When Jennie first approached me about blogging my debut novel, Blood Law, on a Southern writers' blog, I thought, “I can do this. I’m from Mississippi, and I live in Alabama. The book is set in Mississippi. No problem.” That’s what I continued to think until my brain decided to take an unannounced mid-week vacation last week. So when Jennie reminded me that I still needed to turn in a blog, I admitted I’d drawn a blank. She was nice enough to offer a topical setting question: Why are so many vampire books set in the South? Ah! Now we’re getting somewhere.
My personal reasons aside, what is it about the South that makes it fertile ground for vampires? I think it’s because the past is still very much a part of the present here. As my grandmother would say, “Even the ghosts have long memories,” meaning there are reminders of the past all around us. Whether it’s the antebellum mansions of Natchez, the Spanish moss-laden oaks of Mobile, or the wrought-iron balconies of New Orleans’s French Quarter, history is alive in the South. Vampires, especially the modern anti-hero variety, are walking remnants of that past and to place them in an ultra-modern setting seems almost a disservice. They are creatures of other places and other times, and as my Los Angeles-raised husband will tell anyone, “The South is a world unto itself where time slows to a crawl…at least until the mosquitoes start biting and then it’s every man for himself.”
Jeannie Holmes is a Mississippi native who now lives in Mobile, Alabama with her husband, four neurotic cats, and an arthritic shaggy dog. Blood Law is her first novel.
If you'd like to hear more from Jeannie, she's also over on the Working Stiffs today. Yeah, I've been very bad about writing blog posts lately. Although you can catch me all week on 7 Criminal Minds, if you want.