Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Evolution of the Paladins

Today we have the privilege of hearing how Alexis Morgan came up with the Paladins.

Thank you so much Alexis for taking the time to guest blog for me.

I’ve been living with the Paladins as part of my life for the better part of six years now.  Looking back, I can still remember the first stirrings of the ideas that led me to meeting my first Paladin hero, Devlin Bane. 

At the time, I was still writing American West historicals.  I’ve always had a soft spot for the kind of hero who was willing to risk everything to protect those he cares about—marshals, sheriffs, gunslingers with a heart of gold, and even Civil War soldiers. You get the idea.

But suddenly I found myself thinking about a modern day warrior. For some inexplicable reason, I kept seeing him carrying a sword rather than any kind of modern day weapon. That was intriguing enough, but somehow I knew—just KNEW—that the battle he waged was always fought in the darkness.

Now darkness can be literal—maybe his enemies only come out at night. That’s true of a lot of paranormal heroes and villains.  However, darkness can also carry the connotation of secrecy.  That felt right to me. My new hero fought a secret war using ancient weapons to keep those of us who live in the light—or in the open—safe from harm.  I called them Paladins because this new kind of warrior served a noble cause as did the knights of old. 

From there, I decided the secret enemy was not of this world, that there was a barrier between our world and theirs. Hence the secrecy of the war. Imagine the panic if people found out that we were under the constant threat of invasion by aliens who were out of their heads with the need to kill? What’s more, that only a handful of brave men had the ability to prevent a steady influx of crazies called Others into our world. What made the Paladins uniquely able to fight the Others? Good question. It’s because the Paladins shared some of the same DNA as their enemies. 

To be fair, I thought these heroes deserved to have a few extra tools in their arsenals beyond their swords, a gift from that alien DNA. They have enhanced senses, superior strength, speed, and the ability to heal much faster than regular humans.  Oh, yeah, there was one more thing—they can die and come back from it. Cool beans, huh? But the downside is, no one knows how many times each Paladin can make the long journey back to the living before he’s used up all his chances.

I started off with five Paladins, but others have introduced themselves along the way, not to mention the surprise of having a few of their sworn enemies becoming heroes who demanded their own books as well.  The next two installments in my Paladin world will be out in May and June.  The first, Bound by Darkness, has a Kalith warrior, Larem q’Jones as the hero.  The second one, The Darkness Beyond, is about Paladin D.J. Clayborne.  Both of these heroes were extra special for me, and I hope my readers feel like I’ve done their stories justice.

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Check out her other series: The Talions, and her vampires: eHarlequin Nocturne Bites (ebooks)


Don A. Martinez said...

Alexis - interesting that you use paladins in modern settings, and combine sci-fi elements into what's typically the province of fantasy. I'd love to talk paladin-shop with you sometime, maybe compare my paladin to yours. (Okay, that came out sounding all wrong.)

Pat said...

Wonderful, I love your books, can't wait for the next 2!!

Alexis Morgan said...

Don--I always enjoy talking shop. And I loved the concept of mixing ancient weapons like swords and a band of warriors in a modern setting.

Pat, thanks for letting me know that you enjoy my stories. I've really been looking forward to both DJ and Larem getting their own books.