Junior Inquisitor

Junior Inquisitor

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Eden Royce's "Containment"

While it may come as a surprise to some, not everywhere celebrates Thanksgiving today. Tragic I know, but thems the facts. Why, my cousins in Canada already celebrated their Day of Thanks! So while I spend the day editing, perhaps smoking a cigar and drinking bourbon, playing with little girl, and salivating as the lovely Dr. Farish turns a nearly flightless bird into dinner, I have the talented Eden Royce to carry the day for my weekly blog post, here to talk about her novella “Containment.” As usual I do have an announcement about The Witch's Lair, which will be at the end of the post.

Life is different among the dead.”
They are kept in chambers, their energy used to feed the City’s voracious appetite for fuel now that traditional sources are long gone. These grisly fuel cells are kept watch over by Feast, a devil-human hybrid whose recent run-ins with the City leave him questioning its authority.

When he is needed to bring in one of the most dangerous creatures for containment, Feast is faced with a decision that may make him the next power source.

Life is different among the dead. It didn’t completely end for them, but it changed. Most still had movement. Some held on to desire. Some kept sadness or rage. It fascinated me even as I watched them, intent blazing in their eyes.
You’d think their eyes would be empty. But they were vibrant and full of hatred. And revenge. And I was alone with them.
Swirling patterns of phosphorescence left by wraiths turned into grotesque artwork as they moved about their containment chambers. On rare occasions these ghosts, or spirits, or whatever they were, stopped moving long enough for me to get a good look at their faces as they spiraled toward me at astounding speeds. They were hollow-cheeked, wide-eyed, and terrifying as their transparent forms thudded against the glass. The sound danced off the walls and echoed in my ears.
Even after doing this job for over five years, it was still mesmerizing to watch the random movements of their incorporeal bodies as they slammed against the Pseudoglas to no avail. In lab tests, the barrier had held against simulated hurricanes and tsunamis; it wouldn’t be affected by infuriated ghostflesh.
It affected me, though. Each shift in this cramped office alone watching over the spirit room killed my hopes a little. Constant reminders that each person, down to the humblest soul would end up here, as a restless phantom or tormented spirit giving the City the last of its spectral energy.
Row after row of clear reinforced Pseudoglas separated the dead from my mortal flesh and kept them from having any effect outside their boxes. Apparitions. Ribbon ghosts swirled their light trails into crude abstract designs. Spectral vortexes with their roiling, tornadic force slammed against their confines. Their eerie cacophony was the soundtrack of my dreams and nightmares.
Main Character's motivations:
Feast is motivated partially by the need for self-discovery. He’s part human and part devil. Since he doesn’t know his father, he’s left feeling like a part of his nature is a mystery even to himself.
What are their secret strengths/ weaknesses?
Feast’s strength is he’s a loner. He knows he’s different and doesn’t feel the need to conform or try to fit the mold.
His weakness is he underestimates his abilities and doesn’t know his true strength. Yet.
Any philosophical issues in this story? If so how do you address them, how does MC live and overcome them?
The issue of death is the underlying theme of the story. Is it right to use spectral energy to power a city? Shouldn’t the dead just rest in peace?
Abuse of natural resources is addressed as well. There was a war over resources and while the reader won’t see the war itself in the book, all characters are dealing with the fallout.
Any offbeat, obscure or 80s references?
Aw…now I wish I had some.
This story takes place in the future, specifically the twenty-second century. How we live now is ancient history and most pop culture references are lost to time. There is a reference to books made of paper and the few crumbling copies are preserved as decorations in digital libraries. No one’s read them. But maybe they should.

When did you start to write this one and why?
Around five years ago, Containment started as a short story because I wanted to write about a character who had grown up with one parent and knew little to nothing about the other. Feast knows only that he is part devil and his father’s people are hated.
While Feast is older for a human, he’s young for a devil. He wonders what traits he shares with the devils and as he gets older, what is he going to become?
The world grew until I had a novella. Then I had people emailing me, wanting to know more about Feast and the next thing I knew I was writing a trilogy.

What's next in this series or in your next book?
Containment is (currently) a three part series. In part two, Feast is being hunted. Not by ghosts—which he can handle—but by creatures he’s never seen before, determined to destroy him. The only lead he has to go on is his father, so Feast travels to the city of devils to find answers. But has he gotten himself into even deeper trouble?

Preview of your next book?
Feast!” The young woman leaped at me, mouth open. Her long, oddly thick teeth hung over her lower lip. She was fast and had me knocked over and pinned to the conference room floor before my synth coffee arrived.
The real horror is that nothing so stressful should happen before coffee.

When will it be available?
If I can keep my pace up, I expect Containment 2 to be released in January 2016.

Eden Royce is descended from women who practiced root, a type of conjure magic in her native Charleston, South Carolina. She currently lives in Kent, The Garden of England, with her husband and a maniacal black cat named Samurai. Featured in her work are the language and traditions of the Gullah people, descendants of the first slaves brought to the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia.
Eden is also one of the writers for The 7 Magpies project, a first of its kind: a short horror film anthology written and directed entirely by black women. She is also the horror submissions editor for Mocha Memoirs Press where she conceived and edited The Grotesquerie, an anthology of twenty-one horror short stories written by women. She also writes a regular feature for Graveyard Shift Sisters, a site dedicated to purging the black female horror fan from the margins, where she interviews black female authors and reviews their latest work.
When she’s not writing, Eden loves roller-skating, watching quiz shows, and perfecting her signature dish for Masterchef. Learn more about Eden’s brand of horror via her social media links.


The first 2/3 of The Witch's Lair are back for the second round of edits. The cover has also been finalized. Designed by the talented Danielle Fine, who has once again captured the book in visual form. Expect the cover reveal soon.

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The Witch's Lair, number three in the Inquisitor Series, release date - Valentine's day 2016. Excerpt follows
Brother Sam come here quickly,” I sent out.
He shambled up and looked down.
Oh no, not again,” he said sweat pouring of off his white face.
What is it?”
A Mine Wretch,” he said in a shaky voice. “Mine accident occurs, miners are trapped and die, slowly. As they die one by one in the dark, something turns that fear into anger and creates a Mine Wretch. A body of sorts is formed from the rock and it begins to hunt. It’ll kill anything alive and stomp the body to bits. That’s why I joined.”


Lexa Cain said...

I enjoyed reading Eden's excerpt, and I wish her much success with Containment! I'm looking forward to your cover reveal, Lincoln. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend! :)
~ LX Cain

Farish's Freehold said...

Thank you Lexa. I'm sure Eden will do well with Containment. Hope your Thanksgiving went well. For my weekend, I have editing and then my birthday on Sunday.