Sunday, November 11, 2012
Usually those moment of character creation happen very much on the back burner for me. Eric Courtney, from my Void City series, came from some point between High School and college when I was playing in a friend's roleplaying game. Eric's mad, murderous daughter Greta just showed up on the page as I wrote, but the protagonist of my new novella happened on a three-way call one afternoon.
I'd just heard about the death of a very cool guy in fandom. Giving his name might be a little disrespectful as I'd just met him and spoken with him for all of thirty minutes (valuable minutes I hope readers will find once they see the epic fantasy I've had lurking on my WIP list for the past several years). My friend Rob and I were talking about random stuff and my friend Richard cursed.
"What's wrong?" I asked
"I have to resurrect a database," he grumbled.
That's all it took. One nanosecond I had no idea for a character who could use the breath of life to raise the dead, imbue life into inanimate objects (aging himself in the process)... and the next second he sprang to life fully formed with not only some truly long reaching implications for the Void City gang, but a slew of novels, novellas, and short stories to adventure in all on his own, too.
What I said out loud was, "That's what we need: a resurrectionist."
But... I didn't like the sound of resurrectionist and neither did my wife. Thus Zaomancer.
I can't wait for folks to see how Richard a.k.a. Marlo Morne gets along with Greta when they eventually have their big adventure, but if you'd like to see a glimpse of him in his own little pocket of the Void City universe, just a short side trip away in Birmingham, Alabama, you can check him out in A CORPSE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Here is my schedule for the Alabama Phoenix Festival:
Personal Event Schedule
Fri 12:30 PM Room 4 Balancing Humor and Seriousness
Sat 10:00 AM Room 4 Hero Smackdown
Sat 11:30 AM Room 4 What’s Mind is Mine
Sat 7:00 PM Room 4 Dead Authors' Society
Sun 2:30 PM Room 4 What editors look for
And my schedule for Con Carolinas:
Friday 09:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Event Title: Gender Roles in Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Location: Lakeshore II - Programming 2
Saturday 06:00 pm to 07:00 pm
Event Title: Urban Fantasy
Location: Lakeshore II - Programming 2
Saturday 07:00 pm to 08:00 pm
Event Title: Killing Friends and Enemies
Location: Lakeshore II - Programming 2
You are moderating this panel
Saturday 09:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Event Title: Vampires: Have They Lost Their Bite?
Location: Welwyn - Programming 6
Friday, March 23, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Evelyn: You're a monster hunter, one of the most important questions for a nukekubi (who has never killed a human, but has slain many vampires) is this: How do you define monster?
Deacon: A monster does evil shit. Simple and straight to the point.
I used to say a monster is anything not human, but life is messy and hell, I'm not stock-from-the-factory human anymore myself. So I had to adjust my definition.
But I don't have a lot of time for moral equivocations. I can't handhold anybody through their personal trauma. If you have a troubled past, did some evil shit back in the day then you had better have pulled your head from your ass before I catch up with you.
I believe in Redemption, but it's not my job to give it out. You find that on your own time. But if you are
doing evil shit then I'll stop you.
That's my job.
How do you define what a monster is?
Evelyn: I used to let a group of vampire hunters, The Pythagoreans, make those choices for me, but that was the easy way. Not everything is black and white.
Speaking of which, a... friend... wanted me to ask "Have you ever retired a human by mistake?" I think, Greta meant it as a sarcastic Blade Runner quote, but I think it raises an interesting question. I'm sure you run into your fair share of human monsters while tracking the supernatural ones down. How do you deal with them?
Deacon: The Pythagoreans? Oh man, glad you got shed of those assholes.
Greta sounds okay if she's quoting Bladerunner.
To answer the question, I always keep in mind that I'm not a cop. I leave the fine details that need investigation to them. Let them sort it out, it's why we pay taxes. When I get involved it's usually a pretty clear scene as to who is evil and who ain't.
But if you throw in with monsters then welcome to the crosshairs.
It's like my dad used to say before he left this shitty old world "Birds of a feather get cooked in the same pot."
So I have run across the occasional sunnuvabitch that needed to be set straight. It's part of the job. Do it, move on. I don't feel bad.
So are you vampire only? Or do you take on all kinds of monsters?
Evelyn: Right now it's mainly vampires, but I've handled demons, and the occasional rogue therianthrope. I'm working something of a long term reclamation gig right now. Kind of a there's-still-good-in-her deal.
I'm not sure if you ever make an exception and do those, but worrying about whether or not I should is my own personal monster, I suppose... The one's I think I could have saved. Maybe even should have saved. That and weregeckoes. Those things just aren't right.
How about you? What is the monster that scares you the most?
