Bel Nemeton Q&A: Part IV

The following is part of my Publisher’s author interview for the short story “Bel Nemeton.” The template for my upcoming novel of the same name, “Bel Nemeton” can be found in the anthology After Avalon, from 18th Wall Productions.

Q) Tell us more about your two leads, their relationship, and what
inspired them.

Dr. Vivian Cuinssey is a professor of Celtic linguistics. Jake Booker is a two-fisted treasure hunter. While the “academic” and the “man of action” are common archetypes of contemporary pulp, one of the great joys of writing “Bel Nemeton” was playing both leads against type. Vivian comes to the table with considerable moxie and a willingness to dust it up with the bad guys. Conversely, as the story progresses, Jake reveals that, underneath his action hero exterior, beats the heart of a nerd.

Initially an alliance born of convenience, Vivian and Jake’s relationship evolves into a symbiotic partnership rooted in mutual respect – none of which prevents the obligatory barbs and banter which are de rigueur for an action-adventure duo.

Interestingly, I began writing “Bel Nemeton” without plans for romantic tension between the leads. Regardless of intentions, as I wrote, it was clear there was chemistry between them. While it’s not heavily emphasized in the story, it is definitely there.

I have been blessed to have a lot of strong, capable women in my life, many of whom are academics. As cliché as it is to say, especially my mother. These women provide much of the raw material for Vivian Cuinnsey. Jake Booker emerged more organically. I began without a strong conception of who Jake was and he gradually revealed himself through the process of writing.

Drop in on Friday for the interview’s conclusion. Please check out earlier answers in previous blog posts.

Follow Jon at @BlackOnBlues on Twitter. ,

Bel Nemeton Q&A: Part III

The following is part of my Publisher’s author interview for the short story “Bel Nemeton.” The template for my upcoming novel of the same name, “Bel Nemeton” can be found in the anthology After Avalon, from 18th Wall Productions.

Q) Merlin is one of the most influential and long-standing of Arthurian
characters. What inspired you to use him–and send your heroes on a
globetrotting quest to find his tomb?,

Of all Arthuriana’s characters, I felt Merlin had the widest potential for an “After Avalon” story. I envision him as a Dark Ages proto-Renaissance Man, with a whole world of possibilities open to him. Taking that sentiment literally, I imagined Merlin wandering the length of the known world seeking to fill the void left by the fall of Camelot with new experiences and encounters.

Initially, I conceived of Vivian and Jake primarily as a lens to reveal Merlin’s travels as they searched for what would be the archeological discovery of the century. As I began writing “Bel Nemeton,” however, they quickly assumed a life and agency of their own.

Drop in on Wednesday for another question from the interview and check out earlier answers in previous blog posts.

Follow Jon at @BlackOnBlues on Twitter.