Testament started out as a comic book. I came up with the basic idea while driving in the middle of the night from Houston to Dallas.
I wanted to make a vampire story with a twist. Originally that twist was that he didn't realize he was a vampire. My original idea was that Thomas would be at a drug dealer's house buying drugs when something went wrong (vampire breaks in and starts feeding on the people in the room). The dealer was going to be making LSD in his bathtub and Thomas would run to the bathroom to hide. The vampire would break into the bathroom knocking Thomas into the tub where he nearly immediately begins to hallucinate. He believes that he is being saved by an angel rather than being turned into a vampire.
That eventually changed to something that could focus on the morality of the wild and savagery without having the drugs overshadow the themes.
This being my first book I didn't really know how to write something so long. So, I did a bunch of research and tried to plan out the story 100%.
I wrote a general outline that told the story in single sentence synopses. I kind of ran out of steam at the end and didn't have an ending for the book and just wrote fight scene for the last few pages.
I then went back and wrote in a fleshed out story that I already outlined. About half way through I figured out the ending and added it to the outline. The whole process took about five months writing an hour or two about five days a week.
Of course the original idea was concocted in 2001 so even though it took five months to write, the story had been bouncing around my head for 9 years.
Characters and Title
The title doesn't really fit the book, but would have fit a series. It was originally called The unnatural trying to find a new name for the creature that he believed he was. As with nearly everything I write I intended it to be three books long. Maybe one day that will happen. But the idea behind Testament is that Thomas would eventually begin to write the third testament to the bible somewhere in the second book...
I like to fantasy cast my stories as well. While writing I try to figure out who would be the best actor to play each part. Of course that has changed in the 11 years since I finished Testament.
Thomas - I initially saw this being played by Andrew Garfield. I just needed someone who can be sullen and quiet. A contemplator of sorts. Nowadays I think I would cast Ethan Cutkostky. I feel that a lot of his work in Shameless is highlighted by his body and facial reactions which I what I feel Thomas needs.
Lilith - I wanted this to be Anne Hathaway. I think that is because I am big fan of hers and it felt like something she hadn't done. For Lilith it would be someone who could dwell in depression and almost live in a subservient manner with hopes of an end. Today I think that Brigette Lundy-Paine fits the bill. The few things I've seen her in really impress me and she is physically what I envisioned for Lilith.
Jack - In my head this was Neil Patrick Harris. I think that may still be the same today. Jack was an adult that was a child. Maybe not child as much as a teenager. Someone stuck in early adulthood that still was passionate about being young and causing trouble. Neil has a tendency to do this by skirting the line between comedy and drama, he is still my thought of Jack. But watching Ted Lasso the other day I realized that Phil Dunster who plays Jamie Tartt also finds that line between adult and child...
Father Timeus - I initially thought this should Steve Martin. I love everything that man does. To me I felt that his dramatic work in the Spanish Prisoner and Shop Girl showed how versatile he was. Today I feel that the character needs someone who can truly show fear. Someone that can fake leadership behind a fear of the world. Ideally in today's world I would want to see Hugh Jackman in this role. He may be a bit too forward, but some of the faces of anguish I've seen him make scream this role to me.
The big main villain - I won't ruin the story by revealing the antagonist, but I still would want to cast him. As much as I think someone like The Rock is the right build for the character I've always seen some kind of CGI assisted Stanley Tucci in this role. He has the power and passion behind him that this character needs. I know he doesn't look the part, but I think he would be the only perfect fit.