5. Jane is no whining Pollyanna. If a bad guy needs to be put in his place, Jane doesn’t wait around for a man to do it for her. She takes care of business. If a Big Bad Ugly monster type needs killing, Ditto. Jane has the tools and the weapons and the moxie to do it all by her lonesome. Not that she says “no” to help; Jane isn’t stupid. When necessary, she employees some of the best freelancers in the vamp-hunting business. But she likes to be in charge and she has no problem taking the fight where it’s needed.
4. She’s different. Jane isn’t the usual witch, mage, vamp, or were. Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee skinwalker, taken from the oldest Eastern Cherokee mythos/stories, as shared by a Cherokee Elder, a woman whose father was a tribal shaman. Jane’s story-reality comes from the time when the skinwalkers were the tribal warriors and protectors, before the white man came, the time when the skinwalkers turned ugly and became the stuff of nightmares. Yet, because she lives in the white man’s modern world, she has the seed of evil within her too, and learning who she is and where she came from will either help her retain her sanity, or drive her over the edge into the evil of the U’tlun’ta,” (pronounced hut luna in Cherokee). Jane is also different in that she shares her body with another soul – her Beast. When she was five years old, and was fighting for her life, Jane accidently did black magic and pulled the soul of a mountain lion inside with her. Now they share the forms she takes and the adventures Jane finds along the way to killing rogue-vamps.
3. Jane is broken. She is broken because she wandered out the woods in the hills of Appalachia when she 12 years old, scared with bullet holes and with no memory of herself, her history, with no language, and with no social skills. Learning who she is and where she came from adds to the tension and the suspense of the story. I have found that broken characters are the most interesting, because they are working against and with their mangled inner selves, as well as against the bad guys, and with the good guys. The internal tension always affects the external plot in new and different ways.
2. Jane’s magic system is unique. As a writer, I’ve always been bothered by magic systems that are the equivalent of the genii in the bottle. I like magic systems that seems to fit in with the physical laws of our planet. In Jane’s case, her magic is consistent with the Law of Conservation of Mass, also known as the principle of mass/matter conservation, and, the reality of DNA. Don’t roll your eyes. I don’t give science lessons! Suffice it to that Jane can take on the form of any animal fairly easily if certain conditions are met. A) Jane has to be touching or very close to some DNA of the animal she wants to become. B) The animal needs to be female C) The animal needs to be close to her body mass. D) It is helpful is she is either in a place where she can meditate, alone and naked, or if she is in extremis – meaning her life is in imminent danger. She can, of course, change into other animals but that is much harder, much more dangerous, and requires even more special conditions.
1. Jane is not easy. Not on her lovers or potential lovers, not on her friends and not on her writer. She is very demanding and requires that I give her plenty of room to grow and fight and find the right guy. Or guys. In the first book of the series, Skinwalker, Jane meets several different guys, a pretty boy, a vamp, and a blood-servant, each interesting in his own way, but each with problems and history and baggage. I mean, they would, right? Death’s Rival will be out in October, with a new adventure and a new chance at love.
Faith Hunter writes dark urban fantasy: Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock with Skinwalker, Blood Cross, Mercy Blade, Raven Cursed, and Death’s Rival. Her Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban fantasy series—Bloodring, Seraphs, and Host—feature Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage in a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality.
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