Monday, 4 June 2012

The Inspiration behind the Vigilare series – Guestpost by Brooklyn James

Today I have another guest over at my blog:
Brooklyn James, the author of Vigilare.
Be sure to check my review of Vigilare which I posted earlier today.

Brooklyn: welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig.
It's great to have you here.

Hi. Brooklyn James here, author/singer/songwriter. Yep, still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Thank you Sullivan for hosting me!

My latest novel, Vigilare: Hell Hound, is book #2 in the paranormal thriller trilogy, Vigilare. Released May 1 in ebook & June 1 in paperback.

Upon release of the first book in the trilogy...Vigilare, inquiring readers asked, “What is a Vigilare?” Now, with the release of the second book in the series...Vigilare: Hell Hound, they say, “What is a Hell Hound?”

Vigilare—Italian derivative of Latin, meaning to watch out, to guard, to protect, to keep an eye on.

As far as its pronunciation, technically, it is pronounced vi-gi-la-re. In its conception, I wanted a word that was similar to vigilante, yet unique. I keep it simple, pronouncing it vigil-are (like vigil-air).

To me, in the context of my novels, my Vigilare is a vigilant guardian, with intent to serve retribution style—an eye for an eye. Much like Batman, Vigilare is chosen for her position, a divine assignment. Vigilare does not willingly choose her role. Which allows me to play with the notion of good and evil, and how good can be and commit evil, even when it may seem justified. There's a fine line between right and wrong. It all depends on perspective. I love toying with that idea, and propelling readers to do the same, hopefully invoking internal questions: What would YOU do and how would YOU feel if bestowed such a power? Would you consider it a blessing or a curse?

Hell Hound—is actually a character in book #2 of the series, a rival Vigilare, so to speak. I capitalize it, as it is the title of the character. However, it's derived from Hellhound—a supernatural dog, most commonly associated with folklore, specifically Greek Mythology.

In the words of my manic Hematologist from the novels, Dr. Godfrey, "In Greek mythology, Hades is the god of the underworld. The devil, one may conclude. A Hell Hound is a hound of Hades, or a dog of Hell in the literal translation. They are the guards to the underworld, relegating who is sucked in and who is declined access. As described in legends, Hell Hounds have glowing red eyes and supernatural abilities. They’re rarely seen, very phantom-like. They may appear as if out of nowhere and vanish with the blink of an eye. An elusive creature. Hell Hounds are associated with fire and often have fire or heat-based abilities.”

So, you see, Vigilare: Hell Hound is a play on Greek Mythology's Cerberus...the most notorious three-headed Hellhound. I found the premise fascinating, and it plays so well into the plot, I had no other choice but to make it the title of book #2. And it made for a menacingly delicious cover. Besides, who doesn't like a good fireball slinging?

Couple that concept with the new character, Maxim Kiesel-the blue-eyed prodigy with an icy touch, and you have a good climactic scene. Do you fight fire with ice? Or do you fight fire with fire? Read Vigilare: Hell Hound, and you'll surely find out! The colors alone provided an interesting education for me. Steel blue, violent red, emerald green...who knew so much could be attributed to color? Think maybe we've found our new eye color for the cover of book #3...

The Vigilare series is an adaptation from a short narrative student film. Inspired by a hodge-podge of comic books and movies, such as The Punisher and Boondock Saints, I started a feature-length screenplay, playing off the idea of vigilantism. Later using that screenplay to storyboard a student short for a film class I curiously enrolled in. The short turned out pretty good and received a gracious reception at our end of semester screening. At that particular time I was drafting my first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, An Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter Finalist. This particular book is a coming of age/women’s fiction, the genre I figured most suitable for me. At the time, promotion for and the buzz around the Amazon honor, that novel kind of took off. Needless to say, I put Vigilare on the back burner.

Once the hoopla over the first novel wound down, I started thinking about the next book, and Vigilare kept coming back to me. I resisted, seeing how I thought I should stick to one genre. Until one day, I gave in and started drafting Vigilare. I knew I wanted it to be a darker read, and my Vigilare had to have some sort of superhuman power.

Vigilare is set in the town of Vanguard, where Detectives Gina DeLuca and Tony Gronkowski investigate a string of murders among the city’s most loathsome population, convicted rapists and pedophiles. With fed up citizens, Vanguard is on the verge of a vigilante uprising in support of their seemingly superhuman Vigilare with the sparkling emerald green eyes. It’s a race to finish between Detectives DeLuca and Gronkowski, and the Vigilare to figure out who she is and why she exists.

