Black Cat Entertainment


AUTHOR

Biography

Film reviewer/screenwriter R. Allen Leider has been writing and telling stories since the fourth grade. Many of his current published tales are reworkings of stories he wrote in high school and college. He began his career in 1970 at CBS TV Network News as copy boy for The Walter Cronkite News. In 1973, he became a Featured Interviewer and Associate Editor for The Monster Times, then moved on to be Associate Editor and FeaturesWriter for Show Magazine. In the 1980's, he was a featured interviewer for Celebrity Magazine, and US Correspondent for both Elite and Glitter Magazines of Canada. His photojournalistic work has been syndicated worldwide by Transworld Features Syndicate.

He created the original story and screenplay for the independent horror film The Oracle in 1985. After the film was released, he became Art Director and Film Reviewer for New Jersey Living Magazine and hosted his own radio show 'Cinemascene' on WWFM, Mercer County, New Jersey for five years.

In the 1990's, he started writing short stories based on outlines, themes, notes and projects he had created and saved since high school. The first published effort was "An Acquired Taste" in the e-book ''Flesh and Hunger'' by Raw Dog Screaming Press. This was followed by entries in Dark Furies, Hear them Roar, Crypto Critters, Bad-Ass Faeries, Barbarians at the Jump Gate and The Walrii Project, both the latter due out in 2009.

With Dave Elliott and veteran writer C. J. Henderson, he co-authored ''A Field Guide to Monsters'' (2002) and the upcoming ''A Field Guide to Aliens'' (2009).

Presently, he writes and edits the online entertainment and business magazine The Black Cat Review at www.blackcatmedia.com He began working on the Wicca Girl trilogy novel/movie project, featuring Druscilla Marie d'Lambert, her blood sister Cheralyn Rose Moskowitz, Countess Jocelyn Von Hagen and Satan in 2005. The first novella is due out in Preview Edition from Marietta Publishing on May 22nd, 2009.
He lives in Manhattan, NYC with wife Barbara, a professional photographer, and numerous feline Egyptian gods.

Interview

Q. Where did Druscilla come from?
A. My friend author C. J. Henderson told me about an anthology called "Dark Furies" that needed some short stories on the theme of 'Beauty and the Beast with a twist'. I came up with an idea for a serial killer teenage witch working with a monster partner. The story was set in the Middle Ages and they targeted young knights of the realm. The story was well-received and someone asked me where the character of Druscilla came from. I wrote an outline for an origin story and a series of sequels.  In the process the character changed radically.  Druscilla became an innocent victim caught up in a battle between Satan and his ex-mistress Jocelyn Von Hagen.  Through a series of events, eighteen year-old Druscilla's world turned topsy turvy.  Her only hope for survival was to make a pact with Satan that resulted in her becoming the Queen of Witches and possessor of Satan's coveted Pentagram Ring.  Druscilla became, through no fault of her own, the arch enemy and target of Jocelyn who wants both the Ring and revenge on Satan. This conflict lasts for 900 years, and lots of adventures.  The trilogy followed with Druscilla taking on Jocelyn, her son Maximillian and then solving many mysteries of her lost past.

Q. How complex is Druscilla?
A. She's a classic Marvel Comics type heroine with lots of emotional and psychological baggage. By the time she gets to 2010 A.D., she has to deal with the loss of her parents, her fiancé, her friends, and her whole Medieval world.  She has qualms about having made a deal with Satan, but she understands him better than anyone.  She  knows him as a good archangel with the worst job in the Universe. Druscilla feels privileged to help him wrangle evildoers, starting with Countess Jocelyn Von Hagen whom she discovers was responsible for the Viking raid on Blackbridge that caused all her loss and grief.  When she meets her blood sister Cheralyn, the Devil's valley girl, teenage daughter, Druscilla starts to reconnect with society and the human race for real.  She hasn't had a girlfriend for 900 years and Cher is only three years younger than she is. By that time, Druscilla has a handle on her new world and she has assumed a new role in the field of law enforcer - that of a supernatural secret agent for British Intelligence MI-6, Agent 0013, code name: Wicca Girl. She is actually relieved to be in the 21st Century, but she is always discovering new things, marveling at new places she visits and pondering her past, her lost family and Frederick. Then, there are some amazing revelations about Druscilla's true nature and her inescapable destiny.

