Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be bringing to you all a guest post with an additional excerpt from the book courtesy of the debut fantasy author, PTSD sufferer and U.S. Army veteran Lawrence Davis author of Blunt Force Magic (The Monsters and Men Trilogy #1).
Hey TTBG fans,
This is Lawrence Davis, author of the new book Blunt Force Magic. First, I want to thank the blog proper for giving me the opportunity. I’ve taken the time to work my way through the content and it’s an honor to contribute. I mean it, I’m a fan, and that’s not a platitude. I don’t really operate that way.
My novel, about which I’ll add links and excerpts as well as several ways to contact me, is a gritty, noir-themed urban fantasy with what I am hoping is a protagonist who’ll stand all on his own. Today, though, I wanted to talk less about the novel itself and more of my journey in writing it.
I’m a combat veteran and I suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Anybody who wrestles with any kind of mental disorder knows that in addition to the enemy within, cozy between your two ears, you have one hell of a stigma handcuffed to it. I was an infantryman, affectionately known as bullet catchers, grunts, ground pounders, knuckle-draggers… you get the point. What’s less known about the military is the brotherhood—I mean, it’s known, but to experience it is a totally different thing. Even now I struggle to find a way to succinctly articulate it. We’re a tribe, a family, it’s like being in a crowd that’s littered with nothing but your best friends. It was all at once the hardest and best time of my life.
And then I was ripped from that. I was ripped from belonging, I was ripped from that support system, I was torn away from a very comfortable understanding of what my place in this world was and how I needed to function to find success.
That’s where the book starts, or at least an approximation of it. Janzen is an everyman—in fact, labeling him as an anti-hero isn’t wholly correct. He’s less-than in terms of prowess, but not as an individual. The monster in it is the embodiment of my trauma, both from having gone to war and subsequently being taken from the family who helped me see it through. I tried to make my character universally relatable—even if you don’t identify with the genre, his proclivities, or his mannerisms, I think there are parts of Janzen that any of us who have felt alone, overwhelmed or just like shit for no other reason than our head seems to have a stranglehold on our ability to be happy and refuses to let it go.
The journey is brutal, I hope it’s a little unflinching, I want you to wince at every fight. Whenever there’s a problem that seems insurmountable I want you to be able to see in his dread the kind that we experience when we feel like we’ve got nowhere to go. I want Janzen to be the guy you cheer for, roll your eyes at and ultimately see something of yourself in.
I’ll never recover from my PTSD, but now as I learn to speak about it, manage it and even make peace with it, I don’t think I would have it any other way. All that which I once regretted, longed for, hated and even missed are the pieces that make up who I am today. And today I am an author, a lifelong dream of mine; I promise you’d be hard-pressed to find a more thankful author than me. Today I can speak to you directly about these tribulations and promise that you’re not alone, that there is a way through it, and maybe I can give you a friend in Janzen who can show you that sometimes if you drive on, lean on the right people, accept vulnerability, and ultimately find a way to invest some of your belief in yourself, you can get out of the darkness.
If you’re suffering from depression or suicidal please call: 1-800-273-8255.
And if that isn’t your speed, my contact information will be at the bottom, drop me a line.
Thank you all for the time, and I sincerely hope you enjoy Blunt Force Magic as much as I did writing it.
Blunt Force Magic (The Monsters and Men Trilogy #1).
“A modern fantasy with a touch of noir, a dash of detective thriller, and a sprinkling of humor throughout. A really fun debut novel.”
Janzen Robinson is a man lost between two worlds. Five years removed from a life as an apprentice to a group of do-gooding heroes who championed the fight against supernatural evils, the once-promising student is now a package courier going through the daily grind, passing time at a hole-in-the-wall bar and living in a tiny, run-down apartment on the south side of Cleveland, Ohio.
Then fate (or a case of bad timing) brings him face to face with a door that’s got his old life written all over it. From the ancient recesses of unyielding darkness known as the Abyss, a creature has been summoned: a Stalker, a predator whose real name is forbidden to be spoken aloud. It’s a bastardization of the natural order, a formidable blend of dark magic and primal tenacity. Its single-minded mission? Ending the life of a fiery, emerging young witch.
Thrust into the role of protector, a role once reserved for those he’d lost years ago, the out-of-practice Artificer not only has to return to a life he’d left behind, but must relive that painful past while also facing down the greatest threat to come to our world in a century. Janzen will have to journey through the magical underbelly of the city and stay one step ahead of an unstoppable monster hellbent on destruction while also trying to figure out why it’s been brought to our world. Old wounds are reopened as Janzen looks to old friends, a quiet stranger, and his own questionable wits to see them all to the other side of this nightmare that may cost him his life and, quite possibly, the world itself.
Excerpt from Blunt Force Magic:
The vampire was an apex predator. It boasted a conglomeration of traits collected from all the top-tier predators, an aberrant abomination of pure lethality. Its forked tongue was tasting the air, trying to wrangle my scent from out of the atmosphere so it could fixate on me. Its fluid movement was a bit stilted, the sluggishness a result from the Stalker piggybacking its already stunted consciousness. That didn’t make it any less dangerous, though.
Nearing my scent, that scaly disgrace of the natural order shuddered in excitement. It was just about to pounce and rip me apart, render open my flesh and feast on my innards when a loud wail of music cut through the makeshift PA system we’d installed inside the warehouse. To its credit, the thing still stayed focus on my smell and tore through the cardboard box impeding it from where I must have been. My only regret was not being able to see the shock smeared across its ugly face when it realized I wasn’t on the other side.
Its skull caved in with one well-aimed swing, the meaty spire of the bat wrung hard off the ugly bastard’s now-disfigured head. Ambient energy resonated in the reverberating wooden shaft before being assimilated by the sigils carved into it. I took a grim gratification in stomping the confused look off its gruesome face as it lay there dying without ever knowing how I managed to throw my scent or befuddle its superior senses. How it, a predator of all mankind, could have been so thoroughly duped by a mere mortal. My glance cut to the dangling piece of dirty fabric nailed to the pillar in the center of the room, a remnant of the shirt I shredded for this very reason. Suddenly the skin-searing, scalding hot shower and odor-eating lotion I had lathered myself in seemed worth it.
Purchase Blunt Force Magic (The Monsters and Men Trilogy #1).
About Lawrence Davis.
Lawrence Davis, first time author with Wildblue Press, is a pizza enthusiast, dog rescuer, aspiring Asgardian, former shooting instructor, and US Army Veteran. He is now following his passion of writing urban fantasy that is gritty and mysterious with a touch of the impossible.
About the Book.
The book to me was supposed to keep an element of reality in the supernatural. Originally it started as a kind of cathartic exercise as I struggled to come to terms with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving as a combat veteran with the U.S. Army. The book just came to life from there. As I wrote, I realized I wanted the influence to be a mix of all the science fiction books and comics that I obsessed over in my youth, as well as the hardships that I endured in my adult life.
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