Posted by Literary Titan
Demon of the Black Gate follows a young girl who is destined to confront a terrifying demon that’s been released. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
The original idea was writing a story from a demon’s point of view, which had fascinated me for a long time. I found myself wondering what Balrog’s story was when I first read the Lord of the Rings fifty years ago and I’m sure that provided a lot of the motivation. The Demon of the Black Gate was initially going to be about the demon, but the character of Cerra hijacked the tale very early on and it became her adventure. Nonetheless, the Demon remains a central and vital component.
As I had fashioned the demon from the elements, it occurred to me that I should fashion the counterpart as a product of the senses. We have extraordinary sensory capabilities that we rarely use to their full potential. I thought that someone who was blind would take the remaining senses more to heart than a normally sighted person. The nature of the simple, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ subplot was the next concession and the character of Cerra, was born.
Depriving my main character of sight was a far harder exercise than I’d anticipated. However, it did what I wanted it to do, focus on the other immediate senses of touch, hearing, and scent. Perception is an amalgam of the available senses, what we do with the sum of the parts, and I tried to take the reader into that realm. Perception became Cerra’s ‘superpower’, the counterbalance to the dynamic fury of the demon.
Cerra begins as seemingly harmless but grows to become a force to be reckoned with. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?
At the very first, I placed her with a confidante, a stray like herself that would help her get around. I didn’t get but a page into the chapter when I decided to write out the aide character completely. I realized that I needed to make Cerra stronger and more independent in order to do what the story would likely require of her. Her blindness would not be a crutch. That decided, her character began to grow in bounds. She developed a voice and personality, humor and determination. Characters can end up saying things that change everything! I soon found myself trying to keep up with the story as it unfolded.
In the course of the book, I placed Cerra in some untenable situations and it was her refusal to quit, her ability to rely on her animal companions and her sharp perceptions of the world around her, that kept her going, not I. Not giving her the advantage of sight, allowed me to explore her world in a very different way, even shed light on notions of a metaphysical nature that had nothing to do with magic.
Rovinkar was a character I loved to hate and I found him to be exceptionally well developed. Was his character planned or did he develop organically while writing?
I often start fashioning a character from someone I have met. They become unwitting actors, developing traits and personas as I take a striking feature from their personality and go from there. The wizard grew with the tale. All of my characters do. I needed an Achilles’ heel for Rovikar and it became his impatience and lack of focus, wherein opportunity was far easier to envision than execution. His art needed precision in all things, yet his thoughts would stray to the future leaving the now at risk. I also must confess to using political figures as models in the entitled roles for the motivations of power always run a certain course and are very predictable.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m nearing the completion of the second draft of a book entitled “Deck of the Numinon”. I had envisioned a story based on fortune-telling deck of cards for quite a while. Given the power inherent in the deck, I decided to reprise the roles of Cerra and the Demon rather than create a new protagonist. I confess to enjoying the challenge of writing Cerra’s character and was anxious to allow for a new adventure. I hope that it will be available by Spring of 2020. Time seems to fly, but the book is in very good shape at this point. Of course, my editor has yet to see it.
An elemental demon, created in ancient times by forbidden magic, is summoned as a weapon of war. When the wizard loses control at a crucial moment, the demon is left free to ravage the land. Cerra Meadows, blind since age seven, is fated to confront the demon and becomes instrumental in breaking the spell that created it.
The wizard seeks to regain control of the demon and eliminate Cerra, who must rely on her wits, a faithful black cat, and the ability to see what no one else can.
Posted by Literary Titan
Rovinkar, the wizard, holds in his hands the key to instigating a war like no other. Cerra, a blind woman living alone in the meadows, knows only what she feels and hears. Their two worlds collide when power goes to Rovinkar’s head and he offers to destroy the Black Gate thereby beginning a string of devastating events. Rovinkar’s offer involves much more than just his expertise, detailed research, and a desire to prove his usefulness–it involves releasing a demon. When the best laid plans go awry, Cerra becomes involved in ways she could never have imagined, and her simple life in the meadows tending herbs will never be the same.
The Demon of the Black Gate, by G.J. Scherzinger, details the devious musings of the wizard Rovinkar and the strength of character shown by Cerra of the Meadows. The author’s two main characters could not be more different–Rovinkar dealing in what amounts to the dark arts and Cerra living her life by touch, sound, and smell. Cerra, a seemingly powerless woman, is the clear heroine in Scherzinger’s tale and stands far above all other characters including Rovinkar.
Fantasies of this type are known for being fraught with flowery language and bigger-than-life characters, but Scherzinger has found and given readers a wonderful balance between the typical fantasy and a down-to-earth read. From the first chapter, the author provides characters who relate to one another as people and in a way readers can appreciate. There is an abundance of friendly banter between characters at the outset of the book that draws readers immediately into the story-line.
Cerra must be the very definition of strength. The peek into her backstory serves to draw readers in and secure their investment in her connection to the plot. It is difficult to imagine another character without her physical limitations who is willing to take on the immense tasks she does. I appreciate the symbolism in Cerra’s position as a healer. Her position later in the story makes it quite clear that she is the epitome of rebuilding and reviving.
Equally as effective are the author’s fantastically fashioned descriptions of the wizard, Rovinkar. As he sets about plotting the release of the demon, one gets a clear picture of the wizard practically rubbing his hands in sheer delight–he is quite the character and one readers will love to hate.
Scherzinger’s fantasy is peppered with humorous and engaging lines that offer a welcome sense of levity within a plot that could otherwise become very dark and foreboding. It goes without saying that Scherzinger gives readers amazing visuals of the surrounding countryside From cover to cover, readers are treated to beautiful descriptions and vivid details. I am much more interested in characters and their development from beginning to end than scenes of action, and Scherzinger does not disappoint in this arena.
Pages: 214 | ASIN: B07XC9B4QT