October 27th, 2015. The official release date of Conspiracy of Angels.
Many of you know me for my non-fiction. The Psychic Vampire Codex, The Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide, The Dictionary of Demons — those are some of the most popular titles. Between publications with Llewellyn, Weiser, Dark Moon, and my own imprints, there are over two dozen books in print since my formal start in 2004.
Not bad for someone whose real beginnings as a published writer started deep in the wilds of the underground press, with a poetry award or three in the mix. Back then I was too wild, too hungry, and too certain that any rejection letter heralded abject failure. I tried to publish fiction. I couldn’t hack it.
A word from the older and wiser: rejection letters are part of the business, like that writer’s callous we used to build up back when everything started out with pen and paper (I still have traces of mine). Glean what you can from the rejections that hold gems of constructive criticism. Toss the rest of them in the trash.
Twenty years later, I learned that I could want something enough to put up with the rejection. I could love a series and its characters so much that they could carry me through the discouragement and the frustration until we broke through.
Having supportive friends who know the business, as well as an experienced agent certainly didn’t hurt.
So here we are, a month off from October. A month away from the world’s first journey into the Shadowside.
Conspiracy of Angels is not the novel I expected to write. The language is sharper, punchier than anything I’ve written before. The pace is lightning-quick — a stark contrast to the slow, ornate prose I loved crafting when I was in my twenties and certain that all good things dripped with velvet and lace. Conspiracy of Angels hearkens more to Raymond Chandler than Anne Rice, and I love it because of that. The Shadowside is a world that has surprised me, enthralled me, and won’t get out of my head.
The characters are chatty as hell. Dour Zack, so certain he’s the hero in this and all his stories, fierce Lil, whose looks are but one weapon in an already deadly arsenal, loyal Remy, whose devotion to his extended family twists him into impossible positions.
And that’s to say nothing of scheming Saliriel, best described as Machiavelli in garters.
Over the next few months, I’m going to be talking a lot about these and other denizens of the Shadowside. I hope you don’t get sick of it (I know I won’t). I’ve been playing in the world of this fiction series since the opening scenes of the first draft came spilling into a notebook one night in 2008 — Zack on a motorcycle, speeding into the city … toward answers and inevitable confrontations. Remy and Sal were already there, as was the ominous, gnawing darkness seeking to tear their world apart.
In the next few weeks, as we rocket toward that launch date, I shall endeavor to share my passion, my insight, and my excitement for these characters, their world, and the books. I don’t merely want to hawk my wares — although that’s certainly part of my job as an author — I want you to understand why this series is so important to me and why I hope, as a writer, I can pour my words into the Shadowside for years to come.