Q. Why is Druscilla relieved to be in modern times, if she misses her Medieval roots?
A. Druscilla was always a 21st Century woman in her thinking and she was always getting scolded by the nuns at St. Martin's Convent School for questioning the church's edicts, dogma, and so forth.  Her interests were science and alchemy which are things she got from her father Hugo, a scientist who was an apothecary and alchemist. Hugo encouraged her to ask questions and seek the truth. When the Roggevand and the Vikings raid Blackbridge and destroy her life, Druscilla goes into shock and all she can think about is protecting herself from that kind of pain ever happening in her life again and, later,  getting revenge, That's why she asks Satan to make her immortal and indestructible - the most powerful woman in the world, the Queen of the Witches. It's more of a protective thing than a power thing.  Her new existence as a super-being is also something she has to come to grips with because she is always evolving and developing new powers. Then, she finds that her destiny and her desires are not so far apart after all.

Q. What are her powers exactly?
A. By agreement with Satan, Druscilla is indestructible and immortal once she completes her three years of study.  This graduation occurs in 1091 A. D.  The Pentagram Ring is made of the rarest element in the Universe - Davinium which focuses the Earth's magnetic energy into a powerful bolt of lightning released from her right index finger. The energy originates from Druscilla's ability to channel, via induction, energy from the Earth's core, which is a gigantic electric generator producing the Earth's magnetic field among other things. Druscilla can disassociate her molecules as well and blades, bullets and other projectiles pass through her harmlessly as if she were a ghost-except for her clothing.  One of her 21st Century 'beefs' is that fighting baddies is a wardrobe disaster especially if she's wearing expensive designer outfits, which she loves in her favorite color, bright red.  As we see she uses her powers more and more, she develops expertise in most magical areas-transforming herself into animals like a giant white bird and a dragon, transmutation of objects, and in the public sector and with Cheralyn's help - shopping!

Q. How does Druscilla cope with the religious issues in her life. She was covent-raised and now works for the Devil?
A. Druscilla understands better than anyone how the Heavenly Plan works, that Satan is not an adversary, and that mankind, the organized church in particular, has been largely responsible for the distortions and myths about Satan that mankind believes.  Her loss of faith is an issue for her from time to time, but when her true nature is revealed to her, she sees herself in a different light, as a force working to eliminate the underbelly of society to rid it of corrupting forces like Jocelyn and Maximillian.  Then, when she revisits St. Martin's church in modern day, she discovers her true nature. Her first real task was as Satan's champion defeating Roggevand and then taking on Jocelyn and, later, her son Maximillian, who brings Druscilla closer to humanity and provides opportunity for some humor.  Does she still go to church? Yes, she does, but she knows the truth in her heart and that makes it so much more special to her.

Q. Jocelyn Von Hagen is the epitome of a villainess. How did you create her?
A. Jocelyn was rather easy. She's based mostly on the characters played in the cinema by the late Gale Sondergaard one of my favorite actresses.  She did ''The Spider Woman'' and other classic female heavies in the 1940's and was the female villain in "Mark of Zorro", another of my favorite films.  Jocelyn is totally without moral fiber or principals and shuns all the dictates of the church and society.  She's the antithesis of Druscilla, a strong woman and an egomaniac who questions the authorities, but in Jocelyn's case she sees no reason not to commit crimes to get what she wants. She's ruthless when she murders three rich men to get the money she sees as the key to power - which is the way to have control over your life, then the lives of to her people. She's a terrible candidate for a witch and Satan himself admits that he badly misjudged the situation when he took her on as a mistress,  Jocelyn also has the fault of overestimating herself and her abilities as time goes on and she becomes a self-taught sorceress. I created a back story for her about her childhood as an abused child who seeks revenge and wealth as a means for her getting parity with the dominating men of her time.  This is similar to Druscilla's ambitions after the massacre, but in a negative manner.

