Thursday, February 2, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Karina Cooper - ALL THINGS WICKED

Hi Everyone. Please help me welcome Karina Cooper to the blog today! She is here to promote her new novel, All Things Wicked. Today Karina is going to talk about the antagonists in her novel.

Bad to the Bone
Or, I Used to Be an Antagonist and All I Got Was This Bloody T-Shirt

First of all, thank you so much for having me here! I don’t get to talk about my antagonists much, so it’s refreshing to look at things from their point of view.

They say–those ubiquitous they who say so many things­–that everyone has a story to tell. No matter what authors are writing, what genre or grade, there is a fundamental core to every story that remains the same. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but I do recognize a trend in my own work. I write about people who don’t quite match what we picture when we think “good” and “bad”.

I like to play with the concept of antagonist versus protagonist. Good versus evil, black and white, and all those other sticky metaphors for “that one’s good and that one’s a total bastard”. For me, what should be a cut-and-dry issue–witches are evil, religion is bad, killers are morally bankrupt–becomes a gray area fraught with, “And yet...”

In All Things Wicked, the hero was once an antagonist–a man who has done terrible things for what we can only hope are good reasons. Caleb Leigh is fighting not just the coven of witches who were up to no good, but also the Order of witch hunters who’d have hunted them down. He’s working against his sister, who wants to help him–and ultimately place herself in danger to do it. He’s fighting the woman who becomes his heroine, who wants to see him burn for his betrayals.

That’s a lot of antagonism.

But he’s not the antagonist. The true antagonists of All Things Wicked aren’t all that clear-cut, either. On the one had, there are the witches who belong to the Coven of the Unbinding. These guys are bad news. Killers, kidnappers, magic-users who will stop at nothing to get what they want–whatever it is they want. They must be the defining “bad guys” of the book, aren’t they?

Only then there’s the Holy Order of St. Dominic. But surely they aren’t antagonists? Of course, they hunt and kill witches, but after everything Caleb’s done, you can’t blame them, right? As the overwatchers of the city of New Seattle, it’s their duty to protect it from the very same powers that destroyed it the first time, so a little overzealousness can be forgiven, don’t you think? Then there’s the closed trials and executions, the classified experiments and laboratories, the tyrannical... grasp on...

Okay, so the Order’s looking a little shady, isn’t it?

But what about the new Mission Director, Parker Adams? She’s only doing her job as she hunts Juliet Carpenter down. Is she an antagonist? Maybe?

So who, really, are the antagonists of All Things Wicked? The Coven? The Order? The Director?

Is there anyone who isn’t out to get us?

What’s your favorite type of antagonist? Do you like them cut and dry, bad is bad is bad, or do you like them more complicated? Who is your favorite antagonist of all time?

All Things Wicked
by Karina Cooper
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Series: Dark Mission, Book 3

Juliet Carpenter was always protected from the darker side of the witching world. But the massacre below Seattle, the one that claimed her sister’s life, opened her eyes to the true nature of those around her--especially Caleb Leigh. Juliet can’t believe that she slept with the man who killed her sister and now has just one thing on her mind: revenge. But old habits die hard and when it becomes clear that she can’t trust her Coven either, she’s left on the run with a man she hates more than anything.

Caleb isn’t proud of the things he’s done to survive, but nothing hurts him more than the pain he caused Juliet. Unable to reveal the truth about her sister’s death, and with both the Coven and the Mission hard on their heels, he must get Juliet to trust him long enough to save their lives. Because it’s not just the two of them who are in danger: if Juliet won’t let go of her rage enough to tap into her powers, everything they love--each other, their families, this whole miserable world--will be lost.

Author Bio – Karina Cooper

San Francisco provided me with a home only until the wanderlust struck. I was raised all over the U.S. like some kind of tiny blonde gypsy, and marinating in the melting pot of so many cultures may be the source of this wild imagination. No matter where I was or what I thought I wanted to be when I grew up—actress to artist, web designer, fashionista or author—I was always creative.

As far as careers go, daydreaming for a living kicks so much ass.


Karina will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more comments you leave the better your chances of winning.
To Enter:
Answer Karina's questions from the post and include your email address.
Be sure to visit the other blogs on this tour. Click on the tour button below for a list of participating blogs.


