Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seekerville Weekend Edition: A Salute To The Villainess

Anyone can be a heroine.
But it takes someone really special to be a villainess.

Queen Narissa, Enchanted

And for those of you who are right now balking at this salute, let me remind you.

Villainess = Conflict

Conflict is what stands in the way of goal.

All in all, these babes only serve to make your plot move!

Goal, Motivation and Conflict leads to the Big Black Moment....

When of course the villainess will be defeated ( or redeemed)

paving the way for Happily-Ever-After.

These are my favorite evil women. Who are yours?

We Have Winners:

From last Saturday's Weekend Edition: Valentine's Day, the winner of your choice of Seeker releases is K C Frantzen.

Wednesday's post was Why Write, and the winner of Debby Giusti's latest release, Killer Headline, from Steeple Hill Suspense is Trinity Rose.

Friday's winners of the Michael Hauge DVD sets The Hero's Two Journeys from the post Visual Storytelling are, Vince and Pepper.

Winners should contact: Tina at TinaRusso dot com with their snail mail addresses.

Next Week In Seekerville:

Monday: Pam's Puzzle Pieces of Plotting, with double Golden Heart finalist, Seeker Pam Hillman.

Tuesday: Seeker Sandra Leesmith will be presenting Interviewing Your Characters, an interactive development of character session.

Wednesday: Steeple Hill, Love Inspired author Glynna Kaye is your posting hostess today. There will be a book giveaway too!

Thursday: Thomas Nelson debut author, Cara Lynn James is your hostess today.

Friday: Summerside Press author, Ocieanna Fleiss is our special guest today and she'll be giving away a copy of her release with Trish Goyer, Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana.

Save The Date:

March 3: Revell author, Laura Frantz.

March 10: Friend of Seekerville, talented and award winning writer Pepper Basham.

March 12: Multi published children's author Shari Barr.

March 15: Multi-published historical author, Ruth Axtell Morren.

March 29th: Publishing professional, writer, and friend of Seekerville Patty Hall.

March 30th RITA and Christy Award winner Francine Rivers.

Ruth Logan Herne will be hosting Francine Rivers and here's more on that from Ruthy:

Francine Rivers is scheduled to come to Seekerville on March 30, 2010 and we're delighted.

Oh my stars. The Atonement Child. Redeeming Love. The Mark of the Lion series...

I'm grabbing nitro pills just thinking about it, LOL! I need questions from you guys, though, not the same old, same old... What would you like to know about Francine, about her work, about her upcoming book Her Mother's Hope to be followed this fall by Her Daughter's Dream.

Redeeming Love is being made into a movie by Abba Productions. That's an interesting thought right there, isn't it?

E-mail me your questions at so I can put together a warm, lovely interview for Francine, one of the nicest ladies on the planet. Seriously!

Seeker Sightings:

Mary Connealy shares: On Wednesday, February 24th I'm on Petticoats & Pistols. I"ll have the first ever in the known universe giveaway of Black Hills Blessing (and honestly, what are the chances the unknown universe has already had a giveaway...let's call it the first ever.) The title of that blog is "John Tyler--the father of our country--or darn near"

Friday March
12th, I'll be in Sioux Falls, South Dakota doing a book signing for Black Hills Blessing(a book set in South Dakota--get it?) and The Husband Tree from 2 - 4 at Crossroads Book and Music, 3900 South Westport Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD.

And Mary is the featured author on the Heartsong Presents site. See how she is similar to Where's Waldo!

Audra Harders shares: I'm going to be on Pepper Basham's Blog Faith and Fiction on Fire on Tuesday, Feb 22 talking about kissing.

Debby Giusti shares: Signing copies of Killer Headline at Omega Book Center, Peachtree City, GA, from 4-6:30PM on Thursday, Feb 25. Proceeds from the sale will benefit St. Vincent de Paul's food pantry, which helps needy people in the area.

Myra Johnson
is featured in this month's Heartsong Present's newsletter, Romantic Notions.
To join the Heartsong Present's Book Club, check out the Barbour web page here.

Julie Lessman can be found through Sunday February 21st at Operation Encourage An Author Blog. You can win your choice of one of the Daughter's of Boston books or a signed copy of Katie's Story, A Hope Undaunted, when it releases in September.

AND ... for a sneak peek at her favorite love scene from A Hope Undaunted, you can go here.

Random News:

  • Countdown for the Golden Heart and RITA Award finalists has begun...March 25th is only 33 days away.