Deacon: Never ran into a Were-Gecko. I had to put down a crack-dealing, child molester Were-Polar Bear though. I've cleared my town of almost all the Were-wolves and Were-Panthers. The Were-wolves were a pain in the ass. They were run by this asshole named Krueger, a white-power, wannabe viking, skinhead, piece of shit. A real turd. They used to go "recruiting" finding skinheads int he area and infecting them with lycanthropy to build their gang. They had a throwdown war with the local Black Panthers which were made of actual black Were-Panthers. That was a mess and a half.
As far as scary goes, well, that would be Angels. Those golden bastards are wicked scary. That whole "personification of the Wrath of God" thing just gets way too heavy. They didn't cover that shit in Catechism class.
As for the redemption gig, I have a good friend, hell mentor really, named Father Mulcahy who handles that end of the business. I save the bodies and leave the souls to him.
Do you have a mentor now that you are out from the Pythagoreans? Or are you flying solo?
Evelyn: I think if I told you who my mentor was, you'd want to drive into Void City and try to kill him or her, so I'll table that one.
I know the answer to this one may take us to a dark place, so feel free not to answer, but how did you wind up hunting monsters?
Deacon: My family was killed by monsters. ........
I don't want to talk about it. No offense, but we aren't there yet me and you. You seem nice, but not that damn nice.
A monster killed my family. I killed him and now I will kill everyone of them I find.
On to a different topic, I'm not coming to Void City anytime soon. I've got my hands full right now with a bloodsucking hell-bitch that set me up and tried to have me offed. I was on my way there when I got your call. Besides, after chatting you up, I think you might just work out okay.
You did realize I took this call to check you out right?
Evelyn: Fair enough. My origin isn't quite so dark, but when humans or ex-humans start hunting monsters it's usually not for the fun of it.
If it helps, I'm sorry you had to go through that. But about the call, yeah, I knew there would be a little mutual scoping out. The only reason I tracked down your number in the first place was Greta heard about you and wanted to make sure she could pick out your heartbeat from a distance... and this way we avoid her trying to find out in person. Which wouldn't go well for anyone involved and part of my job is trying to rein her in and redirect her appetites toward more appropriate targets.
Yesterday, for example was a great day for us. Instead of feeding on any humans, she drained five vampires, three bulls, and... Okay... The dog was unfortunate, but it *was* a stray...
Deacon: Watch your step Evelyn. You need to be careful or I might just come to Void City anyways. I hear there's a mustang that needs to go head to head with the Comet so that might be reason enough.
Keep your head on straight, watch who you trust, and call me if you need me.
As the phone goes dead, it's quite possible that Deacon hears Evelyn's frustrated mutter, "There, I called him and you heard his heartbeat. Now would you please put my head back on?"
For more about James and to find links to free fiction and other cool stuff, you can check out his website at jamesrtuck.com and for more about me and to check out my free fiction scoot on over to authoratlarge.com .
(Note: Cross-posted from the League of Reluctant Adults)
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
This was totally up on Friday and I didn't back post the date at all. It's just that I'm a time traveler and you all noticed the change... Unless you didn't and then... never mind. ;)
This week's comics could not stand up to the awesomeness of Jonathan Hickman's run on Fantastic Four and FF, which I must admit I read for the first time this week. There are many moments that stand out. Council of Reeds moments, Valeria moments, Namor moments... Ah, the Namor moments...
I love it when those beats in a story arrive where it could be much easier to "fix" things by having a character act differently than they should and turn into what I call a Plot Robot. Stories work sooo much better when the plot is crafted around how a character should respond. They feel more genuine and satisfying. Hickman does that very well. You'd honk all writers would do that, but...
But if I'm going to pick a panel from a more recent issue of Fantastic Four as a favorite panel, I pick...
I just love the the idea of Captain America at such a loss for words that he has to toss out a historical anecdote to have anything to say.
If you haven't read Hickman's run on Fantastic Four, you should. It is wonderful. As always, these panels contain artwork and characters that are copywritten and trademarked to hell and back... In this case, by Marvel Comics. So go give them your money, unless you haven't already pre-ordered a copy of Burned: A Voidy City Novel (by that J. F. Lewis person whose pants I'm wearing - the book hits the shelves January 31st 2012). That is obviously way more important. ;) So, make sure you are up to date on the Void City series and then check out Hickman's run on Fantastic Four.
Friday, January 13, 2012
I have this suspicion that if I hadn't exhausted my weekly comic budget, I would have picked a panel from this week's Batwoman. It's my hands down favorite of the new Bat-titles. I keep wanting to like Batgirl, but so far that initial story-line is very meh and over in the main Bat books, Damian Wayne just annoys me. I might eventually pick them up again, but not now.
The New Incredible Hulk issue had some moments, as did Wolverine #300. This one for example: (and as before it should be noted that this image is trademarked and copy written to hell and back by Marvel Comics)