Character Evolution: Vincent Corinthos

Warning: May contain minor spoilers! If  you haven’t read IMPERIUM yet, go do that now, then come back here.

Vincent Corinthos wasn’t always god of the Urisk. In the initial drafts of what would become IMPERIUM, Vincent was a different character. I thought it might be fun to talk about how Vincent evolved into the character he is today.

Originally, Vincent was a god-for-hire. The idea was that supernatural creatures could employ him as an enforcer or guardian, depending on their needs. Vincent would gain all their powers for the duration of their worship and then move on. I scrapped that idea because I wanted a more stable relationship with his followers. Also, I questioned just how much faith his “worshippers” would have in him in scenarios like this.

Vincent’s original dedicated worshippers weren’t Urisk. I had Vincent set up as a god of vampires, who would possess all the vampiric strengths we know and love, but none of their weaknesses. I ditched that because I found I was essentially writing a Blade knock-off, and wanted to do something different.

When I came upon a sketch of the Dover Demon and saw how much it looked like a Gray alien, I thought, “That’s it, I’ll have him be worshipped by aliens!” I created an entire alien race that existed in another dimension and could enter our universe by tearing holes in reality. These aliens were physically weak, but possessed an innate ability to negate gravity. This let them lift heavy objects with ease, and run very quickly by negating their own weight. While this provided me with a ton of really cool special effects, it made Vincent way too powerful. When I put him in fight scenes, I found he’d just negate gravity around all his adversaries and send them 40,000 feet up into the stratosphere. When you find yourself constantly trying to come up with ways around your character’s abilities, chances are you’ve overpowered them.

And then, after a ton of frustrated Google searches, I came across a drawing of an Urisk. It looked enough like the Dover Demon that I could still include that in Vincent’s backstory, and the Urisk possessed a host of psychic powers. Those powers weren’t listed anywhere, which let me pick and choose from all the ones I could think of. I decided on telekinesis for its utility, pyrokinesis for its combat potential, and limited telepathy for reconnaissance purposes. To avoid overpowering Vincent, I made it so his telepathy wouldn’t work on humans, so he couldn’t just read a person’s mind to know everything about them.

Finally, because all the Greek and Roman gods I’d read about possessed some powers all their own, I had Vincent inherit a few traits from his father, Janus. Vincent’s Glimpse and Opening powers are utilitarian in nature, and while useful, they don’t let him roll over every bad guy he comes across.

So that’s where Vincent came from. I’ve got a few more evolutions planned for him along the way, and you’ll learn more about one of those in the next book. In the meantime, if you haven’t picked IMPERIUM up yet, you can read the first chapter here, and you can buy it from Amazon and Smashwords.

BLB Book Tour

I’m very excited to announce that I’ve got a book tour starting in September. There will be giveaways, guest posts & excerpts from IMPERIUM. The schedule is below. Enjoy!
9/1 – review @ Books Glorious Books
9/8 – review @ Fameless Ramblings
9/8 – giveaway @ Books Glorious Books
9/12 – guest post @ Jagged Edge Reviews
9/13 – review @ Owl Tell You About It
9/13 – review @ Jagged Edge Reviews
9/14 – giveaway @ Owl Tell You About It
9/15 – review @ Keeping Up With The Rheinlanders
9/17 – review @ The Phantom Paragrapher
9/18 – guest post @ The Phantom Paragrapher
9/19 – review @ It’s All About Books
9/20 – excerpt @ Keeping Up With The Rheinlanders
9/21 – guest post @ It’s All About Books
9/25 – review @ Aobibliosphere
9/28 – giveaway @ Aobibliosphere
9/28 – review @ Sara Is Reading What?
9/30 – excerpt @ Sara Is Reading What?




New Caulborn Story & Giveaway

It’s Erika’s birthday over at Badass Book Reviews, and to celebrate she’s hosting a bunch of guest posts & giveaways from writers such as Ilona Andrews, Moira Rogers, and more. And I’m in there too! Instead of a guest post, though, I wrote a short Caulborn story for Erika’s birthday. It’s called Party Crasher – head on over and check it out. You can also enter to win a copy of IMPERIUM!

Happy Birthday, Erika!

IMPERIUM Now Just 99 Cents!

Now you can buy IMPERIUM for the low, low price of just 99 cents from both Amazon and Smashwords. But act now, because at this price, they won’t last long!

Oh, wait. There are infinite copies of e-books, aren’t there. Huh. Well, Badass Book Reviews said that “IMPERIUM was the best 2.99 that you could spend at Amazon” so at 99 cents it must be even better! 🙂

Gearstripper’s Origin

Imperium’s been out for a few weeks now and it’s received some great reviews. One thing all the reviews have in common is how much people love Gearstripper, the Caulborn’s resident technical expert. I thought I’d talk a bit about what inspired Gears.

For starters, Gears is a gremlin. A good chunk of the inspiration for Gears came from the novel adaptation of Stephen Spielberg’s movie Gremlins, which I read when I was a kid. Yes, I saw the movie too, but there are things in the book that weren’t in the film. One scene in particular shows one of the town’s residents having a flashback to World War II, when a gremlin sabotaged his plane. He saw the current gremlin infestation as a chance to get back at the gremlins he dealt with during the war. For some reason, that scene stuck with me. When I got older, I saw an old Looney Tunes episode where Bugs Bunny stops a gremlin from crashing Allied planes. This cemented a fact in my mind – gremlins were extremely active in WWII.

As I got older, I researched gremlins a little more. With all the fables, folklore and fairy tales I read, I expected to find gremlins somewhere else. I didn’t. The first time gremlins show up is during WWII. And even then, only Allied pilots saw them. I didn’t find any instances of German or Japanese pilots being plagued by the little buggers. So that got me thinking about why that was, where the gremlins might have come from, and what their true origin might be.

One thing that always bothered me about the way Spielberg portrayed gremlins was how mindlessly chaotic they were. If you’re going to sabotage an airplane, you need cunning, but more importantly, you need smarts. You need to know what wires to cut and when to cut them. Stripe and his crew were plenty cunning, but they were pretty dumb. I wanted my gremlins to be smarter, which is why Gears can invent things that technology companies can’t.

The final piece of Gears came when I was on a bit of a sugar rush from a king-sized Snickers bar, and thought, “Hey, what if this little guy was always eating junk food and living on a perpetual sugar high?”

I rolled all those things together and Gearstripper was the end result. If you’d like to learn more about Gears and my take on the origin of gremlins, check out Imperium, available from Amazon and Smashwords. You can also read the first chapter here.

Contest: Spread the Word About Imperium

UPDATE: The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Suzy Turner!


Hey there – how’d you like to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate? I’m trying to spread the word about my new urban fantasy novel, Imperium. You can help and maybe win a prize. Here are the rules:

If you tweet about Imperium and this contest, that gets you one entry.

If you blog about Imperium and this contest, that gets you one entry.

If you post about Imperium and this contest somewhere else, that also gets you one entry.

If you purchased Imperium, that gets you 3 entries.

These are cumulative, so you can have up to 6 chances to win a $25 Amazon gift cert.

Just post a link to each item you’re doing in the comments below so I know that you’ve entered. If you’ve purchased Imperium, you can send in a pic of your Kindle with Imperium shown on the home screen (make sure it’s legible), or you can send in your Amazon or Smashwords receipt. Send either of those things to

A winner will be drawn on July 12, 2011 at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Good luck to all and thanks for your help!