Alternative Clubs in Urban Fantasy
While there are only hints around a club scene in my latest release, Hunting for Spring, I’ve noticed in a lot of paranormal romance and urban fantasy, there tends to be a dark, sexy club scene. Especially in vampire stories—maybe a few too many folks played Vampire the Masquerade in their youths…just me? Maybe just me. However, if you’ve ever attended an alternative night at your local club, a lot of the depictions I’ve seen in urban fantasy tend to be pretty on the mark.
When I was younger I used to go to Nocturne nights at Shampoo in Philadelphia, and the ambiance was like stepping into a vampire’s lair. Dimmed lights, plush velvet everywhere, folks all dressed in black, and dark, pulsing music all set the scene perfectly. And as a teen who devoured anything supernatural and paranormal in book choices, this was the perfect outlet for my imagination. There are plenty of ongoing nights all over too, for those who want to explore a little, or hey, if any paranormal authors are looking for inspiration. Being an observer at these events can be half of the fun with some of the wild costumes people come up with!
Part of what makes cities unique is their night scene, and clubs factor into that largely. Go to any major city and you’ll find a cavalcade of clubs with tons of different music, whether it be electronica, R&B, hip-hop, or industrial/EBM. Hence why, when tackling an urban fantasy, especially a long running series, there tends to be a nightclub scene. In an homage to my many nights at Shampoo during my youth, one of my side characters, Jev, happens to be a clubber. You get details woven in, such as her clothing choice, and in a story with witches, fantastical monsters, and hunters, crazy nightclubs are the least of their worries.
Find Katherine and her books
Hunting for Spring
Available at Loose ID
Hunters are a lonely breed, and Conor’s no exception, until the day he meets Brenna. Even though she slinks in unannounced and kills the wight he was hunting down, the girl’s a mystery and he can’t get that blinding smile or those gorgeous curves off his mind. Since they’re both after the same caster who’s unleashing these monsters, he suggests teaming up, and despite her initial reluctance, the hungry way she scans him down promises something powerful.Excerpt:
However, her secrets have repercussions, and faster than Conor can lift his Glock, he’s drawn into the web of kidnappings and Unseelie mischief, all concealing the machinations of a darker foe—one that plans to bring Philly to ruin.
He took two steps back, quite aware of the presence on the other side of the room. “You know, stealing someone’s kill is bad form,” he complained, cutting through the quiet tension.
“Looked to me like you could use the help.” The female voice came from behind him.
Conor turned around, his hand inching for his Glock.
She sat on the countertop, one leg hanging over the edge. Long strands of dark, messy hair hung past her face, brushing her cheeks as she lifted her chin. The woman had the sort of striking features that made men gape, and Conor fell victim. Her blue eyes intensified with a curious light as she scanned him, and in the shadowy room, her pale skin took on a silver hue. Even though her dark eyebrows knitted together, lending her features a sort of stark fierceness, her pursed mauve lips softened her face.
The girl tugged on the cord of her hoodie, and her eyes narrowed. “What’s a normal kid like you doing hunting a beastie like that?” Her boots hit the ground with a thud, and she brushed her knees off, making the buckles of her cargo pants jangle.
Conor arched his brow, wiping his jacket sleeves on the wall in a sad attempt at getting rid of the wight crud. “Sweetheart, whoever trained you in magic should’ve given you the rundown on everyone you might encounter—including hunters.”
He caught the recognition flashing in her eyes, as well as the careful way she stalked around him like a panther surveying an encroaching predator. “Well, feel free to piss off, then.” Her words were curt but not shocking. Hunters and casters shared a history of bad blood due to the chaos so many irresponsible witches caused. However, one bit of curiosity lingered within him—why had she been tracking the wight? Unless she’d created this monster.
His anger flared at the memory of the wounded dog. At the remains of what used to be a human male lying on the floor, all wreckage from some stupid caster playing around with powers he or she shouldn’t have been.
“Maybe my work’s not done yet.” He leaned against the wall and tugged his hunting knife from his boot. Her entire body tensed in a slight, almost imperceptible way, but the inquisitive look never left her eyes. Without further ado, he began picking under his fingernails with the tip of the knife. “Care to share why you were tracking that wight?”
“Hoping it would lead me to its master.” She shrugged. “You wouldn’t happen to be trailing him too?”
“If finding the source will stop these attacks, I’m joining you.” Conor didn’t leave any room for disagreement in his voice. Casters in a spat could get ugly, and he didn’t want to clean up more of these messes.
“Excuse me?” She placed her hands on her hips, those blue eyes of hers flashing. “From where I stand, you’re not much help.”
Conor tapped the side of his nose. “Unless you happen to have an item of his. You’ll never find a better tracker than a hunter, even with magic.”
A huff slipped from her lips, followed by a frown. “Fine, but the second you try to slip a knife in my back, I’ll torch you faster than those wight remains.”
Conor snorted. “I’m humbled to inspire such faith.” He ran his fingers through his hair and grimaced at the dirt he’d raked through. A rustle came from the door.
She snapped to attention as fast as his hand tightened around the hilt of his knife.
A whine followed by a snuffling sound came from the entryway. Conor squinted as the outside light cast the visitor in shadow.
He relaxed his grip and slid the knife back into his boot.
The small beagle from earlier made its way toward him, limping as it favored its side. Relief flooded through him to see the little guy survived. Even though his father had trained him to shut out emotions since they blinded fast and efficient decision-making, he couldn’t help the occasional indulgence. After all, he didn’t envy his father’s lonely existence. Crouching, he scooped the beagle into his arms, careful not to brush the wounded stump.
“I’m Conor Malone, by the by. If you want my help, we’re going to take a quick side excursion, because this guy needs medical attention and I need to clean up.” The dog whined again when he clutched the shuddering body closer.
She arched an eyebrow. Based on the curl of her lip, she must be more in his father’s camp of anti-emotion. Not like he gave a damn while a dog trembled in his arms. After a minute of stale tension that weighed heavily in the carnage-filled room, she spoke up.
“Fine. We can save your puppy, but if I catch you singing to the woodland critters, I’m out.” At that, she cracked a grin. Not one of those casual tossed-aside ones but a smile that lit her eyes with mischief and illuminated her whole face.
Conor made his way to the door, pausing before he stepped out onto the street. “You never told me your name.”“And you never asked.” She outpaced him, hopping down the first couple of steps. “You can call me Brenna.”