Jami Gray, Author of Shadow’s Soul, on Monsters

Shadow's Soul
Shadow’s Soul is available now

Jami Gray is a Star Wars fan and the fifth eldest of 37 children. She writes urban fantasy from the Southwest. Today, she’s here to talk about her latest release, Shadow’s Soul, which is Book 2 of The Kyn Kronicles. She’s also giving away a $10 Amazon eGift Card to one lucky commenter. I asked Jami to share something unique about herself. She said:

I’m so OCD my bookshelves are in alpha order by author and series.  Before iTunes, so were my hundreds of CD’s.  Yet, I’m a complete pantser when writing.  I have a general idea of where my story is going, but my characters love taking over and turning it in all sorts of directions.  Outlines tend to offend my Muse and when she gets upset, I run for cover.  Therefore, outlines have been banned.  We try to pass off the most basic ones as just “plot points” and so far it’s working!

Jami’s answer fascinated me because I’m the complete opposite! Before iTunes I could never find the music I wanted to listen to. CD’s were everywhere and anywhere! Yet… I plot. 🙂 

Welcome, Jami!

Who’s The Real Monster? by Jami Gray

I have always loved the darker fairy tales, not the Disney kind they’re just too…bright and shiny.  The real Brother Grimm stories, now those were exciting.  Their monsters were scarier because they hid behind masks of normality, think the woodcutter’s wife in Hansel and Gretel.

When I write, I tend to develop my characters first and then their world opens up and away we go.  For Raine McCord, the heroine of Shadow’s Edge and Shadow’s Soul, her first spark came when I was listening to a song by Nine Inch Nails titled “Right Where It Belongs”.  The chorus of the song talked about the darker side in all of us and how it blurred the division between wrong and right.

This started me down the spiral of questions and answers until Raine starting haunting me from dark corners.  When she finally cornered me in a rain drenched alley in Portland, I just couldn’t refuse her request and my first book, Shadow’s Edge was born.

In Urban Fantasy (UF) your hero or heroine has to be tough.  Otherwise all the creatures out there prowling around (vamps, weres, zombies, demons, feral slugs, etc.) will tear them to pieces.  Between the magic screwing things up and the massive amounts of supernatural creatures strolling around, their lives are never boring.

One of the most adventurous parts about writing UF is creating monsters who give your leads a run for their money.  My villains tend to be the ones you least expect, because honestly, what’s more terrifying? The hunched over, crazy eyed, one tooth, half dead maniac slithering in the dark or the reassuringly normal neighbor next door who brought you chicken soup when you were sick?

In both of my books Raine begins to learn that not all monsters are easily defined.

Shadow’s Edge follows Raine down a bloody trail of bodies into the shadowy world of power plays and half-truths, while forcing her to face the monster crouched inside.  Now it’s her turn to decide who’s really the monster–the one destroying the ones around them or the one who’s hunting them?

When a simple task takes a nightmarish turn, in Shadow’s Soul, Raine comes up against one of the most feared creatures of the Kyn world-a Soul Stealer.  Battered in body and mind, she finds undiscovered strength in her partnership with Gavin as together they unravel the web of secrets and hidden vendettas haunting the Southwest Kyn.

I hope you enjoy both Shadow’s Edge and Shadow’s Soul!

More About Shadow’s Soul

Raine McCord has no problem taking down the monsters of the world, it’s one of the reasons she’s so good at her job.  So playing bodyguard to Cheveyo, head Magi of the Northwest, as he consults with the Southwest Kyn should be an easy assignment. Unfortunately, simple task turns into a nightmare when Cheveyo is kidnapped and Raine is left for dead by one of the Kyn’s most feared beings, a Soul Stealer.

The Stealer’s attack leaves lasting wounds, undermining Raine’s confidence as a warrior and damaging her unruly magic. Her ability to heal her mind and spirit hinges on the one man who can touch her soul, Gavin Durand.  Compelled to face the emotions raging between them, they must embrace not only their stormy relationship but their evolving magic to escape the twisted threads of murder and betrayal to find Cheveyo.

As Raine and Gavin come together and begin to unravel the complex web of secrets and hidden vendettas haunting the Southwest Kyn, they discover unsettling new truths that threaten their very existence.

Excerpt

“Good gods, girl. Didn’t I teach you better than that?”

The sound of Cheveyo’s sharp tone jerked her head up. Scrambling to her knees, she met the disgruntled gaze of her mentor.

“Obviously not,” she snapped back.

A small grimace that might have been a strained smile appeared on his tired face. A part of her relaxed a bit at his presence, but he didn’t look good. Weariness and pain had carved deep niches around his mouth and eyes, drawing his skin tight over his high cheekbones. The normal bronze of his skin was a pale olive. Gone was the fierce, dominating Magi. In his place was a hard, battle-weary warrior.

“Cheveyo,” she started, but he waved his hand cutting her off.

“I know, we have to get me out of here, yadda yadda.” He raked a hand through his collar length hair, as he slid down some invisible wall to sit across from her. Placing his hands on his upraised knees, he just looked at her.

His assessment made her uncomfortable.

“Didn’t expect me to answer your knock?” A faint thread of humor twisted through his words.

His question threw her back to when he had first created this bond between them. Her concerns on how linked they would be had resulted in his reassurance that the only way the door would open was if she went knocking and he answered her.

