Hello, folks! Halloween is nearly here, and before I get busy carving a pumpkin into the side of someone’s face (sorry, that was meant to be ‘carve someone’s face into the side a pumpkin’ – silly me!) here’s a list of my favourite villains from some great books I’ve read!

These are all nasty, hideous people – really slimy and disgusting – so if you’re not brave, you might want to hide – but remember! Evil people don’t have to look evil - some of these ruffians seem really nice, but on the inside – trust me – they are rotten old spider-goblins bloated with lies and poison.

The Twits – in Roald Dahl’s ‘The Twits

Now, I don’t know how old you are, but when I was your age, The Twits were very funny to me and very scary – colossal, grimy nose-pickers with food stuck in their teeth, hair sticking out of their ears and snot caked in their beards. They were messy and nasty and even if I don’t remember what the story was about, I knew I never wanted to meet anybody like them.

The Other Mother – in Neil Gaiman’s ‘Coraline’

I have never been more frightened of anybody than I am of the button-eyed, smile-sewing Other Mother! It’s very, very lucky she’s made up, otherwise, I would have to set fire to the whole world, just to escape her. (And I don’t want to set fire to the whole world, just bits of my homeland Australia, which if you know anything about Australia, those bits are almost certainly already on fire anyway.)

The Queen of Hearts – in Lewis Carroll's 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland'

You know how it is, you fall asleep, and when you wake up, there’s a large woman screaming ‘OFF WITH HER HEAD’ and playing croquet by whacking a ball with a flamingo. Now you have to play – and if you lose, they cut off your head! The Queen of Hearts is a lot funnier than she is scary, but I think she’s pretty dangerous – and you would too if you’ve ever had to play a game where the best thing you can hope to take home is your own skull in a basket.

Dolores Umbridge – in J. K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'

We’ve all met people like Dolores Umbridge. They like kittens, they like biscuits, they like rules, they like order, they seem sweet and kind, but there’s just one problem – they hate people! Oh, they’ll be very lovely to the folks they think can get them things, and hugely nasty to anyone who can’t. Don’t worry, though, kids! It doesn’t take made-up magic to sort people like that out, because the real magic is – they’re already unhappy, they just don’t know it yet! Also, they might get lost in the woods and get sorted out by centaurs.

Abiatha Swelter – in Mervyn Peake’s ‘Gormenghast'

Imagine a chef in a kitchen, but the chef is huge and grumpy and wheezing and red in the face and sometimes falls asleep when he’s talking – also he has a great big butcher’s knife that he likes to swing around in the air for fun. Now imagine that he has to look after a team of orphan boys who work in the kitchen – and he hates working, and orphans, and boys. But he sure does love that knife… 

The Cracks – in Mel Tregonning’s ‘Small Things’

These are the most frightening villains I’ve seen in any book – and they can affect all of us. Small Things uses the image of cracks appearing in your body to show what happens when worries hurt you, and then the worries get bigger and bigger and bigger. Have a read of it if you ever feel alone, or sad – the lesson is we all have worries, and you’ll never be alone. 

And that’s it! Have a happy rest of your autumn, everybody! And if you want a really rip-roaring adventure full of guts and gore and jokes and brave kids dealing with adults, have a read of my novel The Little Town of Marrowville!

 

  • The Little Town of Marrowville

  • In a town surrounded by deadly mist, and filled with oddities, two young siblings become orphans.

    And that's the best thing that's happened to them all day.

    Howard Howard was a Wrecker (a brute and bully by profession) who was brutal and bullish to his children - Aubrey and Aubrey's Sister. Howard Howard deserved to be turned into mince, and thanks to a mysterious duo called The Grinders, that's exactly what happened to Howard Howard.

    Hunted by the police and their father's gang of Wreckers, the siblings find some new friends to help keep them safe: a talented burglar named Charlie (who has no bones, but a great moustache) and a sword-wielding assassin named Calo (who has a sword, duh.)

    In a town already revelling in its own chaos and with new dangers around every corner, Aubrey's Sister and Aubrey stumble into a world of secrets, myths and monsters.

  • Buy the book

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