Answers to Fan Questions About Day Soldiers

by Brandon

Recently, I received a wonderful email from a fan. The email contained several great questions about the world of Day Soldiers. Instead of answering the email, I asked the reader if she was okay with me answering her questions in a blog. The questions were great, so I though it might be neat for other Day Soldiers fans to read the answers. She agreed.

SPOILER WARNING: This Q&A has several spoilers from the first three Day Soldiers books. ONLY READ THIS IF YOU’VE READ ALL THREE BOOKS.

Okay, with that out of the way, I’ll do my best to answer her questions…

1. In Chapter 13, before Daciana killed Lycaon, he said  “There are things you haven’t considered.” He looked at Arcas then at Cassius. “Important things.” – Did he just mean the “pretty vampires” revival or another plot altogether which were not covered in book 2 or 3 either. And if so, would it be in book 4? Or is it due to the myth of Arcas & Lycaon. Where Zeus made Lycaon into the first werewolf & brought Arcas (his son) back to life. Who really then is Zeus or how would you spin the myth or will it be spun as…..

There is a very detailed backstory involving Arcas, Lycaon, and Cassius. Their story didn’t really help the flow of Day Soldiers, so I didn’t include it in the book, but their history goes back centuries. Of course, Lycaon and Arcas have an even deeper history. I do plan to publish this story as part of an anthology, but it’ll be after I finish the next three Day Soldiers books.

Lycaon’s warning was about the “pretty” vamps. He could see that Daciana underestimated them. Lycaon knew the “pretty” vamps could not be allowed to populate the earth. They were too dangerous. Too powerful. And he knew just how manipulative Cassius was. Lycaon knew that Daciana was unwittingly helping Cassius to change the world.

In Book 4, we see just how true that was.

2. Vlad said Arcas was not a first vampire. Would we find out more about Arcas’s maker or his first vampire bloodline originator?

Like I mentioned in the last question, after I finish the next three Day Soldiers books, I plan to do an anthology that shows the history of all the major characters. From Wallace and Abbie to Cassius, Lycaon, and Arcas. They all have stories I’d like to tell. As for the Day Soldiers, I didn’t include them because one of my goals with Day Soldiers was to leave several questions unanswered. For example, I wanted to use the references to Arcas’s past to show that the world was bigger than what we saw in the book. It was just a glimpse of a world that has lived in the shadows for as long as humanity has lived in the light.

Arcas’s maker is still around and you’ll meet her in the upcoming trilogy.

3. Vlad is also a first vampire. Did he make any children & will we be seeing Vlad or them in book 4?

Vlad was my nod to the most legendary vampire in vampire lore. He’s not in Book 4, but he does make an appearance in Book 5. To answer your question, Vlad made many vampires over the years, but he kept them in his castle.

4. The names you chose for some of the main characters… Just wondering if my assumptions are right.

Cassius – based on Gaius Cassius who was a Roman senator & a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar.

Absolutely. Cassius is that Cassius. As a matter of fact, his involvement in the assassination of Caesar is what got him noticed by Arcas.

Wallace – based on or chosen from William Wallace.

Surprisingly, that was a coincidence. I actually wasn’t thinking of William Wallace when I named that character. However, now that you point it out, it’s a pretty good comparison. If there was a connection, it wasn’t conscious.

Daciana – Romanian origin meaning wolf. Also derived from Dacia, the old Roman name for the region which is now Romania and Moldova. Any connection with Vlad and or will it be explored further in book 4? Also, she’s supposed to be Wallace’s daughter yet her accent was strong Romanian and Wallace has an American accent. Any explanation in 4?

As far as her name, your first guess is the right one. That’s where the origin came from. Daciana’s only connection to Vlad is that she knew of his legends in Romania. As far as her accent, when Daciana, Talbot, and Wallace came to America, Wallace wanted to embrace the new world. He saw it as an opportunity for a new life. He perfected an American accent before they left their homeland. Talbot did the same, but only because he saw the value of blending in. Daciana, however, saw it as an insult to their heritage. She learned the language, but she refused to hide where she came from.