  1. A fascinating post thank you!!


  2. I thought and thought and couldn't decide on an antagonist. Sorry, I guess I don't really like them.

  3. I don't really like them...for the most part. But those that I did like were actually redeemable and turned out to be a hero in their own book. I'm thinking of Derek Craven, a very bad boy in several books by Lisa Kleypas...but a hero in his own story 'Dreaming of You'.

    Question for you: What puts you in the mood to write certain scenes...such as your love scenes or a serious, bad a$$ fight scene? Other authors use music. Do you and if so, do you have a playlist?

    1. Hi, Karen! Nice to see you again. ;)

      I usually just have one music choice running through the whole thing. It keeps the theme solidified at the back of my head. I hate to say this because I think I come off arrogant or boring (or both!), but I don't believe in "waiting for a mood". If I did that, I'd never get anything done, I'm THAT bad of a procrastinator. Instead, I simply go in order and write scene by scene.

      As long as the images are clear in my mind's eye, I can describe it–and that's what writing is to me. :)

  4. In Lord of the Rings, Sauron is an evil antagonist, but I have some sympathy for Gollum. I like it best when there is a bit of a twist...When someone really appears as a villian in the early stages but then as his/her back story is revealed, you come to understand how they got there. I like redemption stories so if the antagonist ends up being redeemable, I find comfort in that.


  5. It's usually a lot easier for me to decide whether I like a character or hate them if they're pretty straightforward, cut and dry characters. However, a little bit of complexity never hurt anyone and I've often found that having a complex antagonist with both good and evil in them is something that garners greater appreciation for a work. My favourite antagonist would be Warner in Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. He's a villain who some readers manage to sympathise with.

    Best wishes for 2012! :)


  6. All stories should have a good antagonist. I like them complicated and bad as bad. A couple of my favs have been James from Twilight and also Lucius Malfory and Bellatrix LeStrange from Harry Potter.
    Been following along with the tour and have added this to my must buy list. Hopefully will get lucky and win the gift card and go on a book shopping spree. LOL. Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. Good morning, everyone! Thanks so much for hosting me, today, and I'm so glad to see all the antagonist love.

    I totally get where MomJane is coming from, though–not all people can get behind the one who's causing all the mess.

    To be honest, Caleb's more of an "anti-hero", these days, which suits me fine because I dig the ones who don't want to be heroes. But sometimes, there's nothing like a truly good hero to really brighten a lady's day, don't you think?

  8. Karina, I hate to admit this, but I'm just plain lazy! That's why I love to read so much! I want to be entertained! I want someone else to do all the hard work, to keep me guessing, to have me boggling over how in the world the character manages to juggle everything! It's so delicious - and I don't have to get a migraine, like I do over trying to decide what's for dinner, lol.

    I can't wait to read this book! It reads like it is going to be the ride of a lifetime, and I can't wait!

    Thank you so much for the giveaway chance!

    Gena Robertson

    1. Hi, Gena! There's nothing at all wrong with this. ;) I do it with movies! I just sit back and enjoy the flow.

      It's a great way to be.

  9. I think James from Twilight is a good antagonist. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  10. I love President Snow from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins...the tension he brought about is just amazing. Very unsettling.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    1. I shouldn't admit this, but I never read this one! I think after all the buzz, I'll have to. :)

  11. I like antagonists that are evil, smart, and misunderstood. Thanks for the giveaway.


  12. I kind of have to agree with everyone else on their antagonists. I can't really think of any right now. Lack of sleep and being at the hospital all day. But I love a good antagonist who can still surprise you. Give me a good twist. :) Thanks for the contest

  13. I like an antagonist that is so good at being bad that he comes off sometimes as being good. But he evil, with some good twists. but in the end he can be redeemed. I can't say that as I have a favorite antagonist. It's great following this tour.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  14. I love my antagonist complex and complicated. It makes it so much better! The best antagonist I've come across would have to be Iago from 'Othello'. He's my favorite! So complex.

  15. The blurb sounds so good! Can't wait to read it, I just need time! LOL
    My antagonist need to be clever and have belivable (bad) intentions =P


  16. I like them bad and complicated. It means I have to really understand them and see their many layers. I think if they are believable I will like them.


  17. Definitely more complicated. It really adds to the story and creates more suspense and interest.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com


Thank you for stopping by my blog! I appreciate all of your comments.

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