T is for Temple. In this case, Temple Chevalier, one of my 1930s demon hunters from the Soldiers of the Sun series. Ever have a secondary character who refused to be secondary and absconds with your story and the plot? That would be Temple. Caleb and Agni were meant to be the main characters but Temple, from the moment I put him on page refused the shadows. He is such a vivacious character that his partners often say not only does he have hair the color of an Irish Setter he has the enthusiastic personality to complete the analogy.
Temple hates that comparison but it’s accurate. He’s very friendly to just about everyone. He loves to talk (hates to study). He’s a fiend for dancing and music and Temple does have a bad habit of sleeping around. A lot. With both sexes.
Temple grew up in a family of Knights Templar from literally the moment there was such a thing. His family can all see the demons and they are exceedingly proud of their heritage to the point of arrogance. Temple always felt he never measured up to his father’s expectations as a soldier.
Temple believed his punishment for not being good enough was to be given to his grandfather for training. What the man was actually doing was sexually molesting Temple who bears deep psychological scars from this. Unfortunately for me this took me deep into the territory of ‘people think all bisexuals sleep around and can’t commit.’ That’s not at all what I wanted. Hypersexual behavior (or the opposite, sexual avoidance), self-blame, low self esteem, attachment disorders and PTSD are not uncommon in victims of sexual abuse. But it’s the 1930s. We didn’t even have 90% of those words, let alone much understanding of sexual abuse so I can’t really make my intentions clear within the scope of the novel itself. The closest I can come is having Agni observe that something is broken inside of Temple and that he tries to fix it with multiple partners but of course that isn’t working. So there is a huge potential for poor Temple to be misunderstood.
Temple, for all his faults, is a good young man. He’s the youngest of the team (until Jo joins). He ran away from Paris when he was in his mid-teams and gave up being Knight Templar (even though his name literally means Temple Knight). He joined the Soldiers of the Sun figuring it would piss his father off (he’s right) and he met Li, Caleb and Agni in London. They were all then sent to America where he unfortunately loses Li. Temple does worry about what he’s doing to Agni and Caleb’s relationship by joining them but his compulsion to be loved doesn’t let him back out. He’s also attracted to his new partner, Jo but believes General Taglioferro when the man promised bodily harm if Temple touches his niece.
Temple’s problems would be something I’d like to work with more if I ever revisit this world which I’d like to (but yeah seriously historical urban fantasy is a tough sell). He is fun to write though, all enthusiasm and sarcasm. And did I mention he fights demons with a Tommy gun? While he might take a ‘spray and pray’ attitude toward demon hunting, he is a good shot with a pistol as well, which he also carries.
If Temple sounds like fun to you, you can find his stories here. (Yes they’re in a series but they can be read as stand alones because hey 1930s demon hunters, right?).
Soldiers of the Sun. (novel)
The Darkest Midnight in December. (novella)
Snowbound. (short story)
On the cover Temple is down in front with the Tommy Gun.
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