5. Book 3 : Chapter 2, Jesse Merrickson – the good vampire – stated he had help of some kind to retain his humanity. Also, is he a first vampire? I hope that Jesse would return in book 4 and further explanation is forthcoming.

Jesse actually has more written backstory than any other character in the Day Soldiers books. A bit of trivia: The first novel I ever wrote (decades ago) was called “Wraiths.” It was Jesse’s entire story, from the moment he went to Vietnam in 1967. To date, I’ve never published that book. I’m not sure why, honestly. Probably because I wrote it before the Internet, so it’s all typed out on paper. One day, I plan to transfer it to the digital age and maybe release it.

To answer your questions, Jesse had help from a little Vietnamese vampire named Bao Dai. Yes, that’s the name of the ashes that constantly “talk” to Jesse. Those are Bao’s ashes.

And yes, Jesse is a first vampire.

You will see Jesse again in the new trilogy. I won’t say which book(s) he’s in, but you haven’t seen the last of Jesse Merrickson.

6. Chapter 27 : Evan Travis – How he was eventually stopped. The process was first explained by Vlad in book 1 and even Cassius didn’t know it until Vlad told him. How did the Day Soldiers find out as there’re so many myths out there. Also, is he entombed because even Lily as a “good creature” / “light bringer” / “healer” truly cannot kill him at all? If that is the case, then Vlad nor the first vampire of Arcas & Cassius line cannot be killed either so where is the first vampire of Cassius’s line?

Last question first, you will be meeting the first vampire of Cassius’s line. She’s coming and she’s… powerful.

Travis’s ultimate fate is covered fairly extensively in Book 4, but I’ll give you a little preview. Lily could have killed Travis if she wanted. She chose to spare Travis. Her reasons are covered in book 4, but I’ll tell you this much… it’s a decision that is not popular with some of the other Day Soldiers. In Book 4, we see the (very severe) consequences of that decision.

In Book 4, we start to see some hints that Lily and Travis have a very unusual relationship. While they are far from friends, there’s a bond between them that is very, very strong. So strong, in fact, it sometimes makes both of them do things they normally wouldn’t do.

As far as how they knew about the methods to stop Travis, toward the end of Day Soldiers 3, Scott says: “In Bunker City I did a shitload of research. Every legend that references a vampire like him says he can’t be killed. They give instructions on how to imprison him, but there’s nothing on how to kill him. I think you’re the only way.” Scott’s research proved true, more or less. Through trial-and-error, Scott was able to ultimately find the methods that kept Travis imprisoned. While I haven’t written it down anywhere, in my mind, finding the most effective method took several months and the team had a few adventures just keeping Travis contained during their experiments. I would imagine the first month involved having Day Soldiers guard him day and night, just to make sure the stake stayed in his chest.

6. Regarding Harut (the good creature), according to wiki, Harut and Marut are two angels mentioned in the second Surah of the Qur’an, who were sent down to test the people at Babel or Babylon by performing deeds of magic. (Sura Al-Baqara, verse 102). The Qur’an indicates that although they warned the Babylonians not to imitate them or do as they were doing, some members of their audience failed to obey and became sorcerers, thus damning their own souls. Could it be that the Babylonians who imitate them are the start of ‘bad creatures’ thus vampires and such?

It makes me very happy that you picked up on that. That was a very obscure reference. Props for digging it up. While Harut is not that Harut, he was given that name because of that story.  Among his people (those who know of and protect the good creatures), that story is considered to be the origin of the vampire. Nobody knows how much of the story is myth, but most of Harut’s people believe it is a reference to vampires.

Harut’s heritage shows that vampires have existed in all cultures. They were a plague to humanity, not just Europeans and Americans.

Okay, that’s all the questions. While those are some great questions, my brain is now officially tapped. My answers come from memory and checking my notes. Writing and world-building is a very fluid process. Things change at a very rapid pace and sometimes it’s hard to track down exactly where a character or event was originally conceived. I’ve done my best to answer your questions as completely as possible.

I’d also like to thank the reader who sent these questions. Out of respect for her privacy, I’ll just call her L . She mentioned in her email that she’s from Australia. This is incredibly neat to me. I think it’s the first Australian fan I’ve interacted with.

