What are 3 things readers should know about your world in Vice City?
1. It’s a noir in setting. That means the world is darker, the people morally ambiguous, and the characters cynical. It’s got a grit factor that gives everything a hard edge—even the romantic sub-plots.
2. Vice City takes places in the fictional city of Noimore. The underworld is run by the Vice family, but Noimore is a darker version of Chicago, basically. Lots of crime happens on the streets, and everyone is fending for themselves. When a new gang called the Cobras move into town, it causes friction to an already volatile situation.
3. Pierce, the main character, wants to turn his life around. So, given the noir setting and the dark vibe of the city, how will he ever accomplish that? I thought it made for some great drama, especially when he’s so deep in the crime game. He’s wants something better for himself, but no one has it that good in Noimore, so it becomes a struggle—a struggle he’s willing to go through and one that could claim his life, but he tries anyway.
Share 3 things you love about your characters in Vice City.
1. I love Pierce’s character. I wrote the story in first-person and his unique voice gives the narrative a distinct tone. He’s cynical and sardonic, and often makes quips in his head, even if he doesn’t say them aloud. Miles, his romantic interest, is almost the complete opposite. He’s a guy that’s still naïve and optimistic and wants to do right by his brother. They play off each other, and Miles’s compassion softens Pierce’s edges, so to speak.
2. I love a lot of the side characters. Guinevere Vice is the crime boss’s daughter. She’s spoiled, pampered, and lives a life of luxury. However, when she goes out with Pierce to take care of some Cobra gangsters, she’s right up there in the interrogation, intimidating a guy with a bat. Another character, Jayden, is Miles’s brother, and the guy Pierce is attempting to save most of the novel (even though Jayden doesn’t want to be rescued). Jayden loves his douchebag life on the streets because it’s an escape from his reality at home—an abusive father, a mother that doesn’t want him—and he wants to feel powerful. These characters add a depth to the story that I really enjoy, even if they aren’t the main characters themselves.
3. And, lastly, I love the villain. Jeremy Vice, Guinevere’s brother, is constantly hassling Pierce to do things for him. As a matter of fact, he wants Pierce for himself—both as an enforcer and as man on his arm. However, Jeremy isn’t quite right in the head, and would be classified as a grade-A megalomaniac. It’s great fun to see him interact with Pierce. They’re some of the best scenes in the novel.
What are 3 of your favorite novels?
1. Island of the Blue Dolphins (by Scott O’Dell) is the first novel that opened my eyes to lives and experienced far beyond my own. The struggle of a young woman living by herself on an island really touched me. I wanted to read books after that, because they offered me something that no other medium had before—a deep empathy with characters and situations I had never considered.
2. A Stranger in a Strange Land (by Robert A. Heinlein) is one of my favorite novels of all time. It’s hard science fiction, not because it’s set in the far future, but because it deals with heavy philosophical issues. The main character, Nick Valentine, was raised on Mars and comes to Earth not understanding the culture, or the social barriers. He forms a society of “free love” basically, and I’ve always been intrigued by the deep thoughts postulated by the work.
3. A Game of Thrones (by George R.R. Martin) is a classic. I thought the first book in the series was so solid and tight, there’s basically no way to improve upon it. The fantasy and world-building mix together in a way that makes for an enjoyable read, and I hope to write epic fantasy in a similar vein.