Author's Note on THE IMMORTALS
It strikes me as I write this that the title for this book serves two masters. THE IMMORTALS is a literal title, the villain uses the term to describe himself, and his actions. But I’m also struck that I write a series that has deep strains of mythology running throughout, and my two main characters, homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her fiancé, FBI Profiler Dr. John Baldwin, are both heroes. They are iconic, an idealized version of us all, better people, with fewer demons and a strong moral code.
I get emails from readers all the time mentioning what a perfect guy Baldwin is. Without a doubt, Taylor sees him as such: he’s physically stunning—tall, lean, black hair, brilliant green eyes, chiseled jaw—has a huge intellect, a sense of humor, and is irrevocable, irretrievably, in love with her. In other words, a mighty fine male specimen, the kind we all want in our lives. Prince Charming.
So when it came time to talk about Baldwin’s past, to shed some light on who he was before he met Taylor, I was worried. Because Baldwin’s past is a little murkier than he’s ever let on. And this is the challenge of writing a series, a novel, anything where your leads are heroes – how do you make a perfect character flawed? Heroes aren’t necessarily human, but in THE IMMORTALS, Baldwin is just that—a man who’s made some bad decisions and is now paying the price. It was fascinating to me to put him in that position and see how he would react.
This was only one of my challenges with THE IMMORTALS. I delved into a part of Nashville that’s not written about, that’s barely spoken about in some circles, but celebrated in others. I’m talking about the Occult. The Pagan religions, Stregheria, Wicca, Goths, Vampires. The counterculture is huge here, full of many wonderful people who helped me in my quest. I ended up over-researching because I was having so much fun, and isn’t that what all writers hope for? A book that is fun to write, fun to research, that broadens your horizons, and as such, the horizons of your readers? Truly, the research for this book was a joy – I had no nightmares. Normally when I’m writing a Taylor novel and she’s faced with a vicious killer, I wake in the night, heart pounding, ears straining, eyes seeking, and channel that fear onto the page. Not this book. I slept like a baby and got it written rather quickly. Not quite sure what that says, other than the occult isn’t a place to be afraid of, at least not for me.
Back to the mythology angle, Taylor is trying to solve the murder of seven teenagers on Halloween night. The scenes are staged to look like Satanists were involved, though Taylor and her team quickly realize there’s more going on. Enter Ariadne, a Wiccan high priestess who has the keys to the case – if Taylor is willing to open her mind to the possibilities.
Every novel, at its core, is about possibilities. Choices. Reactions. Mine take these themes a step further. Good versus evil, fear of the unknown. Love conquers all, or does it? In THE IMMORTALS, all of these avenues are explored, mined for their opportunities, and the characters forced to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Blessed Be.