Pack your bags, kids. We're heading into Low Town.
With the end of the Dark Days series, I turned my attention to one of the most beautiful and frightening things for an author, or maybe any artist -- the blank page. In the Dark Days series, I tackled vampires living in the shadows and working in the dark. I tackled mythical races; dark, brooding characters; and star-crossed love. As the blank page glared at me, and I inevitably glared back, I knew I wanted to head into a totally different direction.
I let my imagination off its leash and it ran to all the strange ideas that I had bottled up because they simply wouldn't work within the constraints of the Dark Days series. In the new series, I didn't want powerful species hiding and working in the shadows while humans remained blissfully unaware. I didn't want a dark, grumpy main character haunted by her past and unable to form a healthy relationship with anyone.
As I started making notes on the series, I found myself throwing off more and more shackles, letting my imagination run wild and naked through the woods and fields until she finally returned to me mud-splattered, breathless, and smiling. (She also picked up a new tattoo or two along the way that she won't discuss with me.) She had found the path and we knew where we were going. We were going to Low Town.
Low Town is where my main character Gage has a tattoo parlor called Asylum. In Low Town, and just about every where in this world, all creatures live together and know about each other. Yes, that nice human family down the street also lives next to a family of werewolves, while on the other side is a divorced siren and her incubus boyfriend. And just across the street is that nice, old goblin couple, who just celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary. Not to mention vampires, trolls, minotaurs, faeries, ogres, pixies, drakes, and many more creatures that will dance across the page.
Living with so many creatures with innate magical abilities, sometimes a person needs a little hand in life. That's where the tattoo artists come in. They are also the local potion stirrers in this world. If you need a little help, they can put a potion in the ink of your tattoo to help improve your luck or your love life.
Does Low Town sound like a place you'd like to visit? A bit overwhelmed? Sure, I understand. My first time there I nearly ran into an ogre coming out of a dark alley. Not an enjoyable experience. But Gage and I can see you through the city with few problems.
On July 3, the first tour through the city will take place in the form of THE ASYLUM INTERVIEWS: BRONX short story, which will be released as an e-book. This short story is a prequel to the first novel (ANGEL'S INK) and tells how Gage met his first employee, Bronx the troll, and tried to help Gage's friend Parker with his love life. (Let's just say that things don't quite work out how Gage and Bronx expect for the poor incubus. Parker is still mad at Gage and me for laughing.)
So, are you brave enough to wander through Low Town with me?