Betsy Dornbusch, author of Sentinel: Archive of Fire, on demons, darkness, & anti-heroes
Let’s give a big welcome to Betsy Dornbusch, author of Sentinel: Archive of Fire!
I was asked an interesting interview question the other day: What inspired you to write about demons?
The quick and dirty answer is I like bad-ass characters who do the wrong thing for all the right reasons and get violent doing it. They’re just… cool. Urban fantasy has tons of brilliant anti-heroes, and I’m thrilled to add mine to the population. But none of that really answers why.
I think the attraction of the anti-hero stems from real life people so often succumbing to their urges to be bad. We overeat. We drive too fast and shout at other drivers to get out of our way. We argue on Facebook. Politics is rife with corruption, no office is without its manipulative jerk, and when that’s not enough to get us through the day, there’s always reality television to give you three hundred joules of dark side. Fathers even solve parenting problems via YouTube and a pistol.
As a writer I gravitate to anti-heroes for their innate conflict: there is no character more tortured, nor easy to torture, than one with constant bad urges given motivation to do the right thing, especially if the right thing makes him cringe. I like when dark characters get angsty and whiny about the clash between morals and vices. I adore when they give into their bad urges and it screws up the greater good.
My character Aidan has few morals or scruples when it comes to his own pleasure, and he certainly has a way of spouting his mouth off. It’s hard to see any darkness in him, what with his good looks, infectious laugh, and the constant joyride. But it’s all cover for a bad secret: he can see straight into his twin brother’s soul, and it ain’t pretty. For Kaelin is a real demon. He has a deep moral intellect but suffers from the constant presence of the devil within. His anger is a disease that manifests itself in violence, and his carefully constructed veneer of morality is a stopgap treatment at best.
I’m not sure how dark Archive of Fire is compared to other books on the market; that’s something I’ll let readers decide. At this point in the story, the twins are new to this whole “rebelling against the legions of Asmodai” business, and it gets personal really quick. But they are almost pureblooded demons. Sooner or later they both must sacrifice their own morality and succumb to the darkness.
More about the author
Betsy also writes erotic romance under the pseudonym Ainsley. Check out her GoodReads profile here.
Her sci-fi erotic adventure Lost Prince, the first book in the Salt Road Saga series, earned a Silver Heart award on GT last fall, receiving a score of 4.5/5 and was named one of the 5 Books from 2011 You Absolutely Must Read. Read DVK’s review of Lost Prince here!
GraveTells will be reviewing Sentinel: Archive of Fire next month, so be sure to check it out!