My novel is nearly here. Just a bit over a week and, on August 4th, the first chapter/episode will be launched on the Big World Network.
Until then, I’ll be procrastinating with you and sharing little tidbits. Let’s see… where to start, what to say…
About 9 years ago I realized being a writer was an option.
Picture it: somewhere in Transylvania, there is a village. It has a castle (a very tiny castle) and the castle has a domain. It isn’t much of a domain, but there’s a forest that’s been tamed into a park (or a park that went wild and became a forest). And there’s a lake. It’s a small lake, but everything else is tiny, so why not. And on the lake, there is a very small island. And on the island there’s a table with two benches, all covered by a roof. They’re painted in yellow. Around the table there’s around 10 people. They’re writers.
Wellll, the ‘writers’ claim is dubious. I think one or two actually wrote on a regular basis. I certainly did not. But for all intents and purposes, on that occasion they were writers. Because it was a writing workshop and the people who attend those and scribble are writers, no?
So the workshop coordinator asked me: “What sort of stories do you want to write?”
I said, “Children’s books.”
Give me some slack. I was 16. No, I didn’t want to write for a younger audience. I just wasn’t aware that ‘fantasy’ was its own genre. I knew, what?… The Chronicles of Narnia, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland. I wasn’t aware you could write this sort of stuff for, you know, adults. For all of its reputation with vampires and werewolves, Transylvania wasn’t really brimming over with knowledge of this sort of literature. (and I don’t remember if I had even heard of the mysterious ‘anime’ and ‘manga’)
Fast-forward nine years. I’m still writing what I thought back then that I’d be writing, except now I know what it’s called. It’s called fantasy. Except, when I wasn’t paying attention, they went ahead and made up this new category they called ‘supernatural’, so yeah…
Flight from Hell is (apparently) a supernatural story. It’s got an angel. It’s got devils. It’s got Hell and a werewolf and incubi and succubi. And that little ’18’ in the corner stands for ‘You have to be 18 to read this’. So much for children’s books.
The main characters are Nakir (an angel I stole from the Muslim tradition) and Sara (woman of infamous kick-ass-ery). At the beginning of episode 1 they’re standing in the Hell of succubi and incubi, led by the devil Ashmedai. Nakir, the angel questioning the faith of the dead in their graves, questioned his own role and the justice of God. He never found his way back up to Heaven. And Sara… she tried to bring someone back from the dead. Needless to say, she failed and suffered the consequences.
I enjoy writing every second of it, from the action scenes to the disturbing imagery. But I won’t spoil that.
Just a teaser of what the novel feels like. If both Nakir and Sara had songs that represented them, they’d be something like this:
Sara’s would be “Our Solemn Hour” by Within Temptation:
Because she thinks of herself as larger than life, strong, exploding with energy and fighting spirit. And there must be a woman doing amazing things with her voice in there. She has something about her that’s questioning, confrontational, rebelling – and screaming in Latin and English while comparing herself with Winston Churchill in stressful situations is not entirely out of the question. Definitely prone to thinking of herself in mythic terms.
Lyrics best fitting her:
Is the heart of stone, no empathy inside?
If we can’t restrain the beast which dwells inside
it will find it’s way somehow, somewhere in time
Will we remember all of the suffering
Cause if we fail it will be in vain
On the other hand, Nakir:
Entirely different sort of beast. Mellow, confused, tired, wary. Uncertain of anything, not much into struggling with fate. Asking himself questions, but finding no answers. And if he dies, well, he’s going to die wishing he didn’t die. He likes thinking the universe has some sort of harmony and order – even if he resents being kicked out of that order.
He carries burdens and fears – and the deep, deep thought that he deserves it all. Even if he doesn’t want it. Closer to resignation than desire to escape.
Lyrics for him:
Been a long road to follow,
Been there and gone tomorrow,
Is somebody there beyond these heavy aching feet?
Still the road keeps on telling me to go on…
Something is pulling me
I feel the gravity of it all
Both neat songs, but they don’t fit. And that’s why this story might be supernatural, and apparently it’s horror, but nobody ever suggested it should also be romance.