It's my birthday month, and I've decided to share with you one of my most treasured and closely guarded Series.
This is some seriously major reading ladies, the kind that will take your brain straight to Valhalla. Trust me when I say you've never read a series like this one.
You will fall in love with Cal and Niko here's a sample from Rob's LJ:
Cal's list of reasons not to brood and/or kill self:
1. find out where Robin gets all the Prozac he keeps sprinkling in my morning cereal
2. write to Dr. Phil and find out if they take moody, genetic freak monster half breeds with mommy issues on the show...and if so, does it pay anything?
3.decide once and all between boxers and briefs
4. ask Delilah to please let you wear underwear again as its beginning to chafe.
5. keep dosing Niko's soy milk with pure cane sugar and ground coffee. It seems to make him less homicidal
6. when Robin knocks at the door and says Orgy-to-Go, believe him and lock the door. Then climb out the window, down the fire escape and run for your life.
7. figure out how I can be Greek, Rom, and Auphe and still can't understand a single cab driver in this city.
8. find out if Goodfellow perms or that's natural, because if that's a perm...shit he's got a good stylist.
9. would I look more brooding with a streak of silver in my hair ? (note to self: ask Robin's stylist)
10. get some sort of pepper spray to keep the goth/emo kids from following me down the street 24/7. It's starting to freak me out.
11. Get Niko to stop calling my underwear underoos when it's his turn to do the laundry.
12. Start cleaning old food out of the refrigerator before the mold gets a chokehold on you (like last time.)
13. Never ask your brother's vampire girlfriend if she's glad to see you or that's just an overbite.
14. never leave explosive rounds on top of the stove while cooking a pizza...
15, SHIT! (For more lists from Niko and their friend Robin go to Rob's Blog.)
by Rob Thurman
"There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I've known that since I can remember, just like I've always known I was one...
...Well half one, anyway."
Welcome to the Big Apple. There's a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side- and that's only the beginning. Of course, most humans are oblivious to the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half human.
His father's lineage is the stuff of nightmares- and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal. Why? Cal hasn't exactly wanted to stick around long enough to find out.
He and his half brother, Niko, have managed to stay a step ahead for four years, but now Cal's dad has found them again. And Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they've always wanted him: He is the key to unleashing their hell on earth. The fate of the human world will be decided in the fight for Cal's life....
Book 2 Cal Leandros Series
By Rob Thurman
"I was born a monster. Although truthfully, I was only half monster. My mother was human; my father was something... else. Half monster or whole, in the ens it didn't matter. I had my weaknesses, and same as anyone else. And I was facing one of them now."
After saving the world from his fiendish father's side of the family, Cal Leandros and his stalwart half-brother, Niko, have settled down with a new apartment and a new gig- bodyguard and detective work. And in New York City, where preternatural beings stalk the streets just like normal folk, business is good.
Their latest case has them going undercover for the Kin, the werewolf Mafia. A low-level Kin boss thinks a rival is setting him up for all, and wants proof. The place to start is the back room of Moonshine, a gambling club for nonhumans. Cal thinks it's a simple in-and-out job. But Cal is very, very wrong.
Cal and Niko are being set up themselves- and the people behind it have bites much worse than their barks....
Book 3 Cal Leandros Series
by Rob Thurman
"My brother had spent a lifetime -mine, at least- telling me that I was normal, that I wasn't a monster. With his help, I'd finally realized that as long as I could remain who I was, I could survive what I was. It was only bad genes...."
Halfhuman Cal Leandros and his brother, Niko, aren't exactly prospering with their preternatural detective agency. Who could have guessed that business would dry up in New York City, where vampires, trolls, and other creepy crawlies are all over the place.
But now there's a new arrival in the Big Apple. A malevolent evil with ancient powers, dead set on making history with an orgy of blood and murder, is picking off humans like sheep. And for Cal and Niko, this is one paycheck they're going to have to earn... if they live long enough to collect it.
