The Holy Dark
The Black Parade Series
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: April 24, 2015
ISBN 10: 1511543736
ISBN 13: 978-1511543736
Number of pages: 346 (eBook)
Word Count: 147,000
Cover Artist: Gunjan Kumar
and Christopher Cold
Sarcastic demon-slayer extraordinaire Jordan Amador has been locked in a year-long struggle to hunt down the thirty silver coins paid to Judas Iscariot. The mere touch of these coins is enough to kill any angel.
Jordan's demonic opposition grows more desperate with each coin found, so they call on the ultimate reinforcement: Moloch, the Archdemon of War. Moloch puts out a contract on Jordan as well as her estranged husband, the Archangel Michael. Now Jordan and Michael will have to find a way to work together to survive against impossible odds and stop Moloch's plan, or else he’ll wage a war that will wipe out the human race.
Available at Amazon
Chattanooga had been a nice place to live for the past ten months, a fact proven by my utter disapproval of the hotel we checked in the following night we left. The safe house was in Montpelier, Vermont and by car it was an eighteen-hour drive. However, the two of us were exhausted from the recent fights we’d had and needed some sleep so we stopped in Newburgh, Connecticut. We’d camp out here for the night and then leave first thing in the morning.
Myra worked at an office supplies store back in Tennessee, which paid alright, but neither of us were exactly swimming in cash. The hotel we chose was not of the highest caliber. The only benefits it boasted were cable television and air conditioning. I missed my thin pillows and slightly lumpy mattress back home.
We were behind schedule, but only slightly. Myra went to buy some dinner while I opted for a long, hot shower. It wasn’t a nice place to stay, but it had one admittedly awesome amenity—a handheld sprayer with plenty of settings. I stayed in until my fingertips were pruny, mulling over recent events and hoping that a clear solution would arise. No such luck. We were still on defense. I didn’t like it, not one bit. The weight hanging off my soul was starting to make my knees buckle. I had to fix this. I had to save the angels. I owed them. They had shed blood for me more than once. I wasn’t going to disappoint them, not again. Never again.
I finished rinsing out my hair and groped for the towel with my eyes closed to avoid getting any residual shampoo in them. Weirdly, my fingers hit nothing but the moist air near the rack. Frowning, I reached out farther. It wasn’t there. Had it fallen onto the floor?
I froze. A deep, mocking, dry-as-sandpaper voice. No. Please, God, let it just be my imagination.
I pried my eyes open and ducked my head around the shower curtain. There, in front of the sink, stood a tall, pale-skinned man with shoulder-length hair as black as soot and a smile as sinister as the devil himself. His eyes were the lightest hue of blue that existed and the pupils were thin and diamond-like rather than round. His features were vaguely European—small forehead, narrow nose, thin but sensual lips, arched eyebrows—but I knew he didn’t have an accent.
He clutched my towel in his long-fingered hand, the other tucked in the pocket of his easily seven-hundred-dollar black suit pants. I recognized his favorite dark color scheme—a charcoal grey button up shirt, black silk tie, and Gucci dress shoes.
“Looking good, my pet.”
The archdemon Belial was standing in my bathroom.
First, tell me a little about your book J….
The Holy Dark is the final novel in The Black Parade series—the fourth book overall, but third novel, as The Deadly Seven is a short story collection. It deals with the consequences of The Black Parade and She Who Fights Monsters. We pick up on the road with Jordan Amador, our scrappy little protagonist, who is a Seer: someone who can see, hear, and communicate with ghosts, angels, and demons. She is with a new character named Myra Bennett, an ex-military Seer and her current roommate. They are hunting down the thirty silver coins paid to Judas Iscariot, coins touched by an evil so great that they can sap an angel’s strength and kill them in mere minutes. The Seers have been locating the coins one by one to keep them out of the demon’s hands, and now that they’ve found more than half of them, the demons have gotten desperate. They turn to Moloch, the archdemon of war, and he puts out a contract on Jordan, Myra, any of their fellow Seers, as well as Jordan’s husband, the archangel Michael. The two of them are now estranged and haven’t seen each other in over a year, so being thrown back into each other’s lives causes all kinds of hell as they try to stave off demonic hitmen and save their friends from certain death.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
My mother used to read to me nearly every night when I was little, so I always loved books. As I got older, I started to write diaries, and then stories of my own. Throughout middle and high school, I read and wrote tons of fanfiction, without even realizing how passionate I was about it. I didn’t have a true interest in professional writing until college, but I think deep down I always knew I loved writing.
