Tabitha Baumander is a novelist screenwriter and playwright with five books published and a lot more to come. She is divorced with adult twins and lives in Toronto Canada which she is currently populating with aliens, monsters and fairies. Well, why not.
1) Warriors is about a group of very special warriors who must protect our world from inter-dimensional beasties, Where did the idea come from?
To begin with Pope John Paul had just died. I wondered, as a fantasy writer might, what the death of someone who is supposed to be a very good person would do and where I could take that. The inter-dimensional aspect comes from a desire to stay away from theology as much as possible and ground the villains in a kind of explainable context.
The origin of the warriors oddly enough actually does come from the bible. I’ve used it before in another work.
"There were Nephilim on the earth in those
days; and also after that, when the sons
of God came into the daughters of men, and
they bare children to them, the same became
mighty men which were of old. Men of renown."
That’s from the King James bible genesis. Some people like to think its proof of alien incursion on earth. I started playing with the Nephilim simply because Hollywood was beating the end of the world 666 Antichrist plotline into the ground with a big stick.
These characters are sometimes called Watchers and were been used in a Hollywood movie a few years ago. It was called The Adjustment Bureau.
2) You clearly know action and humor, Warriors have it in spades. What are your favorite action scenes in the book?
I’m not very good at naming favorites of anything. I suppose the group of battles around the Vatican at the end is good. Then there’s the very big snake, can’t lose with a very big snake.
3) Darius and Angela are our leaders, were they inspired by anyone?
Darius is the leader Angela is a new member and not a leader. She does have a lot of input because that is the stuff she brings to the team. Visually I guess I based Darius on my son. Angela is completely fictional created because that is the sort of person I needed to fill that gap in the story.
4) It's not all about the warriors, there's also a very strong story about a bishop and his assistant facing off with another bishop and his associate. Neither battle is any less important. How did you keep the pace so strong for both aspects of the plot?
Someone once told me I was an “instinctual” writer. I don’t think they were intending to be complementary either but they were accurate. For me pacing is about feel. I move through the story and I tend to think “mmmm about time we checked in with this other bit now”.
On a side note I have a papal conclave in this. It is total fiction in that I have stuff happening that would never happen in a conclave. But I’m hardly the first writer to play games with Vatican protocol.
5) Warriors is an interesting blend of b movie action, humor, romance and a healthy dollop of modern fantasy. How would you describe your books to someone who hasn't given them a look?
Two ways depending on how I feel at the time.
I take fantasy and action and set it on as real a background as possible. A dragon in middle earth isn’t that remarkable. A dragon in the middle of down town Toronto now THAT is interesting.
Someone who had read some of my short stories once described me this way. Reading me is like walking through a park along a path. Sooner or later you step off the path and bam the park disappears and you are somewhere else completely.
6) Many of your ideas start out as screenplays. I think there's a good chance that's part of what makes the action and drama so intense in your books. Is it hard to make a script into a full manuscript?
It depends on the story. Several have not got up to normal novel length which I think of as around 80 thousand words. They have ended up as novellas or perhaps I should think of them as books for a YA audience and as such an acceptable length.
This one did start as a screenplay. I adapted it for two reasons. For one thing I needed a writing project and this was the only one that popped up on my radar. More importantly when I was writing the script a box load of detail wanted to push through onto the page and that simply isn’t permitted in screenplay format.
A script compared to a book is like a skeleton. A director takes it and adds camera stuff. Then the actors take it and “make the words their own” to use actor speak. Then all the other departments that go into making a film add their two cents and you end up with a film. It’s generally not what you were picturing unless you’re really lucky and had input but it’s a film.
A book is the whole deal and you have control. So, when I wrote this particular script I had to use a lot of restraint to keep all the extra bits out of the mix which I eventually put into the book.
Coming Soon from J Ellington Ashton Press
A good man has died a natural death. In that death he leaves a hole in reality and through that hole come monsters. Defending reality are people who if the world knew of their existence might be called monsters themselves. They are far stronger and smarter than any full blood human could be and they exist to fight with monsters. The problem is this time they might not win because the monsters are getting help.