Today I have author Jenn Lyons on the blog, promoting her new paranormal mystery BLOOD CHIMERA and sharing a little of her writing process with us. Feel free to ask her questions or show some love in the comments 😉
Guest Post with Jenn Lyons author of BLOOD CHIMERA
I thought I might share an example of how I develop backstory for my characters. I don’t always write something like this – very often the backstory develops as I write, but sometimes, when the character is a particularly important one, I might write a short story or a dossier write-up.
In this case, the background I created for Lucy Belogh:
Lucretia has spent lifetimes trying to make herself something other than her father’s whore.
Her first life, she did everything he asked of her, and he asked things no father should ever ask of their own blood. By the end of that life, she had borne nine children and married three times (all arranged to suit her father’s political needs.) She died when she was 43 during the birth of her last child, a stillborn daughter who tore her insides until she bled out her life.
That life, she was dutiful. It did not save her from becoming infamous.
She did not stay dead, but she had known that would be her fate. Rome was out of the question and Spain knew them to well, so she and her father fled to Paris. He taught her all the skills she would need to know: how to hide and how to hunt and more importantly, who not to hunt. Eventually her father decided that she could be more useful to him than she was. When one of their relatives, a priest named Francis Xavier, made clear his intention to travel to the Far East, she went too, her orders considerably less noble than spreading the faith. She was sent to learn the clever arts of seduction and killing they were said to practice in the East. So she could be a better assassin.
So she could be a better whore.
Lucy still finds it ironic that in a land which demanded complete, unflinching subservience to one’s masters, she finally learned rebellion. She found herself questioning her father’s right to rule her life – for any person to do so.
And so she traveled, hiding (for her kind are very good at hiding when the need suits them,) living lives and even finding love. With each passing decade she discovered a little more of who she was with the many masks she took from others.
Still, her father found her.
He took her defiance poorly, and he was even less pleased by her transformation from succubus and spy to soldier. She had become another Cesare, a master of the battlefield, not the bedroom. She had been an amusement, but now she was a threat, so her father struck before she could. He persuaded Pope Clement to declare that Catholicism and Confucianism were incompatible, a move sure to offend the Chinese Kangxi Emperor, who moved to evict not only all Christian missionaries, but the Shaolin Temple monks who sheltered the monsters and witches of the hidden world, including Lucy. The monks scattered, and Lucy was left to wander, once again leaving behind her a legacy of infamy.
The 18th century was her age of anarchy, her age of rebellion. She fomented revolutions: Scottish, French, Russian, American, but found herself embroiled in a new Hell when she became involved in the newest Shadow War, this time the hellish debacle benignly known as the Seven Years War. Really, it was the first world war, years before that term would be applied to something even worse. By then, she was openly her father’s sworn enemy, and their attempts to kill each other increased in complexity and scale with each attempt. Stalemate was reached only when she drew the attention of one of the Council’s enforcers, the Warlord, and found a new master who could shelter her.
But everything changed when she came to America.
Lucretia wasn’t done with being famous, but the next time it would be on her terms.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Some ransoms aren’t meant to be paid.
Kidnap and Ransom negotiation used to be straightforward. The bad guys kidnap someone, and K&R expert Jackson Pastor negotiates their release, skillfully traversing a maze of bloodthirsty monsters: criminals, terrorists, police, and especially the FBI.
But that was before he met real bloodthirsty monsters.
When Jackson Pastor arrives in Los Angeles to help a new client recover his kidnapped wife, he finds himself dropped in the middle of a 500-year-old war between rival European and Mexican vampire clans, a conflict that threatens to escalate into a full-on public gang war. Worse, Jackson hasn’t been brought to Los Angeles to be a negotiator. His new boss wants to turn him into an assassin. With Jackson about to be caught in the middle of a clan war, his only hope of escape may lie with a secret FBI monster-hunting task-force led by a very dangerous, eccentric wizard. Which could be a problem, since Jackson’s a monster himself.