3/26/15

New Cover Reveal for Demonslayer Book 1

As my Facebook and newsletter fans already know, I've started teaming up with Deranged Doctor Design to put professional covers on my books.  I've had 2 redone so far, and I'm ecstatic to reveal the new cover for Demonslayer's first (free!) installment, Every Hero Has Demons!

They're an awesome, talented team to work with.  I look forward to putting out better quality books than ever before.  The cover for the next Demonslayer installment is in the works, and that ebook should be available by the end of April.

Demonslayer's problems start here, but they don't end here!

3/19/15

Inside Demonslayer: Talisman, Real Name Unknown

There are a lot of unknowns about Talisman. The questions start when Joshua and Lana first meet him and Harbinger.


¿Qué quieren ustedes?” Harbinger muttered, her irritation clear in any language.
The young man stepped up to her side. “What do you want?” he asked in a much more easygoing tone.
“What are you, her translator?” Demonslayer asked him.


And nobody really gets a clear answer to that. Are Harbinger and Talisman friends? Distant relatives? Coworkers? Just causing havoc together?

Chris Colfer could play the perfect Talisman. (Photo courtesy of Twitter.)


Which raises another question. Is Talisman even causing any problems, or does he just accompany Harbinger while she creates chaos?

Talisman has literally 2 lines in Demonslayer serial #1, Every Hero Has Demons. He translates for Harbinger, and later, he introduces himself.

But his presence and his passiveness haunt Joshua and Lana as much as Harbinger’s rage does. Why doesn’t he speak up more? Why doesn’t he use his power more?

Talisman’s power seems to hold the most untapped potential out of the four of them. Like a much-needed good-vibes charm, Talisman can spread empathy by transferring one person’s feelings into somebody else. He could use his gift to make an abuser feel what they inflict on their victims, but why isn’t he?

And is he too young to find himself caught in the middle of all this violence and confusion?

Talisman’s a gentle soul for sure. What sides of his personality hide in him is another question only time can answer.

If you still need to check out serial #1, visit the Demonslayer page and grab it for FREE where you most like to download books. Already acquainted with the series? Do you think Talisman will turn out to be a villain or a hero?

3/15/15

Inside Demonslayer: Harbinger, Real Name Unknown


Just as every good story has its heroes, it has its villains.

Harbinger invokes trouble and violence even before Joshua and Lana meet her. For all the concern they show for the people injured and the bystanders nearby, Harbinger holds only disdain.

Lana asks, “What did they do to deserve this?”
Harbinger spares a glance at the chaotic scene. “Most people are assholes. I’m sure they did something.”

Angélica Celaya would play the perfect Harbinger. (Photo courtesy of NBC.)
 
At the end of Every Hero Has Demons, Harbinger remains shadowed in mystery. She doesn’t give her real name. Joshua and Lana walk away knowing very little about her. She’s a willful woman of Latin-American descent standing tall in black boots and creating more smoke from her cigarette than the fires of Hell.

What Joshua and Lana do know about Harbinger gives them a lot to think - and worry - about.

Harbinger’s power, whatever it actually is, lets her know when someone is committing acts she doesn’t approve of. Unlike Joshua (who would uncover the problem’s source) and Lana (who would protect and comfort the victims), Harbinger doesn’t believe in “touchy-feely bullshit.” She reacts in vengeance, swift and sure.

What this means for Joshua, Lana, and the unsuspecting citizens of Ashton, they can only guess.

As a writer, crafting Harbinger’s character has taken me on some unexpected journeys. In one sense, it’s a dream come true. I’ve wanted to write a bilingual character since I started learning Spanish in 6th grade. (My first such character was soft-spoken, caring Maria, one of a group of young people living on the streets. It was a project I started in my mid-teens, never finished, and will probably never release.)

Harbinger is the exact opposite of Maria, outspoken and commanding, but she still gives me the chance to express my love of the language. Her Spanglish grants Demonslayer a flavor it wouldn’t have otherwise, and it gives her character added depth. It lets me play with the idea of what it means to communicate. Speaking Spanish lets her say what she wants without it always being clear to others.

In a bigger way, I’m grateful for Harbinger’s feisty personality. When I started fleshing her out about 8 years ago, she was only meant to be a villain. She was pretty two-dimensional. But as I worked on her character, dug into her background, and expanded the story beyond issue #1’s borders, Harbinger took on the fullness of life that her attitude always demanded.

My advice with Harbinger? Sit back and enjoy the ride. She’s a rebel with a cool eye and a hot temper. With Joshua already keeping a few secrets from Lana, a woman like Harbinger can only stir the pot.

If you still need to check out serial #1, visit the Demonslayer page and grab it for FREE where you most like to download books. Already acquainted with the series? What do you think Harbinger's next move will be?

3/6/15

Inside Demonslayer: Lana Bendix, AKA Guardian


One moment in Demonslayer serial #1 sums up the way Lana Bendix approaches the world. After joking with her boyfriend about his funky, colorful ties, she turns a little serious.

Lana straightened his tie for him, left crooked by running his hand over it. “It’s refreshing when people are themselves.”
“Really?” Sam asked with a humored breath.
Lana plunged into the depths of his eyes. “You should always be yourself, Sam. It’s important to bring your truest self into the world. Nobody else can do that.”

Lana, AKA Guardian, is many things within Every Hero Has Demons. She’s kind, understanding, and patient. She also shows strength in the face of adversity, sets clear boundaries, and isn’t always shy about grabbing what she wants.

Janel Parrish would make a great Lana. (Image from IMDB.)

Like Joshua, she uses her power to help people. But she’s his opposite in many ways. She retains hope for humanity. She’s shared the truth about her special ability with a few people, so she doesn’t struggle quite as much with having it. She’s usually in a good mood, trying to move beyond her past pains, and lifting others up with her.

Do you remember the movie The Family Man from 2000? In one of the commentaries, someone said his job was to make the wife/love interest (played by the lovely, spirited Tea Leoni) into the romantic ideal. She had to appeal to everybody – beautiful, spontaneous, and loving. I think that describes Lana. Her positive attitude and genuineness attract friends and potential boyfriends alike.

Lana represents the best of what people can be. She’s resilient without being bitter – hopeful without being naïve. Life throws her curveballs, but she chooses not to withdraw. At the same time, she has her ups and downs. She’s a good person, but we can identify with her.

Lana’s ability works on a different level than Joshua’s. Instead of forming a mind-to-mind connection, Lana relaxes into her Guardian persona to protect people. She imagines a white light surrounding and shielding her subject. It soothes and empowers as well as providing physical protection. She can use it on herself, someone else, or several people at once. Every Hero Has Demons even shows how she can use her ability with Joshua’s to make a greater impact.

Protection makes an interesting ability because it’s something we worry about all the time. It’s the reason we lock doors, carry pepper spray, buy insurance, and shy away from risky ventures. We want to protect ourselves, our investments, and the people we love.

Lana’s power taps into the most basic areas of feeling protected: physical and emotional. It’s easy to see why she feels guilty for taking time off from using it. Crimes abound in real life and in the Demonslayer city of Ashton. For someone like Lana who appreciates safety and security, she wants to spread those feelings around as much as she can.

In a broader sense, Lana becomes a symbol of what Joshua used to be. She shows him a future where he can be like her again. And of course, there’s the pesky business of whether or not they like each other, and where that might lead.

If you still need to check out serial #1, visit the Demonslayer page and grab it for FREE where you most like to download books. Already acquainted with the series? How would you use Lana's power if you had it?