My original idea was pretty simple -- write a story about a new witch/demon pair. Of course James and Ambient started clamoring in my mind about that being unfair -- they wanted to be in it, too. So of course they are, along with Jules, the quirky Renaissance jeweler who helped them out at the end of their book. I like Jules. And their dog Raine wouldn't be left out, either. In fact, Depth of Return is a bit of a doggy book. I like dogs, too. And cats. And lakes and islands and canoes and thunderstorms and all the stuff that always finds its way into my books.
I honestly don't know where my two new characters came from. North and Alan just appeared and took right over. North is bossy that way. He's wonderfully rude and uptight and just wants to be left the fuck alone. He's been betrayed by family and lover, and he's pretty much done with everything at the ripe old age of twenty-six. Until he meets Alan, who is young and wide-eyed at the recent discovery that he's a demon. If two men ever needed each other, these two do. But of course there are problems -- the past never stays nicely where it has been left.
A common thread that runs through both Another Healing and Depth of Return is the problem of demons going bad. Certainly James and Ambient had to deal with one of them -- a demon named Hugh who wanted to find out everything he could about the witch/demon bond, no matter what the cost to the people he had to take apart to do it. Depth of Return has a nasty demon, too, and he wants... Well, I can't give away too much about the book. Suffice it to say that North and Alan have problems.
Anyway, as Depth of Return finishes its march toward publication, I am feeling mostly relief at this point, but also a growing sense of excitement. A new book out at the end of summer! Yippee!
Since there is a really important thunderstorm in Depth of Return, here's a photo of a storm approaching camp I took last week.