Asking for a friend - Cambion Rider Origins
Where did you get the idea for your Cambion Rider Chronicles series and was it easy to write?
Now technically that's two questions, but I can see where they are zip tied together, so I'm going to treat it as a compound question.
For the first half, I've always had a soft spot for dragons. They are one of the most fascinating supernatural creatures I've read about. Now back in 2013 the urban fantasy genre was saturated with vampires and werewolves, (and yes I made my contribution), but I also wanted to write about something different. At the time, there were not many novels that brought dragons into the urban fantasy realm.
I wanted Veronica to be both part of the dragon world, but also not of it. She is meant to be, in part, a representation of the reader in the series. As Veronica explores and learns more about the world she is to be a part of, so does the reader. I knew she wouldn't be a dragon, so what then? The light hit while I was doing research for another novel. Cambion. Which opened the door for demons. Which in turn kicked that same door open for other non-mainstream supernatural creatures.
Riders and dragons needed to compliment each other, they also needed to be the equal of the other. I ended up playing around with the possibilities until I found one that worked.
As to the second half of your question, no and somewhat, in that order. However, it was also fun. Let me explain. It took me more than 2 years to write After the Flesh. Now let me put some context into that. I didn't work on the novel for an entire 2 years. Not only was I not serious/committed about writing this novel, I was also puttering around with other ideas clamoring for my attention. These were the things I knew had to be include in After the Flesh:
Veronica would be a cop
Lachlan would be FBI and part of a team
The debut novel would take place in Chicago
Demons were killing people
There were a couple versions of the first chapter, one of which took place in a cabin in a forest preserve up along the border of Illinois and Wisconsin (somewhere around Rockford), with Lachlan, Veronica and the team. Lachlan brought Veronica there to regain consciousness after she fought a demon. Another version was Veronica responding to a 911 call and encountering the demon in an alley in downtown Chicago.
Both of these beginnings were prior to the idea of Veronica's psychic abilities, which were inspired by the movies Constantine and Deliver Us from Evil. Once I cranked out a first chapter that hit the note I was looking for, the rest begin to unfold.
Some of them were planned. Some of the scenes like the one in the Field Museum, were taken from another novel that never really made it out the gate. Others like the scene with Komen, and Komen himself, were created spur of the moment (fun fact, Komen's appearance later in the novel was in response to my writing group loving the character).
Even once my novel found it's feet and direction, writing it remained a challenge (though once I committed it took less than a year), but at the same time it was enjoyable watching the events unfold.