“Actually we were hoping you would.”

He raised an eyebrow. “We?”

Before she could respond, the feel of nails scoring her skin set her on her feet. She spun around to face the thick barrier of fog behind her. She hissed as another scrape peeled against her magic. Cheveyo’s hand on her arm stopped her from stepping forward.

“Raine.” He turned her away from the fog. His six-foot-six frame towered over her. She didn’t let it stop her from yanking from his hold.

“What?” she snarled. Screw authority. Right now they were in deep shit and they needed to get out.

Where to buy:

More About Jami

Urban Fantasy AuthorGrowing up on the Arizona-Mexico border, Jami Gray was adopted at the age of 14 and suddenly became the fifth eldest of 37 children. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and three minors-History, English, and Theater.  Shortly after marrying her techie-geek hubby (who moonlighted as her best friend in high school) she completed a Masters in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix Oregon.

Now, years later, she’s back in the Southwest where  she’s outnumbered in her own home by two Star Wars obsessed boys, one Star Wars obsessed husband, and an overly-friendly, 105-pound male lab.  Writing is what saves her sanity.

Where you can find Jami online:

So, readers, how about you? Which type of monster is scarier to you? The hunched over, crazy eyed, one toothed, half dead maniac kind? Or the ones who look like the boy next door? Leave a comment to be entered to win the $10 Amazon eGift Card that Jami is giving away. Giveaway will close at midnight EDT tomorrow. Jami, thank you for guest blogging today!

Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

25 thoughts on “Jami Gray, Author of Shadow’s Soul, on Monsters

  1. Thank you to all who swung by to spend time with Jill and I! We had a great time. We’d like to annouce our winner of the $10 Amazon gift card–drum roll please…FAITH!
    Congrats, Faith! If you would be so good as to send me the email you’d like your new book fund to be sent to, I’ll get it sent! You can reach me at jamigray@cox.net.
    Happy Sunday all and thanks again!

  2. Oh boy. I have to pick? I find them both scary, because I’m a total wuss. My (younger) brother makes fun of me when I clutch his arm in terror as soon as anything (book, movie, tv show) becomes even mildly frightening/suspenseful 🙂

  3. Jami, Ok now you gotta explain….”the fifth eldest of 37 children”? Really? I see you were adopted, but really there were 37 children in your family? That’s remarkable. Love the tease. I like stories were the evil “looking’ creature isn’t evil. Can’t wait to read your story.

    1. Next time, I’ll read everyone questions. That is so cool! Sound like you had great parents. So much love to share with 37 blessed souls. Keep writing so I can keep reading.

      1. Hi Mary– Thanks for stopping by. Jami’s background is pretty amazing. I think the monsters who look like everyday peeps are winning the “scariest monster” contest. Does this mean no one will dress up for Halloween? 😉

        I hope not! Meanwhile, I have to figure out *my* costume for this year…

        1. My costume this year is the same as last year. I don’t like spiders to to face my fear I decorate my yard and myself in spiders….scary!!!

          1. I’m not crazy about spiders either, but they seem to love me! 🙂 I just posted a pic of a spider that’s been spinning a nightly web outside my front door on FB recently.

      2. Lol! No worries, Mary. Shock is generally the first reaction followed by a quick look around to if any cameras are lurking:-) Yep, we were a small village all by ourselves!
        Thank you so much for stopping by & happy Saturday!

  4. Okay, that was one cool thing. But now you have to explain just one thing to me…37 children? We all know that this is biologically not possible, right? I mean..is it? 😉

    Piper

    1. Hey Piper–um yeah, I think my mom would’ve put a halt to the kid production thing if she went au natural. 2 are biological and all of the rest of us are adopted. We’ve always teased my parents that they were addicted to kids!

      1. And by that amazing number, I bet they were. 🙂 I only have one brother, but he could be annoying like hell at times. I don’t want to imagine what 36 siblings are like… LOL

        1. Hi Piper, like you I only have one brother, although we pretty much got along — except for fights over the remote control. (And before that, fights over who had to get up to change the channel. Yep, I’m that old. My kids always ask how things were different when I was growing up. Of all the things I tell them, *that one* is the one they are the most in awe of. “You mean you had to GET UP to change the channel?!” 😀

          I’ll bet you have lots of fun stories from childhood, Jami!! With that many sibs, I’m sure it was never boring! 🙂

  5. Morning all! Huge thank you to Jill for having me!
    Yep, have to agree, Patricia, all those “normal” looking ones are the creepiest. I depend on my walking fur rug to help keep the crazies down =0)
    BN–true scary, but at least you can see them coming and either run or pick up a really large stick to greet them with!

    1. Happy to have you, Jami! Your post got me to thinking about the film The Talented Mr. Ripley. Did you see it? It’s older, from 1999. Ripley’s character was a monster… played perfectly by Matt Damon.

    1. Hi bn! I’m honestly torn about that question. When I think of all the scary monsters that have been created on screen and on the page… well, I would NEVER want to meet any of them in real life. But there’s a coldness to monsters who look completely harmless. Perhaps they’re even more dangerous bc they look familiar, even comforting.

      1. You don’t recognize what they are so you let them get closer, where they can do more damage. Creepy.
        Nice post, Jami!

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