Friday, June 17, 2011

And Now, Behind The Scenes: "Dillon And The Judas Chalice"

DILLON AND THE JUDAS CHALICE is the third story in the upcoming FOUR BULLETS FOR DILLON.  Which is scheduled to be available in August, btw.  So start saving those pennies, hear?

It’s different from the other stories for a number of reasons.  Right from the beginning when this book was being planned, I wanted to have at least one new story in it that had never been seen before.  I felt it was only fair for readers to get something new as the other stories had been bopping around the Internet on various websites or in the case of “Dillon and the Escape from Tosegio” had seen life as an actual-to-Cthulhu comic book story.  I always figure folks deserve to get more bang for their buck so I started work on “Dillon and the Last Rail to Khusra”, a heartwarming story about Dillon getting involved in a North African country’s revolution and his mission to get the child empress of the country to safety against overwhelming odds.

However, as it happens so often while writing, characters demanded more time, additional scenes occurred to me and I saw how I could tie in “Last Rail To Khusra” with the second Dillon/Sly Gantlet crossover; “Dead Beat In Khusra”.  So I promptly changed gears and decided to put that story aside.  The current plan calls for “Last Rail to Khusra” and “Dead Beat in Khusra” to see print in 2013.

But something had to go in the damn book.   I turned my eye to an idea for a story I’d had in mind for some time that has its roots in something that had always puzzled me for a long time: what happened to the forty pieces of silver that was paid to Judas for betraying Jesus after he gave it back to the temple priests?  According to The Bible, the priests decide they can’t put the money back into the treasury because it’s tainted.  So they use it to buy The Potter’s Field.

Me being me, I decided to take it a step further and have the silver pieces stolen by a fanatical sect who worships Judas and they use the silver pieces to create a sort of anti-Holy Grail they call The Judas Chalice.  The Chalice has a very extraordinary history and properties that are revealed during the course of the story.  Properties that lead to Dillon and his cohorts having to steal it from the obligatory nut job wanting to conquer the world.

I also wanted to showcase other members of Dillon’s network of friends and allies.  I tend to rotate them from story to story depending on which of them are available and who has the skills needed for a certain job.  In this adventure, Dillon recruits his technical expert, Wyatt Hyatt (and believe it or not I named him after a real person I used to work with) and master thief Reynard Hansen.

And I also manage to drop in all sorts of nifty Easter Eggs.  One in particular will be of exceptional interest to those of you who have read DILLON AND THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN BELL and I managed to get in what I think is an awfully cool car chase that is a homage to two of my favorite car chases: the Las Vegas car chase from the James Bond movie “Diamonds Are Forever” and the final car chase from “The Blues Brothers”.

The story is one I meant to be a roller coaster ride from start to finish and those who have read it agree.  And I hope that those of you who will read it in FOUR BULLETS FOR DILLON will think so as well.

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