Monday, December 3, 2018

Writing Death Cult

Death Cult is coming out in about a week.

I should probably mention it a little bit.

Obviously, as a sequel to Hell Spawn, my publisher wanted me to speed things up a little. We didn't need five pages of introduction. After all, on the one hand, Hell Spawn only came out a month ago, no one is going to forget my characters.  And on the other hand, anyone who's a little late to the party will buy book one, read it, and buy book 2.

Trust me, they're gonna buy book 2. Because Hell Spawn was awesome.

But I had to up the ante, and I had to rewrite part of the end to Hell Spawn so I could best segue into it. This is a rewrite I don't even think that Russell and Jagi know about, because I had Death Cult coming to me as I wrapped up the bit with the demon.

Because there's two ways demons go trolling around the world.

One: someone is open to it by being open to it. When your brain becomes an open house, you never know what will wander in. The original case upon which the Exorcist was based had someone playing with oujia boards and such. Leading to my line in Demons are Forever: you don't play with demonic crap, demonic crap does not play with you.

Two: summon demon. Hilarity ensues.

While the killer in Hell Spawn is certainly the type for #1, it had been suggested by my wife that book #2 should have a cult involved.

Well now, wouldn't it just be easy to tie the two together?

Which led to book 3 being tied in with all of them, based off of a suggestion by another friend.  I didn't quite mean to make it a series where everything was tied together, but it happened.

And, frankly, it's awesome.

Yes, I will grant you, Death Cult, like Hell Spawn, were not much in the way of a mystery. They were horror novels with a police procedural thrown in. And I made certain to have a lot of dead ends, but even the dead ends fit together at the end of the day. If not in Hell Spawn  or Death Cult, then in Infernal Affairs.

Shadows of London (TBD... or renamed) is book four, and that's a completely different story.

But still, this wasn't much in a way of a mystery, but I have been reliably informed by my editor (and later, early readers from the kickstarter) that not only are these things awesome and bad ass, but also "creepy as f**k."

So, yeah, I was happy with this one.

One of the major problems was developing a villain after the demon of Hell Spawn. How do you top a demon-driven serial killer? Any villain we get is going to be fairly limp in comparison...

That's an easy step one: make it more than one villain. Make it a group.

.... No, that's not a spoiler, just look at the title.

Ooooh, how about we make it people who raised the demon? Wouldn't that be fun? (No, that's not a spoiler, it has no impact on Hell Spawn, and if you've read it already, you know it happened)

Of course, there are plenty of suspects already before the book even begins. Hell Spawn saw our hero piss off many many people. He wasn't even trying. He was just doing his job. And when Tommy Nolan says he does his job without fear or favor, he means that he doesn't fear anybody, and if he knows you're guilty, he's not doing you a favor.

This will lead to pissing off plenty of people if you get too close to the entitled elite. And this is New York City, anyone who makes more than seven figures probably feels entitled. Probably comes from paying so much in taxes (or paying the accountants to hide the cash).  Either way, there are plenty of people who want Nolan's guts for garters.

It's strange making a character who's hated because he's good, and not because he's a weapon of mass destruction....Though frankly I think my biggest accomplishment was getting Nolan to be a good man without being obnoxious. Or worse, too "Hallmark special."

I think I pulled it off. So far, the reviews on Hell Spawn agree with me.

Anyway, Death Cult is coming. Pre-order you copy now.  And if you haven't read Hell Spawn yet, I think this is one hype train you'll want to join early, because this series isn't going to slow down anytime soon.

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