Vigilare walks the line between a thriller and a supernatural adventure while safely anchored in a scientific discourse around blood that James put together so well that it's reminiscent of a Douglas Preston or Michael Crichton novel. With action, romance, a strong female hero and a likeable group of characters, Vigilare reads like a good action movie.” –Gabino Iglesias, Austin Post

As an Intensive Care RN, I knew a little bit about blood, and thought that would be the key to Vigilare’s superpower. After some intriguing research, I knew a lot about blood. There are so many theories about Rh-negative blood factor. It is this factor that feeds her transformation. Some hypothesize that Rh-negative blood was the ‘blood of the gods,’ the ‘ancient astronauts.’ There are reports that the blood found at the Shroud of Turin, of one Jesus Christ, was AB-negative…the rarest blood type in the world, representing only one-percent of the population. Scientists postulate Rh-positive factor links us to primates, the Rhesus Monkey. However, Rh-negative blood is of unknown origin. Not one scientist can give a single reason for its existence, other than to speculate it is a mutation that occurred tens of thousands of years ago. Rh-negative factor is found nowhere in nature, except in humans. Consider the fact that Rh-positive blood types can be cloned while Rh-negative blood types cannot…a true original. O-negative blood is the purest blood in the world, the universal donor. A person with O-negative blood can donate to any other blood type, but they cannot receive blood from anyone other than their own type. It’s incompatible with life. If all mankind evolved from the same ancestor, their blood would be compatible. Where did Rh-negative factor come from?

When Vigilare’s O-negative blood is exposed to external oxygen, her transformation from mortal to immortal is engaged. What better defense than a natural inclination to offend when made to bleed?


The blood released from her lip feels cool and tingly, the same sensation surging through her entire body. From the tips of her fingers to the ends of her toes her form quivers, electrified and powerful. She lies still, confused, her heart pounding with renewed force, aware of every surge of lifeblood pumped through her. With each beat, she is sure the life-sustaining organ will explode from her chest.

What the hell is going on? What’s happening to me?

Her eyes are wide and searching with intent, as if designed specifically to do so. She breathes deeply through her nose, unsure if she could ever acquire enough air to fill her seemingly super-sized lungs. Every sound amplified times ten, her ears flood with stimulation.

“Look at her eyes, bro!” the man at her head challenges.

The leader, forcefully hunched between her thighs, does as instructed, leaning forward, unimpressed at first, until his eyes stare into hers. Hers, once complacent, now sparkle like emeralds. She tries to blink, closing her eyes from his. She cannot. They remain wide and steadily searching, as if someone willed them unable to close. The leader tries to look away, move, shut his eyes—something, anything to break the stare. He cannot. Propelled by a far greater force, he remains there, his eyes giving into hers. Images flash in her mind, reflections of the man and the things he has done. The eyes are the windows to the soul. His soul is evil.


In Vigilare, the reader, the detectives and the Vigilare find out who she is and why she exists. Once reluctantly accepting of her position, we progress into Vigilare: Hell Hound.


A red hue emerges, where once it was only emerald green!

Now accepting of her position, Vigilare is propelled into a twist on Greek Mythology's Cerberus―Hell Hound―a rival Vigilare with fire capabilities. ETNA harbored her blood. Have they created a monster they cannot control? Along with her motley crew, the dashing Detective Tony Gronkowski, wily hematologist Dr. Godfrey and suspicious Emily Truly, Vigilare comes face to face with her past in the form of the hellish one.

As the city of New Orleans and its Gambini mafia family are under siege with Vigilare drones, the power hungry Emily wastes no time in solidifying her place in the ranks when she exposes Vigilare to the menacing Hell Hound. Newcomer, Maxim Kiesel, the steel blue-eyed prodigy graced with icy powers may very well be the antidote, or the ultimate traitor.

Will Vigilare give up her role, sacrificing her immortality to stop Hell Hound? The second in a trilogy, Vigilare: Hell Hound―when power is given, the true testament of one's character will rise.


“Now that Vigilare has assumed and accepted her position, here comes Hell Hound. I'm not well versed in Greek Myth, but I enjoyed the spin. And the paranormal aspect was vibrant and colorful. Very well crafted by the author, yet not too flamboyant to turn me off. As usual, James plays with contrasts. You have the Hell Hound with fire capabilities, whose favorite weapons are fireballs. And then, you have newcomer, Maxim Kiesel. He has "steel blue eyes" and an icy touch. Fire and ice! And of couse, Dr. Godfrey (the manic hematologist) is there to help the reader make sense of all the science and myth behind the Vigilare pedigree. It's fascinating really, the whole Rh-negative blood factor James weaves into the story. It is this factor that makes the Vigilare super human. It makes so much sense, it leaves me wondering just exactly how unique is Rh-negative blood? Brooklyn James has done a fine job of tightly knitting a storyline and a cast of characters to peek and keep any reader's interest. With the combination of action, suspense, intrigue, romance (this is a very SEXY series), science and heart—Vigilare: Hell Hound is a fast, entertaining read.” –Amazon Review

Again, thank you Sullivan for hosting me! And thank you readers for your time and consideration. Please feel free to comment. Below is a list of places you can find and follow me. All the best to each and everyone.

Vigilare (book #1) - $2.99 Kindle; $12.99 paperback
Vigilare: Hell Hound (book #2) - $6.99 Kindle; $15 paperback [NEW RELEASE]



Brooklyn James said...

Thanks for having me for a guest blog, Sullivan! I'll check in throughout the day. And thanks for the stellar review! Glad you enjoyed the book.

Aurian said...

Thank you for the guestpost Brooklyn. I really enjoyed reading it, and congrats on the new release! It sure does sound intriguing.

Brooklyn James said...

Thank you Aurian! Yes, we're about to be full speed ahead with online and a few brick & mortar book signings. Really appreciate the kind words of support. All the best to you and yours. Hope you're having a fantastic summer!