I never really hate the villain. In fact, if I DO hate the villain it’s because he or she is a one-dimensional villain and that’s just boring. Here are a few of my favorites:
1) Ivan One-Brow from The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer. This guy was bad. Really bad. He was a Viking berserker and he kidnapped Jack and his sister, but Farmer gave him depth and when he died I cried. I read this four years ago and still he is remains vivid in my mind.
2) Rob from Shattering Glass by Gail Giles. Rob is the worst of the worst because he looks good on the outside but is rotten to the core. He talks and everyone listens without questioning. When he does something nice, like take the class misfit under his wing, nobody thinks twice. But they should.
3) Tiger Claw from I am Regina by Sally M. Keehn. Tiger Claw was Regina’s captor and treated her horribly, but he had depth and with every scene he was more and more interesting. At the end I felt sorry for him.
4) John Sullivan from Snapshot, my current WIP. John Sullivan is my mc’s father and he’s smart, handsome, and warm. His evilness is the part of him that thinks he can have it all by compartmentalizing his life. He thinks what he does behind closed doors doesn’t affect the people that depend on–him unless he wants it to.
5) The Warden from Holes by Louis Sachar. Yes, she was evil, but there was that back-story and it made her so sympathetic. Sort of.
My students want it known that there are many, many villains to love and here are their favorites: Dr. John Dee and the Morrigan from The Alchemyst, Voldemort and Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter, the Snakehead gang from Alex Rider book called Snakehead, the Golden One from Dragonrider, the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, the Wicked Witch of the West from the book The Wizard of Oz, Count Olaf from the Series of Unfortunate Events, Cluney the Scourge from Redwall, Dr. Grief from Point Blank, Ari from Maximum Ride. There. That should do it.