When I first heard about Kindle Worlds, I have to admit that I didn’t see myself participating in the program. Sure, it sounded interesting, but the control freak in me recoiled at the idea of using someone else’s creation to fashion my own narrative.
Until I started thinking about Bloodshot.
He’s an anti-hero, a loner, a being who will forever exist on the fringes of society. Ordinary human relationships will always be a challenge for him, not so much because he doesn’t feel anything—as you’ll see in my novel, I believe he actually feels a great deal—but because he will forever be immersed in dangerous situations and can never truly grow comfortable in the world most of us know.
So in Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows, I explore these ideas and really try to examine the marrow of this iconic anti-hero. I also allow Bloodshot to do what he does best—dish out ultra-violent retribution to those who have it coming. But even the action sequences, I believe, illuminate the ongoing evolution of this character. Whether he’s battling mobsters inside a famous New York landmark or fending off supernatural creatures in the lightless catacombs beneath the city, Bloodshot is developing his own personal code.
In some ways, he is a uniquely innocent character—my story takes place only a year after his blood was replaced by microscopic technological marvels called nanites, which effectively means he was reborn—yet there is also a shady, violent past that haunts him and renders him unable to begin his newer existence with a completely fresh slate. The tension between what Bloodshot once was and what Bloodshot now is creates a supercharged conflict within him as he decides what he will someday become.
I find that fascinating.
My story is violent; there’s no question about that. Bloodshot is faced with ferocious villains who won’t scruple to destroy lives and to endanger innocent people to further their vicious agendas. And Bloodshot isn’t shy about dispatching these villains with his unique brand of brutality.
But despite his lethal abilities, Bloodshot is far from an unthinking, unfeeling machine. Bloodshot has a heart, and he doesn’t want innocent people to suffer. No, he might not win any sensitivity awards, and at times his lack of sentimentality makes me cringe. But I believe he wants to do the right thing. He wants the world to be a place of light instead of shadow.
In Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows, he will confront the forces of darkness to save an old friend’s life. And I hope you, Dear Reader, will take that journey with him. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Bloodshot or meeting him for the first time, I think you’ll find the journey worth your while.