As I prepare the final touches on the next piece in the Custodes Noctis series, I have been thinking a lot about where they came from, and what it was that led me to create this world with these characters and the complex equation that brings them together.
The idea of a group of warriors raised to a specific task is a very old one—it can be found in the histories and myths of many cultures, and it was there I found my first inspiration. Once that tiny seed was planted it began to take root. There needed to be more, something personal, familial, and there the Custodes Noctis were born. A family that is trained to fight.
Of course there is far more to their world than just that, but that was the beginning.
Once upon a time, things that we readily dismiss as unreal were very much a part of the human landscape, part of daily life and a very real part of the fears that bound communities together or tore them apart. The night was a place of terror, full of things that yanked away human life with the ease of a hot knife through butter. The waking world was full of evil—violence, warfare and the unseen evil of plague. We have since explained away much of this with science. Complacent in the germ theory of illness and knowing that the things in the night are just creatures that “the people back then” had no weapons against.
But what if that was only half true? What if there were things out there that lurked in the night, things that ripped through society and left it bloody and filled with death? We would need protection against those things, the things that even the evil feared. As I began to research further, digging into old histories and Sagas, I began to put together the picture of what would become the Custodes Noctis. The Keepers of the Night. Literally guardians of the night.
Of course, if they were to battle this evil, they would need to be special, and magic had to enter the arena. Referring to that once upon a time again, magic was just part of life. Later fear of this would lead to great tragedies throughout Europe but in the beginning, people had their healers, their shaman, those that could fight evil in the physical world and the worlds that are unseen. When I made the choice to have brothers, tied by a special bond, I was thinking of some of the Mythical Heroes, tied magically to their siblings giving them more power and a greater chance of survival in battle. I’ve added my own twist to this, giving each brother their own Gifts as well, and as the series expands and we meet other members of the Custodes Noctis, not just the Emrys clan, the way those Gifts manifest will be explored as well.
Building up the world of my main characters has led me into the world of the Sagas, I’ve spent hours pouring over the Sagas of Iceland and other parts of Northern Europe. There is a wealth of magic, of epic there that is untapped. Along with that, I have brought in my own research and knowledge of herbs. The history of healing is a personal passion and I have added much of that to the world of Galen and Rob Emrys.
The trick to it all is mixing it into the modern world. Bringing the idea of the mythic warrior forward and handing him not only a sword but a cell phone. The bond I created between the brothers has proven to be a challenge too, it’s an odd thing to play with, and sometimes leads me to an interesting situation when dealing with my characters. As I have added people and places, I have tried to stay true to the oldest possible version of the myths. For example in The Hunt when I decided to bring the fae into the story I dug into the old, old stories. Fairies were not nice creatures. They were terrifying. And as I move forward I will keep this up.
In the new entry to the series The Summoning out October 31, just in time for the traditional Emrys birthday, I will be bringing one more ancient Saga to light…
I have been a writing all my life and have been published in newspapers, magazines and books. Recently, I have started working with writers helping them to learn to love their writing, and how we, as writers can learn from musicians and their techniques.