The Story Behind The Serpent and the Firefly

by Courtney Davis

The Serpent and the Firefly book
The Serpent and the Firefly by Courtney Davis

The Why

I wrote The Serpent and The Firefly last winter. I guess I was cold and depressed because of the lack of sun and needed to escape into a world where a woman who was equally depressed, but for a different reason, could find herself on an amazing journey. Writing is my favorite thing to do in the winter, I’m not much for winter sports so I spend a lot of time warm by the fire and writing warms my soul. 

Getting started

Almost all of my story ideas start with a character, I don’t usually know what the plot is, and I definitely don’t know where the ending is going to land, before I start writing. I generally get the feel for a character, maybe two, decide where they live and then just see what they do. I let them tell me what’s happening. 

With this story though, I actually had the idea for a plot point first, an object actually. I wanted a story that had a magical item sitting in a shop that maybe no one realized was magic and a human found it and bam, they were sucked into a world they didn’t know and were off on an adventure. My usual characters are all magical and supernatural, but I thought I would have a human who was only special because of an object they found instead of a born or bitten ability.

Well that’s not exactly the way the story went after I started because like I said, the characters tell me what’s up not the other way around, but it was the idea that set me off on the journey. 

My favorite part of writing is discovering the story that the characters want to tell me and as usual, after I started writing The Serpent and The Firefly, things shifted.

Jade, my main character, is in witness protection because her ex-boyfriend is a mob boss who she turned against and sent to jail. As part of her new life cover, she becomes the owner of an antiques shop that belonged to a recently deceased man who had no family to inherit it. Perfect cover, she pretends to be his niece and no one needs to know who she really is. What the government doesn’t know, and she soon finds out, is that in the basement of the shop is a separate, magical pawn shop full of items that interest the supernaturals that come out at night. 

The twist! 

She’s actually a fairy, well half fairy half something else… I won’t spoil that much… and so attracts the attention of a certain demon. Not exactly the original plot idea I had when I started, but I’m flexible when it comes to my stories. Rigidity to a plot detail or a character detail saps all of my creativity and I just can’t write past it.

Jade is visited by Baal the first morning in her new place. He is a snake shifter who just happens to be the first king of hell and on a mission to find a key to unlock a door in hell, free his sister, who he locked up, and take back his throne from his scheming brother. 

Should I have warned you I will probably be including spoilers in this?

There’s an instant attraction between Jade and Baal and although he was going to kill her because of a prophecy that says she’s going to kill him, he decides maybe he can use her instead. He tricks her into a deal that includes unlocking her powers. 

On their journey to find the key, Jade discovers that not only are there demons and she’s a fairy, but there are angels, not so angelic ones either, and all sorts of fae creatures too. Everyone wants something from someone else and they are all fighting on and over earth and it’s inhabitants. 

Well, she’s learned a thing or two from watching her ex boyfriend and that’s going to be useful when she discovers her part to play in the prophecy. 

Without spoiling any more I will just say that, this book was so much fun to write and I fell in love with Baal and his forked tongue… who wouldn’t!  

Thank you

I’m so glad to be publishing this book with 5 Prince Publishing, they’ve been so great on my writing journey, my editor Cate is amazing and the cover artist, Marianne, is so great, this cover is gorgeous, exactly what I was envisioning. I can’t wait to hear from readers this spring! 

About the Author

COURTNEY DAVIS is the author of A Spider in the Garden and writes urban fantasy, paranormal fiction, and science fiction, known for skillfully incorporating romance and humor into action-packed adventures. A member of the Fantasy and Sci-Fi Writers Alliance, she is a master world-builder and most enjoys exploring interactions between human and non-human characters. Davis resides in 

Idaho with her husband and children, teaching elementary school, reading, writing, and soaking up the sun. 

Her latest otherworldly fantasy The Serpent and the Firefly will be out on May 2, 2023!

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