A common theme in all of my writing is the idea of morality and choice, as well as the concept of defining yourself rather than being defined by others. I know many see me as a romance writer, but romance isn’t the point. A love story maybe, but it’s also about how we accept others and how we find people in the world who can see the flaws within us, and make them something we learn to appreciate.
In Primordial Dust, I used an assassin, because I wanted to explore the concept of hate and violence, but also in a way that deals with perception. Why is Seamus a killer? He happens to be born in a kingdom where killing is his job. However, he’s not unkind. The novel questions why we accept our roles so willingly – and what it takes to question them.
The story is not really about him or his assassinations, so it may be a disappointment to someone expecting the journals of Altair! Instead, it is about evil, morality, murder, and how we can excuse certain things with conditions. We say that someone who kills is evil, but we have armies. We watch the news and condemn countries who perpetuate violence, yet we allow it to be perpetuated daily within our own country. Why is our own violence acceptable, but that of others makes them evil?
I could spend a lot of time on this topic, although I know it’s important to keep it short. I also have no desire to alienate anyone, merely to open the conversation. Why is one person’s good another’s evil? Does conviction play a role? In my novel, magic is suppressed, because it is dangerous, but the characters also understand the basic tenet of magic: Intent is all. Again, an assassin hired to kill someone sent to kill his king could be preventing a war. Who is the villain then? And who is hero?
My cowriter for my gamer geek comedy, Backward Compatible, Pete Clark, wrote a play and one of the monologues in it specifically stated what I think is a key theme of my novel: “Everyone plays the hero in his or her own story. What you have to ask yourself is in how many stories do you play the villain?”
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