Before I get started, a few things. First is that with the support of a lot of readers, I cracked the Top 100 in the Westerns genre (#83 when I woke up, now down a bit). While overall I feel it more shows just how weak sales of Westerns are overall, I can’t help but be a bit proud, given that this my first release and it’s not even a full-length book. I’m also immensely grateful to the people who bought a copy and my partners on our current tour. It’s also great to be able to give that money to a worthy cause.
Speaking of which, just a reminder that today is the second and final 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 Sunday’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 $5 gift Amazon gift cards . So leave a comment and let us know what you think of the promo, our authors, our works, even just say hi, we’re not too proud to beg. You’d be helping us out and you’d be helping out your favorite blogger, as the blogger with the most comments also wins a prize.
With the release of The Corridors of the Dead tomorrow will come another contest – opening tomorrow morning. I wrote about this Sunday, but will of course put the details up again tomorrow.
Today we finish our look at the characters of The Corridors of the Dead, with tomorrow beginning a two-day run at the mythology of not just the book, but the entire Among the Dead trilogy.
Kristy. Now that we’re down to the supporting cast, these will be shorter sketches. Kristy is a valley girl and a bit of a free spirit. She provides an air-headed, New Age, mystical counterpoint to Matty’s dogged rationality. She presents herself as a ditz, but that’s the result of a lack of self-esteem. She’s actually very sharp and kind. She will be a key figure to the proceedings, but not even the Aetelia know this. Inspiration: Valley girls. Her speech is patterned after the singer Ke$ha (ugh) – not my favorite artist in the world, but her voice was exactly what I needed.
Daniel. Daniel may or may not be an Aetelia; he is, however, an accomplished magician. He arrived in Matty’s life one year previous to the opening of the novel, working at Matty’s Circle K. He has a Scottish accent and is something of a hipster who wears Cosby-style sweaters, thick horn-rimmed glasses, and shaggy hair. He’s fiercely loyal to Matty and Kristy, despite the fact that he and Kristy have butted heads numerous times. Inspiration: Daniel is a combination of several different inspirations; his look is entirely modern hipster, and his voice and some of his mannerisms are based on the excellent character Desmond Hume from Lost.
Grabbe. Grabbe is a Nephil, the son of Azazel and a human woman. He once served Azazel as a prominent engineer and architect for the Engine of Destruction, a mechanism that would overthrow the Watchtowers and install the Watchers as equal rulers. His eagerness to please his father backfired, and when the Flood came, he threw himself on the mercy of the Watchtowers, begging for a second chance. When they offered amnesty in exchange for him hunting down his father, he had no trouble accepting, as his father had been directly responsible for the death of his mother. Inspiration: The name itself comes from one of the few names given to a specific Nephilim. Grabbe was originally intended to serve as something of a second protagonist in the book; the chapters switched off POVs between Matty and him, with the two eventually dovetailing in what I felt was a “clever” fashion but in retrospect was just a bit confusing. When I decided to rewrite, that was the first to go, as I discovered that I’m just not quite there with my skills. This version of Grabbe is based on an amusing idea: what if George Costanza was an action hero? I decided to run with it, and I think he’s fun.
Azazel. The mythological Azazel provided a template for this character. A prototype of Satan (and, apparently, Jesus – no joke), there is something of a heated theological debate about the nature of the demon. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow. He was also apparently a bad guy in Supernatural, but I haven’t gotten that far in the series – so this character likely bears little resemblance to that one. As mentioned earlier, this Azazel was the right-hand man of Samyaza, architect of the Watchers’ rebellion. Azazel’s greatest love is to sow discord, which is entirely behind his plans. On the surface, he insists that he only cares about establishing an identity for the Watchers and allowing them to direct their own destiny, but deep down he just wants to watch things burn. Flamboyant and somewhat effeminate, Azazel has watched the events of the last few years very closely. Inspiration: David Bowie in Labyrinth and Tim Curry in Rocky Horror Picture Show. One of the chapter titles even makes reference to this. The original version of this character was based on Christopher Lee, a very suave and debonair demon, but as the story changed, so too did the nature of Azazel’s character, transforming him into a force of nature rather than a suave man. He can still sway people to his arguments very easily, though whether that’s due to some unknown power or simply his charisma is still to be decided.
I have decided not to cover a few other key characters here, as they constitute spoilers. I’ll get around to them when City of the Dead releases next year, as they loom larger in that book.
As I said, tomorrow we’ll begin a two-day look at the mythology of the series, finishing up launch week on Friday with a discussion of music and chapter titles (it’s relevant, trust me).