Sitting at my kitchen table at this very moment, there are so many things running through my head. I think of when the idea first hit me. The first time I sat down to write these characters. The first time I talked about this entire concept to my husband, to my sister, Claudette, to anyone who I thought might be interested. I think about the first time I researched publishing. Yes, that's correct... I had no idea what happened after you wrote a book. I can laugh at that now, but we all start somewhere. Right?
So, my series started a long time ago. It was a seed planted by husband, and my active imagination watered it. It grew and grew and grew. And now, the result of my garden is a collection of four published books. My Vulcan Legacies. It still feels surreal to me.
How did this begin? My husband is a blacksmith (among many other talents that he has). There are some interesting stories, folklore if you will, that accompanies a blacksmith. Some history that my husband was filling me in on included that years ago, blacksmiths were considered people who worked with the devil. A blacksmith obviously was needed, a valuable person in the town, but the superstition surrounding their profession induced the towns/village folk to make the blacksmith reside outside of the town. Pretty hypocritical if you ask me, but nonetheless, I found that interesting. I instantly pictured this lonely blacksmith (being tainted by his profession) residing outside town, cut off from most human contact. And that is where Vulcan was born.
Vulcan, in mythology, is the god of fire. I drew from that concept as well as from the Book of Enoch. In the Book of Enoch, Samyaza is the leader of the rebellious angels, the Watchers, those who apparently were attracted to human women.
My Vulcan/Samyaza is one and the same. He is the Watcher of the Gates, and Watcher of all below. A concept forms in his mind. He watches the love between a man and a woman and longs for that himself. He's always been happy with his station because he knew nothing other than his never ending duties.... until the Authority tasked him with watching over his creation.
I envisioned him never moving, constantly still, ever lonely and always watching. And I was sad for this character in my mind. Can you imagine? It's when he confides in his sister Watcher, the Seraph of Light, that the Authority curses Samyaza.
He exiles him, casting him to the earth below so that he may find what love he is looking for. When the Authority does this, he strips him of his god-like power... for the most part. After all, the Authority is his father, and while we might seriously piss our parents off, they will always love us. So, Samyaza goes into the world, now Vulcan, and seeks employment as a blacksmith. After all, in the Gates, he forged all the weapons. Fire is kind of his thing. His employers happen to be powerful Gypsies.
To Vulcan's surprise and anger, these Gypsies do not trust him, they are afraid of him because of the metal he creates. They force him to live outside their village, still cut off from human contact. In this dejected state, Vulcan does something terrible, and the consequences are severe.
I will not go further into what happens from there but the story begins with his descendant, Ally Watson. In BLACK AMARANTH, book 1, we meet Ally, a seemingly human girl. It's now present day, and she is faced with breaking Vulcan's curse. But boy is it HARD. Like 4 books hard :)
The best part of writing this series was the research. The locations. And I was lucky enough to travel to ALL of them. The book begins in Snow Creek, North Carolina. Here is a picture of Mitchell County. And yes, I drove over that mountain.... was terrified, but it was beautiful!
The idea was to start the book in a place where everything was lush, green, alive and beautiful. My mother was always fond of North Carolina. She did not live to see my books come into fruition so this was in her honor. I chose North Carolina for its beauty, and I could understand my mother's infatuation with it.
Next, Ally travels to Georgia, to Gypsyland, to those who cursed her and Vulcan in the first place. I chose Brunswick, St. Simon's and Jekyll Island as the home of these colorful, witchy-like women. All of those barrier islands are gorgeous. It has become one of mine and my husbands favorite places. On St. Simon's Island and Brunswick, there are all these crazy huge live oak trees festooned in Spanish moss. It was creepy, haunting and breathtaking. Here is a picture of a hall of oaks on St. Simon's.
And lastly, the end of Black Amaranth takes the reader to a beach that is even spookier than the hundreds of live oaks and Spanish moss with a story of their own to tell. It ends on Driftwood Beach at Jekyll Island. There really is no good way for me to describe this particular beach to give it justice. Again, it was beautiful in a creepy, goth kind of way. Here are all these dead trees scattered about the beach crawling with crabs and spiders and.... it was creepy.
I wanted the book to start with life and end with death in a symbolic kind of way. So this was kind of a long post. I could go on and on. There is so much more to tell. Stay tuned for my post tomorrow. I'll talk more about the cast of characters, the places they travel, etc.