I was asked to do this blog post by my friend Chanté McCoy. She and I have appeared in the Crimson Pact anthologies together, and she’s a great writer. Not only that, but she will not tolerate moping, being a wallflower, or otherwise failing to have fun. She has, upon occasion, been known to make me go dancing, drink alcohol, and watch scary movies. For those things, I am thankful and honored.
So, on to business. My version of “The Next Big Thing.”
Right now, I’m working on the sequel story to “The Failed Crusade” which launched the Crimson Pact anthologies and served as the origin story for some concepts that have been the bedrock of that series. When Paul Genesse and Barbara Webb first started talking about The Crimson Pact idea, my brain just started sizzling. I loved it. I didn’t know what it would be, but I wanted in. Big time. Paul and I brainstormed the story, and I started banging on the keyboard with abandon. The story came together. Barbara and Paul helped make it cooler. In the end, it became the seed of something that’s kept us going for quite a while.
As I hope this story will serve as a capstone to the whole series, there’s, ahem, a little pressure to make it awesome.
Working Title of your Book (Okay, Story):
Bearers of the Testament
Where did you get the idea?
Well, working in a library for almost ten years may have had something to do with it. The idea that there was some great power in books kept coming back to me. It could be the author thing...
Anyway, I got this voice in my head, talking about how the power in a book wasn’t in the words or the meaning, but in the way it affected people, the lives it changed. I went with that, and ended up with this story. I also wanted to write a story wherein the fate of the characters from The Failed Crusade would be shared. Finally, the image of a blasted plain covered in ash, with little cyclones rising, ash devils, if you will, kept coming to my mind. Those things pushed together and got me into the story.
Actors to play the parts:
Yeah, I never do that. Brain doesn't work that way with my own stories.
Give a One Sentence Synopsis of Your Story:
A ragged group of pilgrims take the last remaining copy of their holy book deep into demon territory, hoping that they can summon their deities and turn the tide before all is lost.
Self-Publishing route, or Agency:
If it turns out well enough, you’ll see it in Crimson Pact v.5, so...
What would you compare it to?
Ohh...I’m bad at these, too. It’s sort of biblical, I suppose. There’s certainly the classic “take the magic thing to the special place” plot going on there. I think a lot about Dennis McKiernan’s books, like Dragondoom, and how to do that on a much more limited scale, while I’m writing this one. Finally, I take a little page from the modern Battlestar Galactica show, in that I try to always have the worst possible thing happen during the try/fail cycles. That’s a convoluted and half-assed answer, but that’s all I’ve got.
If you haven’t read any of the Crimson Pact stuff, there is a place HERE that you can check out The Failed Crusade for free. If you like it, there are a few books that happen to have stuff like that inside. Those are available HERE and HERE, if you’re interested. I have stories in all of them, and a novella in the 4th one. Be on the lookout for Crimson Pact 5 this Spring.