Friday, 12 August 2011

Blog Tour: Mark Walden - Aftershock

So today I've got a guest post from Mark Walden, who you'll all know as the author behind the brilliant HIVE series. Mark's been hopping from blog to blog in the last few days for a blog tour to promote his latest release, Aftershock, and I'm lucky enough to be hosting today's spot!

Mark's here today to tell us all a little bit about what it takes to be a true villain. Check out the sage advice below and make sure you enter the contest at the bottom of the post to be in with a chance of winning some amazing HIVE goodies!

So you think you have what it takes to be a student of HIVE? Dr Maximilian Nero, the school's infamous headmaster, has been kind enough to provide us with what he believes are some of the key ingredients for any self-respecting villain.

- Costume is essential. A good villain is always immaculately dressed. You cannot conquer worlds in jeans and a t-shirt. Having said that, resist the urge to go too far over the top. Think Blofeld rather than Ming the Merciless.

- Good hair. Or no hair. There's really no middle ground here.

- Scarring is optional but, please try to make sure that any disfigurement is striking in some way. Acne scars are not acceptable.

- Secret Lair. Remember it's all about location, location, location. You cannot reasonably expect to run an international criminal cartel from a bungalow. This is despite the fact that bungalows are, clearly, inherently evil.

- Have a plan. You can't just wing it, there's really nothing more embarrassing than capturing a hero and when they ask you exactly what your plan is you reply “well, we're still ironing out a few details to be honest with you.....”

- An impressive evil laugh is important. Avoid high pitched giggling and do try not to snort.

- Avoid elaborate executions. If someone says “my name's Bond...” just shoot them in the head immediately. Piranha tanks are, of course, amusing but, frankly, there are easier ways to dispose of do-gooders.

- Good henchmen. Make sure that they have passed a simple IQ test and have been trained in basic marksmanship. If they can't hit a man-sized target twenty feet away with their firearm use them as the man-sized target instead.

- If you must have a self-destruct device built into your lair make sure that the activations switch is NOT clearly labelled. Trust me, you're just asking for trouble otherwise.

These are just some examples of the basic lessons that Dr Nero gives as part of his Villainy Studies course at HIVE but hopefully they will give any aspiring malefactor a few worthwhile pointers. Further advice can be found in his excellent book “I've Been Expecting You : The Art Of Trans-Global Super Villainy.”

Brilliant! Now, if you fancy winning yourself one of three HIVE prize packs then listen up. Bloomsbury are kindly going to provide my winners with sets of the HIVE books, T-shirts, rucksacks and wrist bands - this is not a prize you want to miss out on, I promise!

Have a read of the rules below and click here to enter.

- UK only - I'm sorry international readers, I'll be hosting a contest for you soon!

- It's not an absolute requirement but I would like it if the winner will review the HIVE books on their blog (or Goodreads/Amazon if you don't have a blog), as this awesome series deserves all the reviews it can get - and it IS awesome, I promise!

- The giveaway will run for two weeks, ending on August 26th 2011 at midnight (London time). The winner will be announced here at Writing from the Tub on Saturday August 27th 2011.

- Please make sure you leave the correct email address as I will use this to contact you if you're the lucky winner. If I don't receive a response within 48 hours I will choose another winner.

Before I leave you for today make you head over to Mark's Facebook page for more information about the series and the writer himself. Enjoy!

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