  • Check out Will Write For Cake and a photo journey on how Lynne Kelly Hoenig obtained her agent.

Have a great weekend and remember: Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.


  1. Oh Wow, Tina. I don't want to be a Villianess, but they can be so cool!

    Jadis from Narnia is great
    The Wicked Witch from the East from The Wizard of Oz.
    Mary, from Mansfield Park (Jane Austen)- very subtle

    The villainess in my contemp romantic comedy is pretty shrewd and complex. I LOOVED writing her. I got to let my bad girl come out. ;-)

    Thanks for the edition, Tina.

    I've brought some homemade hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings. Plus some breakfast casserole, potatoes, country ham, cheese...yum.

  2. Arnold said it best. When asked to play the hero in first Terminator movie, he asked to play the villain instead. His reason? Vilains are a lot more fun.

    Also, having a lot of fun with my villain in my current WIP.

    - Walt M. (who's in Day 4 of granmother's 5-day 90th birthday extravaganza.)

  3. Oh what about Malefecent (sp?) from Sleeping Beauty - she always scared me as a kid.

    I asked my hubby what villainess he thought was the best and he said, "The prostitute from Babylon in the book of Revelation". He's a preacher, go figure ;-)
    Btw, the best villainesses are the ones to pretend to be sweet but the audience/reader knows down deep it's all a ploy.

    Okay - off to finish breakfast for the crew.

  4. Hmmm...I believe Sigourney Weaver's character in Working Girl is my favorite Villainess....could be because I had a very similiar boss and one time so it ran very true to life for me!

    Great line up on the way, as always.

    Have a great weekend.


  5. Pepper, you sure can cook.


    Walt, how cool is that. Congratulations and Happy Birthday to your G'MA.

    Happy Saturday.

  6. Doesn't Meryl Streep do a fabulous villianess?? What is it about her? I've got to study that woman : )

    As usual, Outstanding Weekend Edition, Tina! So many intriguing personalities coming to visit Seekerville in the near future, too! I'm filling up my calendar with dates and times : )

    WooHoo! No time for the winter blues in Seekerville!

    It's Saturday morning and I've got fresh, straight from the oven, home made cinnamon rolls on the buffet. Wish I could take the credit, but it's hubby who's filling up the house with enticing aromas. Winter is his downtime from work, so he comes house-husband extrordinaire : )

    I love it.

    Coffee and tea next to the rolls. Enjoy!!

  7. Now, don't let this go to your head, Teenster, but I LIVE for Weekend Editions every Saturday and you never disappoint!

    And, WHAT ... do you have some "idea book" somewhere about five inches thick where you go to pull out all these creative ideas for the Weekend Editions???? Every week you blow me away with your creativity, and I have to admit ... your mind almost scares me as much as Ruthy's ...

    What an edition!!! I love, love, LOVE villainesses (Charity's story was my favorite to write!) because they are just SO much more interesting, aren't they, though?

    I would have to say that my favorite villianess is also my favorite heroine ... Scarlett O'Hara. In the words of Rhett Butler, "What a woman!"

    After that, Miranda Priestly from Devil Wears Prada is a joyful study in psychoses, making her a villainess I adore. And then, of course, Charity O'Connor MUST make the list because I love her to pieces.

    Cannot BELIEVE the Menopause Makeover is just NOW being published!! Where was it 17 years ago when I REALLY needed it????

    Fun, FUN edition this week, Tina, as always.

    And happy birthday to Walt's Grandma!! When you live that long, you deserve more than a day, for sure.


  8. LOL, thanks (I think) Julie.

    It's nice to have an outlet for my twisted mind.

  9. Great WE!!!

    Thanks Tina.

    The White Witch just looks evil. She's a scary woman!

    And look at all those book signings all over the map? One of these days, Seekers will have to schedule a "Saturday Seeker Signing" with every Seeker signing somewhere in the USA.

    Or abroad.

    Julie's got Ireland.

    I suppose I COULD be persuaded to whip out a book set in...hmmm...Australia, get it pubbed, then hop over there for a signing.

    I'll get back to everyone on that ASAP!

  10. Oh, it just occured to me that you people have very active imaginations, and read things into every comment...

    so, to clarify, I am not writing a book set in Australia, so threfore don't have a remote possibility for a contract for said book...

    but, as I said, I could be persuaded for the right price.

  11. What a COOL Weekend Edition, Tina : D there's an interesting topic! Lol!

    I can't think of any really great ones right now, let me get back to you, but Meryl's villainess WAS fantastic! I have to agree...

