• L.E. Towne

Monsters, strangely enough, don't just create themselves. They require a fair amount of research, not to mention a few nightmares and imagination. These are the creepy, crawly, evil, and sometimes sympathetic creatures that roam Tam Paradiso's world. In Knight of the Crescent Moon, she and Marlowe deal with an ancient vampiric creature called a Strigoi Mort. So ancient in fact that even in Marlowe's 16th century they are practically unheard of. It follows Marlowe through the ribbons of time to invade the present day.

I created a monster board on my Pinterest page.

I try to find the unusual ones, something other than your typical ghost, weres, or vampires. Tam tangles with ghouls in the opening of Knight, but the big bad is the Strigoi, and the human evil behind the monster.

In Battle for Daylight, the opening scene is Marlowe’s, but when we get to Tam, she encounters a run of the mill vampire and beheads him with a trash can lid. (Yes, she’s a badass), but the monster at the end of this book is an Ame Onna, a Japanese Rain Spirit, and much harder to deal with than a lowly vampire. She creates all kinds of chaos on the mean, wet streets of Philly.

Researching these and other creatures is a lot of fun, almost as much as writing them. In that exploration, I’ve delved into the world of the fae for books three and four. Stay tuned.

  • L.E. Towne

Tam, a strong, dedicated detective provides insight into her world - in a colorful, descriptive manner. Her quick wit provides entertainment, and her critical thinking skills make you want to feel safe if she is on duty. Marlowe, a gentleman, is her equal from another time, but they complement each other and together they create situations that leave you unable to put the book down.

  • L.E. Towne

I call this the Anti-Blog because, quite frankly, I dislike blogging. It’s not my thing. I deal in fictional worlds and while sometimes they mirror our own issues in the real world, I much prefer communicating my thoughts and ideas through fiction.  That being said, here’s my thoughts on how Urban Fantasy can mirror our own set of values on humanity, at least in my work.

In Knight, Tam makes a comparison of her world to the normals: They want to believe that their little mundane world is still within their realm of understanding—that the most dangerous things around are viruses and politicians. It’s not that I’m not wary of right-wing extremists, or leftists for that matter, or pesky African viruses, but my realm is just a tad larger than most. I think this is true of most humans. We all have our perception of our little world, and often do not go beyond that perception to empathize with others unlike ourselves. People from foreign countries, people who do not speak our language or share our culture, our religion, or our sexual identity or race. Often people live in fear of “the other”, the unfamiliar and we certainly can’t identify with them if we fear them. Tam Paradiso has been forced to expand her belief system to include the occult, the paranormal. For the rest of us, maybe we could push our comfort zone just a little, just to see of “the other” is really as monstrous as we make them out to be. Chances are, they’re just like us.

Tam also faces gender bias in her day to day life. She is at a disadvantage because of her size, her gender and her family name. Yet, she’s also very practical and when it serves the greater good, she’s not above concession. Here’s two instances:

"Tamberlyn, pray follow me. I shall lead." He indicated the opposite direction. After a moment, I followed. After all, he seemed to have far more sewer experience than I.

At this point, Tam could have insisted they go in her direction, after all, they were in her city, on her hunt, but she takes a leap of faith and trusts that Marlowe will lead them out successfully.

Rick insisted on paying. I let him. He made more money than I did and it made him feel better.  The waitress lingered at our table, the credit card receipt and tip in her hand.

This was after a very tense meal where Rick had pretty much lived up to his nickname, Rick the Dick. He’d belittled Marlowe’s profession, referred to Tam as babe, and spoke disparagingly of the waitress. While Tam seems to notice these character flaws for the first time, she recognizes his income is much higher than hers, (he’s an attorney), and if she wants to be done with the evening, he needs his ego assuaged. The easiest way of doing this is to let him get the check. It may not be a point for feminism, but in her mindset, it’s a practical solution.