Today I have the pleasure of welcoming an author friend, John Marco, back to my blog. John and I go way back – at least it seems like that. We've spoken many times over email about all matters regarding writing and books. So, without further adieu, I’ll let John take the floor.
Hello! First, I want to thank Debra Martin for asking me here to talk about my upcoming book, The Forever Knight, and in particular about the book’s main character, Lukien. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Deb for quite a while now, and I’m still constantly impressed by her dedication to writing and to helping her fellow authors.
The Forever Knight is the fourth book I’ve written about Lukien, often referred to as the fabled “Bronze Knight.” He first appeared over ten years ago in my novel The Eyes of God, and was the main character in two more books before I put him “on the shelf” for a while to work on other projects. Sometimes, a character becomes so real to an author, his voice so powerful, that he insists on being heard from again. That’s what it was like for me with Lukien.
After spending so much time with Lukien, you might think it would be easy for me to talk about him, and yet I still find him a difficult character to describe. He’s never been a typical hero. In fact, he’s an anti-hero in a lot of ways. Back when he first appeared in The Eyes of God, many readers described their own mixed feelings about him, and some just flat out couldn’t stand him. I still laugh when I think about that, because despite his flaws I like Lukien. Yes, he cheated with his best friend’s wife and drove the poor man to insanity. And yes, he kills people, but hey, they all pretty much deserve it. Lukien might not always be righteous, but he tries to be. And to me, that’s what makes him interesting.
An author that I admire one time spoke about books being like the writer’s dirty laundry. She mentioned how sometimes writers embarrass themselves by putting too much on the page and not realizing how transparent they are being. I suppose that’s happened to me on occasion, but here’s one thing I can say for certain—Lukien isn’t me. I’m not as fearless as he is, or as handsome, or as popular, and that’s probably a good thing because Lukien uses all those qualities as a shield to protect himself from his own deep feelings of inadequacy. So maybe that’s what really resonates with readers. I said previously that some people hate Lukien. Well, the opposite is true as well. There are readers who absolutely love Lukien. They see various things in him, things I might not see myself. They interpret Lukien in their own way. That makes me think I’ve done something right.
The Forever Knight takes Lukien in some new directions. As I mentioned on a previous post here on Deb’s blog, this is the first book I’ve done in his first-person viewpoint. So far the handful of people who’ve read the book have responded positively to this change, but time will tell how the rest of Lukien’s fan react. Whatever the reaction, I’m glad to be spending time with him again.