    In upcoming news we should definitely include my birthday!! Woohoo! It's pretty soon-ish...March 15th *grin* (I'm just kidding about including it obviously)

    Talk to you later,

  12. 18!! My mom keeps freaking out about how she "can't believe [I'm] turning 18 already!!" Lol! I guess I can't either, but I'm one of the latest in my class...we have a lot of fall babies *grin*

  13. Tina:

    Julie said it for me!

    How do you keep coming up with these weekend editions? Always a new take or fresh perspective on the writing obsession.

    Good job.

    I have a contest question.
    Did you send the same manuscript to different contests at the same time, or only one at a time. If you had one that was a finalist in a contest, did you go ahead and send it to another one?

    Tell me your process, girl.


  14. First, Casey, I was reading the archives and realized best selling author Shirley Jump did a two parter on Show Don't Tell. Just put that in the search box.

  15. Helen, there are quite a few good posts on contests and I of course will mention only mine, Staging Your Manuscript, Pimp Your Contest Entry and Marlena Fortune discusses contests too.

    And from an interview with Marlena:

    TR: A very concerned reader asks about the possibility that a manuscript entered in several contests with different judges is requested by multiple judges. She further asks if it would be better to wait until the results are in on one contest before entering the same manuscript in another.

    MF: Darling, sit down. We need to chat. The concept of refusing to allow multiple submissions, is not a practice that is for your convenience. Contests are the one venue where you the writer who is not agented have a measure of freedom from these ridiculous practices. There are only two scenarios where you should wait until the results are in before entering a manuscript in the next contest. One would be you are serving 20 to life in the state pen and have a lot of time on your hands. Two would be you aren't very bright. I will assume that since you are in Seekerville, neither applies.

    Now Helen, here is my opinion on the topic, and as a two time GH finalist, a two time Maggie winner, three time Heart of the Rockies winner and winner in the Touched By Love, Put Your Heart in A Book, Desert Dreams, First Impressions, Ticket To Write, Lone Star, Winter Rose, Stepping Stone, Laurie, NEORWA, Golden Acorn Barclay and Linda Howard Award of Excellence...

    I know contests.

    First you have to have a plan.

    Why are you entering? Figure out why and you know what you have to do.

    Reasons to enter

    1. critique/feedback
    2. editor's attention.
    3. agent's attention
    4. keep your name out there/PR
    5. the prizes

    Then you keep entering until you reach your goal or you give up on that manuscript.

    At some point you will feel you have saturated the contest circuit with your manuscript and if you have not reached your goal then you must find a non contest way to reach your goal.

    Contests are a great way to avoid the long turn around times of a slush pile..a great way to get feedback if you have no critique group. Just don't fall into the habit of entering lots of unfinished manuscripts..which is why the GH is so helpful as the Genesis. The msc should be completed.

    And on the downside. I entered the Genesis three times last year and didn't final. Some days nobody loves you.

    And I entered contests Melissa Endlich was judging many times. Twice in 2003 I even got requests and she moved to another line.

    Go figure.

    I finally had to bite the bullet and submit the old fashioned way and sold.

    Any questions?

  16. So glad Tina an Ms. Marlena has the answer. Also, Helen, as Tina said, there are several posts (with lotsa comments) on this very topic here in Seekerville.

    I'm rewriting a scene from the hero's pov, since he has the most to lose. Realized it would be much more powerful in his pov.

    Ruthy, with a nod in your direction...


  17. Hi Tina:

    I was scrolling down the page rather quickly looking at the pictures of all your villainesses and right after O-Ren-Ishii's picture came Mary’s picture. Did you do this on purpose?

    I think Hansel and Gretel has two very bad villainesses: the step-mother who tries to abandon Hansel and Gretel in the woods so she does not have to feed them and the old witch in the gingerbread house who tires to eat them.

    Folk tales have the best villainesses.


  18. Tina:

    Thanks for your response.

    There are always questions. But you answered this one in excellent time and completeness. MUCH appreciated.

    It's encouraging to know that you finally achieved the publishing goal. The thing that is scary is seeing how many times you had to final in or win before selling. That's quite a road!!!

    I have tunnel vision when I'm working on a project. I FINISH it before I ever enter it in anything. All my manuscripts are complete except the new one I just started. (Typed chapter 2 last night.)

    My question stemmed from the fact that right now I'm wrestling with what manuscripts to enter in the Genesis and TBL. Singles? Multiples? Etc.

