Help me welcome the very talented Jocelynn Drake to The Book Nympho and TEAM STOMP.
With so many kick ass heroines in Urban Fantasy what made you want to tell a story through a guy’s POV?
When I was preparing to close the Dark Days series, which focuses on the vampire Mira, I knew that I wanted to make the Asylum Tales series as different as possible, and one of the easiest ways to accomplish that was to tell the stories from a guy’s point of view. I had gotten a taste of it in writing PRAY FOR DAWN from Danaus’s point of view and I’d had a lot of fun with it. By telling the series from a guy’s point of view, it was also way of getting the series to stand apart from others in the urban fantasy genre. Let’s face it. Women have been kicking butt for a long time in urban fantasy. I thought it was time for the men to start contributing again.
Did you find it harder to write a story through a male’s POV?
I don’t know if it was necessarily harder. It was certainly different. I had to remember that Gage couldn’t overthink his emotional responses or really worry about the emotional responses of others. I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there who would argue with me, but dealing with Gage involved a lot of focus on the action. He’d come up with a solution to a problem and then do it. He’d worry about the ramifications for his relationships with others later, with the expectation that he could always do damage control later (even if it proved to be too late at that time). I like writing for Gage because he’s a lot more sarcastic than some other characters I’ve played with in the past.
Gage doesn’t really strike me as an alpha type, sure he’s protective and strong but he’s not the over the top, beat his chest type. Did you sent out to make him more of a “middleman” since we are getting the story from his POV?
Definitely. Gage isn’t an alpha, but if you look around at the people you know, what percentage are alphas? Gage doesn’t want to be a leader. He doesn’t want to fix the world or even his little piece of the world. He wants a simple life and I can respect that.
With that being said, Gage isn’t a push-over either. There are places where he’s drawn the metaphorical line in the sand. The life he loves includes some close friends and he will protect them and their happiness at all costs. In those efforts to protect loved ones, you will begin to see some alpha-ness begin to peek out. As it stands, the witches and warlocks can rule the world and Gage will largely just standby and shake his head. He understands his limitations – he’s just one man. But when you threaten Trixie or Bronx… he’ll rip your face off and stuff it down your throat while wearing a grin.
Gage does get into some physical STOMP (fight) scenes but he is using more and more magic to fight his battles. Where do you get the inspiration for the more deadly spells that Gage used in Dead Man’s Deal? (ie Apple peeling)
I am hoping for things to get more physical for Gage. In Angel’s Ink and Dead Man’s Deal, his adversaries have largely been witches and warlocks so those are going to tend to be magical battles. However, I’m looking to take a break from the Ivory Towers to let Gage take on some more physical creatures such as goblins to allow both Gage and I to get a better idea of the man’s resourcefulness.
Speaking of resourcefulness, some of the nasty spells that appear in Dead Man’s Deal were an interesting development. One of Gage’s major problems is that he never finished his training as a warlock, and yet he is now faced with magic users who are quite accomplished. He doesn’t have the depth of knowledge they have to call upon. As a result, he has to find new and interesting twists on what is seen as very common and basic spells if he is going to stay ahead of the game. So far, the unexpected quality of his spells is keeping him alive, but that’s not going to work for long. It may be time for Gage to go back to school.
I love the idea of having spells within the tattoos. If you could get one of Gage’s special tattoos, what would it be and what spell would you ask for? (good luck, love, etc) (if you could include an ingredient list that would be cool)
That’s hard. In the past, I’ve said that I would like to be able to eat anything I want without gaining an ounce. I’ve said that I’d like to have a heightened awareness of the world around me. But today, I think I’d like more time. The ingredients would be relatively simple. White sand from an hourglass and a drop of water from the first snow of the year. The sand is the easiest embodiment of time. The water from the first snow is a way of cleansing, but winter also has a timeless quality to it. Walk into a snow-covered field in the middle of winter and there isn’t a sound. The world is holding its breath and it feels as if time has stopped.
Things are getting darker and darker in Low Town, will we see a darker Gage in future books?
That just seems to be the nature of the beast. I’ve been trying to keep the series relatively light, particularly after the gloominess of the Dark Days series, but as Gage continues to go head-to-head with the Ivory Towers, things are going to get dark. I am working on a third book and there is some grim ugliness ahead for that one and I’m still searching for the light at the end of the tunnel for the poor guy. I hope to keep an element of humor in the series, but Gage has some hefty battles ahead of him.
Thanks for being part of TEAM STOMP! It was great having you today and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Gage and I can’t wait for the next book.
Thanks so much for having me. I’ve loved working with Gage and the gang from Asylum. I hope there are many books in the future for them.
Dead Man’s Deal (The Asylum Tales #2)
by Jocelynn Drake
Published May 7th 2013 by Harper Voyager
The dark and dangerous follow-up that continues the adventures of a magical tattoo artist begun in Angel’s Ink In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Looking for a little love? Need some luck? Desperate for revenge? Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town, he knows the right symbol and the right mix of ingredients and ink to achieve your heart’s desire. One tattoo is all it takes. But remember, everything has its price. . . . Gage learned that lesson long ago, in ways he’d rather not remember. But the cruel and powerful wizards in the dreaded Ivory Towers he escaped aren’t about to let him forget. Though Gage has managed to stay out of sight, he can’t outrun the past forever. The wizards know Gage is using forbidden magic, and they intend to punish him for his transgressions. Too bad if innocent humans and monsters-entire cities-get in the way. They will quell a nascent magical uprising and Gage will be the sacrifice they need. First, though, they have to find him . . .