Book 4 Cal Leandros Series
By Rob Thurman
"How I felt the mental stirrings of a bloodthirsty heritage when I passed through the grey light wasn't my favorite topic.... The Auphe nature wasn't mine. I wouldn't let it be. And if I said to myself over and over and sprinkled enough friggin fairy dust, maybe it would be true."
Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko are barley getting by with their preternatural detective agency when the vampire Seamus hires them. He's being followed, and he wants to know by whom. But the Leandros brothers have to do more than planned when Seamus turns up dead (or un-undead).
Worse still is the return of Cal’s nightmarish family, the Auphe. The last time Cal and Niko faced them, they were almost wiped out. Now, the Auphe want revenge. Cal knows that before the Auphe get him, they will destroy everything he holds dear. Because for the Auphe, Cal's pain is a pleasure.And they're feeling good.
IB Teen Talks with their hero, Rob Thurman:
IBT: If you could choose one fictional character to bring into real life, who would you choose?
RT:Okay, your first one is an impossible one.A) I have so many favorite characters that there's no possible way to pick just one and
B) most of my favorite characters are either anti-heroes or villains. And while I, let's say, love the original Darth Vader before Lucas turned him into a whiny mama's boy with the new movies, I'm not sure I'd actually want him around the house, choking me with the Force when I didn't pick up the wet towels off the bathroom floor.
IBT: How did you survive being a teen?
RT: Writing, pure and simple. I went through a very awkward and early puberty(being eleven years old with a 34 C bra size was not pleasant, not to mention the glasses and braces and Biblical plague-style acne. But I'm stunning now,so, hey, it all worked out.)IBT: How do you decide what makes it on the page? What were some ideas that didn't make it?
RT: If I had my way, everything I write would make it to the page and does in the original draft. It's my editor that does the slicing and dicing. For an example, there is a deleted scene from Madhouse that my editor cut from the book. It's on my LJ, right hand side, scroll down to deleted scene.
IBT: How did Cal and Niko come to you? At what stage did the Auphe come into play?
RT: About thirteen or fourteen years ago. I've always loved the dynamic between brothers and was tired of books in which either the protagonist was a loner or the relationship within was always driven by romance or sexual tension. I wanted two kick ass brothers who were utterly loyal to each other (as I didn't have a brother, I *could* write that as no one was burning my Barbie dolls or giving me wedgies and mentally scarring me for life.) And the Auphe were always there as I always knew one of the brothers would be half monster, it just came down to choosing what type of monster and picking a name.IBT:
RT: If I had my way, everything I write would make it to the page and does in the original draft. It's my editor that does the slicing and dicing. For an example, there is a deleted scene from Madhouse that my editor cut from the book. It's on my LJ, right hand side, scroll down to deleted scene.IBT: What's your favorite type of hero?
RT: Anti-hero all the way. Good, wholesome heroes are so boring and two-dimensional. If you were dropped into Cal and Niko's world, really, how long would you stay good? How long could you afford to stay entirely good and survive? The land of urban fantasy is a difficult road to walk for the characters.
IBT: Some authors really enjoy putting their protagonists through the wringer. Jim Butcher, for example, takes an almost sadistic joy in making sure Harry Dresden suffers as much as possible. The ever embattled Cal and Niko seem to share a similar condition. So I have to ask, is there such a thing as a happy ending in the world of the Leandros brothers?
RT: Mmmmmm. I don't know exactly how the series might end, so I couldn't say there, but in between now and some hopefully far off future ending, would you want happiness? Or would you want angst and sarcasm and the constant battle between good and evil that takes place in Cal's head? I suppose I could do bright balloons, rainbows, baskets of kittens, and unicorns...nahhhhhh.
IBT: The your latest book, "Deathwish", you kept your readers on the razor's edge right alongside your heroes, and the only thing keeping them and us from falling was the ironclad loyalty between the brothers. It was undoubtedly the most beautifully written torture! How did this book- and especially how did the ending come about for you?
