I love the urban fantasy genre. Always have. Always will. It's where my head lives and dreams; that wonderful place where fact meets fiction, then injects the supernatural. And it’s where my writing career started, spinning tales of other worldly characters masquerading as humans in a small seacoast town in New Hampshire. The success of that series, Caged, afforded me more time to write and wonder about all the other things that could occur in that world I had created. Darker things. Grittier things. Things that caused me to lose sleep on more than one occasion.
And that is how my latest novel Unborn came to be. The new story quickly evolved into the seedy cousin of Caged, with the two series connected by a group of half-brother immortals found in both storylines. The Patronus Ceteri were born and bred for the sole purpose of maintaining the balance between the human world and the not-so-human one. That task proves especially difficult in the sinister city of Detroit, which is plagued by a particular brand of supernatural known for its ability to infest and destroy all it comes into contact with.
Complicating their job even further is the appearance of a raven-haired enigma from the Underworld named Khara.
Not your typical leading lady, Khara brings an unusual voice to the urban fantasy world. Where most first-person protagonists are either sarcastic and sassy or too badass for their own good, she has a dark ambivalence that is easily understood once her back-story comes to light. How sassy can someone be when they've been raised in the depravity of the Underworld? Her brutal honesty, literal assessments, and naïve ways create a curious blend of ancient immortal and coming-of-age female.
Khara’s voice has been a real challenge for me. I'm far from formal and suffer from an unhealthy dose of sarcasm and sass myself, which is probably why I have an easier time writing the protagonist of Caged. But the challenge of translating Khara's thoughts to page has been far more entertaining than I ever thought it could be. She's funny in an unfunny, straight-shooting way. I have totally laughed out loud during some of the most serious scenes in the book because her take on events comes out so deadpan yet accurate that I just can't contain it. It's especially comical when she takes the hardened warriors of the PC by surprise, which is no easy task, I can assure you.
And they aren't the only ones affected by Khara’s atypical attitude. Oz, the disgruntled fallen angel who resides with the brothers of the PC, has hard edges and bad boy tendencies that typically make women flock to him. His confidence is not unwarranted, but Khara sees through his antics and proves to be the challenge he's never encountered. The fact that she finds him utterly repellent only fuels his behaviors further. Their banter is poignant and comedic, aggressive and, at times, surprisingly tender. He picks at her controlled exterior while she strips away his hubris, creating an adversarial yet strangely romantic tension. And, although the sequel, Unseen, is already complete, I'm not one hundred percent sure myself where their story will go over the course of the series. But I do know the Unborn series promises to be a wild ride of suspense, mystery, deceit, and discovery. My favorite kind of story.