Monday, January 30, 2012

Jo Ramsey Talks About Good vs. Evil

See Jo's post about her book "Life Skills" on the 5th.

Good vs. Evil

When I was about ten, I was introduced to the series The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper. The first book in the series that I read had the same title as the series, and I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a perfectly typical eleven-year-old boy (typical for England, at least, where the story took place) who suddenly learned that not only was he not so typical after all, but that it was up to him to help fight evil and keep our world intact. That, combined with Arthurian legends and amazing descriptions of Wales (I still need to get to that country someday) kept me reading and re-reading the series well into adulthood.

It also impacted my own writing. I wanted to write stories of good versus evil where good won. As I grew older, though, I realized that who’s good and who’s evil isn’t always clear-cut. An upstanding citizen with a nice family and good job might be the most evil man you’ve ever met; a teenage boy who drinks, smokes, gets into fights, and steals might be a good person even though he makes bad choices.

That’s the basis of my YA urban fantasy series The Dark Lines. Topher James, the main character/narrator of half the books in the first segment of the series, is no one’s idea of a hero. He smokes, is a high school drop-out with a GED, is disrespectful to his mother, and gets into fights. On first glance, he isn’t even a good person.

Except that he dropped out of high school to support his mother, who’s mental illness has necessitated Topher raising himself and her since he was five. He’s disrespectful to her out of frustration with the life he’s led since then, and he gets into fights to defend his friends, who are people for whom Topher would literally give his life if called on to do so.

And when Topher discovers that a force of darkness is destroying people with psychic abilities to strengthen itself, his first thought is that he has to stop it. Even though it might destroy him next.

The Dark Lines, as well as some of my other books, do deal with good versus evil. But they also deal with perceptions, and with conquering darkness within ourselves as well as outside. No human is completely good or completely evil, and we all have both within us. It’s which side we choose that matters.

The first two books of The Dark Lines, The Black Bridge and When Darkness Falls, are available from Jupiter Gardens Press, The third book, Jet Black, will be available soon from Featherweight Press, To find out more about me and my books, please visit my website at , and while you’re there stop by my blog to see Marva’s interview from this past Friday.


  1. Thanks for hosting me, Marva! I'll be around off and on today if anyone has questions or comments for me.

  2. I love hearing the inspiration behind a book/series. This sounds great, Jo. Like there is real depth to the character and story.

  3. Wow, Jo, the books sound intriguing. Very character driven. And you're right, everyone has good and bad in them. It's the choices we make that brings out these qualities. Good luck with the books.

  4. Thanks, Kai and Lorrie. Most of my books are character-driven, and I hope that readers like the characters.