Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sorcery of the Blood - Behind the Scenes

I've just finished the copy edit for the latest version of Sorcery of the Blood, my upcoming debut novel. I'm not the least bit surprised to find out I am very, very bad when it comes to proper grammar. I'm not feeling so great right now, especially as I feel as though I didn't have a weekend. But in the end this will be worth it. I'll have my book in my hands and my hard work will have paid off.

Which is why today, I decided to give everyone some bonus information. Originally I was going to do a photo tour of Phoenix, showing the buildings that inspired the settings. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 outbreak I'm currently house bound, as I hope all of you are as well. And since it's my birthday on Tuesday, I felt this would be a small but fun way to celebrate. So here's some information about places in the book, whether they appear under their own name or not.

The Guadalupe Hotel - Hotel San Carlos, Downtown Phoenix 

This is where a majority of the book takes place. I stayed here in 2016 before I moved to Phoenix. I was in town for a Fall Out Boy concert and this was walking distance to the venue and not crazy expensive. It happened to be my birthday that week, so the night before the concert I went to dinner with friends then spent most of the evening at the Irish bar next door.

What really struck me about the San Carlos isn't just the age of the building, but its character. I liked that there was a swimming pool on the roof of the third floor. I loved that there were dedications to the supposed ghost of the hotel near the elevators. It was a charming hotel and I will likely stay there again before I leave Phoenix.

I took a lot of liberties with the interior. For example, I'm fairly certain there are no basement levels, though I have written a basement common room into the story. The interior design for the rooms has also been played with for the sake of the story. Though some things remain the same. The room that I describe as Tyrone's is based on an actual suite that can be booked at the hotel, more specifically the Mae West suite.

About 90% of the book takes place at the hotel, so every location after this is going to be a minor feature in one or two scenes. I won't be going into detail as that would spoil the ending.

Burton Barr Central Library - Downtown Phoenix

A good chunk of the book was written at this library, which is why it features in some key scenes. They have study rooms there that are great for isolating yourself and getting your work done. They're quite popular with students and also to hold meetings. I also gathered quite a few research details from books at this library, and I'm grateful to the people who helped.

What really caught my attention was the Rare Book Room. They have a sort of tour, where one of the librarians will display rare books that are part of the library's collection. My favorite being a miniature version of the Bible that belonged to someone in Queen Elizabeth I's court in the 1500s. It was a delight, and if you're ever in Phoenix and have a chance, I highly recommend taking the tour.

The reason this is important, is because the librarian said that the book vault is sunproof and completely environmentally controlled. I asked a few questions that probably made them think I was nuts. However, the vault is the perfect hide out for a vampire. The full idea was never realized, but the original concept still has a place in the book, which you will see.

Western Sun - Westward Ho, Downtown Phoenix

This building caught my attention when I was wandering downtown one day. Within walking distance of both the Hotel San Carlos and Burton Barr, it has a very interesting history. Originally, I'd thought of making Westward Ho the base of operations over the Hotel San Carlos. In the end, I decided it would make a better base for the villains.

It was originally supposed to play a larger role in the book, but most of the scenes there were cut before I submitted the draft for publication. However it does still play an important role. 

Marina Heights - Waterfront, Tempe AZ

This is the basis for the office building that Kingston and Martin work at. Again this was meant to feature more heavily but the scenes ended up being cut. I chose this set of buildings specifically because they look beautiful at sunset. When I first moved here, I spent an evening sitting across the river, having an In N Out cheeseburger and watching the lights on the water. 

While they still remain in one scene, I was a little disappointed I had to cut the others. 

And that's it, that's the very brief photo tour. Most places that are listed in the book are real locations in and around the Phoenix metro area, and each one has some sort of significance to me. Which I'll get into another time, once the book is out. 

I don't have a release date or a cover yet, but once I do, I'll be sure to post them here. In the meantime, please take care of each other. And remember, practice social distancing and wash your fucking hands!



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Pre-Orders Available!

It is with much excitement that I announce the pre-orders for Sorcery of the Blood are now live at NineStar Press! Follow the link below. If...