Q. Everything Jocelyn does seems to backfire on her.
A. Yes, one of the lessons of the novel is that most evil people make their own misery and cause their own demise. Druscilla attains greatness, power and ultimate success in all her wishes and dreams as a direct effect of Jocelyn's revenge plots.  All Druscilla wants when she escapes the Blackbridge Massacre is to survive.  Prior to that event, all she wants to to have some sort of parity with the men of her time, a radical thought in that age.  She is encouraged by her parents to be independent, questioning, and to explore things that most people of her time were afraid to do, not just to get married, have children and keep a home.

Q. You describe Satan as a good guy with a lousy job; a very sympathetic, even noble character who is really the Archangel Samiel.  Yet, you have him 'use' Druscilla to handle some very evil and powerful people that he would have to deal with otherwise, like Jocelyn, Roggevand and later, Maximillian.
A. I don't know that it's really 'using' Druscilla. Satan makes a deal with Druscilla when she comes to him in the forest and is in imminent danger of being slain by Roggevand. He already knows who and what she is and has been waiting for her for 18 years. She begs the Dark Lord to grant her a wild fantasy - being an immortal and all-powerful being because she does not want to encounter the Viking chieftain and be chopped into mincemeat.  Satan is not really be 'using' Druscilla as much as empowering her and giving her a chance to 'do her new job'.In effect, he deputizes her. Remember, he knows from what he saw years earlier what her destiny really is.

Q. So, one of the themes of the story is that even the plans of the most powerful beings often go wrong?
A. Definitely. While Satan's basic error was taking in evil murderess Jocelyn eighteen years earlier, Jocelyn's revenge plan is really off the track by the time Druscilla arrives in the forest.  Satan's intent that Druscilla become the powerful Queen of Witches also goes a bit haywire.  Even with the Pentagram Ring, she has unlimited power. When she drinks Satan's blood in the Pool of Dark Visions, she becomes literally, a blood relative of the Devil, which was not part of the plan, and as such becomes powerful many times over what Satan intended her to be.

Q. Why doesn't Satan want Druscilla's soul for all the things he does for her?
A. Satan doesn't deal in souls. People lose their souls all by themselves by committing major sins. People can't really deal their souls like commodities.  That's a social myth. A person who by free will loses his soul by murdering somone, for example, can have his soul captured at his death by a demon or magical person. Then, the soul becomes a tradable commodity.  Satan doesn't want Druscilla's soul. Her destiny is to be tutored by him. He wants a powerful ally to destroy evil Jocelyn since she is directly responsible for the destruction of Blackbridge and the loss of Druscilla's family, Druscilla is an ideal candidate for the job.  That is his intention, but after she drinks his blood in the pool, she becomes supercharged and Satan realizes that he has a formidable agent on his side. Besides, he knows that what is happening to her destiny. He couldn't collect on fate if he wanted to.

There will be more than one actor. Every character sees Satan differently and will have an actor to portray his own Satan. For example, Druscilla sees him as a surrogate father, Cher sees him as her Dad and a romantic movie star type, Jocelyn would see him as a more traditional Devil.  In a scene with all of them, we would have to shoot with three actors depending on which girl's point of view we showed.

Credits


David Elliott - consultant/developer

Over the past 20 years, David Elliott has worked in every aspect of the comic book industry from writer to publisher. He has worked on diverse titles such as A1, Deadline, Heavy Metal, Penthouse Comix, 2000 AD, Justice League of America, Transformers, GI Joe and Doctor Who. He has worked as publisher or editor for Deadline magazine, A1, Penthouse Comix, Penthouse.com, Epic Illustrated (for Marvel) and Heavy Metal.

