Jennifer Brody / Vera Strange on Writing Great Villains for Disney Chills and Star Wars

Jennifer Brody / Vera Strange Photo Credit: Jennifer Brody, Disney Publishing

On this week’s First Five Chapters, Luke Kerr is joined by award winning author Jennifer Brody.

The two dive into her latest projects Once Upon a Scream for the Disney Chills series and writing Star Wars’ most iconic villain for Darth Vader in Blood Moon: Uprising – Stories of Jedi and Sith.

Brody shares how, as Vera Strange, she never writes down to her Disney Chills readers. She teases that a seventh Disney Chills book is on the way and that its villain is not one she thought she’d be writing for. She reveals how the Disney Chills series allows her to go much darker with Disney villains than she can for Star Wars allows Darth Vader. She feels that Vader is a very self-sufficient villain and Luke wonders if it’s his Big Darth Energy.

On writing craft,

Luke reveals that creating villain motivation is one of the areas in writing he struggles with. Jennifer believes stories are only as strong as its villain and shares her advice for crafting villain motivation.

The two also delve into the “plotting” vs. “pantsing” writer debate. Is “pantsing” disastrous for nearly every writer and does it trip up even publishing’s most famous “pantser,” Stephen King?

How do new authors hook agents, publishers and eventually readers in their first pages? Jennifer says it comes down to getting strong voice on the page.

She also shares what writers should be reading if they want to create great characters.

Luke asks Jennifer to reflect on her querying journey when she was a new author and they discuss some of the obstacles to traditional publication.

You can find out more about Jennifer Brody / Versa Strange at Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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