Friday, September 13, 2013

More from Joseph Spencer, author of 'Wrage'

Author Joseph Spencer is back to answer even more questions about himself and 'Wrage.' Please leave him more questions and comments below!

Read more from him here.

What is the inspiration for the Sons of Darkness series?
One of the Dead Sea Scrolls describes an apocalyptic fight between the Sons of Darkness and Sons of Light. It tells of a final battle in which Light will destroy Darkness and live in peace for all eternity. I focused on developing a story around that theme in which leaders of both sides are “recruiting” vessels for the top demons and angels to possess during their fight. Each Son of Darkness represents a deadly sin and each Son of Light represents a cardinal virtue.
Which character spoke to you the most during the writing of 'Wrage'?
Many critics have commented that my books are full of bad guys, so when I went to work on Wrage I wanted to humanize even the most despicable characters. Do I think people will like or feel much pity for Christopher Sinks after what he’s done in both Grim and Wrage? No, I don’t. However, I think readers of the books will agree that they could see how he descended to the depths to which he did because of what happened to him. To me, a good part of the challenge in storytelling isn’t making characters with white and black hats, but making characters believable based on their circumstances.
Which scene was the most difficult to write?
I had an alternate ending for Jeff Wrage’s character. Some of my readers got upset with me about what happened to Adam White in Grim. I weighed my options, and I used the ending I thought fit Wrage the best. I think there is redemption for a few characters in those final chapters, but I will let the readers judge for themselves.
Please tell us about the first book in the series.
Grim is a different sort of book from Wrage in my opinion. Grim featured Heath Grim, Adam White and Cyrus Black which were all characters set in their ways and their paths which forced the action into a collision course none of them could avert. As I stated earlier, each Son of Darkness embodies a sin and Heath Grim symbolized wrath. He’d grown so world weary and become so broken from his experiences that the only path for his redemption in his eyes was bloody vengeance.
What drives you to write?
First and foremost, I am an avid reader. There’s an opportunity to travel to new worlds and meet new people every time you pick up a book or turn on your Nook or Kindle or other device. After I left my writing career behind five years ago because of the uncertainty of the newspaper industry, I missed the creative outlet I’d taken for granted for the past 10 years as a journalist. Writing fiction allows me to rekindle that artistic fire which had been so much a part of my life.
On what other projects are you currently working?
I’m currently working or in development of three projects. My priority is the Sons of Darkness series. I intend to write seven novels, one son for each deadly sin. I wanted to wrap up the action by telling the other side of the story in the Sons of Light series. I’ve also written a significant part of a manuscript for a young adult thriller in which a small town girl is conned into a big city life of sex and violence by human traffickers. Lastly, I am in development of an adult mystery thriller with my wife, Amy, who is also an avid reader. We thought it was fun one rare day when we both had a day off from work to bounce ideas off each other for a book we’d like to read. The concept we’ve come up with sort of ties in themes from movies like Ghost and Silence of the Lambs with a different spin on things.
What is some of the best writing advice you have ever received?
I’ve been told by several successful writers to write every day. If you stop writing, it’s easy to become distracted and lose skills when you are trying to work on a project, especially if you aren’t fortunate enough to be a full-time writer.
How has your family supported your writing career?
My mother and wife have proofread for me. They’ve given me confidence when I’m feeling rejected by the industry. They’ve told everyone they know about my writing, and several of their friends and coworkers have bought my books. I’m my own worst critic, and they’ve been instrumental in keeping me going when there are times I want to give up on myself.
You love to quote from movies. What are some of your favorite quotes?
“There’s no crying in baseball!” – Tom Hanks as Jimmy Duggan in A League of Their Own

“You know what my problem is? I am not interesting. What am I supposed to say? I went to magic camp? That I’m an accomplished ventriloquist? Oh, I am the Seventh Degree Imperial Yo-Yo Master. ‘Ooh, do me, Yo-Yo Master, I want you to do me cause you’re the yo-yo guy!’” – Steve Carell as Andy Spitzer in 40-Year Old Virgin

“Why so serious?” – Heath Ledger as Joker in Dark Knight

“You fell victim to one of the classic blunders—the most famous of which is, “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”—but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line”! – Wallace Shawn as Vizzini in The Princess Bride
Is there anything else you would like to add?
As a follow up to your previous question, the next book in my Sons of Darkness series will be titled Malice. It will feature a controversial rock icon Malice Madsen, loosely based off Marilyn Manson. He will symbolize the sin of pride.

