There are tons of great new books in speculative fiction being released today–get your credit cards ready! I’ll be spotlighting a few in the coming days. (You can also read earlier mini-interviews with author Cherie Priest (Dreadnought) and Jennifer Estep (Venom).
Next up is Kalayna Price, whose new urban fantsy, GRAVE WITCH, releases October 5 from Roc. This begins Kalayna’s new Alex Craft series. I had a chance to ask her a couple of quick questions as I put together my new Fiction Affliction column for Tor.com (check it out for the full list of urban fantasy releases this month, or click here for the sci-fi releases. Coming soon: Fantasy and Young Adult Paranormal release lists!).
KP: No, I didn’t cast Death. He was one of those characters who walked into my mind around the same time Alex, the main character, appeared. With Alex, a woman who can see and speak to the dead, as the lead of the story, I knew right from the start that she’d have an interesting relationship with the local Grim Reaper. They have a history, which is hinted at right from the first paragraph of the book:
“The first time I encountered Death, I hurled my mother’s medical chart at him. As far as impressions went, I blew it, but I was five at the time, so he eventually forgave me. Some days I wished he hadn’t—particularly when we crossed paths on the job.” Because of their history, and the fact I wanted Death to be a romantic interest in the series, I knew he couldn’t be a thing of pure horror–no naked skulls or long flowy robes here. He’s rather normal in his faded jeans and black tee-shirts, but doing a very abnormal job so whenever he appears in Alex’s life, there is that uncomfortable moment when she has to figure out if someone is about to die or if he just that he wants a cup of coffee. It makes for a fun dynamic between them and I hope people enjoy reading about Death.
KP: You’ve probably heard the saying “technology has made the world a smaller place.” Well, in Alex’s world, the fae and other creatures of legend revealed themselves during an event known as the Magical Awakening and the newly rediscovered magic made the world a bigger place. Literally. Space unfolded, revealing new land. Nekros City, where the story takes place, is located in an area that unfolded between Georgia and Alabama. The city itself is obviously fictional, but is heavily based on some of the best–and worst–aspects of several southern cites, such as Charlotte, Atlanta, and bits of New Orleans.
KP: The second Alex Craft novel, GRAVE DANCE, is currently slotted for Summer of 2011.