An assassin, obsessed with revenge, undergoes a procedure giving him magic and discovers his life and purpose were built on lies and has to decide which path he’ll choose; the one of vengeance or the one of redemption.…
By Cassie Sanchez
Pain is inescapable.
Suffering is a choice.
Azrael, the Angel of Death, knows pain. The deaths of his mother and sister, as well as his harsh experiences in the Watch Guard at age twelve, have brutally shaped him into the most feared assassin in all of Pandaren. Azrael’s role as a Hunter requires him to search for those with magic, called Spectrals, which he is happy to do. Hunting allows him to pursue his true goal—exacting revenge on the Fire Spectral who altered the course of his life.
Azrael’s obsession with revenge and power leads him to undergo an experimental procedure that gives him magic, but when this procedure has unexpected and dangerous side effects, he becomes a liability to the Hunters and the Watch Guard. Rescued by the people he has sworn to eliminate, Azrael finds himself questioning everything he once believed as years of secrets and lies are exposed. His very nature is challenged as he battles unfamiliar emotions and navigates relationships that contradict the heart of a killer.
Can the Angel of Death have a conscience? Can Azrael?
Chasing the Darkness is an escape to a land of magic, sword fights, and love, with memorable characters who must face the darkness within and journey down a path of destruction or redemption.
1.What inspired you to write this book? OR Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?
My younger son, Chase, challenged me to write a book since I loved reading so much. As a retired stay-at-home mom with kids going off to college, I questioned my identity and purpose in life. After attending a creative writing class, I fell in love with writing and ferociously started learning the craft. I finally had something that was all mine and got me out of bed in the morning.
How Chasing the Darkness came to be was thanks again to my kids, who were playing a video game. One of the characters grabbed my attention and the creative bug smacked me in the head. I sat down and wrote a scene that became chapter four. From there, the story emerged.
2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
That writing a book is stinking hard. I bought how-to books, joined webinars, took classes, even became a member of a writer’s guild to learn the craft. Even though I’ve read a ton of fiction, knowing how to develop characters, plot, and setting was completely new and more challenging than I had originally thought. Also, I have a love-hate relationship with commas.
3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
I discovered that writing dialogue is my sweet spot. That’s how many of my scenes developed was with characters arguing in my head (sometimes out loud). 😉
I also found that I’m pretty good at writing fighting scenes. Probably because I watch a lot of action movies with my sons. Yep, I’m that mom.
4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?
My protagonist is an assassin, your anti-hero type. But to make him more vulnerable, or more human, I had him cherishing each sunrise. In the story, he and his mother would watch the sunrise together and she would say, “here it comes, the light chasing away the darkness.”
5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
Some of my characters have a few of my personality traits. For example, Azrael has some anger management issues and so do I. Another character is a tad snarky, which is also me.
Some character traits were inspired by movies or books, like Dumbledore from Harry Potter or Han Solo from Star Wars. I’m a huge movie fan as well. You just never know when inspiration will strike or from where.
6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Yes. When writing, the themes I kept coming back to were redemption and forgiveness. They are woven throughout the pages of CTD.
7. What is your favorite part of the book?
One of my favorite chapters is chapter 13. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a scene that starts to shift the relationship between Azrael and Kenz.
8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
I’d say Azrael as he’s a man and I’m a woman. I had to make sure he didn’t react or say things like I necessarily would. Plus, Azrael, as the MC, had to have the most change and growth. I needed that to happen in a realistic way.
9. What are your immediate future plans?
I’m currently working on book 2 as CTD is a trilogy.