While most of today I’ll be talking about the release of Project Prometheus’ first book, In Her Name (well, re-release, really), I wanted to take a moment, right here at the beginning, and talk about the events that happened on this date thirteen years ago. The events of September 11, 2001 had a profound impact on the entire world. They also inspired a great deal of the most important changes made to the development of the book I’m going to be talking a lot about, today. Because of this, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the men and women who died that day, and who died in the days, weeks, months, and even years afterward, because of those events.
It was anger that drove what In Her Name would become. Not just anger at what happened, though that factored into what drove me. I was angry because the first instinct was to blame an entire ethnicity, before anyone even knew who was to blame, or if there actually was anyone to blame. Even after things began settling down and the task of figuring out what happened and who was responsible began, I wanted to show the world how wrong it was to turn a person into a criminal just because of their ethnicity or religious beliefs.
And so, a woman who had merely been a priestess of an ancient faith evolved, to become a heroine in her own right. Manara Binte Alzena became a symbol, and a lesson. Matt Raleigh came with built-in prejudice. The product of a disastrous childhood, he despises all things paranormal or spiritual. Manara is the embodiment of everything his prejudice has set him up to hate. But she’s also someone to be admired, whose dedication to preserving life and serving what is right and just in the world has put her at dangerous odds with her world. She’s rushing headlong into Iraq, where her faith and her status could easily cost her life. But she’s determined to do what she has to do, no matter the cost. That’s something Matt can’t help but admire.
By putting a man with a deep hatred up against a woman who is both the embodiment of everything he hates and a source of great strength and help for him, I address the age-old question of which is stronger – hate, or love. It’s a question (and an answer) I think we could all learn a little something from.