Jill Archer gives us the low down on why demons rock, the Noon Onyx series, and its latest installment, Dark Light of Day.
What inspired you to write Dark Light of Day?
Many different things, both large and small, inspired me to write Dark Light of Day, but three of my biggest inspirations were: (1) the bookish librarian character, Evie Carnahan, from the movie The Mummy (I wanted to see if I could design a bookish lawyer character who would find love while taking on supernatural creatures); (2) my fascination with the duality of nature’s forces (ex: sometimes forest fires are necessary for regrowth); and (3) I love post-apocalyptic stories but I wanted to do something different (there are no zombies, robots, aliens, dystopia, the plague or even a recent war in DLOD).
How did you go about creating and naming all of the demons?
There are quite a few demons referenced in the story, but here’s some of the background on two of the more significant ones:
Serafina: Her name means “fiery one,” which I thought was appropriate. Because she’s a demon familiar, I wanted her to be small, but not cute. Since she’s the first demon Noon meets, it was important to me that Serafina be objectively described. She’s a warning.
Nergal: “Nergal” was the name of an ancient Mesopotamian god. I used some of the aspects of that deity (for example, Nergal was a deity of pestilence and plague) but added others (the deity Nergal was never married to the beautiful queen-cum-demon Lamia). That’s generally how I build the demons for the series. There’s usually a real world inspirational seed of some kind, and then I use the research as a jumping off point. I discard whatever doesn’t work for the story and substitute something that does. Nergal became “the Prince of Drought and Patron of Midsummer Death.”
When you started writing it, did you already have the ending worked out?
No. In fact, I had an entirely different ending planned. But when I got to the end, it felt flat and fizzled. For days, I tried to think of an alternate ending. One day, I came up with the one I ultimately wrote. I knew it was the right one because it felt slightly audacious and not a little crazy. I thought, “I can’t write that!” And that’s when I knew it was the right ending. It was important to me that the ending be morally just, true to the characters, and reflect one of my themes, which is a lot more difficult to do than describe!
What was your favorite scene to write?
They were all fun in their own way, but my favorite is probably a toss up between the very last scene and the Barrister’s Ball sequence.
Have you plotted out the rest of the Noon Onyx series?
I’ve loosely plotted a total of seven books. I’m currently contracted to write three. I’m trying to be flexible with the stories and series though because one never knows what the market will be for future books. Ideally, I’d like each book to have a satisfying ending. That said, I think the best series are the ones that have an overarching end game in mind from the start.
What authors have had the most influence on your writing?
Some of my favorite authors have included Lois McMaster Bujold, S.M. Stirling, Ken Follett, Naomi Novik, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Colleen McCullough, Elizabeth George, Elizabeth Peters, Nora Roberts, and Lisa Kleypas. To some degree they’ve all influenced my writing (as have many others whose work I admire).
What can readers expect next from you?
The second book in the Noon Onyx series comes out May 28, 2013. Later this fall, I’ll have a new cover, new title, and new blurb to share. For now, I’ll share that Noon will get her first field assignment and be sent to a remote Haljan outpost. Some characters will return and some new ones will be introduced.
What are you currently reading?
Faith Hunter’s Bloodring, which is the first book in her Rogue Mage series. It’s terrific. I also recently finished Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus and listened to Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave on audio. Highly recommend all of these books!
Are demons your favorite paranormal creature? If not, what is?
Demons are my current favorite. I love that they can be anything you need them to be. They are the ultimate “supernatural playdough” for writers.
About Dark Light of Day (Noon Onyx #1)
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.
Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.
Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.
Genre: Urban fantasy
Find Dark Light of Day
About Jill Archer
Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jill earned a bachelor of science from Penn State University and later moved to Baltimore to attend the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. She went on to practice law as a “dirt lawyer” for ten years, specializing in real estate law, municipal development, commercial leasing, and anything involving exceedingly lengthy legalese-like contractual monstrosities.
Jill now lives in rural Maryland with her two children and husband, who is a recreational pilot. Weekends are often spent flying around in the family’s small Cessna, visiting tiny un-towered airfields and other local points of interest.
Find Jill Archer
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