There are a million different elements (give or take) that can impact a book’s success.
Where a story takes place can be as important as what’s actually happening, in my opinion, at least. My Infinite Crossover Crisis series is going to stretch from the bowels of New Jersey to the glittering, morally-bankrupt streets of Vegas, to a patch of Limbo that resembles the setting of one of the most beloved rock songs of all time, to Heaven, Hell, and… well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
The action in the first book in the series – and maybe the only one if I can’t overcome my current personal crises and writer’s block – Into The Dark, jumps around the globe like a frog on a hotplate. However, I think this fictional globetrotting, coupled with an overabundance of characters, just adds to the story’s appeal. And since I am the creator and Supreme Being of this universe, my opinion counts for everything. Plus, I’m trying to introduce my readers to a world under the thumb of ancient, literal dark gods who feed on chaos and whose reach stretches to the Multiverse itself – and a big story requires a big scope, right?
For the uninitiated, the Infinite Crossover Crisis takes place in a world where the three forces God put in place to maintain the Balance between order and chaos, The Light, The Grey and The Dark, went to war when the All-Mighty disappeared. The Dark emerged victorious and that’s why the world has slipped so far into madness; you see, The Dark literally feed on chaos now that God isn’t around to feed them a portion of her power.
Opposing The Dark’s machinations are a rag-tag group of superheroes earthbound angels and spirits, and even a vampire. All good now?
So, here are a few of the locales you can expect to visit if you dive… Into The Dark.
See what I did there?
THE DUSK INSTITUTE: THE INCOMPARABLE STATE OF NEW JERSEY.
The ultimate purveyor of bad medicine, this joint isn’t exactly the Mayo Clinic. Hell, it isn’t even Betty Ford. The Dusk is where you end up if you’re in possession of superpowers but vulnerable. The Big Bads of the Infinite Crossover Crisis, The Dark, have staffed this hospital from Hell with medical practitioners who haven’t exactly vowed to do no harm.
In fact, staff members like Doctor Death and The Controller go to extreme lengths to push their
patients prisoners to the absolute limits of their powers and sanity, all in the name of harvesting a portion of their power/suffering to feed The Dark.
As for the building itself, The Dusk, much like Dana Barrett’s NYC apartment building in Ghostbusters, is meant to to function as an antenna to attract and concentrate extraordinary energy which is used to power the sort of equipment one would use to slowly drain gifted humans of their powers and will to live. In spite of its cutting-edge equipment and practices, The Dusk looks like a hospital straight out of the Fifties. From chrome and vinyl chairs paired with chrome-legged tables with Formica tops to linoleum floors in bright, trendy colors and patterns, this clinic of the damned is all about a bygone era of design, kids. Indeed, characteristics of 1950s design, namely, a Scandinavian influence paired with space and atomic age-inspired shapes, are all over The Dusk.
It’s a shame such a cool place is a den of evil.
THE RUSSELL HOUSE HOTEL: ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO, CANADA.
What you are about to read is fact.
The Russell had a long, colourful, and sometimes contentious life before suffering three serious fires and finally, demolition in 1996. in. It began as the Stinson House, a hotel and tavern established at the corner of of James and St. Paul streets in downtown St. Catharines in 1843 by Samuel Stinson. Unfortunately, Stinson didn’t have long to grow the business – in 1846 he died, poisoned by his wife and a gentleman friend.
This is why it pays to cook your own meals when in an unhappy marriage, fellas.
The hotel was then taken over by Stinson’s son, who I hope, for his sake, remained a bachelor . A later owner renamed it the Russell House. The Russell suffered a slow decline for much of the 20th century. By the 1970s and 1980s it was largely patronized by bikers and punks, and by the 1990s had become the last resort for the down and out. During the 1990s the building suffered the three aforementioned serious blazes. After a February 1994 fire the building sat vacant and slowly fell into disrepair. Eventually the city obtained a court order that the building had to be taken down no later than Nov. 30, 1996 . . . and it was.
But that wasn’t the end of the Russell’s story – far from it. And now we delve into the fictional pool that is my imagination, my fellow dreamers.
After the final conflict between The Light, The Grey, and The Dark and the rupturing of the Balance, a group of displaced demons, their hellish home now inaccessible, decided to get crafty and make good use of the vacant corner the Russell once sat on. Pooling their swiftly-dwindling netherworld resources, they created their own version of the infamous building, one that transitions between a pocket dimension and this particular prime reality.
Now the ultimate dive bar, the Russell is now home to a band of demonic supervillains as well as the spirits of the hotel’s former residents, one of whom has a very personal connection to this saga’s MC, Paul Nemesis.
This concludes my online TED Talk on The Places Of Into The Dark.
See you in the lobby and in the virtual book aisles, friends…
A terrific promo post, Hook.
Ironically, I’ve lost my self-confidence and will to self-promote my work, John, for now at least.
Just sit down and write. Forget the self confidence. There is no writer on the planet who has self confidence. We all hate self promotion so get over that too. What is going on now is you are busy with work-work. So go do that for a while and then come back to writing work.
I really have been stressing out about the challenges of my new role and the general state of the hotel during this seemingly-never-ending pandemic – and that needs to stop.
I appreciate your friendship, good sir.
You should only stress about one thing at a time. I say go ahead and stress about work. One of these days you will have that world by the ass and then you can turn to stressing about writing. 😁
Sounds good to me.
And you’ll sleep better.
I love your name at the end. It is fabulous! I, for one, will be devastated to not continue the journey of your cast of thousands. I am not alone, so I hope you get past this sticky part of your journey. Thank you for sharing the locations in such detail. Also, I may be one of the few who can say they have actually been in the real “Russell”. It was an adventure in itself. 😉
Very true, Michelle.
My grandfather was a bouncer there in the Seventies, and the joint was truly hopping back then.
John is absolutely right, Hook. You’re such a good writer.
I have a long way to go, but I’m getting there.