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Peopling the Apocalypse

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My second novel, Faerie Apocalypse, is coming out in November. It’s a ‘literary fantasy’ novel about the corruption of fairy land at the hands of a handful of mortal adventurers. It’s a bleak and unorthodox book and, while I don’t want to ruin it by explaining it, I feel like I need to set some expectations for my readers, because this is not really like my other published work.

I think by now it should be pretty clear that my tastes in characters run to antiheroes, villains and monsters, and this is certainly true in Faerie Apocalypse. You can see this clearly in McBlack, in Sixsmiths, in Left Hand Path. Clarice in Bloody Waters is a very polarizing character and many people have told me they dislike her, the book is clearly on her side and I hope that readers are sympathetic to her, regardless of whether or not they would like to be her friend.

Faerie Apocalypse has five point-of-view characters and none of them are heroes (or perhaps antiheroes) in the same way as Clarice. I keep them at arm’s length and I don’t even tell you their names. (There is a story-related reason for this.) I think they’re interesting people. I hope that, as their character is revealed, they will surprise and shock you. And while I am not going to ask you to forgive them, or even to like them, I hope that, by the end, you will understand them.

At the end of the day, all of these characters–the noblest, and the most vile–are me. There are certainly more of the latter than the former. But this is how work of the writer differs from the work of the actor: writers must find something for themselves in every role, if they want their characters to live and die with meaning. I believe that, if the book reads true, readers will go along with it.

I know that’s a big ask. It was a difficult book to write and, short though it is, I am sure it’s a challenging read. It’s a dark journey to the end of a world that isn’t, with companions you do not know and cannot trust. But I think it’s one worth taking and I hope you’ll join me for it.

Just remember not to speak your name.

— JF

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