Archive for June 2011

Is Your Villain a Psychopath?

June 14, 2011

Lately this book has been wandering across my radar a lot. Because I love a well-crafted antagonist, not to mention a juicy dark hero, I’ll probably end up reading it. You know, used. In paper. Due respect, man, I’m a struggling small press publisher.

Meanwhile, today, here’s an article in Forbes: Why (Some) Psychopaths Make Great CEOs. Now, doesn’t that sound like a fantastic villain? So I finally wandered off and looked up the oft-referenced Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

Here are the components, for your villainous pleasure. For each characteristic that is listed, the subject is given a score: 0 for “no,” 1 for “somewhat,” and 2 for “definitely does apply.” According to Ronson, the author of  The Psychopath Test, “Somebody you have to be wary of would be in early 20s and a really hard core damaged person, a really dangerous psychopath, would score around a 30. In law the cutoff is 29.”

A brief description of each of these metrics appears here.

Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”

Glibness/superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Pathological lying
Cunning/manipulative
Lack of remorse or guilt
Shallow affect
Callous/lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.

Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
Parasitic lifestyle
Poor behavioral control
Lack of realistic long-term goals
Impulsivity
Irresponsibility
Juvenile delinquency
Early behavior problems
Revocation of conditional release

Traits not correlated with either factor

Promiscuous sexual behavior
Many short-term marital relationships
Criminal versatility

The primary antagonist of my current WIP (War-Lord of the Gods) scores a 32. The protagonist scores a 24. Hmm.

Heading out to ConCarolinas

June 2, 2011

Today I’m loading up the car for a trip to Charlotte, NC: for my first visit to ConCarolinas. This looks like it’s going to be tremendous fun! Very active Facebook group, a bunch of terrific guests and cool parties, and I get to sit in on some really cool panels. I’ll actually be moderating a couple of them.

Here are the panels I’m participating in:

How to Write a Sex Scene–Friday 11PM
This one will be hosted by Davey Beauchamp, so I know it’s going to be fantastic fun. Other members of the panel include Mason Lavin, Josiah W English, Jana Oliver, and Linda Walsh. Rose petals and scented candles optional…

Learning to Write–Saturday 3PM
I’m moderating this one. We’ll be talking with authors Rachel A. Aaron, Glenda C. Finkelstein, Bobby Nash, Carrie Ryan, Allen Wold, and Debra Killeen, which is a nice diverse group with a variety of backgrounds. I’m planning to allow plenty of time for audience Q&A, so join us here to get your answers questioned.

The Red Pen–Sunday 12PM
This is slated as a panel in which editors discuss what they look for in submissions and how they work. Teresa Bane is moderating, and she’s a fanstastic moderator, so I know this will be good. I’ll be sitting with Mason Lavin, Wendy S. Delmater, and Edward McKeown while Teresa exercises crowd control over the notorious opinionation (is that a word? It is now. How ironic to have this happen while I’m wearing my Editor hat.) of a group of editors.

The Future of Fantastic Fiction–Sunday 3PM
Once again I’m moderating, and sitting with another nicely-diverse group: Wendy S. Delmater, Rachel A. Aaron, and David B Wood. We’ll be discussing where the market may be taking genre fiction.

I’ll have a table in the Authors Alley; when I can’t be there, Mark will be. Sometimes he looks fierce, but he’s a big teddy bear, and he’s still new to the convention scene, so if you’re at the con, please stop by and smile at him. We’ll have books by all the Mercury Retrograde authors on hand.