Many years ago, I met Lincoln Farish on the Critters.org site for Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror. I had him read my Sci Fi Roms and he gave me freaken nightmares with his terrifying horror series.
And now he wishes to publish them so everyone else will have nightmares. Yep, he's that kind of guy. Sharing 'til the end.
His book will be out March 1, so you might want to book some trauma therapy time in advance if you enjoy a dark novel, intelligently written, that delves into true evil.
So let's bring in the deranged author and begin the interview.
Liza: So Lincoln, let's first discuss why you are calling this urban fantasy instead of HORROR. The early draft I read was fabulous, but crammed full of Horror.
Lincoln: I was really stuck trying to shoehorn my story into a genre, because it just didn’t quite fit.
I’m not trying to scare anyone, warn the populace at large about the dangers of Cthulhu, or teach a moral lesson, like horror usually does.
At the same time, if you have a group of people who have powers that can and usually do harm regular people, your story is not going to be a happy one. Bad things will occur, people will die, and mayhem will ensue.
It’s not dystopic—for most people, magic never enters their lives and they go about quite happily unaware of its existence. Those who do, however, experience all kinds of terrible events and traumas. The more or less contemporary setting makes it urban fantasy...so dark urban fantasy almost horror.
Liza: I'm calling it HORROR!!!! It's been many years since I read your early draft and I can't get the astounding moments of horror out of my head.
And while you might not be trying to scare people, your evil characters have no trouble doing so.
So explain why you chose Catholic Monks to fight against the evil that lives among us.
Lincoln: I needed a group that was world-wide, large enough that they could have a secret society within them, and old enough that they could’ve been battling evil for a very long time.
I also needed to explain from where the darkness comes without copying anyone. Larry Correia uses the Cthulhu mythos. Harry Potter is fairly agnostic—religion is rarely mentioned, aside from Christmas. Rick Gualtieri has a hint of Catholicism, with the Templars protecting the Icon from the icky vampires. Jim Butcher has a bit more Catholic mythos with angels and Knights of the Cross, so I went further; full-on Catholic, but again it wasn't initially planned, more like happen-stance that when I started I picked out ground no one else was using at the moment.
Liza: Well, it makes your book memorable, that for sure. Let's check out the cover:
Brother Sebastian is halfway up a mountain in Vermont, hell-bent on interrogating an old woman in a shack, when he gets the order to abandon his quest for personal vengeance. He has to find a missing Inquisitor, or, more likely, his remains.
He’s reluctant, to say the least. Not only will he have to stop chasing the best potential lead he’s had in years, this job—his first solo mission—will mean setting foot in the grubby black hole of Providence, Rhode Island. And, somehow, it only gets worse…
If he’d known he would end up ass deep in witches, werewolves, and ogres, and that this mission would jeopardize not only his sanity but also his immortal soul, he never would’ve answered the damn phone.
I took another step into the shop, pushing against the waves of evil. On the next set of shelves, I saw a severed hand in a large clear jar. The hand of a slain witch contains the knowledge of the deceased. The possessor then has that knowledge, all her spells and tricks. It’s one of the reasons witches were burned years ago...
A flash of movement from the other side of the room caught my eye. Two handmade Raggedy Ann style dolls were each held fast to the counter by a small black iron chain. The dolls were sitting slumped, as though alive and waiting for release. High-pitched, girlish voices came from them, full of hate, malice, and insanity. A sign in front of them said they were Hogaana Dolls.
A summoned spirit—a soul called from Hell—can be captured and enslaved by a strong or skilled witch. Trapped between here and Hell, the spirit can act as an oracle and tutor—a guide for witches trying to learn and experience new levels of power and what I’d call madness but she would refer to as “clear thinking” or “a deeper understanding.” The drawback is that a spirit is still ethereal and can escape easily unless tightly contained and constantly fed power to keep it here. The bound spirit can be transferred into a vessel to contain it in a form, a body...
My hands were shaking, my stomach roiled, and my eyes stung from the candles and incense. I wanted to flee...
I needed to leave and report back. This was beyond my abilities.
When I looked up, a tall, thin woman was staring at me from behind the counter. Her gray hair grew in clumps between patches of gnarled burn scars. She was dressed in a tight jumpsuit, stained with blood. Rings covered her hands, and I saw the deep purple of porphyrite in one.
Her face had an odd twist to it, as though someone had taken a screw, driven it into her nose, and turned it. She was a Screwface—a witch who thrived on pain and torture. A witch I wasn’t capable of breaking, or even dealing with. And now it was too late for me to escape.
Only a very special type of Inquisitor—a man without empathy, one who would be called a sociopath in the regular world—could deal with them. Formed into teams called Hammers, they’re elite, but they die even faster than regular Inquisitors. Not only do they train longer and harder than my regular Brethren, they receive special instruction on how to deal with Screwfaces. And despite all this training and conditioning, they’re still sometimes reduced to a pitiful weeping mess after one of their Purges.
Her smile reeked of madness and pain.
One of the dolls moved and shrilled, “Make it bleed.”
She glanced at it then raised the hand with the porphyrite ring, which was glowing and snapping in a purple and black nimbus. She was unleashing some spell; only magic was that mind-bending color. “Goodbye, false monk.”
Coming March 1st.
might want to load up on Valium
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