Writing an action Saint

Hell Spawn was a nice change because I was forced by the character to make him a good guy.If I have one running theme in my books, it’s that “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Probably the most true thing Orwell ever wrote.

Sean A.P. Ryan in Pius? Dark.

Marco Catalano in Love at First Bite? Darker.

Then there’s Tommy Nolan, a saint.

But then, just because I made him a good guy, a saint, didn’t mean that I made him an angel.

Over the course of the novel, I was surprised at some of the darker choices he made, but he made them all for practical, prudent reason. And prudence is also a gift of the Holy Spirit.

But no, some of the decisions surprised me.

For example, there’s a shoot out in front of the police station, an attack on the precinct house by MS-13. Now, I have been not-a-fan of MS-13 for nearly years. Around the time I learned that they were a “street gang” with RPGs, automatic weapons, and trafficked women and children for sex. We won’t even go into their drug trade. Even Vince Flynn (RIP) made them a villain well over a decade ago. They are not nice people, and they need to be put into the ground whenever possible.

But during this shootout, my hero, this saint … shot someone in the back.

I was taken aback, but he explained in the first person narration

“They’re shooting at a police station. Shouting freeze! Police! would only serve to give them fair warning. Marquis of Queensbury is not written down in the Bible. The only fair fight is the one I win.”

Every time I was worried about a Saint being almost mean or cynical about things here and there … I then tripped over some real saints and how they acted. I quickly came to the conclusion that Nolan was still eligible to be a miracle-using saint. He can’t be a good man if he’s weak. If he’s weak, then his restraint is because of weakness. If he’s strong and capable of violence, but uses his might judiciously, only then can he be good.

Let’s face it — when confronted by evil, there is no negotiation. You don’t negotiate a rapist down to only raping a few people. You don’t ask killers to cut down on his per diem kill rate. They are either arrested, or dead. I prefer dead, which is why no one wants me to be in charge of law enforcement.

But Nolan is different in that he can smell evil. The problem for him is that when evil gets a good look at Nolan, and realize that he’s looking at them a little too long, the weapons come out and the fun begins.

Thankfully, Nolan is good. But that doesn’t make him weak, or limp-wristed. He doesn’t mind hitting first when he sees trouble coming. He doesn’t mind shooting someone in the back during a full fire fight.

And that’s BEFORE the demon shows up.

Click here to see how you can read the first fun-filled 50 pages of Hell Spawn TODAY.


About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, nominated for Best Horror in the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, an attempt to take Dan Brown to the woodshed in his own medium -- soon to be republished by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and it's follow-up, "Codename: Winterborn." And "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set To Kill" are murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.
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