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  • Krys Rayne

Why are we drawn to villains?

One of the questions I’ve been asking myself lately is, what draws us to dark characters? You know, the alpha heroes, anti-heroes, alpha-holes, serial killers, the list goes on and on. Some of my favorite characters in the books I read are the anti-heroes. A lot of these characters are the mafia kings and even serial killers themselves as in the last couple books I’ve read by my new favorite author, Trisha Wolfe.

The very first time I came across this… phenomenon was in the movie, The Watcher starring Keanu Reeves. Some may not remember this movie as it came out in the early 2000s. It was about a detective who’s wife was killed by a serial killer (Keanu Reeves) who goes on another killing spree some years after the detective’s wife’s murder. Reeves’ character is dark, charming and extremely dangerous as he terrorizes these women and kills them when he’s finished toying with them. Even though I really liked the character, you knew he had to die. Unfortunately.

Other characters that came after that were Wolverine from the X-MEN, the daimon Stryker and even Styxx from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. And more recently, Kallum Locke from Trisha Wolfe’s Lovely Bad Things.

So to answer my question, I went on a google search. One of the articles I found mentioned we want to find something redeemable about these types of characters. We want to see some kind of good quality in them to make them likeable even though some who are definitely the villain and definitely need to die (like Keanu Reeves character in the Watcher).

Another theory is that people want to see a “good” and “bad” side to themselves. Dereck Rucker and Rebecca Krause from Northwestern University did a series of experiments on exactly how this works. The researchers predicted the story villians would serve as an outlet for people to explore their darker nature that would be wrong to act out in real life. The researchers used a quiz from a website to collect their data. The quiz asked asked about the individuals own traits and to see what fictional characters they were most like. The fictional characters were Maleficent, Darth Vader, The Joker and the like. There were even heroic characters like Sherlock Holmes, Yoda and Joey Tribbiani.

After the study was completed, they then did another study to see if people found themselves to have similar traits to real-life people like murderers and serial killers. In the end of their study, they found there were more people willing to take the first quiz with fictional villains rather than real-life ones.

I’m going to have to say, I prefer the first theory over the second.

I think I’d rather see a redeemable quality in the villain rather than compare my own personal traits with villains. But what do I know

If you’d like to learn more about Rucker and Krause’s study, visit this link here.

Krys Rayne’s Debut Novel!

Forget Me Not

Forget. Me. Not. Finding those words highlighted in old newspaper articles at two grisly murder scenes sent shivers of unease prickling down criminal analyst Autumn Taylor’s spine. That seemingly simple sentiment allowed memories buried in the past to claw their way to the surface, reminding her of when a vile individual held her life in his hands. Now, a fire is awakened within her to find the killer before the body count rises. “Promise you’ll never join the life, Nico.” The past has reared its ugly head for defense attorney Nico Scala as his uncle, the head of an Italian syndicate, turns to Nico to find answers about his daughter’s brutal murder. Forced to straddle the moral line between law enforcement and the mob, Nico delves into the high-profile investigation. Hunting for the killer with Autumn, an unexpected attraction begins to develop between them. As the past and present meld into a deadly threat, Autumn finds herself the target of a deranged sociopath once more. With danger closing in, her only choice is to rely on Nico for help. Still, she can’t help but be suspicious of his true intentions. Can Autumn allow herself to trust Nico long enough to capture the Forget Me Not Killer? Or will the passion between them cause them to play into the murderer’s twisted plans? Author’s Note: Please be advised this book is not appropriate for those under the age of 18. It is not for the faint of heart due to the nature of bloody crime scenes. There are also steamy sexy times, especially a hot Italian lesson. Read at your own discretion.

Available on Amazon for 2.99 and Kindle Unlimited!

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