I’m thrilled to have DD Barant here with me today. I must admit that I wanted to channel my inner UF heroine to forceably introduce some folks to their turn signals on the way to dropping my son at school today…exactly the kind of heroine that DD talks about here. But before I introduce him, his wonderful perspective, and the link to the audiobook giveaway for KILLING ROCKS, one of his wonderful Bloodhound Files novels, a couple of quick things – for a limited time, Flux Books is making my novel VAMPED free(!) for Kindle and Nook. I hope that you’ll want to take a look and that, if you enjoy it, perhaps you’ll check out the sequels: REVAMPED, FANGTASTIC and FANGTABULOUS, which is forthcoming in January. Or, you can buy the print books and get them signed, along with the first book of the Latter-Day Olympians urban fantasy series, BAD BLOOD, at Necronomicon this weekend. They’ll be available at the Books at Park Place booth. If you want to learn a bit more about the Vamped series, you can check out my interview yesterday on A Life Bound by Books, part of the Crossroads Blog Tour or visit my website. This public service announcement has been brought to you by the letter “s” for “shameless self-promotion.”
And now let’s move on to the fabulous DD Barant…
I can sum up my biggest influence as a writer of urban fantasy in two words.
I’m something of an anomaly, as I’m a guy writing in a female-dominated genre, and doing so from a female POV. But then, the same could be said of Joss, who’s justly famous for his strong female characters and feminist stance. I admire many things about Joss’s writing: the action, the characterization, the sharp, funny dialogue. I try to emulate those things when I’m writing THE BLOODHOUND FILES. But what I draw on, more than anything, is an archetype that Joss may not have invented, but has arguably perfected: the Woman with No Social Filters.
Cordelia and Anya from Buffy, Ilyria from Angel, River from Firefly; all these women have one striking thing in common. They speak their mind, with little or no thought as to the consequences. They speak from different perspectives—Cordelia’s selfish, Anya doesn’t understand human customs, Ilyria’s an arrogant goddess, River’s brain-damaged—but they all fill the same role. Like the jester in a king’s court, they use humor to say things no one else can get away with—things we wish we could say. When I wrote the Angel novel SHAKEDOWN, I found writing Cordelia’s dialogue was both the easiest and the most fun; her snarkiness just seemed to flow from my brain with no effort. I decided to borrow that for the main character of Jace Valchek in THE BLOODHOUND FILES, giving her a sarcastic, cynical worldview that she uses to help her cope with the stress and horror of her job. Because the series is told from her point of view, I can also get away with a great deal of blunt honesty simply because it’s an internal monologue; we can say things to ourselves we can’t say out loud.
I get compliments on how funny the BLOODHOUND FILES is, which is nice—but the compliments I really treasure are the ones that can’t believe I’m not a woman. If I can capture a female voice well enough to do that, I figure I must be doing something right. But I can’t really take all the credit, either—a lot of that has to go to Joss, for doing such a damn good job of creating believable, honest characters that manage to make us laugh while still delivering the truth.
Or as Cordelia might say, “Look, he’s a genius and you’re not. Too bad, suck it up, let’s move on. Is that a new sweater?”
But if you’d like to judge for yourself, you can listen to the extremely talented Johanna Parker read KILLING ROCKS via the new audiobook from Tantor Audio. What, you say? You don’t have said audiobook or MP4 file? Well, I can fix that. Go to my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Officialicious-DD-Barant-Page/254542704590069?ref=hl and Like it between now and Halloween, and I’ll enter your name for a draw to win said audiobook or MP4 download. And Happy Halloween!