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Bats, Blood, & Bête Noires: An Interview With a YA Villain

Call it a sneaky PR move on the interviewee's part, but man, has YA Highway scored an awesome interview today! It's true: not 48 hours after receiving his blood-soaked, smoking letter containing instructions and GPS coordinates, I had the chance to sit down with Daemon Cain: a professional villain of the Young Adult genre. Why? In Daemon's words, to "spread the teachings of the Ultimate Darkness." Not totally sure what that means, but I knew I couldn't pass this opportunity up.

Daemon was reluctant to share much information about himself, like whether he was a demon or a vampire, a mean girl or a futuristic mastermind (though we can guess). But he was eager to spill his deepest thoughts on everything from his worst pet peeves to his favorite fellow villain. Without further ado, here he is: Daemon!

What's one truth about yourself you wish the public would understand better?
Oh anti-Christ, I'm so glad you asked this question. Let me start by saying that I detest this idea that all YA villains are full of nothing but hatred and selfishness and evil. If the public just got to know us better, they'd find that we can be downright multi-faceted sometimes! If you expect me to be mean, that's what you're going to get. But I am highly layered person, you know, I'm not just trying to murder teens all the time...

So you're saying you're... not evil?
No, no. Hold up. I am definitely evil. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be a card-carrying member of the YAVS (YA Villians' Society). All I'm saying is I'm not evil all the time, and I really wish people would appreciate that and not act like I'm some kind of soulless piranha.

You know, in the trilogy I'm working on now, I've been taking my time off from the story to go work at the local animal shelter! But do they show that? No. They only show my insane attempted kidnapping of the main character a chapter later. It's slander, plain and simple.

Okay, I see your point. So as a professional villain, what else annoys you to no end?
Three words: Deux ex machina. I'm this close to achieving my goal, and then BAM! Something or someone swoops in, completely unpredictable, and grabs the main character from my grasp. It's so infuriating! I put all that work in for no payoff! I mean, what the hell?

Also - pretty-boys who call themselves villains because they're a danger to the main character, or whatever, but really they just want to get in her (it's always a her) pants. They're a disgrace to the YAVS, those guys. Announcement: real villains do not glitter.

Hey, I'd be annoyed by those things, too. So what are your thoughts on tragic endings - endings where the villain wins?
They're my ultimate dream. Unfortunately, they only come along about once in a blood-streaked moon. There should be more of them - they're so traumatic and awesome! I heard they depress readers, but honestly, you people just need to suck it up and rejoice in the dawn of a new villainous era.

Ah, yes, we should. Speaking of a villainous era, do you have a personal favorite villain - besides yourself, of course?
I know I'm supposed to say Voldemort here, and yeah, the guy's a legend, but... come on, story-dying at the hand of your own wand? He will never live that down, at least in the social circles I come from.

There's a ton of choices, but personally, I have to say... that Anna Morrison, queen bee girl! From Some Girls Are by Creator Courtney Summers. Dear anti-God, I met Anna at a YAVS conference last month and it was just horrifying. I thought she was going to tell the whole conference about my rash problem during her keynote speech. Instead she just made me get her coffee a bunch of times.

What makes a YA-literature villain different from an adult-literature one?
Well, the most important difference is that we're better. Why? We're more shocking. The fact is, you expect to see villains in the adult world. A bunch of 30-something wizards traversing the land in search of whatever? Of COURSE some dastardly warlock is going to come along and try to vanquish them. They can handle it, being adults.

But teenage wizards-in-training? If a villain comes along, it's like... holy crap, those are kids. I love it when a fan asks me whether I ever feel guilty for going after the small and immature. No way! It adds to the rush, the amazing feeling of evil. What does suck is when the kids vanquish you and it's like... I really need a coffee or something because that is just humiliating.

Final question: if you had no main character to fight, what would you do with your life?
No main character?

I... don't understand.

Like, if it was just you, doing your evil deeds, with no one trying to stop you or bring about your downfall.
What? But... someone has to try to stop me... where's the fun otherwise? I... (trails off)

Okay, good point. It's a lot more fun when you've got an epic battle raging between good and evil. Well, that's all for now, Daemon! Any last words?
I think I need to lie down....


Wow! Seems to me like Daemon is a pretty awesome villain. And that was a really fun* interview, even if he did sort of creep me out with his glaring. Who's your favorite YA villain? And what are your thoughts on the state of villainy in YA today?

*Also, fictional (sadly). Hope you enjoyed the silliness!
Emilia Plater

Emilia is a YA author who avoids studying, food that isn't covered in cheese, and waking up before 10:30AM whenever possible. A bundle of confusions.

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  1. LOL! Loved this interview!

  2. Emilia I don't think you could possibly be any more awesome.

  3. Ah, I love you guys!! bahahaha. Thank yooou for your wondrousness <3

  4. I work at that animal rescue that Daemon volunteered at, and let me tell you his time there was not all that altruistic.

    He was sentenced to community service for littering (he threw a length of rope, a roll of duct tape, and a rusty shovel out his car window while fleeing the scene of an attempted kidnapping [that he claimed he had nothing to do with]) and signed up for the shelter.

    He spent most of his time stroking cats and little dogs in his lap, gazing into the distance with a maniacal smirk on his face. I think he was auditioning them for a villain prop. Or something even more questionable, that I don't even want to think about . . .

    Fortunately, he finished his hours and left empty-handed. If he gets caught again, I hope he signs up for some other community service.

  5. Lol, this was great! And I have to agree with Daemon--Anna from Some Girls Are was pretty bad ass. Of course, Valentine from the Mortal Instruments series was a baddie, too--but I'd rather take him on more than a pissed off teenaged girl. :)

  6. It's always good to see the other point of view. Thanks
    Guardian Angel

  7. He's soooo right about Moldy Voldy! I never noticed that before...
    Loved the interview!
    Wait...not all villains sparkle? I...I think I need to sit down, have a glass of water...

  8. Angelica: YOU ARE HILARIOUS <3

    Love you all!! <3


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Item Reviewed: Bats, Blood, & Bête Noires: An Interview With a YA Villain Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Emilia Plater