J. Armand’s Immortal Coil series is one of my favorites, what with its action-packed plots, fantastic, lovable characters, and multitude of supernatural creatures, so I’m really excited to have an interview with him on the blog today!
And not only did he answer all my questions, he was kind enough to offer a signed paperback of the first book, so hopefully you’ll enjoy learning about his books and characters as much as I did, and then be sure to scroll all the way to the end to enter the giveaway!
About the Series
Dorian Benoit is about to learn a history lesson not taught in any textbook.
The blood-soaked reign of man may be a fascinating tale of triumph and tragedy, but hardly an original one. Since the beginning, humanity has been locked in a never-ending cycle of destruction and rebirth. Wars are fought and civilizations crumble only to be reborn and start anew. Names and faces may change with each cycle, but the game remains the same.
Humans are not the only players on the board, however. Sinister forces watch from the sidelines waiting for every opportunity to manipulate the fate of mankind for their own benefit. These immortal beings have purged the knowledge of their existence from our archives and stricken the true past from the record books to shroud the world in ignorance so that they may gain every possible advantage over the hapless cattle they seek to control.
Now, with the modern era coming to a close, it is time for the immortals to make their move once more. And for some, their plans include young Dorian, whether he likes it or not.
Hi, J! Welcome to the blog, and thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. I’m just going to jump right into the questions. I’m a big fan of book playlists, so I love that you have one for the series (which can be found here). Could you pick one song from the list and tell us why you chose it or how it relates to the books?
Hi, Kristen and wonderful M&M readers! Thanks for having me. I’d have to pick “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy because it can relate to almost any character and the series as a whole. A lot of the story incorporates known legends and an overarching theme of how history repeats itself, but when we’re in the moment we don’t always realize that every action we take—even the mistakes—can lead to us going down in history for better or worse. This isn’t a series where the protagonist is the chosen one living out his destiny to be great. He really has to carve his own path by making decisions that test not only his courage, but also his morals and empathy in order to survive let alone become immortalized.
It’s clear to me that a lot of research goes into your books, everything from different locations to history to languages to mythology to architecture even. What are some of the most interesting things you’ve researched for your writing?
Listening to sexy accents to come up with how to write them wasn’t the worst thing in the world! On a more serious note, the research for the sci-fi elements was a lot of fun. Scientists have been working on reprogramming the genetic code of bacteria like very simple microscopic computers and the fantasy metal “orichalcum” is actually a copper alloy that has been found in a shipwreck off the coast of Sicily as recent as 2015! There are so many real world examples that seem fictional but aren’t and I’ll occasionally post my sources or inspirations on social media for readers to check out.
I think it’s always exciting to link what we’re reading to real life possibilities. When thinking of fantasy we can look to the past to see how legends and folklore established modern day supernatural beliefs, but on the sci-fi side it’s more about human potential and what life could be like in the future. A series like The Immortal Coil that’s set in present day gets to explore both ends and see what happens when they meet in the middle.
Noah seems to be the overwhelming favorite among readers—he’s definitely my favorite! Was there any specific inspiration behind his character, or any special way that you came up with the idea for him?
He kind of came to life from the idea of how people cope and how others may perceive them because of it. None of the main cast has had it easy, but they all deal with their issues differently. Noah has built up a lot of flawed layers that cause him to be underestimated as one-dimensional. I think for a majority of people we find it hard to feel empathy toward those who are like this and that’s exactly what he wants.
For instance, there is a disconnect between celebrities and the public. We think because they’re rich and beautiful and play characters on the screen that they aren’t real people that could possibly ever have real problems or know what it’s like to feel the things we do. Many are one-dimensional to us unless they go out of their way to bear their soul in intimate detail so that we can validate their humanity. Expensive vacations or clothing that the average person couldn’t easily afford only further pushes them away from being relatable and “worth” our empathy. Noah built himself up around this, always bragging and showing off or deflecting to his appearance to make sure you know where the line is drawn that separates him from you. He walks that line almost parodying himself and it’s entirely intentional.
I also have a lot of love for Lyle, as well as the friendship between him and Dorian and the way Dorian looks up to him. Is there any significance to him being the only one in the main group of characters who is completely human with no supernatural abilities?
Absolutely! Lyle is the embodiment of human determination and perseverance. He’s essentially at the bottom of the food chain, yet gives his all even if it’s just emotional support at a critical moment. He’s proof that a single voice can make a difference and that nice guys don’t always finish last. To me, Lyle is every bit as much of the main hero as Dorian and arguably sometimes more.
I would consider his friendship with Dorian a great example of acceptance. They’re different in many ways, but you’d never know it by how they interact. They show that it can pay off to reach out from your comfort zone. Speaking as a gay man who has both witnessed and experienced my share of bigotry, it’s nice to remember that there are allies out there like Lyle who really care.
If you could have the supernatural abilities of any one character from your series, which abilities would you choose?
If I’m being practical I’d have to say teleportation because transportation can be costly and boring. If I’m going with fun I’d say telekinesis, which has been a favorite of mine since childhood. Stephen King’s Carrie and Marvel’s Jean Grey are two of my favorite fictional characters. There are plenty of applications for telekinesis beyond moving objects too!
What is your favorite [spoiler-free] scene or line in the series so far, and why?
This is a tricky one! My favorite spoiler-free scene would have to be Dorian’s apartment in the beginning of The Immortal Coil. It’s great at setting the mood and getting to know the characters involved just through their brief interaction, but also as a reference point to look back on and see how far they’ve come in future books. They even refer to it themselves a few times.
One that’s a bit more obscure is probably in Shadows of Humanity when Dorian attends a Blackbourne party for the first time. Most of the stressful scenes in the series up to that point revolved around action of some sort, but this one had Dorian on edge for other reasons and it was always amusing to me. He’s a bit of an introvert that grew up quite sheltered and just stumbled into a den of sin and debauchery with a posh British veneer.
Now for Some Fun… The Lightning Round!
Night or Day?
Day. I’m more productive then and I love the sun.
Hot Weather or Cold Weather?
Hot. I hate wearing layers and shoveling :(
Vampires or Werewolves?
Vampires. I feel like werewolves smell really bad and are probably hard to bathe.
Coffee or Tea?
My blood is iced coffee. (Sorry vampires)
Movies or TV Shows?
TV, but mostly as background noise. I don’t get to watch much of either.
Is there anything else you want to say to your current and potential readers?
Thank you for taking the time to get to know a bit about me here and hopefully giving my books a chance! I’m just a guy following his dream of telling stories and I couldn’t be doing it without your support. I’m pretty easy to get in touch with, so feel free to reach out if you ever have questions of your own or want to say hi and let me know your thoughts. Hearing from readers about their experience with the series makes my day. There are plenty of books left and the next one called Infernal Providence: Heir of Destruction should be out soon.
I’m definitely looking forward to future books in the series, and thanks again for taking the time to do this interview!
About the Author
J. Armand is an American novelist of all things supernatural.
His personal writing style consists of movie-quality action scenes and memorable characters that each have their own unique story to tell. Through his works he aims to bring about a greater awareness for what it means to be human and encourage perseverance in the face of adversity. History will keep repeating itself until we stand up and fight back to break the cycle.
One (1) winner will receive a signed paperback copy of The Immortal Coil by J. Armand.
To enter, please fill out the form below.
Must be 18+ and have a US address to enter.
One (1) Signed Paperback of The Immortal Coil (US Only)
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