Joseph Spencer
Sometimes the toughest fight lies within yourself.

As more dark secrets come to light, the battle for souls pushes Prairieville to the brink of war in the living and supernatural realms.

Jeff Wrage swears a blood oath to Abaddon, the supernatural avenger of murder victims, to hunt the crooked cop who butchered his wife. Jeff wonders whether he can be the executioner Abaddon requires. Their pact throws the supernatural realm in chaos and threatens to trigger an apocalyptic fight for control of the afterlife between the Sons of Darkness and Sons of Light foretold in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Orlando Marino sees the death of Cyrus Black as his opportunity to restore the Marino family's stronghold in Prairieville’s organized crime scene and become a mob kingpin. He unleashes a plague, turning its victims into mindless followers. Cyrus' heir is busy rooting out a traitor and is unable to stop the coming turf war in the realm of man.

The fate of all rests with Homicide Detective Anna Duke, who steps into the shoes of her mentor while coming to terms with unrequited love. As she tries to clear the fallen hero's name, she takes on a case where corpses go missing. Her new partner is reported dead. She learns the truth about her true identity and uncovers a trail of secrets questioning her tragic past. She journeys to avert the destruction of all creation.

Read an excerpt:
Thunderclaps from high above jolted Jeff out of his slumber.

Something hard and cold with jagged edges pressed into his back.

When he tried to move, iron shackles strained against the skin of his arms and legs. Chained to a rock in a dry stream bed, he knew he’d become a helpless prisoner who could do nothing more than wait for his captor. Stormy skies threatened from directly above him with bright flares of lightning snaking among sooty clouds and disappearing. Out of the corner of his eye, he could detect that the sun was shining brightly on the other side of the rock.

Scant rays of brilliant sunshine peeked over the rock, reflecting bright light off a magnificent golden shrine on a bank not far from where he was chained.

This can’t be real. He’d never seen a place like this in his life.

Large wet drops crashed against his skin. The coolness of the rain streaking down his body caused steam to rise from his skin, which he noticed had turned a dark shade of crimson. The only being this red was….

“Lucifer,” a calm voice echoed from above Jeff on the shoreline.

A giant, dressed in white armor sparkling like diamonds in the spare sunlight, stepped into view. He wielded a golden-hilted silver sword in one hand and a silver shield with the Latin inscription “Quis ut Deus” (I am like God) on the front in the other hand. He loomed above Jeff. A large gold cross ran down the center of the giant’s breastplate. A second inlaid golden cross glinted at the center of his white helmet. The helmet obscured his face, save for flawless ivory skin which radiated a blinding light. There was something across his back casting a large shadow, but Jeff couldn’t see what it was.

“You were thinking of Lucifer, whose skin is often portrayed as red,” the giant said. The ivory giant stepped into full view. From his back a pair of massive wings spanned over ten feet wide and five feet long majestically fluttering in the breeze, yet didn’t cast a shadow. The rain pelting Jeff in the eyes didn’t touch this giant. He certainly was no man. The only thing Jeff could compare it to would be—

“An angel,” the giant completed Jeff’s sentence again. “You are correct.”

Available on Amazon

Check out Grim


As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.

Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.

Joseph was married to Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph is hard at work on the rest of the series. Book 2 – Wrage – was released June 1, 2013. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from “The Princess Bride”, “Rain Man”, “Bridesmaids”, and “Office Space.”

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Joseph will be awarding a $25 Starbucks gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. Loved the interview.. and totally digged Grim.. and can't wait to get a chance to read Wrage.. Your work is fabulous..

    vals_hemi at yahoo dot com

  2. Wow from what I see Wrage is going to be exciting to read.. I've ordered Grim to get a head start.. very impressed and was great learning about you and how your career started.

    erikalrhodes at gmail dot com


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