Frequently Asked Questions
Which comes first, the story or the characters?
In WtB, Senias came before his story. He was meant for a Roleplaying Game. But he and Gabriel have full lives and family and friends that were created as their story was told. I’m working on a YA Fantasy in which the story came first and then the characters. I’m also building a story around another character that will be another urban fantasy (possibly YA). So yeah, for me, it can be either.
What inspired you to write (or how did you start writing)?
As a kid I loved making up stories to allow me to lose myself – stories a lot of other people weren’t writing for me. Also, I wrote so that I could deal with what I saw and felt, and heard around me. These were sometimes things other people didn’t or wouldn’t acknowledge.
Do you outline?
Depends on what I’m writing. For articles, yes. For other stories where in I have an idea and am not writing spontaneously, yes. For Walking the Blade Series or for any collaborative writing exercises or hobby boards, I do not. Instead, I let the characters and the other writers lead the way on those particular pieces.
Walking the Blade
What are the locations of interest the story takes place in?
The fictional locations are based on real locations, however for this question, I’ll limit it to the fictional world. One important place revisited many times is the Kennedy Estate. It is the household of Gabriel Kennedy and is set in the rolling hills the lead to the lower mountains. The Weylyn Pack has been given rights to much of the land there for their own village. The house is a huge colonial plantation style home. Beneath it is the old dragon lair. Another place is the victorian style home within the city called The Sanctuary, Jean-Michel’s home. It’s a two story standard of style with a hidden lair beneath it. The Council Chambers play a huge role as a setting. It’s set within a large red-brick building and is well appointed, much like any council chamber in government or even a courtroom. The building holds the chamber, but also holds offices and a huge library and an underground connection to the close-by portal that allows travel between worlds. The University of Whitley is based on the campus at UNC Chapel Hill, NC. It is where a lot of the Crimson agents have their alias jobs.
Who are the Taskers and what do they do?
Taskers are the higher league of Crimson Agents that are allowed to make on-site decisions, including the call to kill. They are the special-forces, the secret agents among the Crimson law enforcement agency. Each Councilor is assigned a Tasker by the Director of Crimson to handle their needs. Sometimes Taskers become liaisons for their assigned Councilor. Their focus, however, should always be the protection of the Councilor they are assigned to.
Where do your protagonists rank in the Crimson Organization?
Gabriel is a human Councilor – in other words, he represents humanity in the North American Crimson Council. As a Councilor, he makes sure his people are represented well in business and rule making within the Council. This is much like the congressional or parliamentary branch of a government. Crimson differs in that the Councilor also holds prosecutorial, defense, and judicial powers in each case brought before them – called “judgements”. Senias (Jean-Michel Raudine) is a Tasker who is assigned to Gabriel Kennedy (or to other Councilors as the case may be for a particular storyline). The duties of a Tasker are outlined above. However, Jean-Michel tends toward the wilder side of such duties and has other responsibilities thrust upon him, as anyone would see when they read the first book.
Are there any antagonistic organizations of note?
There is antagonism between factions many times. There are those who do not abide by the law of Crimson: mages that use dark magical energy, covens that escape the laws by covering up their secrets well enough, an entire underworld of illegal trade that happens between worlds, Hunters that have abilities and enhancements passed down by generations that do not believe supernaturals should exist in this less magical world at all – so even though Crimson does not have a specific antagonistic organization to deal with up front, these things are in the world. Among these is a group known as The Tal’Secus – they are much like the illuminati, supposedly a group made up of various powerful people who seek to control what happens even within Crimson so that they can gain power. Among various dragon clans and covens are a respectable amount of antagonists. We’ve not introduced a lot of these players.
Are there any special names or titles given to the dragons and werewolves in the story… A nickname or identifier that people reading may not know.
I went with familiar terms – lycan (a known term for a morphing creature) because not all lycan are of the lupus variety and dragon. Adjectives sometimes used are “draconic” and should not be confused with the Webster’s version. There are cultural titles that will become important within the story, also race-specific communication and gestures. For instance, a dragon nuzzles the one he cares for, face to face and purrs when he is content – even if his form is human. He makes physical stance part of his unspoken communication. A lycan will “rumble” – a growling sound made deep in the chest – and hold the one they care about close. However, some growls and rumbles have a very different meaning to those who grew up in the culture. Dragons and lycan both like feeding their mates. There are nuances to every culture.
What genre would you classify this story to be in?
This is absolutely Urban Fantasy. However, within it, you find multiple levels of romance and relationship (gay, polyamorous, hetero, monogamous, BDSM, etc…) and we even have some scenes that could be considered erotica. When you look up Laurel K. Hamilton, you find that the book series that is most like this is listed as Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Horror Fantasy, Erotica, and Romance. I would think our Walking the Blade fits somewhere with her books about Anita Blake and the Sookie novels of Charlaine Harris.
Who should read your books?
People who like the above mentioned genres. People who want to see romance portrayed for people other than the normal male + female = monogamous dynamic. Those relationships are in here, too, but they are not the example. People who like to see what life might be like in our world for creatures made for another world.
How can I read the first half of this series?
The first portion of the series will be published and will be available for purchase. We are actually also working on prequel stories to share. As we wrote about our characters, we began wondering why they reacted and acted as they did and so we then went backward into their history to further develop them. We will likely share those tales and publish the “current timeline” of stories very soon.