I have the pleasure of a guest post from author Justin D. Herd, who answers...
What do you think is the strongest attraction about the genre(s) you like to write in?
JDH: Fantasy Noir is an odd subgenre of a subgenre. It can fit under the umbrella of Urban Fantasy or possibly even Paranormal, but at the end of the day, it is actually about the feel of the world, rather than a specific setting or plot. My story just happens to take place in a fantasy city of my own devising with gods that I’ve created.
What attracts me to this genre is that I absolutely love stories that steep you in the world, rather than just explaining everything to you from the moment go. My characters exist in their city, they’ve lived there. They are not going to stop and explain to you the trade routes, the trash collector’s schedule, but they will react to differences in their normal schedules and reveal to you aspects of the world. That’s one of the things that attracts me to Fantasy as a whole: the ability to lose yourself in a story and learn these characters rather than having it explained to you.
Another thing I like is the ability to play with storytelling and strip the story down to its base elements. At one point in my editing, I had actually eliminated every bit of passive voice and then built it back up when necessary, rather than have it laced throughout the story. This led to a leaner novel, where it shows you what you need to know and excises the rest.
Finally, I think the thing that attracts me to the genre overall is the ability to curate the conversations of the characters. Rather than breaking down each and every aspect of their convo by going into internal monologue, you can reveal what is important to these foreign characters, how their worlds have affected them, and what they hold dear to them. It gives the genre a whole other level if you’re paying attention.
by Justin D. Herd
The right hand of the dominant mob family, Raine Morgan is tasked with hunting down two miscreants messing with the bottom line. He finds them on the docks, but, in the confusion of the fight, accidentally kills their victim and lets them escape. Horrified at what he's done, Raine seeks redemption as well as revenge.
Things spiral out of control when a greedy middleman overthrows Raine's mob organization. It's only with the help of a friend inside the crumbling mob as well as a streetwise artist that Raine remains undetected as he searches for the men who started this all. Raine doesn’t realize, however, he has caught the attention of a disparate conclave of gods in the process.
As the pantheon returns to the city they'd abandoned, old conflicts re-emerge, causing divine civil war. Both sides try to pull Raine to their side, expecting to find a naive god for them to manipulate. Instead, they find a man stripped of everything, intent on playing both sides as they learn an awful reality - even gods can die.
Turrell planted his hand on the table as he leaned in, allowing Raine to fully inspect every flaw in his wretched face. His features had been rearranged multiple times and looked all the better for it. His ragged beard helped hide this from a distance. He smiled, a grin of shattered teeth, and let out a deep breath, wafting over Raine like broth bubbling from a cauldron. “Take a big whiff.”
Raine made a big production of inhaling deeply. Not bad actually, a familiar mixture of hard liquor and tobacco. His breath probably smelled similar at this point in the night. “You should really go see a doctor, Turrell.”
Raine drove the glass into Turrell's hand, twisted.
The room fell silent as his scream hit the air.
Raine pivoted back, planting his foot on Turrell's chest and shoving with all his might. Turrell's hand shredded as the glass ripped through the flesh. He hit the floor.
Jaiden swung with his left; Raine raised his arm, deflected the blow. He pressed forward as Jaiden attacked again. Raine ducked under, throwing his whole weight into Jaiden's body. Jaiden slipped past as Raine toppled over Turrell. A whimper accompanied the contact as Turrell cradled his hand.
Raine hit the ground, scrambled to his feet, rebounded off a table. He spun on his heel, avoided Jaiden's fist, returned with one of his own. It connected with his jaw. Jaiden crumpled.
You can buy his books at the following links:
Of Gods and Madness: The Faithful
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Justin D. Herd is a Fantasy Noir author, who has been writing novels for ten years. He absolutely loves dark, twisted stories that take readers into unexpected places. Horror movies are his passion and he often takes stories to task for not logically thinking out their concepts. His home has been invaded by three eccentric cats, one of which is obssesed with all things digital. He is married with two children.
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