Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Allan Kemp's "Bitter Pill" in Supernatural Streets

Today, I'm giving my blog over to Allan Kemp, so he can discuss his short story, Bitter Pill, in the new anthology, Supernatural Streets.

So, over to Allan.

Bitter Pill

In my urban fantasy novels, The Black Phoenix and Hagar’s Tears, I created a world in which the supernaturals had conquered and enslaved humans. At the end of Hagar’s Tears, the main character, Mutt Davidson, opens a nightclub called The Black Phoenix. Though Mutt is both a wizard and a werewolf, he didn’t take part in the supernatural invasion because he felt it was a cruel solution to their problems. His nightclub is neutral ground where supernaturals and humans are treated equally.

I’m a fan of Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s series and thought it would be fun to write a series of short stories that feature characters who visit The Black Phoenix. The Bitter Pill was the first of three Tales of the Black Phoenix. The other two are Panty Man and Loopy in Love.

Once I was in a kosher grocery when a girl around eight-years-old said, “You’re such a pill!” She was talking to her brother who was around five-years-old. I’ve never used the slang term myself, even when it was appropriate, but by having Mutt say it gave me an opening into where the story would go.

The slang phrase preacher creature was the inspiration for Bishop Willie Walker Jr. the vampire preacher. Researching sermons to come up with Walker’s sermons was some of the most enjoyable research I’ve ever done.

Chad Blyth was a satire of all the rich loafer boys who think they rule the world. I worked with a guy like Chad. He wore pressed khakis that he was constantly hitching up so that’s why Chad does the same thing. Having Chad get what was coming to him was my way of getting revenge on that guy I worked with. He was such a pill.

I wanted the story to have an ending that was truly horrifying, something I hadn’t done before. Though my Black Phoenix novels are urban fantasy, they contain more mystery and adventure than horror. Here was an opportunity to explore elements that were dark and disturbing.

And that is basically where The Bitter Pill came from.

Buy Supernatural Streets here.

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