Writing Bad: Simon Toyne's fascination with creating a good villain

Category: News

Writing Bad

 

Recently my son Stan (5) discovered something it took me until I was about 15 to figure out. He’d been playing a lot of Lego Batman on his Nintendo DS over the Easter break – I know I’m a model parent – and I noticed he’d stopped playing as Batman or Robin and switched to the Riddler, ClayFace and the Joker. When I asked why, his fingers kept twitching on the keys and his unblinking eyes never left the screen. ‘Bad guys are cool,’ he said.

 

Of course he’s right. Bad guys are cool and thrillers and crime novels exploit this innate attraction to the darker shades of the human animal. As readers we love to sink into the murky swamp of a dark story and peer over the shoulders of monsters as they go about their terrible deeds in the tense and hopeful knowledge that good will ultimately triumph and the monsters will be slain so that order is restored by the last page. As writers we spend more time in this swamp than most, mining the darker parts of ourselves in order to breathe life into the villains that will in turn breathe life into our stories.

Read More

How well do you know the Killer Reads team?

Category: News

Match the fact to the correct team member and win a copy of 5 of our latest proofs, so you can read them months before they’ve even hit the shops!

From the left: Sacrilege by S.J. Parris, The Schemer by Kimberley Chambers, A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming, Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva and The Key by Simon Toyne

Which member of the Killer Reads team…

  1. … has shared the screen with Al Pacino?
  2. …sang in a national Australian campaign about saving water?
  3. …is married to a TV book club pick author?
  4. …was once a tudor model?
  5. …saw the Dalai Lama on the way to KFC?
  6. …has eaten a tarantula?
  7. …set up their own charity in Uganda?
  8. …has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro?

Read More

THE KEY is coming

Category: Featured

Hello – and welcome!

You’re in for a treat now: the world’s very first glimpse of the trailer for THE KEY, from the author of SANCTUS, the biggest selling thriller debut of 2011… Enjoy!