Author: You Are Your Villain!

Well…it finally happened to me. The thing that happens to John all the time– a reviewer slams you for putting some opinion or personal belief in your book and they are talking about:


Something your VILLAIN says.


Why do people assume that the villains are the mouthpieces of the author?

It happens to John all the time.

It amuses me when I see people complaining about how the Prospero books would have been better had I had not put so much of my own opinions in them… which opinions would those be, now?

Anti-slavery. Yes. I will take credit for that one. I am an abolitionist.

Religion? Where in the books is my religion? I'm a Christian Sceintist. I think there's one Greek poem I rewrote to sound a tad Christain Sciency. Next?

Politics? Hmm. Nope. Sorry. Lillith the demon going on about the ills of modern life is not the author giving her opinion.

What I did for Lillith was sit there and wrack my brain thinking: the demons must have been up to something. What are things that it would be really creepy or eerie if I claimed that demons were behind them? So I made a list of modern things that were cool, like Hollywood, and chuckled as the demon claimed responsibility for them.

Did I have her claim abortion was the crowning acheivement of the demons to share my politics? No.

Am I in favor of abortion? No. Though I used to be. Nowadays, I am particularly against gendercide abortions, and the devistating effect they are having in the East.

Is that why I had Lillith praise them? No.

Have you ever read history? Seen what they say happens to people who have abortions in the Apocrypha? See what some of the temple prostitute type religions used to stand for?

I picked that because it fit the character.. Lilith, the enemy of Eve.

I would have written it exactly the same way twenty years ago when I was pro-choice—because its eerie. Even back then, I had drawn the conclusion that another culture might view our attitude toward abortion the way we are horrified at ancient infant exposure.

Why did I write it that way? Because I was once in a roleplaying game where Sparrowhawk of Roke pointed out to me some of the ills of modern society that I had thought were virtues. I found that conversation so interesting that even though it took place in 1988, I still think about it.

I wanted to do something like that…turn some modern ideas, things we think of as good, upside down and show them from another side.

Do my heroes believe Lillith? No, not really.

So…why does the reader?

Anyway…just sharing this so that you know. Next time you read a book, maybe you should check to see who is speaking before you believe something is the author’s point of view.

If it is the VILLAIN, the author might have had something else in mind.