I've been talking with a few people about my upcoming book and it's occurred to me that, beyond the brief explanation on this site's front page, I haven't really delved deeply into what The Paladin is. I've been hesitant to talk too much about the themes and elements in it because I don't want to give away any spoilers. That said, I know I really need to explain at least some things or potential readers may pass it by.
The Paladin follows the journey of Jonathan Sutter, a young man who is working through the Seminary (a school to become a priest.) Through a series of events, he learns about the world of the supernatural, a world of vampires, werewolves, witches, ghost, and demons, that has been right in front of him his whole life. His guides through this crazy world come in the form of the Paladin Order.
Since I don't want to give away too much about the story itself, I'll talk about one of the biggest elements to it: The Paladin Order. Summed up, they are a clandestine order ordained by the Catholic Church to protect the faithful from the minions of hell, whatever form they make take. Over the centuries, the Order has grown, spread, and evolved. This means that the Order, while operating world wide, looks very different from country to country, or even just from state to state!
There is an entire string of scenes that I had to unfortunately cut from the novel that illustrated this. The main group of Paladins in the story were supposed to be chasing a fugitive across the border into Canada. This meant that the American operatives, while technically being part of the same organization as their Canadian counterparts, had to request permission to cross the border and request the extradition of their target. The Order in the US works as a sort of contractor service under the US government, while the Canadian branch is closer to an actual office of the Canadian government. One of our protagonists is bogged down with the bureaucracy involved in crossing the border and ends up throwing protocol to the wind in order to catch their prey.
I loved this section because it highlighted, not only how the US branch (where our protagonists work) operates, but how different sections across the world function. While referred to as The Paladin Order in the US, their compatriots across the border answered the call as Les Chevaliers. I regret that Paladin Ledux was cut from the story and her greeting, "Bonjour, le diocèse de Montréal de chevaliers. Je suis Chevalier Ledux, comment puis-je vous aider?" had to go, too.
In a more general sense, this book is about people dealing with the strange world around them. About being desensitized to violence and suffering. About trying to understand threats on a grander scale than they ever have. About how they react when their logic, their faith, and their trust is strained by this world. I'll be exploring what it means to belong. What faith is. What people do when everything they thought they knew is a lie.
I hope that helps explain things a little and I hope you're as excited as I am about the release of The Paladin. As always, leave me questions or comments down below. I'd love to hear what you guys are thinking.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.