In the early 1990's he did the unthinkable and took the biggest selling adults only comic in England (VIZ selling at one point a million and a half copies per issue) and created a children's version that sold over a million copies called the Pathetic Shark's Bumper Special. In recent years he has optioned both his comic properties as well as film scripts for film and TV. His first project is currently in production. He worked for several years as head of development for Barry Levine at Takoma Entertainment (later Brigade Pictures).

David was the Publisher and core founder of Thrill-House Comics. Thrill-House was created to house two intellectual properties he is involved with, CRYPTID; of which he co-wrote the graphic novel script and subsequent screenplay as well as working with its creator, Michael Todd, to help him develop the property for multiple markets, and SHARK-MAN; which he co-created and developed from an initial concept alongside its Michael Town, with Ronald Shusett and Steve Pugh.

David has previously collaborated with Cryptid artist Alex Horley on his creations SHARKY for Image Comics and ALIEN ARENA, a graphic novel published in Heavy Metal magazine.

Recently, he wrote the Halloween bestseller FIELD GUIDE TO MONSTERS and has the sequel FIELD GUIDE TO ALIENS completed for 2009. Currently, David is both co-publisher and Editor-In-Chief for Radical Comics, teaming up once more with photographer turned producer, Barry Levine.


Denny Fincke - artist
Animation and comic book artist Denny Fincke is the newest member of the Wicca Girl team. His professional credits include arttwork for MTV's "Daria", "Spygroove", and "Downtown". He also worked on 4Kids "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" in various capacities such as storyboard artist, character layout artist, background designer. Denny also self publishes his own comic book creation, "Anti-Star' and is often a guest at Metro area comic book and sci-fi conventions in the Artist's Alley. This month he begins creating the graphic novel version of "Satan's Darling" for the Comics Page as well as character sketches of each player in the adventure.

Denny is currently finishing the third issue of his comic book Anti-Star and is one of the animation team for the highly acclaimed TV cartoon series The Venture Brothers.

Visit Denny's web site at www.anti-starcomics.com


Ed Coutts - artist
Ed Coutts was born and raised in NYC's Hell's Kitchen and is still trying to escape. He is a self-taught artist working in pencil, inks and paints. He's done several painted covers and pencilled/inked comic book pagesfor AC Comics' ''Femforce'' series and other indy comics which has attracted a small fan base resulting in many commission requests including advertising posters for a couple of off, off-Broadway productions. Ed has collaborated with comic greats likeDick Ayers and Rudy Nebres. Ed's work can be found online at www.edcouttsart.com and at
www.femforce-femfans.com/art2/couttsgl.html


Erica Henderson - artist
On March twenty-third nineteen eighty-six, Erica Henderson was dragged kicking and screaming from her mother's womb. To cope with the sudden shock and cold, harsh, outside world she took up the pen and has since immersed herself in a fantasy world from which there is no escape. Thirteen years later, she came up with her first published work which was displayed on the cover of "Call of Cthulhu." She has since been living the unspectacular life of a freelanced illustrator to feed her addictions for caffeine and key-lime pie. Erica graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, where to the horror of friends and enemies alike, she studied to become an animator. It paid off and she now live sin Boston and works for Harmonix. Inc.

Erica is one of the most interesting and innovative illustrators and animators on the modern scene. Her work has been featured on numerous book and magazine covers, but her most notable triumph to date is the wildly popular ''Baby's First Mythos''. Starting her professional career at the age of thirteen, Erica is already a popular and highly sought-after painter, cartoonist and illustrator. Come and hang out at her table at conventions to enjoy her artwork and sardonic wit. Those who bring chocolate will be appreciated. Those who bring key lime pie stand a good chance of receiving a free illustration.

Erica created the concept drawings for The Sandrich Kids who appear in The Black Cat Review's "Kid's Pages" and penned the Manga style Druscilla characters used to promote Wicca Girl to younger audiences. She is currently creating a pilot for a TV animated series and worked as one of the animation team of the hit Cartoon Channel's The Venture Brothers five desks away fron Denny Fincke by chance. Click the banner to go to Eric's web site.

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