Please welcome Armand Rosamilla to the Author Spotlight.
Armand has a great take the world of vampires. We get to experience it from the eyes of party girl vamp hunter Cheri Rose Thorne. Armand lays out what it takes to put a story together as well and gives insight into his writing process.
by Armand Rosamilia
Genre: Supernatural Horror
“My name is Cheri Rose Thorne. I spend my life hunting Vamps and Fiends and killing them, but my main goal has always been to destroy my evil father while keeping my sisters at bay. Sex, drugs and rock and roll keep me going. Oh, and killing things.”
This supernatural horror thriller will keep you turning the pages. I promise.
About the Author
Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life. He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels. He runs two successful podcasts, Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc. and The Mando Method Podcast with co-host Chuck Buda – talking about writing and publishing. He owns the network, Project Entertainment Network, where they are broadcast as well.
Necromance: Creating A Memorable Character
The original concept for Necromance was six sisters, all with different powers, going against their ruthless father.
I envisioned sisterly arguments and funny moments dredging up their past together. I wanted them to be related but at one another’s throats for an added conflict in the story. Who cares about siblings that get along, right?
But as I started to flesh out the sisters in my head I hit a wall. With so many points of view, I was afraid the story would get watered down. The reader would need a cheat sheet to follow along as they helped one another doing battle with their father and his demonic henchmen.
Then it hit me… what if the sisters, except for one, were in league with dear old daddy?
It made perfect sense.
I began pouring my energy into creating Cheri Rose Thorne, the main character in the story. I wanted this to be personal. Get inside her head and her head only.
First person POV seemed like a great idea at the time. It offered so many challenges, though. With only being inside one character’s thoughts and only being able to see what she saw, it meant the comings and goings of her sisters and others would go unnoticed unless she was with or around them.
I think the challenge was worth it once the story was completed, and it led me as a writer to really challenge myself to make sure it all made sense in the end.
Cheri became not only the main focus of the story but a character I enjoyed writing. She’s arrogant and scared, tough and weak, focused and worrying she’s doing the wrong thing at times. She’s so much more than a cliché hot chick with a gun you see in movies and read about too much.
She’s also not shy about her sexuality. Even though her life has been hard, fraught with battles that are supernatural and otherworldly, she can still have a good time with men and women. She has a sexual appetite. Something as small as all of her sisters trying to kill her, sent by a maniacal father, isn’t going to stop her from downtime and fun.
Along with her not just being a super warrior, I wanted her to have normal problems. Just like everyone else. Too often I’d read about these super people who conveniently had endless cash at their fingertips and could spend it freely without recourse.
Cheri Rose Thorne spends most of her off-time from killing Vamps and Fiends trying to scrape up a few bucks for the next meal or a gallon of gas to take her to the next adventure.
Normal life getting in her way was another memorable character trait I had fun with.
Necromance: Creating The Bad Guys
Having a great ‘good’ main character is pretty boring unless you have a really great ‘bad’ character to oppose them.
The enemy has to be stronger, faster, smarter and nearly invincible, creating enough tension for the hero to make it almost not worth fighting.
Who wants the hero to be this super powerful bully who runs roughshod over the bad guys all the time without breaking a sweat?
As much time as an author puts into his main character hero-type creation he needs to spend on his dark alternative in the story. I’d even argue he needs to spend more time on the bad guy(s) because their motivations aren’t always clear and spelled out for you.
What really makes them tick?
Why did they become so evil or fall so far from grace in their lives? It might not make it into the actual story, but they need a background that explains why they do what they do.
A truly great villain in any story doesn’t always know they’re the villain, either.
People have different ways of thinking and their angle is always somewhat different. Ever notice two people, witnessing the same incident, will have slightly different explanations on what happened and focus on slightly different facets on it?
Nothing in life is simple and black and white when two people are involved. In most fights, both sides believe they are on the righteous side. Even if your villain knows he’s doing something hurtful and/or illegal, he can usually justify it in his mind.
