One of the things I love doing on this blog is introducing my regular readers to a new Samhain author. Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to Vaughn Demont. Not only did Vaughn’s book, House of Stone, released a couple weeks ago, so to help him celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of Vaughn’s House of Stone to a commenter. (I’m going to close this contest off on Sunday at 10 a.m. and will announce the winner Sunday afternoon.)
I’m a gamer geek. Old school. Pencil and paper. Table top. Kick in the door and roll for initiative, that’s me. I’ve been playing RPGs since I was seven, when I had to take over my cousin’s Dungeons & Dragons character because my aunt didn’t want him playing “the devil’s game”. She apparently had no problem with me playing it though. I was hooked instantly, and I’ve been a gamer geek ever since. White Wolf games helped me hobble through those awkward teen years, much in the same way I’d expect comic books and Dr. Who helped other disaffected nerds. I started playing werewolf musicians, and then vampire knights, until I found my calling in playing a young mage newly awakened to his power and forever living on the fringes of popular culture. It was from this character, who I named G. James Black, that I created a setting I called The City.
College brought along more serious attempts at writing, but I never thought it was going anywhere. The electives I would take in abnormal psychology and sociology would be for general education requirements, so I would claim. In reality I just wanted to know how to write more convincing societies and have a better idea why villains were so screwed up inside. I took a course on city planning and read everything I could find by Richard Florida to keep my setting somewhat believable, even though I’d have to account for the effect of a population of vampires and gods and werecreatures and all matter of supernatural beings that might have an opinion on zoning laws.
It was fun, though, asking all of these questions and coming up with the answers myself. It was fun to find and meet the more interesting citizens of the setting I’d created. But I wanted characters that were unlike the ones I’d read before, characters that had had every advantage. I wanted to look at the opposite end of the spectrum, such as a vampire who works as a data entry clerk, or a werecat who works a drive-thru window, or an all-powerful sorcerer that makes ends meet washing dishes in a diner.
Or, in the case of Richard Stone, the protagonist of my latest novel House of Stone, a minor Fae noble who works in porn because it’s the only creative outlet in his county. I asked all of the usual questions I ask a character, so as how they get by, do they like their lives, their opinion of their society, and most importantly, who their favorite band is. (Richard’s is Pearl Jam.) It all grew from there, taking a few turns I didn’t expect along the way (originally, in fact, Richard was supposed to slay a dragon, which the opening scene was supposed to foreshadow), until suddenly the short novella I’d been working on had turned into a full-fledged novel. I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish with Richard, and I’m looking forward to telling more of his story.
Vaughn R. Demont (the R stands for truth, justice, and sleeping late on Saturdays. It also stands for Radcliffe) is a writer trying to beat the odds and be a career writer. Gay, poor, and living in the sub-arctic tundra of Central New York, Vaughn likes to think of himself as a quintessential Scorpio. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Oswego State University, and his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He has published numerous essays, short stories, novellas, and a novel online.
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Gay-Lesbian Romance
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
Cover art by Mandy M. Roth
A modern knight, a noble quest, and a magical sword. What could go wrong?
Welcome to the City, where gods run nightclubs, goblins hire out as mercs, sorcerers work their magic, the Fae hold court over every neighborhood…and humanity is blissfully ignorant of it all.
For minor Fae noble Richard Stone, life is going well. He has a decent fiefdom (okay, it’s a slum), a budding acting career (okay, so it’s porn), and one of only five magical swords in the City. An arranged marriage is barely a blip on his worry meter—until his family blade loses its magic. The shame of it puts his noble standing in jeopardy.
To regain his status, Richard needs help. Fortunately, his new bride is a sidhe knight and his servant Simaron has, er, his back. Together they embark on a quest to find the demon who slew his father, investigate a conspiracy that goes to the highest echelons of Fae nobility, and discover a secret family legacy that could ruin his House.
All while keeping up appearances to a society that demands perfection. And they say a noble’s life is easy…