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Also in Dreamspinner Press Paperback
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Thianna Durston here today to answer questions about writing, inspiration, and her release, Vespar (Order of the Black Knights #3). Welcome, Thianna!
Will he kill the one who can save him… again?
- Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from? A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?
You know, my stories usually come out of nowhere. Every once in awhile something will give me a plot bunny, but like with my current book Vespar. I started having dreams about a man who kept living the same cursed life over and over again. Even though I was busy with writing other things at the time, that dream would not let me go. It built into the full Order of the Black Knights series.
- Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?
I’ve always been a pantser – mainly because my muse is a prideful so-n-so. And if I try to plan the story, he gets in a huff and refuses to talk to me. I have more works in progress that are stalled because of just that thing. However, lately I’ve found a way to incorporate a tiny bit of planning along with my off the cuff style. I write the book until about quarter of the way through. And then I can see the main parts of the story, write them down in a visual map I made, and then the rest of the story can zoom by fast. I wrote 6 novels through this system this last fall and it worked like a dream. I look forward to seeing how far I can work with it.
- Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else? Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?
I’m all over the place, both in writing and reading. No one genre does it for me, except for when I’m reading or writing it in that moment. Some times I’ll write two books at the same time – one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to keep things really interesting. In October I wrote a contemporary during the morning and a paranormal in the afternoon. It kept me interested and excited about both story lines. My muse as well – which is always a good thing as when he gets bored? Oh dear. The strangest stuff that ends up getting written.
- If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?
Oh wow. Good question – and I think it’s Braun Taupesh, the lead character in a fantasy story I had published over ten years ago. It just recently went out of print and I look forward to completely rewriting him. He’s too simplistic. It was my first full length novel. And at the time, instead of just keeping plodding along and figuring things out – I got tired of writing it and just ended the story. Now, I want to go back and flesh out each of the characters. Him. The man whose body he takes over. The dwarf… And really bring out the bad guy as well. Uh oh. Now that I’m thinking about it, I just might take some time…
- Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?
For me, the favorite character is usually the one I’ve just written. Just like my favorite book is the one that just came out. I can’t pick a fave 😀 It would be like picking a favorite child.
- If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?
LaGuardia – ha ha ha ha. Heaven forbid. I’d rather get stuck on a demi-planet. I’d definitely have Jordan L. Hawk with me (All of her works). Heidi Cullinan’s works as well. Ella Frank’s Temptation series. And oh yes – A.E. Via’s Nothing Special series. I could read all of those works over and over and never get bored.
- How early in your life did you begin writing?
I was making up stories before I could write. The moment I learned how to write, I started penning them down. I still have one I wrote about a Martian coming to Earth. I think I was 6 or 7 when I wrote it.
- Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?
My mother read to me and my sister all the time. I remember a lot of Winnie the Pooh. I also read the Chronicle of Narnia books which ignited even more of my love of fantasy.
- If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?
Three is Better Than One
About The Order of the Black Knights
Every century has seen its knights. But there are those who are never seen. They do what must be done—what has to be done—when nobody wants to get their hands dirty. They are called the Black Knights. First created in the 1100s by the wizard Moriel, these men seem cold and hard, and it is said that some have no soul. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man who waits inside. The question is whether or not he will kill the individual before he figures it out.
Through the ages, they’ve conquered and ruled and taken what they wanted. And they have adapted to modern times. Instead of being bullies for hire, they have taken their skills further—the Internet, the CIA, government infiltration, hacking, special ops, assassination, but each one of them has a need they don’t understand—to squash, kill, or destroy.
If the Knight pardons his enemy, he will no longer be cursed. If not, he will continue to live the same life again and again, and each life will make him harder and more unyielding. And each life will make it less likely that he can be saved.
Blurb for Vespar
Special ops turned professional killer, Vespar McKauley is hired to take out Marcolm Rogers, son of his employer’s worst enemy. But Marc isn’t like any hit he’s ever done. He’s just twenty-one, he goes to a private university studying English Lit, and for fun he plays computer games with his friends. No drugs, no partying, no crime. The day he bumps into Marc and looks into his azure eyes, the world drops out from under him.
With his father in the Chicago Crime Syndicate, Marc and his mom have stayed out of the limelight, hiding from those that might harm them. He figures he’s safe at a small liberal arts university all the way across the country. Only midway through his senior year, he feels eyes on him and the shadows encroaching. Just as he’s about to run, he meets Vespar and experiences an instant attraction. When Vespar tells him he’s in danger and offers to protect him, Marc wants to believe him. But he’s been hunted before, and this time he isn’t sure he’ll get away. Especially when he finds out he is Vespar’s target.
Cold sweat dampened the back of his neck as he leaned down and picked it up. There it was. While before he killed on orders, within the simple tan envelope was information that would turn him from a military marksman, commanded to kill, into a contract killer.
A sense of unease centered in his shoulders. He ripped the flap up and yanked the contents out. He quickly glanced over the information on the top sheet.
Name: Marcolm Bissini
Need: Make his death a noticeable hit
Time frame: Four weeks
Vespar grunted at the timeframe. Four weeks to find and kill the bastard. But since they wanted a noticeable hit, he could at least get all his frustration out on the kill. He yanked the cover sheet off and looked at the eight-by-ten photo of a boy not more than eight years old. “What the fuck?” he growled. “I won’t kill kids.” When he opened himself as a killer for hire, he stated what contracts he would not accept, and children and innocents were the only people he categorically refused to take out. Everyone else was fair game. In that way he convinced himself he was taking out someone who deserved it.
No innocent deserved to die. He flipped the image over and spotted words on the back.
This image was taken thirteen years ago. He has been in hiding since. We do not know what he looks like now. Leave this image by the body.
He rubbed his chin with his forefinger as he looked at the words. The kind of men who hired people like him had money and recourse. If they wanted the man dead, he would be dead. And by the age of twenty-one, the chances of him being an innocent bystander were almost zero. But for some strange reason, Vespar wondered why he needed to die. “It’s none of my business,” he snapped, and he shoved the contents back into the envelope. “They want him dead. He’s as good as dead.”
About the Author
Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?
She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.
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