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
My first attempt at a novel was this bizarre little story about this world full of were-people, for lack of a better term. I used to be absolutely in love with the manga/anime called Yu Yu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi, and that influenced most of the totally nonsensical story I tried to come up with. It died at probably 20-30 pages, and I’m grateful I didn’t try to pursue it any further because it was positively dreadful.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As far as The Holy Dark, here and there you’ll find little bits of things I’ve actually done in real life, but for the most part, no, the plot is 100% fictional. The characters are mostly original, but I have stolen small traits from my family. Myra Bennett, a new character whom readers will meet in The Holy Dark, reminds me of my Aunt Z.B., my mother’s sister-in-law, who is hilarious and has no brain-mouth-filter. She says anything that comes to mind, and is one of the smartest, toughest, funniest people I’ve ever known. Another example is the forehead kiss that Gabriel always gives Jordan in greeting or when he leaves is based on something my favorite cousin Mikey did once years ago: I was sitting on his couch watching television and he came up behind me and kissed me on the forehead. He didn’t say anything or explain himself. He just kept on walking afterward, and for some reason, I remember feeling so safe and loved that it nearly overwhelmed me, so I added that as one of Gabriel’s brotherly actions towards Jordan, who is basically like his little sister.
How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
As hypocritical as it is, I take a leaf out of Joss Whedon’s book: write a character everyone loves, and then kill them. Or torture them. Or both. I hate it when he does that, but he kind of has a point. Killing off someone no one likes is pretty easy, but causing harm to a character you adore is like asking The Rock to tap-dance on your chest wearing steel-toed boots. It sucks. But you do have to do it every now and again.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files, is basically my hero. I waited in a room for nearly six hours just to get his autograph, and so that I could called him a sadist for writing the ending to Changes and Chapter 14 of his recent novel Skin Game (to which he cackled and waggled his eyebrows and said, “Oh, I’m SORRY!” in a hilariously facetious way). I’m a relatively new author and I have a long, hard journey ahead of me, but I want to become the kind of writer that he is. He never pulls his punches. He writes so beautifully, and yet he’s not afraid to make you laugh your ass off or shake the book in frustration when our lovable Chicago wizard does something stupid. I want to learn how to become an author who can genuinely make you feel things about the characters, and the kind of author who can write diverse, three-dimensional characters no matter what the scenario. Butcher’s Dresden Files inspires me constantly and it’s honestly my favorite series of all time.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Of course. I’d be crazy not to. I think the hardest character to write in The Holy Dark is Belladonna, and you’ll know why once you’ve read the book. She just wouldn’t sit still when I wrote her. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to expand her story or shrink it, and so she kind of has this weird hovering presence around the narrative. I think she had a lot of juicy layers to her that I wish I had more time to explore.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
The absolutely fantastic Gunjan Kumar designed The Holy Dark as well as The Black Parade and She Who Fights Monsters, but it should be noted that Christopher Cold is the one who painted that gorgeous hell landscape inside the silhouette. All I did was search for the right background, bought permission from Christopher, and then gave Gunjan the general idea of what I wanted. She knocked it out of the park. I love her work.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
Tons of things, so much so that it’s hard to try and put it into words. I learned to go with my gut and be less afraid of taking creative risks. Of the three novels, The Holy Dark is by far the riskiest story, and I say that knowing full well that She Who Fights Monsters has Jordan making some deeply disturbing and controversial choices. There is no such thing as perfection, so I shed my fear and wrote what felt natural to the characters and to the mythos of this zany world. I really hope people enjoy it.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
Probably Myra. She’s so smart, headstrong, and powerful. I’m barely one of the three, and that’s on a good day.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, most definitely. I also recommend the Redwall series by the late great Brian Jacques.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. I’m a handful. I’m difficult and inconsistent. I just want you to know that I’m beyond grateful for any of you who choose to stick around and support my work when so many others haven’t. These books are as much a part of you as they are me.
About the Author:
Kyoko M is an author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. Her debut novel, The Black Parade, has been on Amazon's Bestseller List at #5 in the Occult Horror category. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia, which gave her every valid excuse to devour book after book with a concentration in Greek mythology and Christian mythology. When not working feverishly on a manuscript (or two), she can be found buried under her Dashboard on Tumblr, or chatting with fellow nerds on Twitter, or curled up with a good Harry Dresden novel on a warm central Florida night. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small.
5 eBook copies of The Holy Dark