A Yancy Lazarus Novel
Yancy Lazarus Series, Book One
James A. Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Shadow Alley Press, Inc.
Date of Publication: January 16th, 2015
Number of pages: 221
Word Count: 75,000
Yancy Lazarus is having a bad day: there’s a bullet lodged in his butt cheek, his face looks like the site of a demolition derby, and he’s been saran-wrapped to a banquet table. He never should have answered the phone. Stupid bleeding heart—helping others in his circles is a good way to get dead.
Just ask the gang members ripped to pieces by some kind of demonic nightmare in LA. As a favor to a friend, Yancy agrees to take a little looksee into the massacre and boom, he’s stuck in a turf war between two rival gangs, which both think he’s pinch-hitting for the other side. Oh, and there’s also a secretive dark mage with some mean ol’ magical chops and a small army of hyena-faced, body-snatching baddies. It might be time to seriously reconsider some of his life choices.
Yancy is a bluesman, a rambler, a gambler, but not much more. Sure, he can do a little magic—maybe even more than just a little magic—but he knows enough to keep his head down and stay clear of freaky-deaky hoodoo like this business in LA. Somehow though, he’s been set up to take a real bad fall—the kind of very permanent fall that leaves a guy with a toe tag. Unless, of course, he can find out who is responsible for the gangland murders, make peace in the midst of the gang feud, and take out said dark mage before he hexes Yancy into an early retirement. Easy right? Stupid. Bleeding. Heart.
Available at Amazon
PRAISE FOR STRANGE MAGIC:
"Move over Harry Dresden because there's a new wizard in town. Yancy Lazarus a chain-smoking, take no prisoners S.O.B. with a heart of gold and a fistful of primal power. A stellar debut novel from James Hunter, the next big name in Urban Fantasy." —Rick Gualtieri, Author of Bill the Vampire (The Tome of Bill)
Hey all, my name is James Hunter and I’m a writer, among other things. So just a little about me: I’m a former Marine Corps Sergeant, combat veteran, and pirate hunter (seriously). I’m also a member of The Royal Order of the Shellback—‘cause that’s a real thing. And, a space-ship captain, can’t forget that.
Okay … the last one is only in my imagination.
Currently, I work as a missionary and international aid worker with my wife and young daughter in Bangkok, Thailand. When I’m not working, writing, or spending time with family, I occasionally eat and sleep. Strange Magic is the first novel in the Yancy Lazarus series—the third, full-length novel, Wendigo Rising, just released on November 3rd, 2015.
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Please welcome Strange Magic author James A. Hunter to Diane’s Book Blog.
Hey all, my name is James Hunter and I’m a former Marine Corps Sergeant, combat veteran, and pirate hunter (seriously). I’m also an Urban Fantasy writer—not that you’ll catch me making that confession in public. I’m the author of the Yancy Lazarus series, which follows around Yancy Lazarus, a magical, wet-works man turned rambling bluesman. Before we jump into the interview, I’d just like to say thanks to Diane for having me on her blog.
1. How long did it take you to write Strange Magic?
Strange Magic, the first book in the Yancy Lazarus series, took about a year to write and produce (editing, cover art, etc). But Strange Magic wasn’t my first book. The first book I ever wrote took a grand total of four years—it was a terrible high/epic fantasy novel, which will never, ever, ever see the light of day. Suffice it to say, my first full-length novel was a great learning lesson in how not to write good fantasy. My second novel, an equally terrible horror story, took two years. Strange Magic was my third full-length book and it took a year, but my writing time has sped up considerably since then. The second and third books in the Yancy Lazarus series only took around four months each to produce from start to finish.
2. What is your favorite book that you wrote?
Since I just finished writing Wendigo Rising, Yancy Lazarus Episode Three, that happens to be my favorite book. Really, though, it changes. I love all my books, but the one I’m working on is always the one closest to my heart. Plus, Wendigo Rising rocks harder than a 1980s big hair band. Murder and intrigue. Snake-faced, black-market organ harvesters. Epic music battles and hulking, sixty-foot fat monsters. Bigfoot. Yeah, it has everything, really.
3. Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I’d like to shout out to my top three most influential authors. First, J. K. Rowling and the Harry Potter books: this series, more than anything else, influenced me to start reading as a young teen ager and got me hooked on the fantasy genre. Stephen King, and pretty much every book he’s ever written, has had a huge impact on me as a reader and writer. And, of course, Jim Butcher and the Dresden Files. These books introduced me to the Urban Fantasy genre and made me want to write in this genre, abandoning my original calling as a horror author.
4. How do you overcome writer’s block?
For me, writer’s block has a simple solution: Sit in a room, by myself with a computer. I don’t have to write, but I can’t do anything else either. No Youtube. No Netflix. No internet (not even a quick glimpse at my email). No books. No music. Nothing but writing. After an hour or so, boredom takes over and voilà, no more writer’s block.
5. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The third book in my Yancy Lazarus series, Wendigo Rising, just released a few days ago (November 3rd), so I’ve decided to take a break and work on something else. Right now, I’m writing Mud-Man—an Urban Fantasy novel that takes place in the same universe as the Lazarus series, but which features a very different character. Here’s a little teaser:
Levi Adams is a soft spoken, middle-aged, Mennonite man—at least he tries to be when he’s not murdering people.
Levi’s a Golem, a Mud-man, crafted from the muck, mire, and corpses of a World War II concentration camp—killing is just a part of his DNA. He doesn’t like it, but unfortunately he’s been saddled with a divine commission to dole out judgement on those who shed innocent blood. After a lifetime as a cold-blooded, murder machine, however, Levi’s trying to change his grisly nature. And the AA meetings and church services are helping. A little. But when he runs across a wounded girl during one of his “hunting expeditions,” he realizes self-help may have to go on the backburner.
Someone is attempting to revive an ancient godling and the road to rebirth is paved with dead bodies. Lots and lots of them.
Now, Levi must protect the girl—the key to an unspeakable resurrection—and defeat a Nazi Mage from Levi’s murky past. But the shadowy Mage holds a terrible secret about the Mud-man’s unorthodox birth, one offering insight into Levi’s morbid compulsion for blood shed. It’s a secret Levi would pay anything to discover: maybe even the innocent girl in his care. If Levi isn’t careful, though, he may end up as the Mage’s final sacrifice.
6. What book are you reading now?
Currently, I’m reading Craig Schaefer’s Redemption Song (Daniel Faust Book 2), another in a long line of very well-written, urban-fantasy novels with a noir feel. If you’re a fan of gritty, fun Urban Fantasy, then I’d highly recommend the Daniel Faust Series.
7. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To all my readers and fans, I’d just like to say thank you! Seriously. Writing is an act of communication, and without people willing to read my stories, I’d just be an awkward guy shouting at an empty room. Knowing there are folks out in the world who enjoy my books makes writing worthwhile. So thank you.