Today Toad welcomes the delightful Pam Turner to her corner, author of Death Sword, an urban fantasy featuring angelic conflict, with a difference.
Where did your interest in angels start?
Hard to say. I’ve had a fascination with angels since childhood but Publish Postmy perceptions then were influenced by the Church. It wasn’t until a friend told me about Gustav Davidson’s A Dictionary of Angels that my interest in them intensified. The book blew away almost every preconceived notion I had about angelic beings, holy or fallen.
Your writing suggests you know the area where Death Sword takes place quite well. Care to elaborate?
I’ve lived in Louisville, the setting for Death Sword, since the early 1990s. The Highlands and Old Louisville are areas I often visit. Old Louisville is famous for its Victorian and Italianate houses as well as St James Court, which is where Xariel lives. The Highlands caters to an eclectic crowd and Bardstown Road is a popular area for window shopping and people watching with its specialty boutiques and galleries as well as coffee houses, restaurants, and pubs.
My goal is to write more stories using Louisville as a back drop. For one, when I’m out taking photos, I can say it’s for research.
Was there a specific "a-ha" moment when you came up with the premise for Death Sword or was it a slow, pot-boiler of an idea?
Wish I could remember. I wrote Death Sword for National Novel Writing Month in 2008. I don’t know as there was a specific “a ha!” moment. At some point I wanted it to be a story about a complicated relationship. But I made several changes after the first NaNo draft. Xariel was originally the antagonist and Samael was a minor character. Eventually I wondered what would happen if Samael became so obsessed over Xariel that it pushed him to kill. I guess it’s a story about obsession and a need for vengeance, real or imagined. Anyway, I tore down the original structure, leaving only the framework, and proceeded to rewrite the story. Characters’ names and motivations changed until the book became what it is now.
Who will enjoy this story, and why?
I hope people who enjoy reading urban fantasy (as well as dark fantasy) and paranormals will like it. Also, since Karla is in her early 20s, it might appeal to college students. Those who are drawn to occult stories about demons and angels also might enjoy it. (Crosses fingers.)
Can your readers expect a follow-up to Death Sword?
I’m currently revising the second book, Serpent Fire, which takes place in Louisville shortly after the events of Death Sword. There are four books planned, each one focusing on an angel of death introduced in Death Sword. The first draft of the third book, tentatively titled The Devil Inside is almost finished.
What are the three books you'll always have on your bookshelves and why?
The Stranger (Albert Camus): Camus had a profound impact on my writing, not only with this book but also his short story The Guest.
A Dictionary of Angels, Including the Fallen Angels (Gustav Davidson): This has become my go-to book for angel research. There’s enough information between the covers to write several angel-centric stories.
Dragons and Fantasy Beasts (Finlay Cowan): This is an artist’s reference book but it’s indispensable for anyone who writes fantasy. Not only does Finlay give background information but also references for further study. Even better, creatures from various mythos are profiled, from the familiar (Nosferatu and Medusa) to the more unknown (Zilant and Alkonost). His companion book, Incredible Characters, is another must-have for my bookshelf.