Sunday, July 17, 2011

Who is Daniel Blackbird?

A few people asked me why I decided to write a horror novel with a protagonist who is an aboriginal and I think it goes back to my childhood. Daniel Blackbird was born of two personalities. The first being my best childhood friend, named Mike and the other being Billy Jack. Both were strong characters and both were faced with obstacles not usually thrust upon a normal mans shoulders.

My Pal Mike, like Blackbird, was a half breed and when he came to our school at 11 years-old it seemed that every wanted to challenge him to a fight. One morning I saw him walking in the hallway with a bicycle chain lock hanging around his neck and asked, "Hey kid, what's with the chain."

"Protection," he answered. I would later find out that Mike was getting jumped by two and three boys during recess and lunch hour. To my knowledge he never lost a fight and as time wore on we became inseparable as friends. Eventually, those who targeted him learned the hard way that he was one tough half-breed.

Billy Jack certainly hasn't stood the test of time, but it's creator (Tom Laughlin) melded a great story with a character who I thought was pretty cool. Billy Jack, half breed Vietnam Vet, fearless, dangerous and compassionate. The first film I saw Billy Jack in was Born Losers and I'd have to say that it left quite an impression on me.

Daniel Blackbird is also a strong character and though he does not wear his emotions on his sleeve he does carry the burdens of his mistakes in his heart. He is unrelenting, somewhat like Van Helsing, but it is not a vampire he hunts but a bastard offspring of the Windigo, that has the ability to change shape. Blackbird is a loner, who has lost everything. He has been banished, seen his family murdered and this drives him as he to has nothing left to lose. 

Or so he thinks..

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