Within Anniversary Tour

Author: Clare C. Marshall
Publisher: Faery Ink Press
Publication Date: November 13,2011

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Trinity Hartell’s life changed after the accident. Left with irreversible brain damage, she becomes a burden to her mother, a cause for heartbreak for her boyfriend Zack, and a flattened obstacle for her best friend, Ellie.

But then she starts writing. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that the psychotic, murdering protagonist of her novel bears a striking similarity to the charming Wiley Dalton, a mayoral candidate in the upcoming election.

Or, perhaps not...

Writing the Villain by Clare C. Marshall

On this anniversary tour for Within, everyone has been talking about how much they love the villain of the story, the mysterious psychopath Edmund. He’s silently terrorizing by picking off the homeless, the racial minorities, and anyone unlucky enough to cross his path.

But Edmund has a secret--his real identity, or I should say, his persona known to many in the city. If the city of Halifax discovers his nightly rituals beneath the Commons, he can say goodbye to his freedom. And right now, one thing threatens his freedom: the psychic link between him and a seventeen-year-old girl who has brain damage. If she finds a way to tell the world about his ghastly deeds, he’s done.

See what I did just there? I wrote a synopsis of the novel through Edmund’s point of view. Did you feel sympathy for him, even just a little bit?

Part of getting into the villain’s mind is finding a way to turn the story on its head, and finding a way to make him the protagonist, even if only for a scene or two. Yes, Edmund is an awful man and he does awful things, but he’s doing them for a reason that is justifiable to him. He also just gets enjoyment out of killing.

When writing the villain you have to really spend time thinking about his back story. What made him the way he is today? Edmund had an extremely racist father who always taught him not to trust people who looked different than him. This hatred was deeply ingrained in Edmund from a young age. It comes to a head during an important event when he’s young (that I’m not going to spoil, you’ll have to read it for yourself to see!), and starts him down a path that leads him to his current situation.

Writing the villain is probably one of the most fun parts of creating a story. Getting into his mind can be a creepy experience, but it’s an important step into understanding his motivations, so that you can make the suspense and the threat to your protagonists real.

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About this author
Clare Marshall grew up in rural Nova Scotia with very little television and dial up internet, and yet, she turned out okay. She has a combined honours degree in journalism and psychology from the University of King’s College, and is a graduate from Humber College’s Creative Book Publishing Program. She founded Woulds & Shoulds Editing and Design in 2010 for self-published authors looking for quality editing and design services. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing the fiddle and making silly noises at cats. Within is her first published novel.


  1. Thanks for participating in the tour! :)

  2. What a great post! Within sounds very interesting! Thanks for sharing :)


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