Soundtrack Monday: Out of My Mind


One of the things about Selene is that we never see inside Nikolai. We don’t see how similar to Selene he really was, as a paranormal1 trapped by Grigori. In his mind, he’s much better than Grigori ever could be, because he allows Selene a few choices.

You become what you despise, you become the mask you wear, so be careful of both.

Anyway, if Selene was ever a movie, Duran Duran’s Out of My Mind would be playing at the end–Nikolai waking alone, Selene embarking upon her immortality, free at last. I did plan on writing Selene’s adventures as a standalone, but piracy of the book put paid to that. I simply couldn’t afford to.

How could you dare to become so real, Not just a ghost to me? That’s Nikolai, baffled by how Selene manages to slip through all his defenses and strike at the only tender, mortal part he has left. I often wondered when Selene would realize he let her go, once Grigori was gone, because of the old adage about when you love someone.

I played this track over and over while writing the last chapter of Selene, and had to listen to it obsessively while writing Just Ask.2 If I do end up writing the Hell Wars with little Lia Spocarelli, we’ll get to glimpse this pair again.

In the meantime, enjoy the music.

Soundtrack Monday: Pump Up the Volume

Dante Valentine

It’s Soundtrack Monday again! This one is for the readers of the Dante Valentine series.

One of the things I loved about Danny’s world is slicboards. Flying skateboards are just plain cool. This particular song, MARRS’s Pump Up the Volume, was what I played repeatedly and obsessively while writing a certain bit of Saint City Sinners. Readers will remember when Danny goes to the Hole to find Konnie Basileus’s slictribe; this particular track is also, incidentally, the closest to the sound of Krewe’s Control and the Hover Squad, Jace Monroe’s favorite and preferred provider-of-jams, that is currently available.

I do want to write the Hell Wars trilogy, which centers on Lia Spocarelli and her adventures. (You can find a taste of that in the short story Coming Home.) One of these days I’ll have the time to do so.

Or so I hope. Japh would probably tell me to do it quickly, since mortal lives are so regrettably brief.


Mail Call

Man Reading his Mail
© | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Reader mail has picked up again, and so has my energy level. So I’m thinking about doing a weekly “from the mailbag” post. Or biweekly, depending on the volume of actual reasonable mail to hatemail.

Some days, the proportions are a bit bent.

Anyway! Let’s grab a few from the mailbag and take a look, shall we? First up is Reader E.P.:

I’m reading the Dante Valentine omnibus for the sixth time, I am simply drawn back to read it again and again, and I was wondering about Japhrimel’s feelings throughout the books. You do give us a brief insight into his feelings especially when he kneels before Dante and speaks to her of his failure. In numerous points in the books Dante notices his attention on her and I can’t help but wish to know more of what and how he is feeling, such as when he waits for Dante while she rides the slicboard or when he watches her spar with Jace. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love these books and will continue to enjoy them over and over, and I know the story is from Dante’s point of view, but more from Japh would be amazing, maybe his side of the story about his fall and how he deals with the infuriating Dante even though he loves her?

Sometimes I think about writing Japh’s POV. The problems with it are numerous–for one thing, he thinks in demon, not in English or even Dante’s Merican, so the translation is a bit…difficult. There’s also the fact that I dislike him so intensely. The key to Japh, for me, was my writing partner’s throwaway comment about demons destroying what they love. And to Japh, his love is intimately bound up in the idea of controlling the environment and everything around Dante in order to “protect” her. He’s not human, he wasn’t ever human, and his priorities, morals, and ethics are not human either. So…I don’t have any plans yet, though there are the books dealing with Gabe’s daughter (who is a Magi) and also the short story featuring Danny, Selene, Nikolai, and Japh all working together that have been bubbling in my head for a while…

Next up is Reader D.W.:

I’m currently reading your second Roadtrip Z book. I’m a little confused as to where Cotton Crossing is located. I thought it was maybe in Florida, but there is way too much snow and ice for that area. It would really help me enjoy the book more if I wasn’t constantly trying to figure out where they are. I’ve tried looking online for the answer, but couldn’t find it. Thanks!

About all I can say is that Cotton Crossing is not on any map, though Lee tells me it’s somewhere in Missouri.

It’s been a month for people asking me about the Valentine series, I guess. Next comes this, from Reader S.F.:

Hello, thank you for writing the Dante Valentine series. It was very enjoyable. I was wondering, however, do you think you will you ever write about Lucas Villalobos? Your afterward said that Dante and Japhrimel’s story is over, but I am curious about the Deathless and would love to read more about him.

Lucas is…difficult. (He’s always been difficult.) He doesn’t talk about where he comes from, and can disappear for long periods of time if you press. I can say that if you read Coming Home in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance, you’ll find out some of what happens to Lucas after the events of the Valentine series, and that it involves Gabe and Eddie’s daughter.

If you’ve got a question, you can use the form on my Contact page. I cannot answer even a quarter of the missives I receive, but you never know–if I start doing mail calls biweekly or weekly, you just may see your question here.

Now it’s time to go for a run. Over and out.