    Sounds like you're saying "send them babies out there in swarms" if you wish. So I think I'll start doubling up. At this point I've always waited for feedback on an entry before sending it to another contest. That's a-gonna change.

    Got my Genesis entry about ready to go. I like to set up the files, then think on them awhile before hitting the 'Send' button. Sometimes I think of a detail I need to fix.

    Keep up the good work.


  19. GO HELEN.

    Okay, Helen, I am going to admit to you that I am a coward.

    Further I am anti social (a bigger coward) beyond the confines of my computer screen.

    Contests for me were a way to step out and be brave without risking too much.

    This worked for me and my therapist thought it was a good alternative to the large number of sedatives I was taking.

    But what works for me might not work for everyone.

  20. OMG!

    I was so busy looking at the villainesses that I didn’t see that I won a copy Michael Hauge’s DVD set “The Hero's Two Journeys!

    If I was only going to win one item all year, I’d select this one! Wow! Wonderful!

    Myra: If you don’t have this set, I’m willing to share it with your writing Chapter after I view it a few times!

    Thanks to Mr. Hauge.


    P.S. Tina: I'll email you right away.

  21. Oh, Tina. I had no idea we share the coward gene.

    I am totally intimidated about putting myself out there in the real world. The contest circuit appeals to me for the very reasons you named. The anonomous nature of it allows me to put my work out there.


  22. Vince. you are a hoot.

    I will be sending a name and address to his assistant on Monday. The other winner is courtesy of Seekerville.

    Myra has the set.

    Last night I watched Creating Powerful Movie scenes as a gentle nudge in the project I am working on.

    IT IS AWESOME. TOTALLY AWESOME. So if anyone cannot invest in The Hero's Two Journey's right now, get this single DVD and try Michael Hauge out. My brain was totally overflowing with information. In fact I am walking crooked today as the left lobe sucked in more than the right. AMAZING STUFF!!!

  23. I checked out the Two Journey's DVD set and it's on sale for $ least if I found the right thing.

    Right, Tina?

    Is that the whole enchilada?

    Sorry, I would do one of those snazzy links that Mary's so good at, but I can never remember all the little <> you have to do.

  24. Well, Pepster, I'm zeroing in on the food even though it's afternoon and things have cooled.

    I'm okay with that. Just HUNGRY!!!

    Tina, a-freakin'-mazing as usual, and I love a good villainess because it pushes the heroine to be more heroic.

    And you can apply that theory to real life writing...

    The sister-in-law in Glynna's Dreaming of Home who tries to wrench the little boy from his father... legally....

    Cheryl's Soldier Daddy bratty sister, Ash....

    Sometimes heroines (especially in Christian fiction) can be tooooo good, toooo thoughtful, tooooo wordy, toooooo introspective...

    A good contra-indicator in a villainess form really ups the stakes.

    LOVE THIS!!!!

  25. Pammers!!!!

    Grinning right back at you.

    And you know what???

    Sandra gave me insight after reading my new opening and I saw instantly that she was right...

    And did the old standby that we've talked about so often....


    And it worked beautifully. Why do I have to write that first 'chapter' that sets the stage before I realize I'm talking too much (shut up, Mary) and go to where the action is????

    Oy vey.

  26. Yes Pam, the link is in Fridays post too. If you get it at Screenplay Mastery it is ten bucks cheaper than Amazon.

  27. Actually my children care. I have been asked, by pain inflicted children, on several occasions, to STOP DANCING.

  28. I win I win I win!!!

    A choice of ANY Seeker?
    I didn't realize that was part of this deal? How will I EVER CHOOSE?

    Perhaps I'll go back and review the "voice" post and pick from that... Might be fun!!!

    I'm late posting but a very good reason for it - was at the SCBWI Houston conference today. I'm POOPED. It was meaty and rich and I have stickers to query agents and editors (4 of them) - YAY!!!

    So I win I win I win twice (though I didn't win a thing at the conference - but that's ok - I took - like - 15 pages of notes - but all in purple ink!)

    I'm out of town, limping along on another's computer so if it's ok, I'll look Tuesday and decide...

    Unless y'all want to recommend some Seeker faves - maybe that would be a good way to help me choose. :)

    Thank you VERY much. I'm just thrilled!

  29. Hey KC, glad you had an educational weekend. Email me when you decide. No rush.

    All Seeker books are excellent, but you might want to read one that targets a line or subgenre you aspire to sell to. Or close your eyes and pick from the photo bucket.

  30. The Wicked Witch of the West!! Scared me to death. :)