Previously, on “All My Plot Bunnies”…
OK, fine, that last one was a complete lie. But I had you going there for a second, didn't I? Heh heh.
I suppose you're wondering why I've called you here today, since I've already revealed prequels to all my current series. What more could I possibly have in the works?
The Witch Isn't Dead
“Dragons in Oz? Really? I mean, I like the concept, but don't you think it's a little…out there?”
While auditioning actors and preparing the script for an independently-produced Wizard of Oz movie in the city of Newchapter, Arizona, Samir Naresh and his team run into some unusual problems. The actors filming the screen tests are getting a little too deep into their roles. The concept art for the characters and creatures is a little too good–so good that it's jumping right off the page and into real life. Granted, this weirdness is helping to offset Samir's budget limitations…but it's starting to get unnerving.
Given that he spends a fair amount of time in the form of a living stone gargoyle, David Blackfire knows a thing or two about magic. So when Samir asks him for help, he's happy to oblige. But when he investigates, he discovers that the threat he's facing is far more personal than he had expected. The mysterious woman behind the strange phenomena met his grandfather, the great dragon Malcolm Blackfire, many years ago, and history is now repeating itself in a different world and a different time. The Wicked Witch Hespera is back, and this time, she's not taking any prisoners.
Trapped in a city slowly descending into madness, David and Malcolm must fight alone against Hespera…or no world will be safe from her vengeance.
Now for some explanations!
There is a version of our own world in the continuity of the Afterverse…or maybe it is our own world. The people of the Afterverse call it the Nineteenth Parallel. This reality is infested by the Neverwolves, creatures who were designed to destroy not only magic and monsters, but even belief in those things. Thanks to them, hardly anyone in the Nineteenth Parallel is aware that magic is real. The American Gargoyle series is set in this world in the present day, and specifically focuses on the city of Newchapter, where quite a few magical creatures have managed to survive the Neverwolves' occupation.
But what is the American Gargoyle series? Basically, it's my first foray into contemporary urban fantasy, though I'm adding a few unique twists to the usual conventions of the genre. David Blackfire, who has the ability to shapeshift into a winged stone monster, doesn't really fight monsters per se, as is the case with many other urban-fantasy protagonists. Instead, he fights to protect those monsters from the Neverwolves. American Gargoyle reverses the formula of many of the paranormal-and/or-magical-investigation stories you've encountered before, like The X-Files, Warehouse 13, and The Dresden Files. David doesn't care if people find out about magic and monsters–if anything, he wants them to. And fortunately, he has his grandfather Malcolm to back him up as he watches over Newchapter from the shadows. There's a strong superhero vibe to this series. In particular, I've drawn inspiration from the animated series Batman Beyond. I loved the unique dynamic between the old, grumpy Bruce Wayne and the young, wise-cracking Terry McGinnis on that show, and there's something of that in the relationship between Malcolm and David.
Book 1 of American Gargoyle won't be out for a while yet, but The Witch Isn't Dead should give you a good idea of what the series will be like. This story will also wrap up some of the plot threads stretching back to the beginning of The Emerald Cycle in The Dragon Behind the Curtain.
And that's all the news for now! In April, you can expect further announcements on release dates for upcoming books. New releases from Crockett & Crane, Beaumont & Beasley, and Blackfire are all on the way in the near future, plus a couple of nonfiction books. Keep watching this blog for further updates!
Oh, and if you're wondering who David's parents are…well, you can probably guess. Wings. Stone. The clues are there.