Haddie swore. No wonder Dad had been calling. “Tell her I’m fine. Just looking for Liz.”
“And Dr. Aaron?” Terry sounded relieved that she didn’t go off on him.
“How do you know him?”
He swallowed audibly. “Well, I mean, he’s been a constant in these demon groups. A bit of a fanatic. But I got worried, and asked if anyone had seen a friend of mine around this sighting. He messaged me immediately and started demanding that I put him in touch with you. Said he knew you from last winter. That was the ski trip, right?”
Terry had posted a description of her in the forums. It didn’t matter. The fight outside the hotel had to have attracted some attention, though she’d had pink hair part of the time. She opened her mouth, about to ask Terry if he’d heard anything about the fight outside the hotel, and stopped. Wilkins would be after her shortly. The FBI wouldn’t just let something like this go. She’d killed someone, no matter the circumstances.
“Huh?” She stared at the building where the rave would be happening. She needed to find Liz.
Get past those guards.
“What about Dr. Aaron? Do you want me to give him your number?”
She did want to know about the demons. He’d been suspicious of her and her powers, and had disappeared right after the fight. “Yes.”
He paused and she could hear him typing. “So what’s going on?
Still haven’t found Liz? I mean, this could be serious. The more I look, the worse it gets. Missing people, on top of the suicides. One mom swears her son is in a mental hospital because of these raves.”
That sounded about right. Whatever the song did, she could imagine it driving her crazy. “I’m about to go into the rave now. I’m hoping to get Liz out. I’ll let you know.”
“Yes.” She’d rather have Dad with her.
She peered at the building where the rave would be. If the guards were looking for her, likely considering the attack at the hotel, then she’d have to scout for a back way in. Before, she’d planned on walking in as if going to the rave, then scoop up Liz — and Matt.
“Maybe you should just call the police.”
She thought of a swat team facing down demons or the fanatical yellow-hazed men, with Liz in the middle. “Not yet.” This needed to be quiet. She looked into the mirror at the spray of pinkish brown covering the right side of her hair and leaving a shock of white down the left side of her face. Not very stealthy, Haddie. Maybe she had a hoodie in the back from last winter.
1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
Penumbra, all of the AngelSong series, started with an idea of Haddie’s dad, Thomas, being pushed back into time. When I mulled over potential conflicts and the magic system tied to a distorted view of angels and fallen angels, I perceived that there might be a future where he had children of power. When I conceived Haddie it was while binge reading a number of urban fantasy books.
2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
Romance, a slow burn especially, is difficult. It leaves plenty of potential conflicts, but the pacing balance is considerable.
3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
How much I liked some of Haddie’s friends (team) and where some of the positions that her contagonists moved into.
4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?
Penumbra: partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast
Much of what Haddie and her dad have to do is dark, deadly, and causes her a ton of remorse. Her decisions aren’t easy but she instinctively uses her powers to protect her friends and family. Doing the right thing often means death for her enemies, some of whom are coerced and technically innocent.
5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
Aspects certainly, and only a couple could I mark to a singular person. One is a lawyer from a firm I worked at, and I have not reached out to her.
6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Not a direct theme, but aspects of my beliefs certainly leak through in their distrust of authority, unacceptance of bigotry, and the pain over damage to our planet.
7. What is your favorite part of the book?
When Liz has to help Haddie survive, after being saved by her.
8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
Detective Cooper, because the mindset is very alien to me.
9. What are your immediate future plans?
I’m presently working on an urban fantasy series called the Khimmer Chronicles. Let’s compare our protagonist with Jane Yellowrock meets Tank Girl. Ahnjii is a fun human assassin, with some really cool adaptive armor, stuck here on Earth amid a bunch of cryptids that the other humans don’t know about. Book Two, Death’s Contract, is about half-way through first draft. It opens right after sex with a shifter (off screen, no PNR) and continues with a vampire who doesn’t take no for an answer.