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Betsy Dornbusch, author of Sentinel: Archive of Fire, on demons, darkness, & anti-heroes

Betsy Dornbusch, author of Sentinel: Archive of Fire, on demons, darkness, & anti-heroes

by davincikittieFebruary 27, 2012

Let’s give a big welcome to Betsy Dornbusch, author of Sentinel: Archive of Fire!

I was asked an interesting interview question the other day: What inspired you to write about demons?

The quick and dirty answer is I like bad-ass characters who do the wrong thing for all the right reasons and get violent doing it. They’re just… cool. Urban fantasy has tons of brilliant anti-heroes, and I’m thrilled to add mine to the population. But none of that really answers why.

I think the attraction of the anti-hero stems from real life people so often succumbing to their urges to be bad. We overeat. We drive too fast and shout at other drivers to get out of our way. We argue on Facebook. Politics is rife with corruption, no office is without its manipulative jerk, and when that’s not enough to get us through the day, there’s always reality television to give you three hundred joules of dark side. Fathers even solve parenting problems via YouTube and a pistol.

As a writer I gravitate to anti-heroes for their innate conflict: there is no character more tortured, nor easy to torture, than one with constant bad urges given motivation to do the right thing, especially if the right thing makes him cringe. I like when dark characters get angsty and whiny about the clash between morals and vices. I adore when they give into their bad urges and it screws up the greater good.

My character Aidan has few morals or scruples when it comes to his own pleasure, and he certainly has a way of spouting his mouth off. It’s hard to see any darkness in him, what with his good looks, infectious laugh, and the constant joyride. But it’s all cover for a bad secret: he can see straight into his twin brother’s soul, and it ain’t pretty. For Kaelin is a real demon. He has a deep moral intellect but suffers from the constant presence of the devil within. His anger is a disease that manifests itself in violence, and his carefully constructed veneer of morality is a stopgap treatment at best.

I’m not sure how dark Archive of Fire is compared to other books on the market; that’s something I’ll let readers decide. At this point in the story, the twins are new to this whole “rebelling against the legions of Asmodai” business, and it gets personal really quick. But they are almost pureblooded demons. Sooner or later they both must sacrifice their own morality and succumb to the darkness.

More about Sentinel: Archive of Fire

Twins Aidan and Kaelin didn’t realize until they got to university that most guys don’t learn five ways to kill a man by the age of fourteen. Still, since their estranged father descends from the demon Asmodai, it’s probably worth knowing how to defend themselves.

But as years pass and threat never materializes, the twins suppose their mom is just paranoid – until she disappears. Their father tells them Asmodai has taken possession of their mother in order to infiltrate Sentinel, a treacherous coalition of demidemon rebels determined to protect humankind from the demon legions.

The twins form a grudging alliance with Sentinel to rescue her, but when Asmodai commits murder to incite war, Sentinel starts to implode and Aidan and Kaelin must battle an enemy who wears their mother’s face.

Excerpt from Sentinel: Archive of Fire

Download (DOC, 42KB)

More about the author

Betsy also writes erotic romance under the pseudonym Ainsley. Check out her GoodReads profile here.

Her sci-fi erotic adventure Lost Prince, the first book in the Salt Road Saga series, earned a Silver Heart award on GT last fall, receiving a score of 4.5/5 and was named one of the 5 Books from 2011 You Absolutely Must Read.  Read DVK’s review of Lost Prince here!

GraveTells will be reviewing Sentinel: Archive of Fire next month, so be sure to check it out!

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About The Author
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue has been shamelessly pimping book boyfriends since 2010 and has won several blogging awards with GraveTells. Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.
  • February 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I agree. Demons are just cool. I love when they are struggling to do good when everything in them says “why? good is for those ickle goodie two-shoes who wouldn’t know fun if it bit them on the a**” I also love the characters who don’t even try to struggle with the foreign concept ‘good” 🙂

  • February 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I just finished Archive of Fire for next month’s review and I’m not sure I have the words to describe how great it really is. Neither urban fantasy nor demons is usually my thing, but this series is definitely one to watch. Loved this story and can’t wait for the next!!

  • February 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Agreed on all counts, Alex! It’s fun to see how bad they can be.

  • February 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I’m so glad you liked it!!

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