Party Talk: The Evil Overlord List

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BigBad2Hey y’all, The Big Bad II releases tomorrow!  Whoo hoo!  Twenty-four tales of vampires, demons, ghosts, zombies, and the most terrifying monsters of all – humans.  It’s going to be available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle, so if you want to be one of the cool kids, go order your copy right now!

I’ve asked our authors to join me for one more round of Party Talk, and this week’s question is:

What are your favorite rules from the Evil Overlord List?

Matthew Saunders:”One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.” This is very sound advice for life in general.

Gail Martin:  7 and 56. Related to 7 should be the Syndrome Corollary: No monologuing!

David B Coe: Hard to choose from this list, because they’re all pretty good, and they all boil down to the same thing: If you’re going to be evil, don’t be stupid. But I think my favorite might be this one: “If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others’ lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.” Tropes are one thing, clichés are another, and should be avoided (or executed) at all costs.

Misty Massey: #34  I will not turn into a snake.  It never helps.

John GloverThe Evil Overlord List is terrible and wonderful at the same time. We’ve all read or watched (…or written…) the villains that make this list necessary, but two rules stand out for me. One is a distillation of most of the rest, as far as I’m concerned: “One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.” Whether the problem is silly costumes or silly plots, a five-year-old needs to vet The Plan. The other rule that gets me is “100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.” Make your subjects grateful — whether it’s for bread, circuses, or streaming Kim Kardashian — and you can do whatever you want. And THAT’s evil. Not the giving, but the capitalizing on human flaws.

Edmund Schubert: #12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.
I’d prefer to be an Evil Overlord, not an Evil Idiot Lord.

Eden Royce:  While all of them are practical and make good sense, I think I’d have to pick these two:

#40. Always use the unstoppable superweapon first. That way, you can win the battle early and have time to relax with a book or a cappuccino

#92. I used to work in a customer service related field. I’d be great at pacifying the client—I mean hero—on the phone. He’d have no idea I wasn’t being genuine. One I hung up, I’d be able to carry out my evil plan in peace.

Selah Janel: They all made me laugh, but I especially love:

I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

I totally agree with this. Uniforms can make or wreck self-esteem, and a lot of minion uniforms really don’t seem user-friendly compared to the situations those minions find themselves in.

I also love: When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him then say “No.”

Word. It always seems so contradictory that a lot of villains do this, because up until that moment they’re so in the groove and confident, then when they’re about to get their way, they undermine themselves by something like this.

Jay Requard: #12, #13, and #98. Especially number #98. Makes the book that much more fun.

Sarah Adams: I’ve already made the mistake of having an heir, so he’ll no doubt one day supplant me. Also, I insist that my pet monster be chained to my Throne of Darkness for greater effect. But I’m a huge fan of #96 and #98. The problem is that my efforts to kill the squabbling stereotypes will probably only result in several more tedious scenes in which they save each other’s lives, experience even more inexplicable sexual tension and grow closer together so that they can finally defeat me in chapter 35. So my alternate strategy will be to send them a competent couples counselor who can convince them that their unspoken attraction is just hormones and they are better off as friends who marry other people. That should at least keep them busy while I find a way to steal the ancient sword/magic ring/my generic nemesis artifact that one of them is carrying.

Nicole Givens Kurtz: This is such a fantastic and exhaustive list of no-brainer types of rules, that is was difficult to narrow it down to my favorites; however, I have been successful in culling out the ones that resonate with me.
My favorite rules from the Evil Overlord List are:
6. I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.
22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospects of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.
34. I will never turn into a snake. That never helps.
56. My legions of terror will be trained in marksmanship.
59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am (see my previous answer for #3 above).
69. All midwives will be banned from the realm.
82. I will not shoot at my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.
84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.
94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.

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