RT: I wanted to show what genuinely is within Niko. Seeing him from the outside, he can seem so perfect and calm. Levelheaded. But I wanted the reader to know the lengths he would go to, what he is actually capable of when it comes to his emotional ties with his brother. I wanted the reader to see that in his way Niko is as deadly and lethal as any Auphe and maybe even more so. He might have only one button to push, but push it and Hell walks on earth.
IBT: Seemingly everything that Cal and Niko stand for hinges on the relationship between them, and the absolute faith they have in each other. Will we see a time or a situation present itself where we find the brothers on opposite sides? After reading "Deathwish", it feels as if this were to come to pass it could have catastrophic results for one or both of them.
RT: Nope, barring drugging, brainwashing, amnesia, Auphe hiccup in Cal's brain, you will never see an intentional break in the loyalty. I have one line that won't be crossed in this series, and that is it.
IBT: Have we really seen the last of the full-blooded Auphe? Is it possible that Cal isn't the only one of his kind? The Auphe seemed like creatures who wouldn't put all their eggs in one basket.
RT: I actually don't know. But I do know you don't have to be full Auphe to do some damage, and Cal is on a long road.
IBT: The dialogue in your books flow sharp and quick, it seems to come so naturally. What part of the books does not?
RT: Romance. Most romance written (except with Robin and Ishiah or Robin's many, many escapades) I have to force myself to do. Just because I'm female doesn't mean I like romance. I usually don't. I like action, adventure, mystery, comedy, sci fi, fantasy, horror...but I do not always like romance. It probably comes from being a kid and watching TV. Every single time a romantic possibility would show up, the two main characters would inevitably fight over her or because of her. It imprinted on my impressionable seven year old brain that romance leads to strife between my favorite characters. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy an occasional well done, strife free fictional romance that someone else has written, but I don't, as a rule, like to write it myself. There are some exceptions...Robin and Ish and two relationships in my new book Trick of the Light, but one of those is a potential relationship...a 'we can't be together now, but maybe someday' one, which leads to a lot of back and forth sarcastic sniping between the two. And sarcastic sniping I always enjoy.
IBT: Your characters are very three dimensional, as a fan it's exciting to anticipate your new series. The Trickster Series introduces your female protagonist Trixa Iktomi, was the transition from a male dominated cast in the Cal Leandros series to Trixa a difficult one?
I thought it would be, but actually it wasn't. Of course Trixa is a very fun character. She's somewhat like Goodfellow with her enthusiasm for life, her sarcastic nature, but lacking Robin's rather frightening sex hyper-drive. Plus there are four male characters that I also was able to write who are quite...entertaining. Zeke and Eli being my current favorites (Eli is a demon who is also a bit like Goodfellow only evil. Now who doesn't want to see a purely evil, homicidal Goodfellow?)
IBT:Do both series share the same world? Is a crossover ever a possibility?
RT: Yes. I don't know about a crossover, but Robin has two audio cameos in Trick of the Light and Ishiah may show up in book two. IBT:
IBT:As an author how do you respond to those who think that censorship is a necessary evil?
RT: Bang head against wall. I could write pages on this, but I'll go with the most simple answer: censorship is evil...period. When someone says something is a necessary evil, the word necessary is their justification for doing evil. And there is no justification for doing evil. You can read about evil, watch it in a movie, whatever, but in the real world you don't do it. We live in a society here, come on and get with the program. Oh, and leave the gay penguin books alone already. There's war, poverty, and disease the world over. Who knows how many children overseas starved to death while I wrote the answer to this question. Try worrying about that. Priorities, people!
IBT: Hypothetically speaking, if you had a plan for world domination, one that succeeds, what would your first order of business be?
RT: Equal rights for everyone, and I would ban all reality shows (except for Kathy Griffin's...she works her ass off and she's a comic--she can carry it off.) And, yes, I know this directly contradicts what I said about censorship, but as this is a fantasy, I'll do as I please. I'm tired of shows getting by lacking all creativity because it's cheaper to have people make jackasses of themselves than hire writers. Gah! It makes me insane.
Thanks to all who entered!
Check out Rob's new Trickster Series book 1: "Trick of Light" here!