A Stranger in Paradise Q&A

And so, we finish the polls! Looks like the most surprisingly popular characters in A Stranger in Paradise were Baron Samedi, Jack and Jill, Odysseus, and Michael; I’ll probably use these as inspirations for future Patreon novellas! Speaking of which, on Tuesday, I’ll be posting the first chapter of ‘That’ Thing here for free. It’s a stand-alone, but it’ll give a little context to the next novel… Mysterious, eh?

The split on the ‘Do you want the world to change or stay the same’ is interesting- 4 for stay the same, 6 for change. That’s kind of the nature of things; When the world changes, it can be unpredictable. The more you have to lose, the scarier that is. And for stories, you risk losing what made it good in the first place, and alienating audiences.

But the world can’t just stay the same. The forces within have to change things, over time. That’s frightening, because if you can’t change, it can leave you behind. It can be awful.

But when your life is shit, when the world is pulling itself apart around you, when nobody seems to give a damn, when suffering is everywhere, it can make a difference.

I’ve been feeling a bit stressed lately, juggling a lot of stuff- but by god, I’ll keep writing, and I’ll finish these stories. They’re worth finishing.

Paradise by the Dashboard Lights

This month’s Patreon story is Paradise by the Dashboard Lights, a 22,000 word novella focusing on Atina LeRoux, and one of her less death-defying cases. If you’re interested in my backlog of Patreon novellas,¬†https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5359808 they’re all available on here for only a dollar a month!

Slice of Life, Comedy. Atina-focused. Atina finds herself being hired by a Fairy Noble of Spring, whose teenage son- a changeling- has begun making far too many unwise promises, not least his promise to love his girlfriend forever, while dealing with Roy’s occasional jealousy at said fairy teenager’s skill with words.

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Chapter 6: Uprising

Humans are difficult to deal with, because they’re always trying to learn from their mistakes. They are heuristic, which means they apply past experiences to future actions. When a human touches a red-hot stove, they associate all red things with heat, and pain. When a foolish young human boy has once been lied to by a supernatural creature, he may come to mistrust all things he doesn’t understand. He may turn away from those who offer him a second chance, believing it is simply a repetition of the mistakes that brought him where he is today. Without perfect knowledge of what your previous mistakes were, it gives you exciting opportunities to make wholly new errors in judgment.

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Chapter 5: Slum Lord

Johnny sat in the subway car, trying not to make eye contact with anyone, his long hoodie drawn over his head. A phone sat in one hand, though it was still showing the lock screen. He’d stolen it when he’d been leaving the crime scene. A spasm of paranoia struck him. Could they track the phone with its GPS coordinates? He considered, for the third time that hour, throwing the thing under the rails the next time he got off the train. But his reasoning had been sound. The phone made him look normal. People didn’t question who you were when you were staring at a phone on the subway. They just assumed you were another self-absorbed prick.

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Chapter 14: I Am Not Dead Yet

“Let’s just change her, now,” Donny said, hissing, his eyes narrowed. “Bitch is tricky. Just bite her, change her-” He dropped silent as Chaac turned her warm brown eyes on him, his back straightening. “Just saying. Just saying we should do this fast, before she has time to pull any shit. Don’t want her pulling any tricky shit like the last time-”

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Chapter 8: An Unexpected Guest

“I never wanted it to end up like this,” said Fang Fen, as she sat back on the hood of her car. It was still hot, providing a warm place to sit for a few minutes before the bitter cold of the night filled it, like it was filling everything else. “The two of us on opposite sides, fighting over whether someone will live or die. You saved my ass once.” I was silent. “And we both know that I can’t repay you for it here. There are a lot of things I’d do for you, Atina, but I will not betray justice for you.”

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Case Files 1: Vampires, Ghouls, and Ghosts

Vampires

Being a Vampire is, broadly, like being ‘white’ or ‘black’. That is, it’s a huge umbrella term for a very large and diverse group of individuals, and almost uselessly vague. The only thing that identifies one of the undead as a vampire is feeding on blood. Kumiho, Vampyrs, Draugr, Strix, Were-Mosquitos, Leech-Men, Camazotz, there are a shocking variety of myths about creatures that feed on blood, usually risen corpses. So, where the hell does the generic vampire with its daylight allergy, superhuman strength and speed, and hypnotic mien come from? How did those start getting made?

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