If you plan to write a romantic suspense, create a villain your readers love to hate. In RS the staring characters are the hero and heroine, but a well-characterized and realistic villain gives readers a chill and propels the story. A villain needs at least one good quality. In UnholyAlliance (book2 of the Donahue Cousins series) Seamus McGinn exhibits opportunistic intelligence when he takes over the Irish gang in Long Beach, California. A vacancy had opened up after the murder of the mob boss in book1, Deadly Alliance. Seamus is middle-aged, handsome, and fascinating to a secondary character. He is also a psychotic killer with a temper.
There are three bad guys in Deadly Alliance, but one villain masterminds the greatest evil. Readers enjoy guessing his identity.
Where is your villain’s hideout? The basement in an old mansion is a great one, but I wanted to write a fresh hideout, a tiny island for Unholy Alliance which is set in Long Beach, California. Seamus McGinn bought a vacant island off the coast. The THUMS (standing for Texico, Humble, Mobile, and Shell) islands still exist and are oil platforms built close to the water level made to look like little islands. On McGinn’s (fictitious) island there’s one actual house but other buildings are fake but used to conceal drilling equipment. Find a way to reveal the location. Tori's mode of transportation is sailing.
In Deadly Alliance the villain holes up in an abandoned cabin in a remote area above Lake Arrowhead, California. The cabin is isolated and eerie, a perfect spot for this withdrawn angry villain.
Here are a couple of things not to do when writing your villain’s point of view. Don’t have him or her talk too much and take over the novel. If you use a tried-and-true (such as the serial killer, the drug dealer, the stalker, or the psychotic ex-husband) make him a family man. A good villain is led by dark motivations. Revenge is a possible motive for villains, but only if the villain is going to all that trouble because he was wronged in a big way. Greed, anger, jealousy, and the lust for power make great motivations, but make it personal. In Unholy Alliance Seamus McGinn framed heroine Tori Morningstar for murder. Now she’s out, and he’s concerned she’ll find him.
Wishing you success as you write your Romantic Suspense!