I love supernatural thrillers and if you add some kick-ass Templars into the mix, I'm a happy reader! Today I talk to Joseph Nassise about his Templar Chronicles series.
Where did your fascination with the Templars come from? Have you visited Jerusalem or some of the European Templar churches?
Originally, I became fascinated with the Templars when I began investigating the history behind the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th. Why was that day considered bad luck? I wondered. Why not some other day?
As it turns out, it was on Friday, October 13, 1307 that King Philip IV of France sent troops against the Templar strongholds, arresting all they could find, and eventually trying them for crimes against the crown and the church. That information prompted further exploration into the Templar Order and, liking what I found, I decided to use them as a key plot element in my series.
Your latest book in the series, Fall of Night, features Gabrielle, who has only been a peripheral part of the Templar series so far. Tell us a bit more about the book as my readers love a kick-ass female lead!
Fall of Night is the sixth book in the ongoing Templar Chronicles series, which features modern Templar knights acting as a secret combat squad for the Vatican, protecting mankind from supernatural threats and enemies. The earlier books center around the character of Cade Williams, a former Boston SWAT officer who gets attacked by a fallen angel known as the Adversary. That same creature “kills” Cade’s wife, Gabrielle, or so he thinks.
We find out pretty early on in the series that Gabrielle isn’t actually dead, but held prisoner by the Adversary in a kind of limbo-like plane of existence known as the Beyond. Cade spends much of the first several books trying to rescue her from the Adversary’s control.
In Fall of Night, Gabrielle at last takes center stage. Due to certain events that play out in books 4 and 5, Infernal Games and Judgment Day, Gabrielle returns to the world of the living carrying information that is vital to the safety of not just the Templars but all mankind. She needs to get that information to her husband, Cade, but he’s gone missing right at the point he’s needed most. Fall focuses on Gabrielle’s attempts to find him while safeguarding the information she is carrying.
All your books all have elements of the supernatural. What drives your obsession with what's beyond the physically real? How do your own beliefs/experiences weave into the books?
This is a tough one to answer, because I’m honestly not sure. I’ve tried to write other things, but keep coming back to supernatural thrillers/urban fantasy as my primary genre. The idea that there is something else out there, something more, is an intriguing one and I like adding that element to the stories that I tell.
Almost all of my fiction has it, from the Templar Chronicles to the Great Undead War to the Jeremiah Hunt series. Maybe one day I’ll break into some other genre, but for now, I’m happy where it am!
What are the themes that keep coming up in your work? What links the series' together?
Almost everything I write deals with the theme of redemption in some fashion and this comes out quite strongly in the Templar Chronicles. Cade is first determined to avenge his wife’s death and then, when he realizes she isn’t actually dead, he vows to give her back the life that was stolen from her.
Cade’s journey takes him deep into the heart of darkness – not just the darkness created by the supernatural creatures around him, but the darkness in his own heart as well. Darkness spawned by his belief that he has failed both his wife and himself in not protecting them from the Adversary in the first place. The entire series traces his fight to restore himself to the light, so to speak.
Where are you in the world and what does your writing space look like? Give us a hint of behind the scenes
I live in the heat of the desert in Phoenix, Arizona and my writing space is a dedicated office on the second floor of my home. I do most of my work in that room, though I will sometimes head to the local Starbucks when I need a change of scenery. I have several dogs and cats and they will often keep my company during the day while I am working.
I write full time, so my routine is pretty fixed. After taking the kids to school I’ll be in my office writing by 7:30 each day and will do so until about noon. I’ll take an hour or so for lunch and then be back at the keyboard until about three. Later afternoons and early evenings are spent doing all the other stuff that a writing career requires – answering emails, marketing and promotion, prepping for the next release, etc.
What are a few of the books you love and that you'd recommend readers check out?
I am a huge fan of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker novels, detective fiction with a touch of the supernatural. Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole and Joe Pike books are right up there as well. In terms of straight up genre fiction, I’m a fan of Kat Richardson, Richard Kadrey, Steven Savile, Caitlin Kittredge, Carrie Vaughn, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, Chris Golden – hell, the list could go on and on!