Wars ... civil or otherwise

A couple of years ago, I wrote a novel, which didn't sell, but that's all right. Stories never truly die. They're like seeds, and some need a longer germination than others.

Anyway, I placed that novel in Spain for reasons that are totally obscure to me even today. It felt like a good idea at the time, so I'm going with that. In that novel, I had a set of characters that had just the right kind of chemistry to keep their relationships interesting, and while the original game plan didn't work, I knew I could modify the story, but not the characters.

Having done a lot--I mean A WHOLE LOT--of research about Spain, I decided to keep the Spanish setting, primarily because the characters were now ingrained in my mind as Spaniards. I moved the story up a few centuries and set it in the early thirties, and now we have arrived at war.

Wars are complicated affairs. That's why I don't have a lot of patience for novels, fantasy or otherwise, that oversimplify conflicts as "good country" vs. "evil country" or "good politician" vs. "evil politician." Economics are at the root of most wars, civil or otherwise. Rulers and politicians know that people aren't going to grab weapons and join armies to protect goods and trade routes for the wealthy. So they up dress war like a pretty dolly in veils of protecting religion or patriotism. This is all managed through scaremongering, creating threats where none actually exist, usually against minorities, who are unable to defend themselves from the allegations.

Wars are ugly. Civil wars especially so. The violence seems more personal and resonates through several generations.

As someone who comes from the southeastern United States, I can tell you that wounds of a civil war never truly heal. Although the official shooting stopped in 1865, the American Civil War is still referred to by some people as the War of the Northern Aggression. It is a war of many euphemisms in the American south (the Civil-War-Between-the-States-War-of-the-Northern-Aggression-War). Run with that however you choose. The point is that 150 years later, the wounds from that conflict are still open. They may never heal.

By comparison, Spain still hasn't had time to fully recover from the Spanish Civil War. Not even close. So I am treading carefully within the stories that I've set within this time period. There are times when literature should provoke and dissect a topic, and there are times when an author should write more carefully about sensitive matter, especially if one is an outsider looking in, such as I am.

I want a factual representation of the time period--I won't shy away from that, or from the brutalities committed by both sides--but my Los Nefilim series is meant to be entertainment. The lens is focused on Los Nefilim and their personal stakes as they maneuver through these major conflicts. I want to examine how they preserve their humanity in the face of inhumanity, because they are half-mortal, and they value that aspect of their character as much as the supernatural.

Like the mortals, Los Nefilim are being drawn into a war filled with scaremongering and politics beyond their control. The three novellas center on one Nefil, Diago Alvarez, who has managed to remain on the periphery of both Los Nefilim and mortal affairs for a very long time. But life, like politics--or even stories--rarely remains static, and Diago is about to find that neutrality is no longer an option.

Since we're coming up on the publication date for part one of the Los Nefilim series, In Midnight's SilenceI'm going to spend time talking about it over the next few weeks ... here and at other blogs later in June. I'll be talking about war--civil and otherwise--and the mythos surrounding Solomon, among many other things.

As always, I appreciate any help in getting advance word out about In Midnight's Silence.

Stay with me. On June 23, we ride ...