A Darker Shadow
This story began with a borrowed idea, as most do. I saw something I thought was great and attempted to mimic it in my own way. Unfortunately I got a little too near the original: an exorcist rejected by the church, who has PTSD and a smoking problem.
Any time I write and create, I always end up with characters who are so much larger than life I’m left wondering where they came from. For A Darker Shadow, this wasn’t any different. The character Michael evolved. His backstory wrote itself, and about the time he arrived in New York to track down the elusive creature Cahan, I wouldn’t have recognized the Constantine character type. He’d become something else. When he next went on the hunt for a demon-wolf, and then to Cancun to meet new friends, and finally to a sky-city, I knew this character I’d created would never be Constantine.
It wasn’t that I wanted to write my own version of an already-existing story. I wanted to explore the ideas in whatever way made sense to me. The dim apartment of The Darkness Within, the upstairs hallway of The Knocker, the old mahogany and checkered tile of The Prince of Destruction, these are places I imagined a demon would haunt – places I thought an exorcist on the verge of a breakdown might hang around. So these are the places the stories took place, and the characters that followed my dark anti-hero were the sort of people I imagined he’d surround himself with. I wanted it my story my way. It took time to evolve.
To this day I still don’t know where the story is going to. After the last chapter, Sunfire, I tried a few different approaches to keep things going, but all of them failed. Mind you, back then I was losing steam on nearly all my projects, and Beyond the Wasteland would sit in limbo for 4 years before ever seeing print. Yet I’m confident there are more stories to tell. The Universe is much too volumous to contain a man like Michael. Evenso, It will require some guidance to get him through these trying days.