOOD person from beginning to end; he just overlooked a lot of Tenebris’s darkness out of, as you said, loyalty. He was on board with claiming Verglas for magic users, and he went with the whole war thing as a necessary evil (army vs. army) on the path to peace, but as Tenebris revealed more about his decision to kill off instead of drive off people like Rakel and non-mages… Well, Farrin wouldn’t touch any of that. x)

So a different take on that category of villain-turned-hero might be something more along the lines of Rothbart – twenty years younger. xD He’s not a good guy, but he might have been if someone had caught onto his suicide plan early enough and told him what an idiot he was being. xD

Mary Davis

April 18, 2018 at 12:50 AM UTC

Yeah, I felt really sorry for Rothbart at times. He felt like the tragic villain. I’d love someone like that to be shown compassion and be turned from his destructive plans!


April 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM UTC

Yes!!! Exactly what you just said about Rothbart!

Tired Panda Reviews the Poll!

So for those of you who don’t know, when I’m at my worst–whether it is because I’m sick or just exhausted–I liken myself to a panda. (Because even when sad, pandas are cute and cuddly, where as in reality I more closely resemble road kill which is far less inviting.) So today we have the return of tired panda!

Why am I so tired? For starters I finally FINISHED THE REVIVED. I finished it late Friday night, and let me tell you that was a tough book. The Second Age of Retha series, and even The Revived itself, were fun, but it was the book length that killed me. Since I started writing full time, my books always fall in the range of somewhere between 65,000 words (which is the length of Beauty and the Beast) and 80,000 words. (The Desperate Quest and Heart of Ice are both roughly 80,000 words.) The Revived is a whopping 111,000 words. And that’s before editing.

I haven’t written a book that long in years. Life Reader is actually longer than that, but I wrote that book of the course of approximately four years. I slammed the Revived out in about two months, and the book nearly beat me at the end. I did manage to triumph, but for that last week of writing Perfect Dog was pretty upset as I kept taking over her various dog beds because they were on the ground and closer to me than the couch–which would have required me hauling my carcass across the room to reach. Needless to say, I learned a lot from this process. (Namely, DON’T DO THAT AGAIN!!)

So, as you can probably guess, the Hero Poll interview hasn’t been worked on yet due to The Revived taking so long to finish, but I did want to assure you in the meantime that I will still complete it at some point. But!! We can finally review the results of the Most Wanted Hero poll!

This year there were 2,392 votes cast–which means 598 of you voted!

The Most Wanted Hero is…drum roll please… “Villain turned good guy” with 277 votes!

In second was “Intimidating, brooding, gruff, stoic guy who secretly has a heart of gold” with 230 votes. “Sherlock-type genius (Kick@$$-academic)” Took third with 203 votes, “A rival to the heroine (competes with her)” took fourth with 198 votes, “Guy who hides his genius behind a funnyman/class clown persona” came in fifth with 180 votes, and “Anti-hero–sketchy morals, dubious actions, still a hero in the end (Artimus Fowl)” came in sixth with 170 votes.

The one thing I really appreciated–and was honored by–is that this year a number of you said you specifically voted for heroes that you thought would be interesting to see me pull off with my cast of strong female characters. The Anti-Hero seemed to be the one most people voted for out of sheer curiosity, but a lot of you also called out the “rival” entry as being an interesting twist as well.

As an author, stuff like that is a little more fun for me to play with because it does mean taking a stereotype I wouldn’t typically go for and fitting it into the context of my writing.

That villain turned good guy does make me sweat, though. I had to plan hardcore for making Farrin turn good in The Snow Queen. Trying to do it again without it feeling like a copy/paste repeat would be a serious challenge.

Speaking of which, this year’s poll did give me a couple of ideas for future projects, but sadly I won’t be able to tackle any of them for a while due to the Second Age of Retha and Angelique’s series hogging the 2018 and 2019. But I will be thinking about this poll as I design the heroes for my next few books, so thank you for taking the time to vote!

So tell me, Champions, are you surprised by the results? Which of the top winners are you most excited about? (Personally, I really like the Sherlock-type genius, the rival, and the anti-hero entries.)

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