Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of A Hybrid’s Tale! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the overall premise of this new series?
Andrew Weston: The premise of this story can best be summed up by the series blurb:
Cursed to live his life as a Cambion – a demon-human hybrid – Augustus Thorne has spent centuries hunting and exterminating any Incubi and Succubae of the demondim he can find. Yet, no matter how many he destroys, it will never be enough. Not until he tracks down the scum responsible for attacking his mother: his own spawn-father, Fanon.
Guided by his mother’s diaries, Augustus travels the world in the endless pursuit of revenge. But the more he learns about his heritage, the more he begins to appreciate that personal vendettas may have to be put aside in order to serve the greater good.
What that involves exactly, will be revealed as time passes in. . .
The Cambion Journals.
So, as the blurb highlights, this story is centered on Augustus Thorne, a creature driven by rage and determined to exact revenge. Revenge for the suffering wrought on his human mother by the demon that caused his existence; revenge for the curse he’s now shouldered with, that of enforced isolation due to his relentless hunger for soul-energy; and revenge for the harm the demondim have inflicted upon mankind over the centuries.
He hates them with a passion, and devotes his long and lonely life to one goal. Wiping them out. As time passes, however, he not only comes to learn of the true nature of Cambions, but how their existence just might be a boon to humanity. That presents him with an obvious dilemma. Does he continue his crusade, or give it up in the pursuit of something far nobler?
That question will be answered as the series progresses.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in creating a brand-new world and characters, and what have been some of your creative influences?
AW: Well, you might not believe this, but I came up with the story arc of the Cambion Journals and the character of Augustus Thorne following a series of repeated dreams that lasted for about a month. (Oh yes!)
The dreams always started in the same way. I’d be high up, clinging to the chandeliers in an old, abandoned gothic-style mansion. It was night; the moon would be shining in through shattered windows, illuminating a wide and spacious hallway decorated with chessboard paving slabs. A grand stairway leads up into the shadows on one side, while opposite, a hint of open doorways and empty corridors peek out of the gloom on either side of a still working grandfather clock. People are running, hither and thither down below, obviously in a fright at something – just out of sight – that’s chasing them. I’m instantly filled with rage and drop to the floor, intent on ending whatever it is that means to do them harm. And the hunt is on, with me tearing around the halls and corridors in pursuit of half-seen monsters, and those people trapped inside running and screaming and cowering, desperate to get out of the way.
The first few times, I couldn’t understand why those people weren’t grateful for my intervention. They seemed to be as scared of me as they were of the ghouls terrorizing them. And then, after about a week of repeated run-throughs, I happen to catch sight of myself in the remains of a broken mirror that materialized from nowhere at the beginning of the dream as I drop to the floor.
Only then do I realize the source of their panic. Me! I look exactly like the monsters chasing them. But how? Why? Especially as I want to help them?
The rest of the month saw me running through the same initial scenario, but, armed with the knowledge of what I was, I managed to adapt the dream on each occasion and gradually win the trapped participants over to my side. And once I do, I lead them closer and closer to the main doors, whereupon they escape and the dream ends.
Because I remember most of my dreams (and I also manage to control quite a few of them), I keep a dream diary as a matter of course. As such, the more detail I put into that diary from all my repeated trips into the same adventure, the more convinced I became that I had an excellent basis for a story. And so, the Cambion Journals was born, with a lead character who would be an excellent anti-hero. Basically, one of the bad guys, trying desperately to be good.
BD: Do you have a certain number of installments planned for this series?
AW: There will be six books in the initial series, with more planned if Augustus and his adventures prove popular. Though the manner of continuation will surprise you.
BD: Given the other titles in your catalog, do you feel that your prior readers will easily find a home in the story of A Hybrid’s Tale?
AW: Yes I do. Of all the characters I have ever devised, Augustus Thorne is by far my favorite. I’m not kidding. And readers will be able to relate to the struggles he faces on a daily basis. Think about it. He’s a monster. A killer dressed up in the guise of a stunningly successful and handsome man. All he wants to do is meet someone special; fall in love; to settle down; start a family and keep them safe. But all the things we take for granted – even the simple luxury of companionship – are denied him because of what he is. So he channels all his loneliness, his hate and bitterness into a relentless hunt for those who would cause others harm. And he’s very, very good at what he does.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that A Hybrid’s Tale will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
AW: I have no doubt that A Hybrid’s Tale – and The Cambion Journals as a whole – will truly connect with readers because it reflects on the times we’re living through right now, and the struggles we face as individuals, finding our place in an ever-evolving society.
We’ve all been there, with people labeling us and trying to fit us into certain niches. But the simple fact is, we have a choice. We have the freedom to decide what we want to be . . . IF we have the resolve to stay focused.
No, we can’t control the circumstances of our birth – or in Augustus’ case – the fact that he was spawned as a Cambion. But we can follow his journey as he decides what to do with the power he’s been given. And isn’t that what life’s about? Becoming who we were meant to be despite the obstacles placed in our way?
As we walk life’s path, we meet all sorts of different people from all sorts of different backgrounds, orientations, and beliefs. The Cambion Journals deals with these issues head-on: Self-identification; race, religion, gender, sexuality, and the bigotry that often surfaces because of those issues. That’s why the series will prove popular. It contains a message. An important one. Believe in who you are and your place in the world . . . and act on it!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
AW: I’m just rounding off the final book in a new far-future high fantasy trilogy – The Ascension Trials – after which I intend to start laying out the foundations of the next stage of the current Cambion Journals.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about A Hybrid’s Tale and your other work?
AW: The best way to find out more about A Hybrid’s Tale and the rest of the Cambion Journals is via:
Raven Tale Publishing: https://raventalepublishing.com/
The Cambion Journals Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/The-Cambion-Journals-103202992239752
And as regards the rest of my work:
My blog: https://andrewpweston.blogspot.com/
And finally, thank you for hosting me. I’ve followed Fanbase Press for years, and it’s been great fun taking part and contributing to such a fantastic venue.