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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guest Blog: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell

Blood in the Sand promo + Taking a Turn for the Darker

If there’s one thing we hear a lot about Blood Howl it’s that it’s funny. Urban Fantasy Lite, one review called it, and frankly, I’m okay with that. Blood Howl was an experiment for us, a what if. The characters were put together for the sole purpose of seeing what would happen, and the results turned out to be better than we’d imagined. We didn’t intend for the first book to delve too deeply into the dark side of the world we created, simply because we weren’t sure anyone would even read the thing. Since we were so very new to the writing world, the publishing world, we decided to write a fun book that we would enjoy reading ourselves and see what would happen.

Now, six months later, we’re getting to push open the door that Blood Howl merely hinted at. There’s a balance we’re working to find, now, in the next book in the series. On the one hand we have the lightness of romance and the banter between the characters. On the other, though, we’re dealing with the tension and scariness of supernatural elements. There are emotional twists and turns happening in Blood in the Sand that aren’t anything like a sweet, happy ending.

Very much, we want our books to have realistic characters and interactions. That means every couple isn’t forever, that people die, that bad guys don’t always lose. Some things aren’t what they seem, and there are repercussions from the actions of the first book that we’ll see throughout the series.

Switching from writing on a whim to writing as a now-published author was a hard transition. We have an editor now that wants to see things, we have a deadline that we’d like to meet. There are ideas that have lived in our brains for so long and now they have to be put on paper. But most of all, we’re working to make sure that the complicated plot in Blood in the Sand is something that is both satisfying in its conclusion but that leaves the reader ready for more.

Writing the darker side of the supernatural is, honestly, quite a bit of fun. Here is an excerpt from our first draft that shows David for the first time, hunting down a den of vampires:

- Alex





Ducking into a side alley, David followed a tendril of a scent. It wasn’t living blood, not any longer. That spice was gone, leaving it flat and quickly cooling. It was the scent of spilled blood, of the aftermath of feeding. He knew it far too well. Blocks passed quickly, David moving as a ghost among the crowds until even they trickled away, until all that was left was the aging night and the faint smell of death.

It was a young girl. It so often was. Her head was bent to the side and her eyes started up at him, accusing, milky and dull. David knelt beside her, smoothing a shaking hand over tight curls that seemed more alive than the body that had been cast aside like so much garbage. The bite marks in her neck were savage, the lack of precision to them making it look like a wild animal had attacked her rather than a vampire. Her killer—or killers—hadn’t been concerned about neatness. Gently, David closed her eyes and stood again, expression impassive as he brushed dirt from his pants. There was nothing else he could do for her. She’d been a snack, easily taken and just as easily discarded.

It also meant he was looking in the right place. Messy vampires, to leave trash at their door. David looked around, eyes narrowed in thought. Bracing himself, he jumped straight up, grabbing hold of an overhang and hoisting himself upwards. This area of the city was rundown, worn out, and not all the kind of place he’d expected to wind up in while searching for the suspect. Even the second story overhang creaked dangerously underneath his feet, rusted pipes groaning as they held his weight.

Keeping to the side of the window, David peered inside. The outside of the building might be close to crumbling—the inside, however, was a different story. Plush carpet lined the floor, opulent furnishings and tasteful decorations. Even the chairs had carved scroll-work arm rests, paintings that looked like seventeenth century originals hung on the walls.

The men and women that were lounging around fit very neatly into their surroundings; expensive suits and rich dresses, wine glasses held easily in their hands. Except they weren’t sipping champagne. No wine gleamed so darkly, and smelled so rich.

Oh, yes. He was definitely in the right spot.

About the Authors: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell live in the Midwest with their two cats, Starsky and Hutch. Their first book, Blood Howl, is available for sale at Dreamspinner Press. They can be found at their blog and on Facebook.

Here's what they're talking about today on Whipped Cream:
*  How We Got Into Writing
*  Ideas, and Where They Come From


And they're partying like animals over at Goddess Fish Party Pavilion:
*  Bacon & Chicken Casserole Recipe, aka, Robin and Alex Pretend to Be Foodies
*  Halloween Culture Shock
*  Spooky Excerpt 

4 comments:

Natasha Blackthorne said...

Great post about realistic characters and keeping things believable, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

elaing8 said...

Enjoyed the excerpt.
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell said...

Natasha and elaing, thank you so much. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Na said...

This is new to me I don't think I have read any light urban fantasy books yet but it sounds like something I want to check out since I do enjoy UF. In funnies, it's the chemistry between the characters and their bantering that makes it great. Sounds like you have this.