Wednesday, November 21, 2012

0 All Eyes On Jeremiah


ALL EYES ON JEREMIAH

In The Care and Feeding of a Villain, I spent some time talking about the Angeu, a personification of Death that plays a major role in KING OF THE DEAD, the second book in the Jeremiah Hunt Chronicle, coming in hardcover from Tor Books on Nov 27th.  Today I’d like to spend some time talking about the Angeu’s nemesis, the hero (or anti-hero is it were) of our story, Jeremiah Hunt himself.
Urban fantasy is rife with strong female characters who kick ass and take names, from Lilith Saintcrow’s Jill Kismet to Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock, from Jennifer Estep’s Gin Blanco to Kelly Gay’s Charlie Madigan.  They are powerful role-models and intriguing characters, the kind of people it would be interesting to hang out with for an evening.
But when I sat down to write what would eventually become the Jeremiah Hunt Chronicle, I deliberately wanted to stay away from that archetype.  I wanted a male rather than a female one.    A darker, perhaps even tragic figure, who isn’t all that likeable.  An anti-hero, if you will, who captures the audience’s attention just as well as the heroines mentioned above.
Enter Jeremiah Hunt.  A former professor of ancient languages at Harvard University, Hunt had it all – a lovely wife, a good job, a beautiful child – only to lose everything in the wake of the tragic disappearance of his daughter, Elizabeth.  His search for her takes him down deeper, darker paths until at last he meets the Preacher and undergoes a mystical ritual designed to trade his eye sight in order to allow him to see the unseen.  Faustian bargains being what they are, Hunt does not gain the ability to see his daughter, as he had hoped, but rather the ghosts and other supernatural creatures that co-exist with normal society.
When we first meet Hunt in the pages of EYES TO SEE, he is an angry, anti-social figure who exists on the edges of society, getting by with odd jobs here and there helping the police department with unusual cases while fervently searching for his lost little girl.  We get to meet not only his ghostly companions, Whisper and Scream, but also his new allies, the hedge witch, Denise Clearwater, and the berserker, Dmitri Alexandrov.  We slowly see the influence of those around him pull him back from the brink.
In KING OF THE DEAD, however, we get to spend some time with a new Hunt.  He’s still rough around the edges - a little too self-centered, a bit too sarcastic and blunt – but his dependence on his newfound friends is gradually bringing him back into the land of the living, so to speak, and he will be forced to learn new skills in order to survive what’s coming.
I hope you find Jeremiah as intriguing an individual as I did.

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