Thank you, L. Thank you for reading Day Soldiers and thank you for taking the time ask those questions. You really made my day. I put a ton of work into Day Soldiers. Not just the over-all story, but the little details. It’s a wonderful feeling to know those details are appreciated.

–Brandon

p.s. If any of you have any additional questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section. I’ll answer them the best I can.


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Lena September 4, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Hi Brandon,
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions. As you can deduce, I’m a big fan of the Day Soldiers series and am anticipating for more.
Heh ‘L’ – I feel like ‘M’ from the James Bond novels. :)
Regards,
Lena (aka L.)

Reply

Brandon September 4, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Really, I should thank you. Those were great questions. Getting mail from readers really does make this whole writing thing worthwhile.

As for the name, I was going to give you the codename “Leena” but I figured folks might be able to decipher my brilliant code. :)

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Danielle Blodgett January 20, 2015 at 2:58 AM

I recommend this series to a friend and decided to reread it for the third time so we could talk about together and I was just wondering if the Travis from book 1 from the sneaker team in New York (Jackson’s folly) that Abbie joined to find the rest of the council is the same Travis from the rest of the books because I know he said he used to be a day soldier or is it just a coincidence?

Reply

Brandon February 21, 2015 at 7:45 AM

Sorry I’ve been so long in replying. If you’ve read my other blogs, you’ll see that I’ve been a bit… preoccupied. :) I just saw this post this morning. I hope you still get it.

In answer to your question, it’s not the same Travis. The “Travis” in Book 1 is just another person with the same name. I know it’s confusing, but there’s a behind-the-scenes reason for it.

In all my original drafts of the Day Soldiers series, Travis’s name was “John Stark.” I had that name for him since I created the character (believe it or not) back in 1992, in a book called “Wraiths.” In a way, it was the first Day Soldiers book. It told Jesse Merrickson’s story in Vietnam. My second book, originally called “Topia” was a sequel to Wraiths, and took place around 9000 years in the future.

I was never quite satisfied with either of those books, so I completely scrapped them and instead told a story that took place between “Wraiths” and “Topia”, which became the Day Soldiers series. The title of the third Day Soldiers book is a nod to the original “Topia” I scrapped.

And when I wrote the first Day Soldiers, Travis was still “John Stark” in my notes.

Then the first Iron Man movie came out and good ol’ Tony Stark became a household name, so I decided to give my John Stark a different name… just so people wouldn’t think I was being a copycat with names.

And the Travis we know and love was born. :) When I changed his name to Travis, I knew there was a minor character in Day Soldiers named Travis, but I figured Travis is a pretty common name, so it isn’t a big deal that another person shared the name with him.

And there you have it. The birth of Travis.

Well, the birth of his name, anyway.
Brandon recently posted..Long time, no blog…My Profile

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Antonio July 4, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Dear Brandon,
I am a huge fan of your work. I have read all of the books in the day soldiers series about 4 or 5 times. I am waiting for book 5 which i am super excited about. For a school assignment we were told to pick 3 books to do a report on. I choose the first 3 books. Anyways I don’t know when you will read the comment but I wrote this on the 4th so Happy fourth of july! (If you are in America lol)

Reply

Brandon September 18, 2015 at 9:02 AM

Thank you! Sorry for the late reply. I’m just now getting caught back up on the blogs.

Reply

Sally August 22, 2015 at 6:49 PM

Will there be a Day Soldiers Book V? If so, when will it come out?

Reply

Brandon September 18, 2015 at 9:01 AM

Absolutely! As I’m sure you’ve read, I’ve had some major medical issues that slowed me down, but I’m back to writing now. I’m hoping to have it out within the next couple of months. :)

Reply

Grant Gary February 14, 2016 at 5:11 PM

I absolutely love the day soldiers. I was wondering when we could be expecting the next book?

Reply

Brandon February 19, 2016 at 10:37 AM

Grant, I’ve been a little distracted for the past couple of years, but I’m working hard on the next Day Soldiers now. I’d say I’m about 2/3 done. I’m hoping (but this is not a promise! :) ) to have it out in March.

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