Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Spot Light Post- Dead Remnants by Armarna Forbes


Welcome to the afterlife of Denver—where phantom buffalo roam and ghost factions wage war.
Seventeen-year-old Ashen Deming is dead, but she can’t move on. Not with the soul of her best friend on the line. He is stuck in a horrific curse—a curse no spirit knows how to break.
Ashen is determined to find a cure, but at every turn opposing factions try to snatch her for themselves. As the menacing specters close in, a new threat is exposed—one that looms over the dead and the living—and Ashen and her posse of ghosts have one brief chance to stop them. If they fail, the entire world will be lost to darkness forever.
But Ashen’s time is running out. If she doesn’t cross over soon, she will be damned to roam the haunted city for eternity.
Dead Remnants is a YA urban fantasy, filled with dark humor and spliced with historical flashback stories, revealing real ghosts of America’s ugly past. Perfect for older teens and fans of JOSS WHEDON, NEIL GAIMAN, STEPHEN KING, and GUILLERMO DEL TORO.


Excerpt from Dead Remnants, Chapter 5 :

“But why am I dead? Why am I on fire? What did you do to me, cowboy?”

He raised his hand defensively. “Hold your dang horses a minute. First off, let’s get your circumstances square. I didn’t do a thing to you. I didn’t kill you. Heck, that’s just an unfortunate event that occurs on the daily. And you ain’t special `cause you’re dead, Little Missy. Everybody dies. You’re like all the other bags of bones on this rotating ball of mud.”

Macajah tugged down on the brim of his Stetson and continued. “Secondly, I’m none too fond of being referred to as ‘cowboy.’ It’s disrespectful. Tends to vex me something terrible. Granted, when you modern folks lay eyes on me, I reckon that’s what you see. But back in my day, most Easterners confused that with being a rustler, which meant a man was a horse thief. As I’m a gentleman and no horse thief, I would be much obliged if you’d call me Cage or Macajah. Or even the formal Mister Sloan.”

Ashen scowled. She crossed her arms in dramatic indignation, spun around, and stomped back to the curb. The cowboy followed, punctuating the tongue-lashing he had given her by roughly smoothing imaginary wrinkles from his duster. Ashen’s thoughts flitted to her short life. How she’d never go to college, get married, and have children. How she’d never have the chance to become a better mother than her own. How she would never know what it felt like to fall in love.

She hung her head, blinking fast to fight back the tears. In the end, the tears won, spilling out to form fat splatters on the concrete. Macajah looked up from his preening to catch her quickly dab at her eyes. His gaze met hers and the hard edges of his face softened.

“I know this whole affair of dying makes you all-overish and downright afraid,” he said. “I can assure you, it’ll pass.”

The cowboy’s words punched her in the gut. Hot tears streamed down her cheeks and she crumpled to her knees in the gutter. A group of the living walked through her as she sobbed. With each passing polychromatic soul, she could see her own body flutter, the tiny fragments of herself folding into uncoordinated loops.

“I can’t be dead.”

Groaning, Macajah sat on the curb next to her. “I wish that were true, Missy. I really do.”



Why did I write this?:

Primarily, I wrote this to teach teens about pieces of American history without them realizing they were learning about American history. I wanted to explore certain events that aren't often discussed or taught in public schools, and I found weaving these stories into an immersive dark fantasy setting worked incredibly well. Each of these ghost characters have a story to tell. Each want to be heard. Each want to be remembered, and I want others to remember them as well.



Also, it was just a lot of fun to write. The world-building, the mythos, the characters, the different dialects, the kind of campy dark humor--there's a lot of "me" in those pages.



Where did the idea come from?:

I've always had a love for history and particularly, extraordinary people in history. Folks who, against all odds, achieved the extraordinary.

About 12 or so years ago, the cowboy character, Macajah, started talking to me. At first, it was a line here and there until eventually, he just wouldn't shut up until I started to write things down. I wrote a few chapters, but never felt ready to actually write the entire thing. A year or so after I moved from Colorado to Scotland, I finally felt ready, and after a lot of research and interviews and documentaries, the story was written.



What inspired me?:

There is an old tabletop role-playing game called, "Deadlands" that definitely inspired some of the mood throughout the book. Also, one of my all-time favorite shows, Dead Like Me.

Beyond that, writers like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and movie/show directors like Guillermo del Toro and Joss Whedon were hugely influential--pretty much anything edging the dark side with an ensemble cast.





Author website: armarnaforbes.com

Amazon: mybook.to/DeadRemnants

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46751025-dead-remnants?from_search=true

Twitter: @armarnaforbes





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