Writing City of Shadows — #PulpRev speed ahead

People have noted that I pump out a book in 4-6 weeks. That’s usually when I’m dragging my feet or when someone is trying to get me to work on real world projects when I’d rather be working the day job — which is pumping out books.

I am the KU book factory. Bwahahaha.
Anyway….
But for City of Shadow, I was going to go a little deeper into the pulp rabbit hole.
Enter “the Soul Stone.”
Before anyone starts Googling, the closest I’ve ever seen is has been an accessory for weapons in Elder Scrolls … and the stones are charged by sucking the souls out of the things you kill. If you get a black soul stone, you can suck the life out of a human being. You can then use the power of a soul to … keep a magical weapon charged.
Oh please. Surely we can take a human soul, something with enough power to mold and shape the world, and use it for somewhat grander goals, right?
But where do you find something like that in human history?
I’m a historian. I know we don’t have any….
I also know that human history doesn’t anywhere near cover the existence of the human race. The entire Silmarillion could be a textbook, set before a natural catastrophe that hit the reset button on the planet, and we never would have known.
And in Genesis we are told of a time when giants walked the Earth, and Nephilim wreaking havoc.
I can play with this.
In the book, I describe it like this.

It was beautiful, in a goth sort of way. It was like a black, Satanic Faberge egg. It was brilliant, translucent, and dark. The very sight of it filled me with dread. There were natural, almost fluid striations on either side, within the stone itself. They were clearly below the gleaming, faceted surface. One set of striations were blood red. The other set was a startling silver. If they weren’t embedded inside of a millennia-old diamond, I would have thought they were runes. They’re a language that no one has ever seen before. It predates … everything. Yet there are no tool marks on the stone. There’s no way that this should exist. The soul stone is entirely impossible. 

The legend is simple: that it was given to the first pharaoh by Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead himself. And if it was ever misused, it would annihilate any who use it…. And it wiped out Thinis, the first capital of Egypt. So much so we barely know it even exists.
Now, since a weapon that levels the city (like, say, the entire Greater London area) is something you build up to, and not confront over the course of the entire novel.  Unless of course, you can use the main threat to create other threats, more manageable threats, that won’t annihilate the entire city… but will kill the hero.
How about taking little flecks of the stone and giving it to casual thugs? They can use it for their own whims — which will be, of course, to give them superpowers.
In short: I wanted to fight the X-Men as casual minions. Heh heh heh.
Then there was going to be a running shootout in a flaming temple, a chase scene in the middle of London in the middle of a riot, escaping an exploding skyscraper from the top floor, and then a knife fight with an SAS commando.
Then it gets crazier when Tommy has to confront the Soul Stone itself. Because an unknown artifact from the dawn of time may have an attitude problem.
So yeah, it’s gonna be FUN.
As you wait for the books to download to your Kindle, please join the discussion about the Dragon Awards. I’ve got the latest post updated and ready to go, and I seriously want to hear from you and your thoughts on what you enjoyed..

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