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Zack’s sibling Terael is one of the most challenging characters to write — especially when it comes to his dialogue. It often takes me several tries to capture the proper feel of his unique tone.

Here are some of Zack’s thoughts on the Rephaim culled from our protagonist’s unpublished journals. Meet Zack, Terael, and the rest of the gang in Conspiracy of Angels, the first of the novels of the Shadowside.


Terael’s sense of apology crawled unctuously on the wrong side of my skin, and I could feel the air around me tighten as he hesitated to give voice to further comment. My brother, the disembodied genius loci of the museum, “lived” inside a statue housed in CMA’s Near Eastern Collection, but his awareness extended throughout the halls and galleries of the entire building. I was one of the rare few of our siblings he tolerated within the walls of what he thought of as his temple, and while I found him often strange and sometimes vexing, I’d grown to think of him as both an ally and a friend.

We held regular conversations in my secluded office – though I’d asked him to go easy on communications when I was around anyone else. His “voice” – more an oppressively loud thunder of sing-song rhythms in my head – was really fucking distracting, and when he chatted with me, I found it difficult to focus on anything else.

My co-workers thought I was weird enough already.