Friday, April 13, 2012

Story behind Beyond the Shadows

I've been a fan of so-called Urban Fantasy for some time. I got started reading some of the novels of Charles DeLint who mixed the kingdom of Fairie and other-worldly dastards into modern Canada city-scapes. Then a whole raft of romance authors began to blend present day love stories with paranormal or fantasy elements with some fascinating results!

But I rarely write about city life. Except for living in Colorado Springs for not quite three years, I have always lived in suburbs or rural areas and that is what I prefer. So when I decided to mix some fantasy elements into a story or several of them, I knew I would be writing rural rather than urban fantasy! Later I found someone had already coined the term for a sub-genre of fiction.

Living near the Mexican border in the southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico I was familiar with the US Border Patrol. I knew of their very difficult job of trying to protect our border and cut down the influx of undocumented people from not only Mexico but many more distant and often less friendly places. What if, I said to myself, they also began to have to deal with some really alien beings from beyond the earth we know? And thus the notion of the Thin Green Line series began to take root.

Beyond the Shadows was the first of this group of related tales. I set it in the 'boot heel' region of southwestern New Mexico and spilling over into the southeastern corner of Arizona. This is very rugged and isolated country, perhaps nearer to wilderness now than it was fifty or a hundred years ago. I had also begun exploring some of the ancient Celtic spiritual paths such as Druidism and felt an urge to weave a bit of this background into the tale and of course the ethnic mix of people among which I have grown up and lived in the area--Latinos, Native Americans and and those of Northern European descent as well. I chose my two heroes to represent the Welsh and Irish roots that I myself have while other characters completed the mix.

Some reviewers have complained about my "mixed metaphors" in borrowing a bit of several trends of fantasy such as elves and vampires and so on, but I say, hey, its my world and I'll build it as I want to! Beyond the Shadows was an April 2010 release and part of an Amber PAX group about friends becoming lovers.

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