Violence. Don't we love it? It's come up with my school visits where I've got the students to deciode how they want to conclude a scene from the book. Heads have been chopped off, rocket launchers involved, flesh-eating bugs and a whole lot in between.
Okay, Devil's Kiss is an adventure story so there's going to be fights and the hint of violence throughout. But very early on I decided that I wasn't going to be half-hearted about it, and the action wasn't playtime.
Depending on the genre, the violence can stray between realistic and fantastical. Bond blows people away with merry abandon and there's no payback. Then there's books dealing with the social and personal cost of using weapons. Everything from the child soldiers to the stabbings in the cities. There's a responsibilty to show the dark consequences of the use of weapons. But...
There's a thrill in reading it, in seeing it. It's our taste of gladiatorial combat that's not really diminished, not really. We want that life/death struggle played out before us so we can be reminded of the most fundamental drama of existence -- SURVIVAL.
Drama. Conflict. These are the things our stories are made of. Again and again it goes back to why the greatest story to survive from the ages is a war story, The Iliad (Yeah, you knew I was going to bring that up again). The struggle of nations played out by individuals.
I want to have a story that has lots of life and death struggle, after all it's about the Knights Templar. But the violence is brutal and every death costs the killer too. Only psychopaths brush away murder. Everyone else pays.
The question that came up most from the visits is "Why is it called DEVIL'S KISS"?
It's about making deals. With the Devil, with your allies, but most of all with yourself. We all have the capability to become something extraordinary, but what is the cost? Can we live with ourselves if we blinding chase our dreams, forgetting our dreams may be the nightmares to others? How many friends and family have people lost because they chased that promotion or next big deal, so stayed after hours, forgot their kids' birthdays or wedding anniversaries?
The Devil will give you whatever you want. But he will want something in return. Just remember that when someone promises to make all your dreams come true.