Before I get started, just a reminder that today is the first day of our Four Bloggers, Four Books, Two Days promotion. I’ve contributed The Kayson Cycle, and all proceeds from sales of my short story will go to Doctors Without Borders. From yesterday’s post:
Here’s how it works: on November 28 and/or 29, purchase 1 or all 4 of the debut author’s books listed here. Then forward each of your purchase receipts that Amazon emails you, to : email@example.com and get up to 4 entries into a draw for a $80 Amazon gift card. That way we have your name and email to let you know when you win!
On top of that, two random commenters picked from two of our participating blogs will receive $5 gift Amazon gift cards . So leave a comment and let us know what you think of the promo, our authors, our works, even just say hi, we’re not too proud to beg. You’d be helping us out and you’d be helping out your favorite blogger, as the blogger with the most comments also wins a prize.
Now, on with today’s show: introducing you, the reader, to the characters of The Corridors of the Dead. Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive listing; I’m not going to talk about Guard #2, but I think it’s a good idea to get these out there as part of my release week specials. I view these as the equivalent of bonus features on a DVD or Blu-Ray, offering not only information to inform your purchase, but something to deepen your understanding of the story once it’s finished. These will eventually sit up top as part of the Corridors official page. So come with me and learn more about these characters after the jump.
The Main Characters
Protagonist: Matty DiCamillo. Born of Italian ancestry in Brooklyn, New York, Matty’s earliest days were a struggle. Her parents were forced to wed when her mother, Melinda, became pregnant with her; the couple had just started Grad School, and so things were tight for quite some time in the DiCamillo household. After their graduation, the family stayed in New York for some time, but her parents rapidly lost sight of where they came from, shedding friends and family as they climbed their respective corporate ladders. This was rough on young Matty, as she saw friend after friend disappear, leaving her alone with her distant, demanding parents. She began to resent her parents.
At last, her mother received a job offer in San Francisco, and the company moved to the West Coast, completely leaving their old life. After moving, her father had trouble finding work, and within two years the family had imploded. By now, Matty was 12, so she entered her teen years with a lot of reasons to rebel – and rebel she did. She decided to be everything her mother was not. She would speak her mind. She would hang out with what Melinda called “The Dangerous Types”. When she was 15, she discovered punk rock through Green Day, and it was all over from there. She joined in on the local scene, while at home her mother had given up trying to understand her or relate to her. All she wanted was control her rebellious daughter, but it wasn’t going to happen.
At the age of 18, Matty came out of the closet to her mother shortly before following a potential lover to extreme Northern California and the town of Eureka. That relationship never blossomed, but she stayed in Eureka, building a very small support network. At age 22, 2 years before the opening of The Corridors of the Dead, she met her current lover, Kristy. The next year, she met Daniel, both of whom are central figures to our tale. When the book begins, she has saved up enough money to purchase her own trailer and works at the local Circle K.
Inspiration: Many different elements inspired Matty. She was originally intended to be a man, but I soon realized that there were enough men holding down fantasy and sci-fi books, so why not get a woman in there? As I began to flesh her out, I realized that she was also something of a punk rocker. I drew inspiration for her look from Salander of the Swedish version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, as well as some punk girls that I had known. The green hair was inspired by a period in which I used the same color in my hair. Matty is, of course, the central figure of the series, and so I needed someone with a strong voice. As soon as I heard her Brooklyn accent in my head, I knew I had the character that I needed to carry the narrative.
Antagonist: Delilah McKinley. Once known as Uriel, Delilah worked for the Watchtower of the North as the Angel of Death. Her role in the ancient world was to find those who had performed egregious acts of violence and cruelty, terrorize them, and then send their souls on to the Lands of the Dead. Shortly before the Flood, in which the angels of the Watchtowers cast down the rebel angels known as the Watchers, she was sent to Earth to punish a human who had aided the Watchers in enslaving humanity. After some time spent watching her prey, she discovered that the Watchers were attempting to challenge the heavens themselves. Rather than reporting the Watchers outright, she decided to confront their leader, Samyaza.
She never reached Samyaza. His right-hand man, Azazel, stopped her on the way there, seducing her to their side by explaining why their cruelties were necessary and how the Multiverse as it stood was an unjust society. Thus converted, she began to cut down her fellow angels, serving as Samyaza’s personal enforcer. When the angels of the Watchtowers threw down the Watchers in the Flood, they present her with a choice: face banishment to the Lands of the Dead, or redeem herself by hunting down those Watchers who had slipped away. She chose the latter.
At some unknown point in the relatively recent past, she found Azazel once again. In the defining moment of her life, she allowed herself to yet again be swayed by Azazel’s arguments, returning to his side under the rebuilding Watchers. This time, rather than chasing down the Aetelia of the Watchtowers and killing them, her job was to watch over a child who had been born in Brooklyn; a child who had been expected for millennia. The Watchers knew that she would be central to the future, and that they needed her on their side. That girl, of course, was Matty.
Inspiration: Delilah was originally a very minor character, a human agent of Azazel who passed the torch to Matty. Uriel was a separate character named Maura, who helped the second protagonist, Grabbe (who will be introduced shortly), in his quest for vengeance. She also served an angel named Jazshael, who appears in passing reference in the book. Delilah’s character became far stronger in the rewrite, and I knew that I couldn’t just cast her aside. So what once seemed like a sweet old woman now inherited a murderous secret. She was a lot of fun to write.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the supporting characters and begin to explore the mythos that underlies the entire narrative.