2013-02-16 Mike & AaronEvery good story has it in some form or another. Characters you think can’t possibly be reclaimed, can’t possibly be brought back from the brink of the abyss, nonetheless find some measure of salvation from the burdens they’ve been carrying.

Burdens of guilt. Burdens of regret. Burdens they didn’t even know they were lugging around, sometimes. And when they’re relieved of those burdens at long last, we breathe a heartfelt sigh along with them.

Because we all have pasts. We all have memories of incidents we wish had turned out differently—and would have, perhaps, if we had made one choice rather than another. It hurts to know that we screwed up big-time at some point in our lives and now there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, we can do about it.

Except…sometimes we can do something about it. Sometimes we get a second chance to make things come out right. And sometimes, unfortunately, we only think we’ve got that chance.

Which is the crux of “The Seeming,” my contribution to our maddeningly imminent Crazy 8 Press anthology, Tales of the Crimson Keep.

It’s a wonderful place, by the way, this Crimson Keep. So big and complex and ever-changing that almost anything is possible in its shadowy precincts. So redemption is always just around the corner. Or not. Depends on how you look at it, when you look at it, and whether you’re even inclined to look in the first place.

I haven’t yet mentioned the protagonist in my Crimson Keep story. He’s…what can I say…a demon. More specifically, the most puissant demon-warlord Koliander the Undying, whom we met in “Demon Circle,” and who was eventually–

Hang on a second. Maybe you’re one of the two or three benighted souls who haven’t had the inestimable pleasure of reading “Demon Circle” yet. In that case, I’d better not say what happens to Koliander. The last thing I want to do is spoil it for you.

What I will say is that the most puissant demon-warlord Koliander the Undying needs some redeeming. Lots of redeeming. And salvation too, scads of it. I mean, he’s a demon, right? If you knew nothing else about him, you’d imagine there was plenty of room for redemption in his life, and in my story he gets the chance to grab him some.

Not that he’s actually looking for redemption. He’s looking for something quite different—or thinks he is. In fact, he doesn’t know a whole lot more about what’s going on in “The Seeming” than you do. Which, when you think about it, is precious little.

But you’ll find out everything about everything, or at least everything worth knowing about Koliander’s fate, in the Crazy 8 Press tome The Crimson Keep, on sale at better on-line retailers in both print and digital formats this coming August 1.

Redemption—unlike payback, it’s not a bitch. Except when it is.

Tales of the Crimson Keep will be available in digital and print formats on August 1.

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