UFI welcomes Jess Haines Author of The Truth About Vampires. Thanks for Joining us!!
Stop 10: Necromancers, Zombies and Vampires—Oh, My!
By Jess Haines
Hello there! Jess Haines here. I’m the author of the H&W Investigations series—urban fantasy novels about Shiarra Waynest, a human private investigator in an alternate, present-day New York. Somehow she keeps getting pulled into supernatural troubles way above her pay grade…
In the latest installment, Shiarra runs into zombies and gets to meet a necromancer for the first time. My research took me into some dark and scary places, from the mind of Aleister Crowley, to the depths of African mythology on bokor (sorcerers), to the horror-touched hilarity of movies like Zombieland.
Romero movies are great, but when you think about the necromantic rites that supposedly bring back the dead, like the Vodou (Haitian) practice of using a powder called coup poudre and a jar to capture the soul of the recently deceased person they want to raise, things can get pretty morbid—and fascinating. For example, I’ve seen a picture of Papa Mondy Jean, the Vodou practitioner from Port-au-Prince, supposedly channeling spirits of the dead. Along with an unhealthy obsession with the “real life haunting” videos on the dark side of YouTube (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EkxpKConPk), I do like to study the various mythologies surrounding raising and communicating with the dead.
In my books, the vampires and zombies and necromancer may be fairly simple in nature, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t couched them in a bit of real-life mythology. While I won’t be taking Zulu shaman Credo Mutwa’s take on zombies anytime soon (created by tearing out the eyes and tongue of a corpse, among other not-so-delightful actions that I’ll leave to your imagination or Google-fu), it helps to know the origin of my monsters so that I can develop my own lore with a taste of reality.
For example, while my vampires are autonomous and in charge of their own destinies, save for that they answer to and can have bonds of blood to their sires or other vampires whose blood they consume, the zombies are traditional slaves. In this case, to the whims of a necromancer. The necromancer may have a touch of Crowley’s “do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” philosophy, but his methods are more fantastical than that of the Bantu, Haitian, or Romeran.
Whether your vampires are caused by rabid bats, your zombies by magic dust, or your necromancer just raises dead threads (link: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThreadNecromancer), there are so many wonderful and terrible versions of these monsters out there that you may never lack for reading material—even if you only enjoy the fictitious versions.
For the next stop on the blog tour, be sure to visit the official FORSAKEN BY THE OTHERS blog tour calendar (link: http://jesshaines.com/blog/?p=2210)!
See the sidebar for a list of Jess Haines interviews, guest blogs, giveaways, and more!
Forsaken by the Others
H & W Investigations #5
The Others–vampires, werewolves, things that go chomp in the night–don’t just live in nightmares anymore. They’ve joined with he mortal world. And for private investigator Shiarra Waynest, that means mayhem…
Have a one night stand with a vampire, and you can end up paying for it for eternity. P.I. Shiarra Waynest, an expert on the Others, knows that better than most. Yet here she is, waking up beside charismatic vamp Alec Royce with an aching head…and neck. Luckily, Shia has the perfect excuse for getting out of town–namely, a couple of irate East Coast werewolf packs who’d like to turn her into a chew toy.
On Royce’s suggestion, Shia temporarily relocates to Los Angeles. But something is rotten–literally–in the state of California, where local vampires are being attacked by zombies. Who could be powerful enough to control them–and reckless enough to target the immortal? Following the trail will lead Shia to a terrifying truth, and to an ancient enemy with a personal grudge…
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