Baker. Wizard. God of Space and Time. And the most adorable of cinnamon rolls.
Enter Calico Acanthus Winghorse. He’s quirky. Eccentric. Often given to social and verbal misunderstandings due to his off Earth origins. He’s an amalgamation of many races, but his phoenix and lycanthrope, and demonic bloodlines are at the forefront.
He’s a triplet. But not just any kind of triplet. Calico is the ninth child of nonuplets–9th of 9. He’s the third born of his triplet set, and his triplet set was the last set birthed. Or hatched. Depending on how you look at it.
Calico’s psychic powers are heredity. They consist of telepathy, telekinesis, and empathy. Unfortunately, those powers are pretty much denied him due to a curse. By way of Calico’s godhood, he’s created an inter-dimensional portal. He and his brothers used that avenue to escape their great-grandfather, who tried to murder them, because of that curse.
Calico is one half of the upcoming urban fantasy series called Infinity 8. I-8 is split into two separate series for reasons that will be explained below. The first series is set in the 1900s, while the continuation will be set in modern day.
Writing Calico has been a surprise and a great joy. Huge surprises mostly, and I’m often afraid to leave him on his own. Which is why his kangaroo rat familiar, Gigglemug, also serves as a babysitter 24/7. Of course, Gigglemug has help from Calico’s identical triplet brothers, Frazil and Maars. Between the three of them–Frazil, Maars, and Gigglemug, they have the situation somewhat under control.
The Infinity 8 series appeared to me backwards. That is, I began working on the modern day storyline first. Making a long story short, Calico begins to lament over a spouse that was not in this modern day book, or even a re-occurring character. The very plot of I-8 shifts and fractures at this point but I deny it. Inside my head, Calico won’t shut up about the problems he went through with this man.
Back then, trying to salvage this book set in current times, I sat down to have a little chat with my current precious favorite to set him back on the path. It went something like this:
“Calico, dearling, what are you doing to me?” I ask this with the greatest of exasperated affection. “Remember Razi and Wraith? This is their story. Stop stealing the limelight.”
“But thoughts of Agustin have brought on collywobbles!” Calico cries with indignity.
“Okay, okay, calm down. ” I sigh. “So who is this Agustin?”
Without missing a beat, Calico says, “He is the Demon Lord of California.”
At this point, I know I’m screwed. Control of the book, and this series slipped out of my hands but I insist on bailing the sinking ship with one of those little bathroom drink cups. Because I’m still not truly listening to my precious darling.
“Okay,” I tell him. “I’ll plan a prequel series with you and –what’s his name again?”
“For you and Gus for later. Let’s get back to Razi and Wraith.”
“Hmm,” he says. “Unlikely.” Unconcerned, he strolls off in search of cupcakes.
As I muddle through, I ignore him. Then fight him. And lose each time.
Years back, I got into a beta reading group. After receiving their great feedback on Razi and Wraith’s I-8 team book, I realized I had to shift my focus and the overall plot.
But even then Calico kept pining over Gus. I still wasn’t getting it. The damned Demon Lord of California. The Demon Lord of California. DeMoN lOrD oF cAlIfOrNiA…! (Cue my silent frustrated screaming. And if you’re still wondering, the demon lord is the well-adjusted and sane one of the paring. Gus has his emotional baggage and closet skeletons tied in a messy, lopsided bow and ignored. For now.)
After a while, I realized I needed to–no, had to listen to what Calico was trying to tell me all this time. That I had to start from the very beginning, with the demon lord and their relationship. With how Calico got involved with Infinity 8 and Infinity Corporation.
So if your curiosity has been peaked with Cal and Gus, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get priority viewing on book covers, progress reports, and new releases. As of now, I have the first three chapters available with my newsletter signup. And three more chapters available on my blog, password protected. You can find the password at the end of the Demon Lord sample. I hope you’ll enjoy spending time with Calico and Gus as much as I have.
blog post cover art by K. Koji