MY OWN EXPERIENCE WITH DISASTER
By Paula Altenburg
|Author Paula Altenburg|
For my demon westerns, as with most of my books, I’m all about the characters. While Black Widow Demon is the second book in the Demon Outlaws series (check out The Demon’s Daughter—you won’t be sorry!) Blade and Raven were my first priorities.
I already had established a world for them in my mind, so creating scenes for subsequent books was simply a matter of expanding that world.
The Demon Outlaws series
takes place in a post-apocalyptic, throwback to the wild west. It's pretty much been decimated by immortals who used it as a playground. Goddesses attempted to minimize the damage by keeping the demons contained within a desert microcosm, but unfortunately, mortals found themselves caught within that same region.
Nobody knows what’s been happening beyond the boundary for the past four hundred years. Does the Old World even exist?
Paula Altenburg's Personal Experience With Disaster
I often wonder what would happen if disaster struck on an epic scale. On a personal level, I’ve lived through a hurricane that shut down my home province for almost a week. I saw the military drive through on their way to the capital city, and experienced the eerie sensation of living in an empty world where people pretty much “went to ground” because they had no idea what else to do.
It really didn’t take long, however, before communities began to regroup. People didn’t wait for someone to take charge. There are always the practical people who see what needs to be done. Within a day or so, the neighbors were all out cleaning the debris off our rural road. There were street barbecues as people used up what was going to spoil in their fridges and freezers.
We got our power back after almost a week and life returned to normal. But what if it hadn’t? What if the power never came back?
Because that is my experience with disaster, I am seriously all about modern conveniences these days. During that week without power, my husband and sons voted me "most likely to get eaten." They were so sick of listening to me complain.
My husband, on the other hand, is the guy you want on your team if the zombie apocalypse ever strikes. (Don't get any ideas though. He’s mine. I found him first!)
So, based on my fascination with disaster and what happens after the mushroom cloud settles, I decided the characters in my books would retain what was most useful and ditch the superfluous. Cell phone towers would not be a top priority. Pilfering canned goods from stores is at best a short term solution. (Those things have expiry dates for a reason. Ever see what happens to a can of peaches left in the cupboard for too long?)
Paula Conducted Further Research Into Disaster Situations
I watched a few of those survivor shows and checked out some websites for research, and I’m not entirely convinced that stockpiling weapons would be a major necessity in an apocalyptic situation either. Out where I live, in the middle of rural Nova Scotia, the neighbors were genuinely all about helping each other.
For writing my books, I left out the nuclear warheads and brought back the six shooters. Those looked like fun and seemed a whole lot more practical, because yes, there will always be a need for self-defense in a lawless land.
Six shooters are what made the wild west seem so attractive to me as a writer. It may have been lawless, but there was always a code of ethics that people adhered to.
In Black Widow Demon, I do have to say that my hero Blade, even though he’s a former assassin, is one of the most ethical characters I’ve ever written. I love that guy so much.
Raven, for her part, had to be a strong enough heroine to stand with a man who will kill without hesitation if the motivation is right. Their world had to support their particular code of ethics.
The devil’s in the detail.And in the Demon Outlaws series, that is the truth.
NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER:
Entangled Select has three amazing paranormal romance books releasing this month: