I’m delighted to welcome urban fantasy writer, Jeannie Holmes here today to Dark Faerie Tales to talk a bit about Blood Law, which is her debut novel. Blood Law was recently released on July 6, 2010, and is also part of my Debut Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge. You can also read an excerpt here.
One lucky commenter has a chance to win a copy of Blood Law. As always, details are listed at the end of the post.
Cops and Vampires
by Jeannie Holmes
First, I’d like to thank Dark Faerie Tales for inviting me to hang out here today. So, I’m a new author. Blood Law is not only my first book but is the first in a new series featuring vampire cops working in a small Mississippi town.
Yes, you read that correctly: vampire cops.
When people ask me why I chose to write about vampires, it’s a fairly easy answer. I’ve had a life-long fascination with the supernatural, especially vampires, and it seemed only natural that I should write about the creatures that have sparked my imagination since childhood. On the other hand, when I’m asked why I chose to make my vampire protagonist, Alexandra Sabian, an Enforcer with the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation (a cop) the answer isn’t as cut and dried.
Law enforcement has been an interest of mine for years. I first became interested in learning more about the inner workings of law enforcement during my previous career incarnation when I worked in hospitals and doctors’ offices. I would often have to call the local police to the hospital if a patient reported any form of assault, shooting, stabbing, domestic violence, or if the hospital staff suspected any form of abuse. They would take statements, collect evidence, and ask questions. They took what I saw as disjointed and disorganized information and built a case out of it. One such case that happened in southwestern Mississippi was the inspiration behind some of the events in Blood Law.
I never met Jane Doe, but she did influence the mystery that is at the core of Blood Law. In the book, my protagonist, Alexandra Sabian, is a vampire and Enforcer with the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation who is assigned to police the vampire population in small town Jefferson, Mississippi. Everything is going great until someone starts killing the vampires and leaving their headless and staked bodies around town. Naturally, mayhem ensues throughout town. Jane wasn’t a vampire nor was she staked or decapitated. However, she was murdered and her nude body dumped near a wooded area at an interstate rest area a few miles north of my hometown in Mississippi.
If my memory serves me correctly, Jane was discovered by a motorist who was walking his dog at a rest stop along Interstate 55 in Copiah County, Mississippi. This was in the late 1980s or very early 1990s, but I can’t remember the exact year or the full details of how Jane was found or even killed, although I believe she was strangled.
For weeks, the entire state talked of nothing but Jane. Sketches of her appeared on the news, ran in all the papers, and southwestern Mississippi became a hotbed for reporters and amateur sleuths trying to discover Jane’s true identity. But as the weeks turned into months and eventually years, no new leads developed and Jane became a cold case. The reporters moved on to bigger, hotter stories. The amateur sleuths returned to their day jobs. Jane, however, remained Jane Doe, buried in a cemetery with a simple headstone bearing her new name and the date she was found.
As far as I know, Jane has never been identified, her killer has never been captured, and my efforts to find out more about the case haven’t been easy. It’s almost as if all the media attention she was given years ago has vanished. Jane has truly been forgotten.
I think that’s why I remember her so well and why I used her story to inspire portions of Blood Law. The tragedy of her murder shouldn’t go unanswered. Her family, whomever and wherever they may be, shouldn’t have to wonder what happened to Jane.
I hold no delusions that my posting will somehow jumpstart a cold case investigation. My hope is that by sharing Jane’s story, others will remember her as well because no one should be completely forgotten.
Jeannie Holmes is a native of southwest Mississippi. A total caffeine junkie, she currently lives in Mobile, Alabama with her husband, four neurotic cats, a shaggy arthritic dog, and is hard to find during hurricane season.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Blood Law.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
What is it about urban fantasy/paranormal fiction that appeals to you?
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4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Monday, August 2nd at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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