Rave Reviews Book Club has an amazing collection of authors, and today I have the honor of hosting one of those authors, Karl Morgan, who is July’s Spotlight Author. He’s stopped by to talk about Carl Prescott and The Demon Queen. Congratulations, Karl!
The Demon Queen—the ever-evolving story
One of the advantages of being a pantser is that as my story evolves, I say, “That’s cool,” rather than “Oh my gosh, what about my outline?” Oftentimes, each little change takes the story in a direction that makes it a better read. I definitely think that is the case in Carl Prescott and the Demon Queen.
In book one of the series, The Sleeping One, Carl learns about a demonic cult that had controlled large parts of Eastern Europe before and during the time of the Roman Empire. Ultimately, the Roman legions attacked and slaughtered them without mercy. The leader of the cult was the Demon Queen, a daughter of Lucifer named Sylvia. In this story, her goal is to reestablish her kingdom on Earth and perhaps take over the entire planet. My original intent was to highlight the eternal struggle between good and evil. Carl and his friends would battle hordes of demons to protect their school and save the world.
While that part of the story remains key to the narrative, as I wrote, the plot line took a hard turn. Sylvia is testing him, but not just about his ability to defeat her. Initially, that change surprised me. He is a fifteen year-old boy and she is an immortal demon. That hardly seems like a match made in Heaven. Since she is a demon, perhaps it is a match made in Hell?
Our hero first meets Sylvia in Hell. As a demon, I suppose that stands to reason. While there, Carl meets Lucifer. That leads to another key element of the story, which is Carl’s growing relationship with the three aspects of the Most High, namely God, the Devil, and Death. In this story, they are known as Emmanuel (Manny), Lucifer (Luce), and Mort. The three help him understand how the universe really works, which feeds my yearning for astrophysics. Although they do not intercede, they want Carl to succeed, because they know Sylvia might do far worse than enslave Earth.
As I think back on the story now, there are so many scenes that make me happy. My personal favorite are the chapters where Carl traverses the Rope Bridge. His journey is made more complicated as the souls of Sylvia and Barbie (a Thorndike student kidnapped by Sylvia) are stuck inside him. The Rope Bridge leads to enlightenment, but that is not why he is there. The trek makes several memorable stops, but each moment along the way is packed with action and surprises. That, of course, is why the Rope Bridge is featured in the books that follow as well.
Whenever I finish a book, I am in a rush to get started on the next one. Writing these words now makes me a more than a bit melancholy. I almost wish I could write it again to savor each moment of Carl Prescott’s adventure. I wish I could travel to the precedent universe with Manny and Luce, and share a bowl of stew and coffee with Mort at the Crossroads of Existence. Yet, new stories demand my attention. Perhaps one day, I will read this story again. Until then, my dear friends.
CARL PRESCOTT AND THE DEMON QUEEN
Carl Prescott may have saved the world from the Beast, but the duties of the Invisible Hand never end. The story begins when a medieval castle is discovered hidden beneath the Thorndike Institution. While the professors search for clues, our hero is summoned to Hell to meet the demon Sylvia. She once ruled a satanic kingdom in Eastern Europe from that castle, and will do so again.
There is much more to this beautiful woman than evil intentions. To stop her plan, Carl must first understand why she is so focused on him. To learn the truth, he must face God, Satan, and Death. In this nonstop action-packed adventure, he must stand at the Crossroads of Existence and cross the Rope Bridge to meet his destiny.
If he succeeds, life can return to normal. If not, the galaxy and every soul therein will be devoured by a voracious black hole, which even God will be powerless to stop.
Karl Morgan has a lifelong fascination with stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, whether it was the Tom Swift novels by Victor Appleton he read as a young boy, or television like Lost in Space and Star Trek, and especially films like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. All of those tales put the protagonist in terrible situations where the odds are against them and, yet, somehow they prevail. The reader/viewer is always left with a sense that something greater than ourselves is watching over us.
In his new Carl Prescott young adult fantasy series, the journey continues as our hero faces terrible danger and odds to help his friends and family. At the end, he will learn new things that will change his perspective on life.
Karl lives in the San Diego area with his best, four-legged friend, his toy poodle Chachis.