Sunday, 23 November 2008


As I mentioned earlier, the site network Campaign for the American Reader recently ran its Page 69 Test on 'Dark Rain,' asking me to talk about that page and how it relates to the rest of the book. Only problem? Because of copyright laws, they couldn't reproduce the actual part that I was discussing. But I don't have that problem, so here it is, with the kind okay of Eos/HarperCollins:

The thing just took our heat, wincing with discomfort. And kept on pressing forward, trying to snatch the guns from both our hands. Its claws made a whistling noise, splitting the very air. We were the ones going backward by this time, and I didn’t like that. You can’t fight properly if you have to keep retreating.
It couldn’t disarm both of us if we separated. So I stepped sideways, behind my desk. Gun-smoke had already filled the room, my eyes were stinging gently. I was shaking slightly, wondering how to beat this thing.
The creature paused a moment, trying to decide which of us to follow. Its head went even lower, and its green eyes blinked. And then its shining gaze pinioned me. I’m not sure why. Cassie was the greater threat. But perhaps it had noticed that I still had the arrowhead in my left hand.
The beast suddenly lurched forward, ramming so hard into my desk it completely overturned it. My chair flipped over savagely, forcing me to jump back. I dodged across to one side, tried to fire again.
The hammer came down on an empty chamber. And the creature was stepping up onto my capsized desk by this time. I glanced desperately at Cass.
One of her slim eyebrows arched. She tossed me her second Glock. She uses the extended magazines, so she had plenty of shots to spare. The creature swiped at me with its long talons, missing me by barely an inch. I put three rounds straight into the center of its chest. It staggered back again, and let out something that I suppose might have been a moan. But then it just recovered, like the last time.
I could see there was no stopping it this way. We might as well be taking potshots at the side of a barn door. There was another handgun in the top drawer of my desk, a Magnum. Except my desk was lying on its side. And the creature had climbed on top of it once more.
I snatched up my fallen chair and hurled it at it, acting out of desperation. One of those huge arms simply batted it away.
Cass, though, had a clear run at the door by this time. I’d at least succeeded in drawing it away from her.
Copyright (c) Tony Richards 2008.

And here is what I wrote about it:

Page 69 of ‘Dark Rain’ -- my first full-length novel in over a decade, and hopefully the start of a whole series of them -- happens to be one of the most action-packed pages in the entire book. It falls right in the middle of the first action sequence, in fact. A vicious and hard-to-kill creature called the Dralleg -- the servant of an evil magician named Saruak -- has just materialized in the office of the book’s two heroes, Ross Devries and Cass Mallory. And they are desperately trying to fight it off, all weapons blazing.
If you like this kind of stuff, then it’s the perfect introduction. There is plenty more adventure and excitement in ‘Dark Rain,' culminating in a final battle on the rooftops above Union Square, and the book has variously been described as ‘fast and fun’ and ‘a one-sitting read.’
But if you’re of a more pensive nature, there’s no need to worry. What I’ve done in ‘Dark Rain,’ you see, is create a whole new imaginary town, Raine’s Landing, Massachusetts. It might look normal on the surface, but is actually a very strange place indeed. Because way back in the Sixteen Hundreds, the real witches of Salem fled there to escape the trials. They married into the local population, and the place has been imbued with magic -- some of it of the dark kind -- ever since.
And so I introduce the reader to the town, its different neighborhoods, its rich districts and poor ones. And there are some carefully-drawn portraits of its inhabitants too, ranging from more rational ones like Judge Samuel Levin to bizarre characters who’ve been driven insane to varying degrees by their own magic -- Dr. Lehman Willets and the manic Woodard Raine.
There’s something to enjoy on every level, in other words. The next book in the series -- ‘Night of Demons’ -- is due out next year.

No comments: