Writing a villain is fun. Thinking up dastardly deeds, mapping out their ramifications...cue evil, witchy laugh. But it isn't very easy. If they are too dreadful with no redeeming qualities, they can become caricatures rather than characters in the story. The villains we love to hate have some characteristic or history or issue that compels us to connect with them on some level.
In my Urban Fantasy novel, House of the Rising Son, Samuel is an antagonist for Cheyenne , someone who stands in opposition to Cheyenne's goals. As the story unfolds, however, we learn that as despicable as Samuel can be, the problematic actions he takes are for the greater good of the incubi and all supernatural races. At least they are to him
On the other hand, sometimes bad is just bad. There may be no redeeming feature for a truly vile character. For example, there is nothing compassionate or noble about Logan. He is a villain's villain. He wants what he wants for his purposes only, and is not hesitant to manipulate the people in his life to achieve his selfish goals. I'll be the first to say there isn't much about him that fosters empathy--he's a rotten guy. Yet he isn't cartoon-ish. His humanity is in his desires. He wants Cheyenne. He wants a better life than he has. He aspires for power and respect. While we may not approve of his choices, we understand them.
Join me over at Kate Hill's Compelling Beast blog to hear from the man himself and learn more about this complicated, contemptible incubus.