(Note: The below is based on a writing prompt on Writer’s Digest that I thought I’d share here as well.)

“Hi, thanks for your time today.”

“Of course, I was glad to get your call.”

“As you know, I had to let the previous villain go…”

“Yeah…”

“So I’m hoping you’ll be able to come in and help out.”

“Well I’ll certainly do my best. I mean my…you know.”

“Heh, of course. So listen, I know your background – I’m a longtime fan – but tell me why you would fit into my novel.”

“Well first off, likewise, I’m a fan of yours. I think what I bring to the story is a general sense of chaos. It’s not just mayhem, it’s more an unpredictable nature. I don’t want to make myself sound like the Joker or anything, but I like to mix things up.”

“Interesting. Yeah, that’s good to know. What do you think about the setting of the story?”

“Oh I’m totally comfortable working in in the 1600’s. The character I was based on got her big break in the 1500s, so…”

“Really? I didn’t know that.”

“Yeah. She was a sorceress that was scheming with a shunned and exiled prince to help him regain the throne he felt was rightfully his. So I totally get what you’re going for here.”

“That’s great to know, thanks. So I’ll be honest with you, the villain here doesn’t really come off all that positively. This isn’t a ‘love to hate’ kind of situation, you’re just straight-up evil, with few redeeming qualities. The villain I’d originally cast was uncomfortable without some sort of troubled past that would explain her actions, which is why she dropped out of the project.”

“That doesn’t bother me at all. I prefer the opportunity to just go all-in. The last thing I want to do is create a sense of moral ambiguity in the mind of the reader. I prefer just to embrace it and be bad.”

“I love you for saying that, that’s exactly how I envision her, just full-out evil. She’s motivated by greed and just a desire to mess with the system.”

“I got that from the synopsis you sent, that’s great to hear. One question: Do I die before the end of the story? It wasn’t clear.”

“Well, I’ll be honest, yeah, you do. While the story is the first in a planned series, this character has to die at the end to establish closure and fully end the threat she poses. Is that a problem?”

“No, no. Disappointing, sure, but not a problem. I mean who wouldn’t want more work later on?”

“Heh, sure. I get that. Well I think I have enough information to make my decision. I have a few other villains to talk to but I need to have someone on board by next Wednesday. Will that work for you?”

“Definitely. I’m excited to work with you, so hope we’ll have that chance.”

“Same here. Thanks for coming in. See the guy at the front desk to have your parking validated.”