Hi, everyone. Thank you for having me here at Sid Love. My name’s Daniel A. Kaine, and welcome to the first stop on my ‘No Angel’ blog tour.
If you’ve read any of my books, or even if you just follow my ramblings on Facebook, you’ll probably know that I love the paranormal genre. Vampires, zombies, shifters… love them! So I wanted to talk to you today about why this is my favourite genre to both read and write, and I’ll also be sharing a bit of information from my new book.
The first thing I love is that,as a writer, the paranormal genre allows you to think up some really crazy ideas. The boundaries of reality no longer apply as tightly as they once did. Forget humans working normal day jobs and going about their everyday lives. Let’s have a wereswan whose father was a demon. Or, a bondage-loving angel whose libido gets him entangled (hehe) in the affairs of a pack of werebears. The possibilities are only as limited as our imagination!
As a reader, I love the mystery and intrigue that comes with the unknown. Each time we step into a new paranormal book, the rules are slightly different. One author’s werewolves may be entirely different to those in another book. And that can bring with it a sense of danger and suspense, because anything could happen next.
And I love that it’s just different from our everyday lives. When I read, or write—or sit on my couch daydreaming because I have nothing better to do—I want to be able to escape to someplace new and more exciting. I spend most of my life in reality, and sometimes I just need to get away from it for a short while. I want to be able to go on this fantastic adventure to a world that is different from our own and discover new things.
Also, the scope of the paranormal genre is just amazing. You can go from the goriest of zombie books, to the subtle haunting of a ghostly presence. You can immerse yourself in the action of a werewolf pack fighting for survival against intruders, or revel in the intricacies of a sorcerer’s studies. And there are so many sub-genres, too. Imagine a sci-fi world where ghosts are coming back to haunt an alien planet, or a historical wartime novel where shifters have been abducted and forced into the army.
But most of all, I love the genre because a part of me wants to believe. I’ve never really given up on wanting to believe that there’s something more to our world than first meets the eyes. Paranormal books allow me to indulge in that fantasy, if only for one night at a time.
So when it came time to sit down and think up a new story idea for my NaNoWriMo project, it was no surprise that I wanted to include a paranormal element. I decided that my characters would have special abilities. But unlike films such as X-men, I didn’t want their powers to be known to the rest of the world. At least, not yet, though I am thinking up ideas for further stories that include their exposure to the general public and a closer look at where these powers came from.
As well as having these supernatural abilities, I wanted to give the characters a physical trait that would make them stand out from other humans. While researching possible conditions, I stumbled across a few articles relating to something known as cornucutaneum, or cutaneous horns. Reports had sprung up about two elderly women in China who had started growing horns from their foreheads. No one knows exactly what the cause is, though links have been made to radiation and burns.
I took this idea and gave each of my characters two stumps of bone on their heads, like the beginnings of horns. In the book, the condition is unofficially known as Devil Syndrome, and scientists are at a loss for what causes it. However, there have been many theories proposed, one of which is that these children have been touched by the devil.
Just because they were born different, children with Devil Syndrome are treated with scorn and malice. They are bullied at school and often abused at home. Many end up being thrown out onto the streets, or running away from hostile environments.
Sound familiar?It should do, because there are plenty of teens in our own world that are forced out of their homes and feel like they have nowhere else to turn. That’s why I’ll be donating a portion of my royalties to a charity that helps get LGBT youths off the streets and into safe accommodation. I’ve chosen to support the Albert Kennedy Trust, who are currently doing some amazing work by opening up safe houses where they can supervise LGBT teens and provide mentoring and training to give them the skills they need to live independently.
I think you’ll agree, this is a great cause, and I hope my donations will be of help to them. Thank you for stopping by, and I’d like to share a quick excerpt from Josh’s point of view at the beginning of the book as we learn a little about his condition. Hope you enjoy it.
NO ANGEL by Daniel A. Kaine
BLURB: Born with a birth defect called Devil Syndrome, it is impossible for Josh Harper to hide the two small stumps of hornlike bone atop his head. If people also knew about his ability to create force fields with his mind, they’d lock him up for sure. Left to fend for himself on his eighteenth birthday, Josh tries to make it on the streets. When he’s attacked, he’s rescued by Sam Mitchell, who has an equally strange power—and a set of pure white wings.
