10 November 2011

My obsession with swords began in Japan.

As an Air Force brat, I spent my early childhood years living on a base overseas, and I got to enjoy all the best tourist delights offered to a child in Tokyo. We visited temples, climbed Mt. Fuji, visited Tokyo Disneyland every few months, and rode our bicycles through dense city streets to get around.

Because I was so young, my memories of these times are hazy. I do remember sticking my hands in the freezing water on Mt. Fuji, marveling at the colorful displays of the shops in downtown Tokyo, and giggling schoolgirls petting our unusually bright hair. I learned to walk on bamboo mats, but I didn’t learn to speak Japanese. Most of what I took away from Japan are souvenirs rather than memories.

Naturally, an American tourist in Japan can’t resist the urge to pretend he’s the last samurai, so my parents acquired three katanas that were displayed proudly in our home. I grew up gazing at them, stored safely out of reach from my grabby hands, and dreaming of all the oni I would slaughter once I was tall enough.

I nabbed the black katana as soon as I became a teenager and had a room of my own, of course. I sliced it through the air without style or technique, leaping on my bed to battle invisible enemies. My mom was not thrilled. They didn’t let me keep that one.

So when I moved out on my own, I started buying others.

My collection of weapons is pretty impressive now. My husband bought me a bastard sword on a trip to France, which is my favorite. It’s huge. We have a rapier, too, and enough small knives to turn a demon into a pincushion, not to mention our Morningstar, flail, and clubs.

When I decided to write a demon-hunting character in Death’s Hand, I knew she needed to have swords. I’d spent so long playing with my own swords that I couldn’t imagine slaying evil any other way. In fact, I named hunters in my books after a specific type of sword: the Greek kopis, which has a scythe-like blade.

The heroine of the book, Elise, has two of these falchions. So (naturally) I had to buy two of them for myself, too. (My husband is very tolerant of our growing arsenal.)

I’m not very skilled with any of my weapons. In fact, if I was faced by an enemy, I would probably stab myself in the foot before I actually managed to kill anything. But they’re useful to have around when I’m having a tough time writing battle scenes and need to act it out, and they’re lovely to look at.

Come to think of it, Elise has a crossbow in one of my books, too. I don’t have a crossbow yet.

That would be a totally justifiable business expense... right?

Sara, Thanks so much for stopping by today for the tour! It was a pleasure having you here and I'm happy that I was able to be part of the event. Loved reading and sharing your guest post with everyone!

Death's Hand (Descent, #1) is currently available!

Synopsis: Policing relations between Heaven, Hell, and Earth is messy and violent, but Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner excelled at it-- until coming across a job so brutal that even they couldn't stand to see one more dead body.

Now they've been pretending to be normal for five years, leaving their horrific history a dark secret. Elise works in an office. James owns a business. None of their friends realize they used to be one of the world's best killing teams.

After years of hiding, something stirs. Bodies are vanishing. Demons scurry in the shadows of the night. A child has been possessed.

Some enemies aren't willing to let the secrets of the past stay dead...

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Giveaway Ends: November 25th, 2011

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