An Author Guest Post: Inspiration by Daniel A. Kaine
Hi, everyone, and thanks for joining me on the blog tour. One of the questions I’ve been asked many times about my writing is what made me want to write a particular book, and Familiar Feeling has been no different so far. Inspiration, for me, can come in almost any form. It could be a song I’ve heard and got stuck in my head, a conversation I happened to overhear, a personal experience, or just something that randomly popped into my thoughts while trying to get to sleep. So I wanted to take a moment to share with you the inspiration for my latest release.
Growing up, I watched a lot of shows about the paranormal. From Most Haunted to Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Though, probably my favourite of the lot was Charmed, which I happen to have recently re-watched from start to finish on Netflix. So I’ve always been hooked on the idea of magic and witches, and during my daydreams I liked to pretend that I had magical powers and could use them to save the world.
What got me though, was how TV shows and films about witches tended to centre on female characters. It got me thinking about a story where a coven of witches was made up of men, and so the basic idea for my story was formed around an ordinary man, who stumbled upon magic by accident and entered into a coven.
As with all new witches, my character was going to need a mentor to guide him. Typically, witches have feline familiars, so I wanted to change things up a bit and decided to incorporate some Chinese mythology.
I’d first heard of the story while playing an online video game. And who said playing games is a waste of time? I’ve actually learnt a lot of cool stuff from them as many developers take ideas from all sorts of different cultures when coming up with ideas for their games. If you’re familiar with Final Fantasy 11, you may know of a group of four bosses commonly known as the Sky Gods. They themselves were derived from the Chinese myth of the four guardian beasts, also called the Shijin, or Shishin.
In the stories, there were four beasts: the tiger, turtle, bird, and dragon. Each one was assigned to a cardinal direction, element (metal, water, fire and wood, respectively), season, and a colour. From them, I created my four familiars, though I wanted them to blend in with a modern-day society, and so the tiger now takes the form of a cat, and the dragon appears as an iguana.
And the story evolved from there with the creation of a demonic antagonist, and personal conflicts for each of the witches to overcome. I’ve had a lot of fun writing the first story, and I’ve got the second well underway. I hope that those of you who go onto to read the book enjoy it too. Thanks again for stopping by.
Drew never believed in magic. Then three years after his wife’s unexplained death he unearths a book of spells in his attic. Reading the first ‘stupid poem’ seems harmless, until he acquires his very own familiar, Felix.
Drew and Felix soon realise an attraction that goes beyond their magical bond. However, there’s a coven of demon-worshipping witches out to steal Drew’s newfound power. If they want to survive long enough to see where their mutual desires take them, Felix must teach Drew the art of witchcraft. But will he be ready in time?
For the first time in three years, Drew stood at the top of the stairs leading to his attic. His fingers curled around the brass doorknob. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, the palm of his hand slick with sweat against the cold metal. Steeling himself, Drew turned the knob and pushed. The rusty hinges groaned and the door swung inward, revealing a dust-covered mess of boxes and furniture.
Drew stepped over the threshold, and an icy chill ran through his entire body as though the ghost of his wife had run through him in a bid to escape the dark attic. He shivered. The light hairs on his arms stood almost painfully rigid, raising goosebumps on his skin.
He took a step forward, stirring up a layer of dirt and dust as his black boots came down against the floorboards. The stale air lingered at the top of his nostrils, and he scrunched up his nose. A white figure at the corner of Drew’s right eye caught his attention, and, for a second, he was sure he’d seen long blonde hair blowing gently.
“Linda?” But it was only his wife’s wedding dress hanging from the end of a rail of clothes, the veil swaying in the cold draught that swept through the room.
Drew let out a long sigh and dropped his chin to his chest. A dull ache emanated from deep in his chest. For three years, he had kept his wife’s belongings locked up in the attic in order to avoid the constant reminders of his loss. Time had done little to heal the hole left behind.
Two minutes passed before Drew returned to the present, shaking off the memories of a time when life had seemed almost perfect. A time that was lost in the blink of an eye, turning his world upside down and inside out. He walked toward the dress and touched the soft fabric, stroking the veil as though he could feel Linda’s cheek against the back of his hand. How he longed to caress her soft, ivory skin again. Skin, that in its last moments had been spattered with splashes of crimson, as her last breath faded.
Drew jerked his hand away, the final moments of his wife’s life and death flickering in the back of his mind before fading away and leaving him cold and alone once more in the middle of the attic. His chest rose as he breathed in deep and held it for a few seconds, clenching his fists. Then he exhaled slowly through his mouth.
“I can do this,” he muttered, lifting the dress from the rail and draping it over his left arm. He picked some more of the clothes from the rail and carried them downstairs to lay across the bed.