Sam ran away from home a year ago, and the new life he’s built for himself includes living in an abandoned house and looking after three younger kids, all with Devil Syndrome. Then along comes Josh. After a rough start their relationship grows and the two young men find a haven in each other’s arms. But when tragedy strikes their newfound family, Sam’s hatred of regular humans spirals out of control, and Josh will have to make Sam see sense before everything he’s worked so hard to build is destroyed.
Josh stopped in front of a shop window, eyes fixed on the two small stumps of bone on his head poking up from underneath his hoodie. He reached up to touch one of them. Why couldn’t they just disappear? Devil syndrome. It was aptly named, considering how much the bony growths resembled the beginning of horns. No one could figure out what caused it, though the public was quick to come up with a variety of theories. But the whys and the hows weren’t important. It was the curse on any child born with the condition to live a life filled with loneliness. They were looked down upon, treated like lesser beings, all because of something out of their control.
Josh dropped his hand to his side and let out a long breath. The mist condensed against the cold glass. Despite the lack of scientific knowledge on the condition, or perhaps because of it, there was one theory that seemed to ring louder than the others. All it took was one fanatical parent to start proclaiming on live television that their daughter had been influenced by the devil, and soon it became the explanation of choice.
A group of people exited from a nearby café and huddled together under an umbrella as they smiled and laughed. They fell into silence as they passed Josh, their steps quickening to put him behind them before the conversation started up again. What was it that made him different from them? There was no real explanation, just a niggling doubt at the back of his mind. He wasn’t one of them. There was an unexplainable difference that went beyond the physical abnormality and far deeper, into the very depths of his soul. Whether it was instinctual or not, everyone else knew it too.
The goose bumps on his arms tightened Josh’s skin. His muscles trembled in a vain attempt at keeping warm. He turned away from the window and continued his search for shelter. Minutes passed before Josh tucked himself inside a doorway, hidden down a dark alleyway. He set his backpack down in one corner and lay on his back, using the bag as a makeshift pillow. The wind blew harder, chilling Josh to the bone. He turned onto his side and curled his legs up to his chest, making his body as small as he could manage.
If only his secret could protect him against the wind and rain—his secret that would have him burned at the stake for sure. He’d never once confided in anyone about it. Who would he even share it with? His aunt and uncle would probably have sold him to the government or have him locked up in some medical facility where they could pry open his skull to work out exactly what made him tick.
Walking home from college one evening, Josh discovered he could do things no “normal” human could. A football launched at his head had bounced off an invisible wall in front of him, creating a tiny flash of yellow light. The force it generated had been enough to knock him back, and to everyone else it probably appeared as though the ball knocked him to the ground. That ball never reached him. He’d done something to stop it, though he had no idea how and still couldn’t quite explain it.
He shuffled about on the hard stone, his hips starting to ache. His body shook harder. Why did he have to be born in November? He screwed his eyes shut, letting his mind drift elsewhere. A warm beach appeared in the forefront of his mind, the sun shining down and warming his damp, chilled skin. If only….
RELEASE DATE: August 26th, 2013
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel A. Kaine was born and raised in the Land of Rain, more commonly known as England. Originally trained as a biology teacher, he was always unsure what to do with his life. That is, until he chanced upon a fanfiction site and began jotting down stories between his favourite anime characters. To this day, he still cringes at the mere memory of all that cheese.
In 2010, Daniel came across the NaNoWriMo boards and started work on his first original piece of fiction. Since then, his fingers have been unable to keep up with all the ideas and characters his brain keeps throwing at him.
When he’s not writing, Daniel enjoys staying active, whether that be by running along the river banks near his home, or going to the gym. He also enjoys reading, playing video games, and learning new skills, such as image manipulation.
Daniel is giving away a copy of his book “No Angel” to one lucky winner at the end of the tour. Click the link below and enter yourself:
The ones who can’t access the link above, can instead leave a comment here and enter themselves.