Monday, August 17, 2020

New Release, Supernatural Streets anthology

Last year, Amie Gibbons of the Psychic series put out a call for urban fantasy detective fiction for a new anthology series: Supernatural Streets.

My first thought was "Oh, why not?"

After all, at the time, I had been writing my Saint Tommy, NYPD series for 40 hours a week for months. It was a world filled with detective stories and fantasy in the big city. What else would I write for this? I knew the world inside and out. At the time, book three, Infernal Affairs had come out, and #4, City of Shadows was about to come out, and I may not have even started on Crusader.

So I had a day or two to kill to work on this one

Before you ask, yes, that is how long it takes for me to pound out a short story.

But I knew I wanted to do something with witches. After all, Alyssa Milano wouldn't shut up at the time, and you had covens putting curses on President Trump (Yes, really), John C Wright had noted they were on the rise, my research told me they were getting big in Europe. It was clearly in the Zeitgeist, even before people on Twitter decided that witch hunts were cool.

Besides, I hadn't used witches yet. I had meant to in book 3... then book 4... then later, book 7 (hint, it's called Coven). But I never quite got there.

So, I knew the short story would have witches.

I also knew it would have one other element. And it wouldn't be Saint Tommy, NYPD.

See, there was a problem. Given what I was writing at the time, I didn't have a lot of places to put Tommy. Yes, there is Lupus Dei, but I hadn't considered that idea then (and it was less detective fiction and more The Most Dangerous Game with magic). There was very little room in the timeline to use my main character for a short story between books 3 and 4. In my novels, I had explicitly mentioned that nothing supernatural had hit Tommy Nolan between books one and three.

However, while Tommy Nolan is a wonder worker, and fights the forces of darkness in every book, he's also a cop. And cops all have one standard issue piece of equipment. 

He has a partner. 

Enter Alexander Packard, the new POV character. Unlike his partner, Packard has no charisms, no superpowers except sarcasm, but I was still going to send up up against the forces of darkness.

The story was originally entitled Dark Web, and it would open with "My name is Alex Packard, and I am nowhere near a saint--unless my partner is in the car."

It was all downhill from there. 

Set between Infernal Affairs and City of Shadows, the premise is simple--Tommy has a price on his head on the dark web. When the person who put out the bounty is killed, there's no way to tell everyone that the price is off. Time for him and his family to be ... away. Far away.

This leaves Tommy's house empty, except for his partner. After a few months of this, finding a body on the front lawn is no longer a big deal. But this one is special -- it's in pieces, and it looks like it has nothing to do with Tommy Nolan.

Then we're off to the races. From there it was easy. The fun part was giving Packard a small team to work with, and fighting the forces of darkness with only his wits, and his new fondness for chemistry. And one or two magic tricks up his sleeve.

One or two rewrites later, the narration changed a little changed, and became "They burn witches, don't they?"

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