The Dark Communion (The Midnight Defenders)
AbeBooks Seller Since November 30, 2011Quantity Available: 1
AbeBooks Seller Since November 30, 2011Quantity Available: 1
About this Item
Title: The Dark Communion (The Midnight Defenders)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
About this title
When Daddy, Gramps, drunk Uncle Billy...whoever it was, looked at you when you were a little kid, blankets around your neck, trembling in bed, sure-as-shit convinced that there was something out to get you under your box-spring, in your closet, and they told you there wasn't anything there - that monsters didn't exist - they were lying to you.
Jono Swyftt knows this because that's what he does.
He kills things. Bad things. Nightmare things: Orcs, trolls, haunts, gnomes...the bloody Easter Bunny. Swyftt was a copper, a priest, a Night Hunter, a husband, a father. Now he's just a burnt-out PI with an arsenal of big-ass guns - an unrepentant foul-mouth who keeps everyone at arms length - and yet, whether your problem is a mating orgy of Cyclopes, a murderous imaginary friend, or a strip club full of horny Sirens, everyone from US Senators to Julia Roberts knows he's the one man to call. When a high-school student hires him to find a missing autistic boy and a catatonic billionaire runs away from a nursing home, it's up to Swyftt, his partner, and his ward to piece together the clues and stop the nightmare that's feeding on the city with an underground ring of serial-kidnapping bums. But that's what Swyftt does. He's the very last line of paranormal defense in the greater Seattle area.
And he ain't bloody cheap.
Q) Nice to meet you, Joey! I have to ask, why did you become an author?
A) I've always wanted to write. I remember in third grade, I would write my own "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, the kind where you have to flip to different pages and nearly always die by falling rocks or poisonous bees (laughs). Those were fun! So, after that, I wrote stories about my friends. In ninth grade, I wrote a short story on assignment and I remember my English teacher (who was named Dick Bushy-no joke) gave me a perfect score and commented on how visual it was, how he could see everything I described. I've been writing ever since. I guess I should add that writing's the only thing I ever wanted to do. I got my English major in college and a minor in writing. I was so addicted I would write in the middle of my classes!
Q) It's been your passion for a long time then! Let me ask you, how do you write and what is the process for you? Is it a long process? Do you like to write to music?
A) Little stolen moments here and there. I always get the best inspiration when I'm in the most inconvenient place to write anything down: driving, in the shower, etc. When I worked at Burger King in college, I would be on the line making Whoppers and I would get flashes of inspiration and write with a grease pen on a Whopper wrapper. But when I sat down and decided to hammer out the first book, I did it mostly on lunches and breaks at the office (my previous job). I wore headphones and listened to heavy rock. I'm not sure why, but with the first book, I listened almost exclusively to Breaking Benjamin. I think it really helped set the mood and the tone of the overall story. With the second book, I listened to a lot of Incubus. The tone of that book, at least to me, isn't as dark as the first.
Q) Did the music help you to set a tone or theme for a book? Darker music for a darker book, so to speak? Many writers tell me that they often channel the feelings evoked by music, so many of them prefer to write in silence.
A) I don't know if it came across that way, but in my mind, that's what I feel like. In chapter 8 of The Dark Communion, the main character, Swyftt, is driving home at night and it's starting to rain. He begins to reflect on his past...his wife, his daughter. That scene came from a song called Weight of the World by Blue October. I was struck by the emotion in the song, and I wanted to capture the desperation. In the song, at the end, the singer whispers, "Let's go. Let's really, really go," and I thought that line had a story behind it. So I was able to take the emotion in that song and translate it into a scene in my book and to this day, it's a scene that I can't read without tearing up. However, music's just one of the many places I draw inspiration.
Q) Swyftt is an interesting character. Tell me about him- how did the character come to you?
A) Most days, I'm not sure. (laughs) I wanted a character that felt real. Given the life that a character like that would lead, the isolation of doing a job like that... hunting monsters! It's not a job for just anyone, and so I wanted a character that would be drawn to it believably. He's a character with a lot of pain, a lot of demons in his past; and also, he's a character that's been running from God, literally, for twenty years. I was raised my entire life in church. I've had my ups and downs in my faith, and I always found that on my downs, at my lowest points, I was a person that I didn't like to be around. I was selfish, I was rude, I felt like that needed to come out in Swyftt. You know people tend to ask me if Swyftt is based on me.
Q) Yes, I was going to ask about that...
A) Honestly, I do see a bit of myself in him. If I were in a place that I could really let myself go and not care about societal restrictions and what other people thought about me, then sure. I'd say maybe he's the 'me' that I could be if I let myself go to a certain degree; and certainly, if he has any redeeming qualities, maybe I'll claim those. But as a husband and father, my priorities are vastly different than Swyftt's. I could never afford to be too much like him. Though writing him originally -- finding his voice -- was quite difficult and very taxing on me, there were times when I was writing the first book that I was nearly depressed at times.
Q) You were depressed? You really felt the character's pain and grief. How did that affect your real life?
A) I was very short-tempered even hours after I'd stopped writing. I just tried to put myself so much into his mindset, figure out who he was as a character, it was almost like acting. However, with the second book, I had a better grasp of who he was that it didn't require as much of me.
Q) Did you consciously set out to write a blockbuster of a book, and the emotional stuff just crept in? Or did you set out to write a book that dealt with both? Was it always the plan to write a character as dark as Jono Swyfft?
A) I set out to write action. I wanted to create and write about monsters. I've always been a big fan of the concept of horror movies, always been drawn to the supernatural, but I've always been disappointed by horror movies. They always have the same two plots: either a bunch of kids wronged someone who's coming back for revenge against them, or a bunch of kids unleashed an evil and have to seal it away before it kills them all. I wanted to write-not necessarily horror-but monsters with a plot. I've been a big fan of the TV show Supernatural so I allowed myself to be influenced by that to some degree. The show always did a really good job at telling an old story with a new twist. and that's one thing I really tried hard to do- give all these familiar monsters a unique spin.
Q) Have you always been so interested in monsters and mythology? Has that always been a big thing for you?
A) I've been a fan of mythology as long as I can remember! I've always been fascinated with the way that varying cultures had such similar ideas: a vampiric creature, shapeshifting, the gods mating with humanity to create weird races, numerous accounts of bigfoot creatures. I did research into Ley Lines, found that same idea echoed in Asia as Dragon currents, found it again in Australia as Song lines. I got to thinking that if all these ideas were so similar, despite the barriers separating ancient civilizations, then maybe they were all based on some kind of truth, some actual event or creature. Growing up in the church, I found a very Christian way of explaining it. CS Lewis wrote, "I believe in Christianity like I believe in the sun. Not because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else." So I created a very Christian-based world of monsters, and then I created the most unchristian character I could think of and let him loose to play in it. Since the threat was so real and so high, the action had to be, too; and the character became dark as a byproduct of his upbringing, experience and environment.
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