The hero, after all, is the bad guy in this situation.
As a writer, the more well-formed the villain is the better a reader will be involved in the story because they know these two characters on opposite sides cannot live in the same world together without fireworks.
But what makes for a good bad guy?
His motivation needs to be clear and concise, at least to him or her. Too many writers just write a bad guy and imagine he’s crazy or there are a few screws loose. All the motivation you need. Except it makes the bad guy a caricature. One-dimensional. Boring.
Revenge is always an easy one but maybe it needs to go deeper.
A personal vendetta against our sparkly clean hero is always a good start, but there needs to be something else.
Too many books rely on that one thing, that simple revenge plot, to drive the baddies. What would happen if they actually won? I doubt even they know. It’s so much more rewarding if they also have some subplots and sub-motivations that drive them as well.
Money is always a good one. Why not seek revenge against the hero and make a million bucks while you’re at it? How about revenge against everyone who’s ever picked on you in gym class? It gives the bad guy a nice, long list of personal affronts and enemies to dispose of in horrible ways.
Did the damn hero steal the love of your life? Revenge time for that. Jealousy is a nice motivator as well. Maybe the hero got more hugs than you from mommy. Even though you’re brothers there’s a rivalry that is turning deadly.
I could go on and cite a bunch of examples but the bottom line is to create a multi-tasking bad guy who has a solid reason (in his mind, anyway) to want to destroy our hero.
In Necromance I created not only Cheri Rose Thorne’s evil father, wanting to destroy the world and everyone in it but her sisters who want nothing more than to help their father take her down.
Necromance: Picking The Settings
I’m a firm believer that locations in stories are vitally important. Where the characters interact is as important as how they interact.
In Necromance, my supernatural thriller novel, the main character Cheri Rose Thorne spends a lot of time traveling between stories.
One chapter she might be sitting in a diner in Newark New Jersey enjoying a pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich. If you don’t know what that is you need to get your butt to NJ and order one now.
Cheri spends a lot of time in Florida in the Jacksonville area. In and out of clubs, bars, and hospitals.
It’s no coincidence I chose these two settings for the story since I was born in New Jersey. Actually in Newark. I currently live in… yep, you guessed it… Jacksonville Florida.
But it’s more than just namedropping cities and places. It’s about the particular feel of the area, whether you’re writing about the city or the area or the street or the single building focused on. I’m not a huge fan of describing every bar a character walks in. Three pages of description take a reader out of the story but a simple line or two lets them know if it’s a ritzy place or a dive bar.
Two characters sitting in a boring restaurant chatting about their past is, well, boring. Add in the element of it being a known Mob hangout or an easy place to score drugs, which one of the characters is addicted to. Suddenly the boring conversation about their past isn’t what is pushing the scene. The sickly waiter who keeps eyeing the kitchen door like he’s waiting for backup or the bartender who looks too familiar… it’s the setting of the place that drives the scene at times.
Don’t get me wrong, a good straight plot and strong main characters are still the focus.
But that added flavor is what counts. I’ve had over 150 stories and novels published in my career. I’ve had the luxury of having traveled quite a bit in my life and been to some far-off parts of this country. I’m also a people-watcher.
My wife and I love being out in a restaurant or at a baseball game and paying more attention to the people around us than the food or the game. As a writer, I’m always writing and I make up stories about these people. Quite a few of them end up in a story, too.
I also notice the setting I’m in, too.
I’ve been in my fair share of sketchy bars in SoHo or the Bowery, the bowels of Atlanta and in unmarked buildings in Chicago where you have to know the night’s password to get inside to see the band.
I’ve also been in some rather nice places, but they’re usually not much for storytelling. At least, not in my case.
Give me a strip club in Brooklyn that also launders money out the back door or a flophouse in Queens crooked cops pay informants to stay at so they can be found.
The characters and the plot are what drives the story but the setting is was keeps some readers wanting more.
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