Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal
He wanted to bring his fiance back from the dead. If he's not careful, he'll join her.Rohan Evans's world was turned upside down when he lost his fiance Senna in a tragic accident. He misses her so desperately that he’s resorted to the dark arts to bring her back.
Frank Altemus is a doctor with strange connections to the occult who promises to revive Senna from the afterlife in exchange for Rohan’s help on a “special” expedition.
To Russia. To rob an ancient temple with a dangerous secret.
Rohan had no idea what he was truly signing up for. But if he wants Senna back, he’ll have to make a deadly sacrifice.
Death Marked is the first book in the urban fantasy Modern Necromancy series. It’s a fast-paced chase around the world that will keep you on the edge of your seat and fear the dead.
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Hey Everyone, I am ecstatic to welcome Justin Sloan, the author of Death Marked, here to Coffee and Characters for what I know will be a fantastic interview.
Authors Justin Sloan and Michael La Ronn recently teamed up to write an urban fantasy series featuring necromancy, ghosts, and a journey into the afterlife. Given Justin’s experience as a screenwriter and writer for such video games as Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, I thought it would be great to hear about this series and what they’re doing with it.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the novel, DEATH MARKED, and where the idea originated?
Of course! I’ve always loved urban fantasy novels, but the idea for this one actually came about when watching a non-urban-fantasy movie — Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s a scene early on where Chris Pratt’s character is using some sort of scanner to see what a city in space used to look like, and it was like ghosts walking around.
So I said to myself, this would be an awesome story! A world where ghost walk among us and only certain people can sense them and interact with them. Yes, that’s been done before, so then I started thinking about what the next level of that could be. In comes co-author Michael La Ronn. I pitched him the idea of someone opening a portal to the afterlife that brings ghosts to live among us, and he loved the concept. We started brainstorming, and it became the story it is now: A man tries to bring his fiancé back from the dead, but the man who has promised to help betrays him in a blood sacrifice to open the portal to the dead. He has his own nefarious plans, and now it’s up to our hero to stop him.
Q: What made you two decide to partner on something like this?
Oddly enough, we met because we ha both written Teddy Bear novels. And not so odd — both of those novels were about Teddy Bears going after monsters who had taken the boy or girl who they watch over at night and protect. So, those were pretty much Orpheus stories, right? And so is this Death Marked book in a way. It was a perfect fit!
Q: Being a video game writer, would you say that video games have influenced your prose writing?
I actually started writing novels before video games, but I would say Death Marked was definitely influenced by games such as Shadow of Mordor and the recent Tomb Raider games (or Uncharted). It definitely started at that point – a sort of Indiana Jones character gets a ghost attached to him, who he has to learn to work with to save the world, all the while simply wanting closure with his lost love.
On top of that, one important aspect of game writing is to make sure everything feels owned by the player. I try to make my fiction feel the same way — I want my reader to be the point of view character, to really feel everything he (as is the case in this book) feels. Every choice my protagonist makes should be one that you, the reader, could see yourself making if you were in this exact situation with the protagonists background.
Q: Did writing for video games teach you anything else about being a writer?
Collaboration is essential in the world of video games. You have not only your fellow writers and game designers to work with, but the producers, studio execs, artists, and everyone else. It can be tough, but it definitely made me realize that I wanted to look into collaborating in my novel writing career as well. So I partnered with Michael La Ronn on this book, but I also partnered with Sean Platt to adapt some of his books into screenplays, and with authors P.T. Hylton and John L. Monk to write some fun/ secret projects. It can be work at times, but the final product is always something that you couldn’t have ever come up with on your own.
Plus, you then have more people working on editing and marketing!
Q: Are you doing anything different with Death Marked, specifically how you’re going about launching and marketing it?
Yes, we’re experimenting with launching the first book in the Modern Necromancy series EXCLUSVIELY on Instafreebie. That means readers get the book for free, just by signing up for our newsletter, and nobody else can get it. The logic here? We hope to connect with our fans and build a following, so that they really help us push the book when it launches on Amazon.
Q: When is the book available?
Death Marked is available NOW on Instafreebie (link below), and will be available on Amazon October 31, 2016 (Halloween – since it has ghosts and all that). Our plan is to have book 2 follow up one month later, and book 3 another month after that.
Available Free on Instafreebie, through Halloween 2016
You can learn more about the authors by visiting their websites!
Author Michael La Ronn