A huge thank you to All the Fun Starts after Dark for having me here today!
I’m here today to promote Shadow Man, the second book in my paranormal
action adventure Lash series…though I hope you won’t mind if I mention a couple
others in my blogpost…
OUT OF THE SHADOWS
I am frequently asked where my ideas come from. Out of the shadows of my
imagination is the answer.
Authors often tell about how dreams inspire them, and I’m no exception.
Anyone following my blogging has probably heard in many interviews about how my
nightmares inspire short stories. However, my dreams are only one source of my
There’s a line in an old song about being able to feel the sun in the middle
of the pouring rain. I’m the opposite; I tend to see shadows in the midst of a
sunny day. I’d like to claim it as a talent, but it’s nothing I developed in any
creative writing class. It’s also not pessimism raising its downtrodden head, as
I tend to be optimistic as a rule. It’s simply a fact that I can be in the most
peaceful, happy situation, and an idea suddenly will wind its way into my
thoughts about the situation…and how easily it could turn into fear, mayhem, and
horror. The scene also doesn’t have to be one that I experienced firsthand. My
imaginary worlds are just as susceptible to a sudden onset of darkness and the
relentless evil that swims in that inky blackness.
Finally, consider Shadow Man, the second Lash novel. So much of that book’s
events are taking a momentarily safe situation or setting, and turning it inside
out. Take for example the weresnake Lash’s quest to subdue the vampire Eli and
his followers. It’s a hard fought road that appeared to be close to suicidal,
but Lash prevails. At that point in the tale, Lash is golden: he’s rich with the
fee he was paid to put down the vampires; he’s found a new friend, Burl; he’s
ingratiated himself to the most powerful vampire in the country; and he’s about
to marry a woman who loves him. Then Lash’s world crashes and burns. A trusted
friend tries to kill him, he’s badly injured and declared dead in the mix up,
and the woman he’s set to marry breaks up with him and leaves the country. And
more than one safe setting turns out to be not-so-safe, like the burnt out
school where Eli and his vampires make their final stand. It is based on a real
school that I happened to walk by one summer morning on my way back from a craft
fair. The school was in a suburban neighborhood on a beautiful sunny day, but I
took in the crumbling bricks, the broken windows, and that was it—I imagined
that Eli and his vampires lurked inside, and that Lash would end them there in a
bloody battle without mercy. I was scribbling notes all the way home at
stoplights, and later that night, the rough draft of the scene was done.
A renegade vampire begins amassing a flock of true believers, threatening
America’s vampire hierarchy. Weresnake Lash partners with old enemy Danial and
new allies Burl and Spiderboy to track down and annihilate them. Betrayed and
left for dead, Lash reemerges the victor, edging ever upward in the Assassin’s
Ranking, and catching the eye of the sultry nightclub singer Cassandra Nile.
Drawn into drugs by Cassie, Lash begins to doubt himself, yearning to leave his
life of violence, even as enemies close in from every side.
Excerpt from Shadow Man:
“What’s that smoke?” Spiderboy asked, changing back as he pulled on his
clothes as fast as he could. “Something’s burning, and it’s huge!”
My gut clenched like a fist, and I hit the accelerator, swearing to myself.
I drove up to the small town outside Lafayette at dusk. It was smoking, and
the grocery store and the diner were partly burned. There was no one in their
homes, and no pets to be seen. The old man I’d spoken to years ago was gone, his
house empty, the lights on. But something made me curious. By the breakfast
plates set out in the kitchen, it was clear that he’d been fixing breakfast this
very morning. So how had the vampires come for him in daylight?
We checked the other houses, our guns out and ready. Everyone was gone,
though some, by the blood and mess left in the houses, had not gone willingly.
By the time we were done, it was full dark.
When we went to the church, we found that it was burned too, to the ground.
Standing in the still-smoldering ashes was a three-foot-tall pole, the top
covered with a black bag. Spiderboy’s eyes were very wide as he stood, staring,
but I just walked up to the pole, and gently took the bag off. As soon as I did,
Spiderboy threw up behind me, making mewling sounds.
Stuck on the end of the pole was Jeanna’s head, her mouth lolling open to
reveal a tongue that had been split by a knife so it was forked. Her fangs had
been pulled out, and her eyes burnt to cinders. The word ‘traitor’ had been
deeply burned into the flesh of her forehead.
I stood for a moment, considering the message. The forked tongue meant Eli
knew I was spying on him, or that I’d been working with her. The brand of
‘traitor’ and the pulled fangs meant he knew it was Jacob behind this, that
Jeanna hadn’t been working just with me. She’d been covered to ensure that the
sun wouldn’t be able to erase what she’d suffered before I got a chance to see
I didn’t know who’d killed her or tortured her, but someone had come for the
humans here in the day, to take them. And there was only one group I knew of
that worked for Eli who could walk in daylight: the members of the werecreature
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For info on my recently published series books Lash: Shadow Man click
here for print and Kindle versions: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Man-Lash-ebook/dp/B009UHDZHY
And here for PDF: http://shop.bradleypublishings.com/Shadow-Man-LASH-2-9781938076251.htm