How I came up with the Underbelly Series
Believe it or not, I got the idea for this series at a Motley Crue show.
All these middle-aged women were flashing their middle-aged boobs at middle-aged drummer Tommy Lee, and frankly I was…boggling. The loincloth-wearing Mr. Lee, clearly enjoying himself immensely, seemed to have an almost mythological power over these women. I thought to myself, “Do they think he's half-incubus or something?"
POW. Faster than you can say “Shout at the Devil,” my thoughts were flying. The next morning I woke up early, went to a local coffee shop, and started building the Underbelly Chronicles world, where humanity unknowingly shares the planet with sex demons, vampires, sirens, faeries, Valkyrie, werewolves, and other creatures of myth.
What if Tommy Lee was an incubus or sex demon? My first world-building task was the origin question. If I was going to create a world where incubi and other mythological creatures were real—and I was—how did they get here? How did they come to exist in the first place? I knew I had to find a “logical” explanation, or I wouldn't be satisfied with the set-up.
Logic. Mr. Spock. ALIENS. Aliens were the answer—or rather, creatures of extra-planetary origin, to be precise. As a science geek and a longtime science fiction fan, I have long thought that the math supported the theory of the existence of intelligent life away from Earth, so it didn’t take me long to envision the bare bones of a scenario where a spaceship carrying paranormal creatures, en route to… somewhere else, crashed here several thousand years ago. Hopelessly marooned, the survivors leveraged ancient human stories and myths...or did they create them? The series, set in present-day Minneapolis, follows the lives and loves of the survivors’ descendants, exploring the challenges they’re experiencing trying to stay under humanity’s radar in these days of burgeoning technology.
Using human mythology as a jumping off point, I crafted the various paranormal species’ physical traits, abilities and characteristics with an eye towards maximizing internal and external conflict. What were their strengths and weaknesses? In the world that I've created, incubi and succubi secrete luscious pheromones maximizing their sexual attractiveness, and must absorb emotional energy—particularly sexual energy— for sustenance. Sirens amplify emotional energy with their voices. The Valkyrie have hyperactive adrenal systems which makes them vicious fighters and aggressive lovers. Werewolves, the only shape shifters in my world, have amazing scenting abilities and a high level of visual acuity, but are starting to exhibit some genetic frailties as a species due to inbreeding. Faeries have stunning empathic abilities, and my vampires, allergic to Earth's UV rays, drink blood for its hemoglobin, which has healing properties.
So, the paranormal species inhabiting my series’ world have some unusual abilities, characteristics, and susceptibilities—when assessed by Earth-bound humans—only because these species evolved somewhere else, on adjacent branches of humanity’s family tree, on worlds where these characteristics gave them a survival advantage. There’s nothing mystical or magical about it. And having been here on Earth for nearly three thousand years, their evolution has taken an unexpected turn.
Because they’ve mated. With us.
Where do I see this series going? Given my characters’ extra-planetary origins…the sky’s the limit! ;-)
Link to excerpt: here. (feel free to post the link, or to copy and paste the excerpt text in its entirety)
CHASE ME BY TAMARA HOGAN – IN STORES JUNE 2012
THE SECRETS SHE'S UNCOVERING WILL BE HIS TO KEEP...
Centuries ago, when their ship crashed to Earth, paranormals of all types settled secretly into our world, quietly going about their business with humans none the wiser. Self–ruling and careful to stay below the radar, all is threatened when Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger and her werewolf geologist partner Gabe Lupinsky inadvertently draw evil attention to Earth and its treasured natural resources.
As the threat intensifies, Lorin and Gabe struggle to contain the chaos they've unleashed, and to resist their explosive mutual attraction...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives near Minneapolis with her partner Mark and two naughty cats. When she's not telecommuting as a quality and process engineer for a global networking company, she enjoys writing edgy urban fantasy romance with a sci-fi twist. A feral reader with an unapologetic television addiction, Tammy is forever on the lookout for the perfect black boots. Her debut, Taste Me, was a 2009 Daphne Paranormal Winner and 2009 Golden Heart Finalist. For more information, please visit http://www.tamarahogan.com/ or follow her on Twitter, @TamaraHogan1.
-- Lynda Again
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