Today I am interviewing L.X. Cain, author of the new mystery/horror novel, Bloodwalker.
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DJ: Hey L.X.! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
L.X. Cain: I write thrillers and horror stories with elements of mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and action in them. I never really planned to write mash-ups, they just seem to come out that way. When I was writing Bloodwalker, I thought it was a horror novel, but beta readers commented that they spent the whole book scouring the chapters for clues as to who the killer was. So I guess it’s a bit more mystery than I thought!
DJ: What is Bloodwalker about?
L.X.: Bloodwalker is about a killer stalking children in the Eastern European towns a circus passes through. Head of circus security, Rurik finds clues that point to someone in the circus. Before he can catch the culprit, a group of Skomori descends on the circus to hold a wedding, and Sylvie, one of the brides, discovers a body. She moves to another city with her new husband unaware that she’s attracted the attention of the killer. Rurik tries to track him while Sylvie’s marriage and long sought after freedom from the Skomori proves to be a disaster. When another child is kidnapped, both Rurik and Sylvie are caught in the killer’s web of lies, deceit, and death.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Bloodwalker?
L.X.: Two things influenced me the most: my admiration for the authors Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, who write the FBI Agent Pendergast series. They blur the lines between science and the supernatural, and their thrillers have an unsettling darkness running through them. I love those books! I’m also inspired by “outsider” characters—people who don’t fit in along with societies that are very unusual and insulated from normal life (like the Amish or the Roma gypsies).
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers will sympathize with them?
L.X.: The heroes are Rurik, ex-strongman and Security Chief of the circus, and Sylvie, who belongs to the sheltered and superstitious Skomori people. Both are underdog characters. They face a lot of prejudice and cruelty in the novel, but despite all the adversity, they never back down from doing what they believe is right or from helping others. They are give-you-the-shirt-off-their-back type characters, or in Sylvie’s case, the wedding veil off her head (to another bride without one). Rurik and Sylvie are the most admirable characters I’ve ever written, and I think readers will root for them.
DJ: What exactly is a “bloodwalker”?
L.X.: Great question! No other interviewer has asked me that one.
In the book, the Skomori are an ancient Slavic race who traditionally take care of the dead by preparing bodies, sewing shrouds, making coffins, digging graves, and carving headstones. During the Black Plague (1300s), so many people died and needed to be buried that the Skomori men became over-busy and women were chosen to collect the dead from nearby cities and towns. The corpse-laden wagons were so foul, leaking blood and pus onto the road, that the women walked barefoot behind them to avoid having their shoes ruined. (In the Middle Ages, new shoes cost a pretty penny.) The women became known as bloodwalkers.
As centuries passed, the bloodwalkers became linked to death in the eyes of other villagers. They took full advantage of this and elevated themselves to the level of seers and advisors to their communities. The superstitious Skomori believe bloodwalkers can communicate with the dead, give messages to the living, and imbue charms with magic to protect against evil.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Bloodwalker?
L.X.: Being a person who’s easily amused by the macabre (and fart jokes), my favorite parts in Bloodwalker are the “Bloodwalker Book” quotes at the beginning of all Sylvie’s chapters and her anecdotes about everything that went wrong when she prepared corpses for burial. It turns out that dead bodies can be less than cooperative and that the relatives object when things happen like the eyelids not staying closed and the eyes rolling sideways, looking in different directions during the wake…
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
L.X.: I expected that most readers and reviewers would talk about the surprising twists and fast pace. But I’ve been looking at reviews and what I didn’t expect was so many women fan-girling over Rurik, the book’s tragic, lightning-scarred hero. I also didn’t expect readers mentioning they tried to google the Skomori people because the level of detail convinced them the group must be real. (Hint: they’re not!)
DJ: What is your goal in writing Bloodwalker? Is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across to readers when it is finally told?
L.X.: There are several topics I explore, like poor self image and persistence despite fear, but although I may have wanted to open readers’ eyes to how people can be “brainwashed” by rigid, insulated societies without realizing it, I think it’s a bad idea for authors to be too “messagy.” Readers want to be entertained, not lectured. All I hope is that they will love the characters and enjoy the exciting story.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Bloodwalker that you can share with us?
L.X.: Here’s one from Rurik’s chapters:
“… with enough vodka, the dead could come back to life.”
And here’s one of the quotes preceding Sylvie’s chapters:
“Bloodwalkers are gifted with exceptionally strong
constitutions, but the price we pay is an early death.
When your time comes, do not fear it. Do not run from it.
Death and bloodwalkers are old friends.
The kind of friends that don’t lie to each other.
~ The Bloodwalker’s Book”
DJ: Now that Bloodwalker is released, what is next for you?
L.X.: At the moment, I’m writing a thriller about a wanted man who must come out of hiding when the tiny Alaskan town his wife and daughter live in suffers a toxic gas attack that makes residents crazy and dangerous. I’m also currently researching a new project that will take place in the catacombs beneath Paris. There are six million skeletons in those tunnels. You can’t get creepier than that!
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/L-X-Cain/e/B01IAFDWMO/
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Bloodwalker that we haven’t talked about yet?
L.X.: Bloodwalker is like nothing they’ve read before. The Skomori society has a wealth of weird habits and beliefs, and the book’s villain is original and terrifying. I enjoy creating fresh mythologies for my books. The only downside is that there’s nothing similar to compare them to—I can’t say, “If you liked Book X, you’ll love my book!” Nope, Bloodwalker is unique.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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*** Bloodwalker is published by Dancing Lemur Press and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon UK | BAM | Barnes & Nobel | Dancing Lemur Press | Goodreads | Kobo
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Lightning flashes. Another child disappears…
When Zorka Circus performs, its big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, there are fewer children in the European towns it leaves behind.
Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the international performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. Nevertheless, he’s determined to find the culprit and stop them before anyone else dies and the only place he can call home is ripped apart by the murders.
Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravediggers and ghoulish bloodwalkers. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict rules, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.
When more bodies turn up, the killer’s trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable.
L.X. Cain was born in the U.S. but now lives on the Red Sea and busily taps away at a laptop, coming up with stories to thrill and entertain readers.
Contact L.X. Cain at: