This month I asked Audrey Brice to come by and tell us a little about Rising Darkness, the latest release in the Demonolatry steeped OTS series. She tells us what inspired it, how Demonolatry plays a role in her novels, and what’s next for Elizabeth Tanner and the crew.
FD- What inspired you to write the OTS novels?
AB – Back in 2008 I was reading a lot of paranormal mysteries. I loved them, but none of them seemed to have characters I could completely relate to. All the of the witches were goody-goody, the psychics were new agers, and the Christians were all meddlesome ninnies. Basically all the characters in the novels I was reading were nothing like the people in the circles I travel in. All of these types of novels came from the same mold where everything was black and white. Some authors were using them to pound the pulpit and explain why *real* witches are all Wiccan and aren’t bad. So I thought, why not write a book with main and supporting characters who all practice *darker* paths, and make all of the characters (good and bad) some flavor or pagan, witch, magician, occultist, or even Atheist? Both the good guys AND the bad guys. That’s how the initial OTS series was born. You’ll notice there is only one Christian character in the first book, and she’s a naive sweetheart.
FD- Have you had any opposition to the novels?
AB – Well all novels have critics. After all, you can’t please all of the readers all of the time. The only real opposition I had to any of the novels was when I was initially shopping Outer Darkness to the major publishers. One of the big five was interested – provided I made the characters “generic” witches and made no mention of Satanism or Daemonolatry. I refused to compromise and turned down a nice series contract offer. Some people would say I was completely stupid for doing that. I say that I am not a sell-out and I didn’t want to write another cookie-cutter book series that merely re-hashed every series already out there. As far as readers – the readers have been very supportive. Even readers who aren’t practicing occultists of any flavor write me to tell me how much they enjoy the books because they like how different they are.
FD- I noticed both the first book and this new one both have warnings in them about the rituals in the books being real. What level of realism are we talking about when we talk about the OTS series in general?
AB – Despite the fact that these novels are fiction, I wanted to keep a level of occult realism to where actual practitioners could relate to the characters and what they were doing. All three books describe very authentic rituals. It’s the job of the writer to blend reality and fantasy so well that the reader can get lost in story and escape for a few hours. Using authentic rituals and peppering my stories with some of my real life experiences seems to work well in these books. Of course there’s plenty of fantasy in the novels, too. And no, I’m not telling anyone what’s what. Those who know me know which parts are true, which parts are exaggerated, and which parts are complete fiction.
FD – Do you ever have people try to guess what’s real and what isn’t?
AB – All the time. I’ve had people make some really huge assumptions about me and my life based on the novels.
FD – So what can we expect in the new novel, Rising Darkness?
AB – Lots of necromancy. Since I was coming out of a necromancy immersion when I started writing the book, it was only natural some of it would end up in the book. I’ve always wanted to write the quintessential “haunted house” story, so this gave me the opportunity to do that, too.
FD – Outer Darkness, I noticed, was ceremonial magic heavy and excellent on the details, whereas the last book, Into Darkness, seemed to focus more on the story of Elizabeth and Mike and you deviated from the the heavy handed magic. Any reason for that?
AB – While you are right that Into Darkness explored the dynamic of Mike and Elizabeth’s relationship, I don’t think it deviated from magick at all. Instead, that book was an example of living magick and Daemonolatry, where these things are the day-to-day backdrop of these character’s lives. Into Darkness was about the anatomy of a curse, the anatomy of a relationship, sex magick, and the evil within people, not their religious beliefs or their practices. I did use authentic ritual detail when it came to sex magick and curse breaking techniques.
FD – So what can we expect from Rising Darkness, the new book. Magically speaking I mean.
AB – This book’s underlying theme is about confronting what we fear. There is a lot of heavy necromantic detail throughout, and I introduce a new character, who I think readers are going to love (especially if you’re twisted, like me). Admittedly this book is different from the first two. I think all three books are different from one another. That was by design. I worry about becoming the author who is just writing the same book over and over again. I think that if I lost readers with the last book, they should give this one a try because it might bring them back into the fold.
FD – Can we expect a new OTS book next year?
AB – Ascending Darkness is scheduled for next fall/winter, but I have to finish Thirteen Covens, a stand alone project I’ve been working on, first.
FD – What is Ascending Darkness about?
AB – Have you ever watched the home shopping network? Or, out of curiosity, stopped on one of the religious channels and watched a televangelist? I thought to myself, what if I combined these two horrific monstrosities and created The Black Magick Network? What kind of trouble could Liz, Mike and the gang get into there? Add a unique magickal item and a terrifying “potential mother-in-law” with her rather ironic pet, and you’ve got a story! I promise it will be, in the very least, mildly amusing.
FD – I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for stopping by today to tell us about the new book.
AB – Thanks for having me!
If you have questions for Audrey Brice about the OTS series, feel free to post them in the comments below and the author will take a stab at them!