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To Face Off Any Horror

Jesse Teller Author Interview

Jesse Teller Author Interview

Song follows Rayph Ivoryfist as he gathers his friends to return the prisoners that escaped from Mending Keep. What was your inspiration for the setup of the story and how did that help you create the ending?

It’s a simple idea. There’s a prison break. The worst criminals in the world are released, and one man takes it upon himself, with no funding and no support from the crown, to hunt these fugitives down and end their reign of terror. It’s an idea we’ve seen before, but I got stuck on it, and I thought, “What would make this idea different?” I realized the thing I wanted to focus on was the characters themselves, their relationships, and the relentless nature of their leader. It’s not a crime story. We’ve seen crime stories. Song is an exploration of friendship. So that’s what I focused on. I’ve always had this idea that if real trouble ever hit, I could call on a small collection of men and women who surround me to face off any horror that entered my life. And I think it’s not unique to me. I think everybody has that group of people, that if things really went bad, they could call on to help them fight their way out of it. This book is a love story to that kind of friendship. It asks the question, “If my back was against the wall, and I desperately needed help, who would I call on?”

When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?

When I started writing the story, I had the prison break. I had the characters of the Manhunters themselves, and I had the villains. But when I write all my books, I do not know exactly how it will end or how the plot will progress. All of that comes to me as I write. This book just kept surprising me. I would write a scene and see that it was going in a completely different direction. I would write something and see a twist coming down the road. I let a friend read this book before it was published. His criticism of the book was that it paid off too many times. He said it reaches one climax after the next. I think Song is unique in the fact that I spend 250 pages setting up four different climaxes. But it wasn’t planned. The book is just complex.

As always, your characters are thoroughly developed. What is your writing process like for creating characters?

When I write a character, I like to do away with all archetypes. I think they get in the way. When I meet somebody in real life, I don’t think to myself, “Oh, that person is an underdog.” or “Oh, I know people like this. This guy is a survivor.” Those aren’t the kind of things that hit me when I meet someone. So why would I think that when creating a character? A lot of people talk about knowing the motivation of your characters. But motivation is pliable. I can tell you why Rayph does a thing because I want him to do it. The traits I like to concentrate on are my characters’ hang-ups, the things that bother them, the things they cannot tolerate. I think too often writers create characters in a bubble. They try to describe their character in artificial terms. They create a character outline or a character spreadsheet. They try to create their character in a sterile environment. But that’s not how we get to know people. I like to think about character creation as going to a soup kitchen and meeting people there. Real lives, real problems.

What is the next story that you’re writing and when will it be published?

Well it’s already written. The entire Manhunters series is completed. I will be doing some rewrites and final touch-ups of course, but the story’s already been told. The second book in the series comes out April 15th. It’s called Hemlock, named after the city that is the poison capital of my world. In this story, the main villains the Manhunters find themselves up against are vampires. These are not vampires as we know them in the modern world. I took inspiration for my vampires from the original legends. This is before Anne Rice, stories centuries older than Bram Stoker. In the original vampire legends, they were all monsters. No good, no mystery, no romance, just vicious monsters. When they were hungry, they were pale. After they fed, they took on a ruddy complexion. And when they were full, they were a close shade of purple, because their bodies were suffused with blood. My vampires are old and powerful, nearly immortal, and diabolical. Vampirism spreads like a poison, like a plaque, and the Manhunters fight to stem the tide. So look for it April 15, 2018.

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Song (The Manhunters Book 1) by [Teller, Jesse]Some of the darkest minds in Perilisc attacked Mending Keep, releasing all its prisoners. Despite his strained relationship with the crown, Rayph Ivoryfist calls old friends to his aid in a subversive attempt to protect King Nardoc and thwart terrorist plots to ruin the Festival of Blossoms. But someone else is targeting Rayph, and even his fellow Manhunters might not be enough to save him.

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Dive Into A World That Is Magical

Michael Pang

Michael Pang Author Interview

In the Eyes of Madness is a paranormal fantasy novel that tells the story of a boy who struggles with accepting the extraordinarily horrific things happening in his life or accepting that he’s going insane. What intrigues you about the horror and paranormal genres that led you to write this book?

Let me start off saying that I’m a huge fan of the paranormal and urban fantasy genre.  I feel that I already spend most of my day in the real world (going to work, playing and taking care of my kids, and spending time with my wife).  When I open a book, I want to dive into a world that is magical, where anything can happen.  So, one might ask, well, why not just pure fantasy novels?  Fantasy novels tend to build amazing magical worlds that can allow the reader’s imagination to completely run free.  I would agree with that. And I do enjoy a fantasy novel every so often for that reason.  However, urban fantasy has the ability to cause a paradigm shift from how we would view our everyday life.  They like to twist the things that would seem mundane into things that really make you wonder.  And when you then add the paranormal theme to these urban fantasies what you end up with is a masterpiece that drills down the dark forbidden paths that you would avoid in real life. These stories tantalize your curiosity, fear, excitement, and bewilderment all at the same time.

In the Eyes of Madness follows the life of a man named Declan Peters whose mother tried to drown him when he was a child. What was your inspiration for this profound event in this characters development?

The premise of the novel came to me in a dream.  And in my dream, I saw this teenager with haunted eyes that spoke to me of a tragic past.  And I asked myself, what would be the most horrible thing that can happen to me as a child that would continue to haunt me as a teenager? For me, that would be if the person that I had loved the most as a child had tried to hurt me.  That level of betrayal would damage any person beyond repair.

The story switches between Declan, Tristan and Zoe. What character did you enjoy writing for? Was there one that was more challenging to write for?

I love writing for each of my characters, but I did have the most fun with Tristan. I guess, in real life, I would relate more with Declan. I tend to be more of a “want to do good-er,” or what one would call the “nice guy.” It was fun to write for a character that had compromised morals for a change.

In the Eyes of Madness is book 1 in the Declan Peters Chronicles. When will book 2 be available? Can you give us an idea of where that book will take readers?

Actually before I release book 2 of the Declan Peters Chronicles, I will release book 1 of a new series that focuses on the Hunters.  Declan will definitely make a significant appearance in this book as his story will tie into this new series in the future.  Which would push book 2 out until next year.  Book 2 of the Declan Peters Chronicles will reveal Declan’s mother’s relationship to the Hunters and what really happened to his father.  The truth about Declan’s lineage will be most shocking! After I release book 2 of the Declan Peters Chronicles next year, I will focus on releasing a third book series that tells the story of the origin of demons. The origin stories of the demons in the other two book series will be told in this new series, and it will reveal a secret that will further the story of the other two series.  Yes, that’s right three series. One that is set thousands of years in the past, one in the present about exorcists, another in the present about hunters, and all crisscrossing throughout. It’s going to be chaotic, fantastic, and MADNESS.

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In the Eyes of Madness (Declan Peters Chronicles Book 1) by [Pang, Michael]A near tragic incident at the hands of his psychotic mother left Declan Peters alone and with so many questions. Years later, Declan is determined to find a way to be closer to his mother and takes a job at the institution where she’s being held. That fateful decision will be the impetus for a chain of events so terrifying that Declan will question his own grasp on reality. What he finds will be more horrifying than anything he’s ever experienced and more dangerous than anything he’s yet known. In a place, rife with demonic possession and sadistic beings, will Declan finally be able to find the answers he’s longed for before its too late or will he succumb to the evil forces that inhabit the institution and all who live there?

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