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Welcome everyone! Do you love vampires? What about redheads? Yes? Good! Today Jaye Wells, author of the Sabina Kane series, is stopping by to discuss redheads with us all. Please give her a warm welcome!
"After several years as a magazine editor and freelance writer, Jaye Wells finally decided to leave the facts behind and make up her own reality. Her overactive imagination and life-long fascination with the arcane and freakish blended nicely with this new career path. Her Sabina Kane urban fantasy series is a blend of dark themes, grave stakes and wicked humor. Jaye lives in Texas with her saintly husband and devilish son. Her work is represented by Jonathan Lyons of Lyons Literary, LLC."
Bio courtesy of Jaye's website.
Hello! Book Fary asked me to drop by and opine on a hard-hitting topic facing the paranormal fiction world these days. Never one to shy from controversy deep thinking, I said, "Bring it!"
What's up with all the red heads in urban fantasy?
I'll admit I'm a bit of an expert on this topic. After all, my first urban fantasy novel was called RED-HEADED STEPCHILD.
Indeed, my heroine, Sabina Kane, has bright red hair that is streaked with black. Did I chose red because I thought it would imply a fiery demeanor and a stubborn streak that made a donkey look reasonable? No, although I can see why people would think that. After all, colors are incredibly strong symbols. And when it comes to hair color, the shade can be a shortcut to implying something about the character's personality.
But I didn't make Sabina a red head because of any of that. She's a red head because she's a vampire. And all vampires are red heads.
Before I wrote any of Red-Headed Stepchild, before I had a title, before I describes Sabina, I sat down and figured out her world.
(Cue the montage of Jaye researching vampire folklore and mythology.)
I was actually "inspired"--a word interchangeable with "stole" for a writer--by several myths from Greece and Eastern Europe about red-headed vampires. The red thing also plays into the role of Cain as the father of my vampire race. If you remember your Genesis from Sunday school, you'll remember Cain killed his brother Abel. As punishment, God marked Cain and sent him to wander the earth forever. Several theories exist about what this mark was but one was that God gave him red hair (which would have been rare in that part of the world). Add these two ideas together and you've got yourself a recipe for red-headed vamps. In addition, I decided that you can tell the age of my vampires (since mine are born not made) by the darkness of the shade. I even decided that all humans with red hair have some vampire blood in their genealogy.
So, while I can't speak on the reason other authors make their heroines gingers, my reasons all come down to world building. Every single vampire or half-vampire in my series has red hair. Do you know how difficult it is to keep descriptions of red hair fresh over multiple books? There's only so many descriptions you can use without getting ridiculous. I mean can you imagine how hard it is not throw in a "coquelicot," "rufous," or "sinopia" in there?
All that said, since I started writing this series I've embraced my own internal red head. While I'm not brave enough to recreate Sabina's dramatic coloring, I have added deep red low lights and coppery highlights. I have to say, there's something a little wildly, ass-kickingly feminine about being a red head.
While hair color does not a woman make, there is something to be said about what physical traits tell us about a person. Right or wrong, assumptions are always made. It's just that in the case of my books it'd be a really bad idea to assume that it's safe to sit next to that red head on the subway.
Jaye is offering a copy of Red Headed Stepchild to one lucky winner!
In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission ...more In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now.
This time, it's personal.
- Open to everyone!
- Fill out the form below.
- Giveaway ends 9/4. Be sure to check back after that and see if you've won! I will not be emailing winners after they are announced on the blog. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is picked.
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