by Erin Fanning
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Every year on Halloween, the god of the Mayan underworld holds a demonic ball and auction. Many attend; not everyone survives…
It's called El Toque de la Luna--The Touch of the Moon. At least that's how nineteen-year-old Gabby's older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving--or devastating--the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head--until a man resembling a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But "Mr. C" is far from sweet...
Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters--and on a mission to destroy Esperanza's tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster... And before it's too late to confess their true feelings for each other.
Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s also the author of Mountain Biking Michigan, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories.
In a nutshell, what is "Blood Stitches" about?
It’s about a family who can knit magic, creating tapestries capable of apocalyptic disasters, and what happens when the younger sister must destroy the tapestries. It touches on the classic themes of good vs. evil, family relationships, and why some people seem to be attracted to darkness.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I split my time between my home-state of Idaho and Michigan, where my husband grew up. Both places are very rural and remote, particularly where we live in northern Michigan, perfect for letting the imagination roam, searching the landscape for fantastical creatures and other story ideas.
Is this your first book? How long was the writing and publishing process?
Like most writers, I started putting words onto paper when I was very young and that continued through college when I majored in journalism. I took a short hiatus to work as a librarian, enjoying my first love, reading, and then I got back to writing seriously about 18 years ago. Since then I’ve published a mountain biking guidebook, a collection of short stories, and several stories in anthologies, as well as many articles and essays. But Blood Stitches is the longest stand-alone piece of fiction I’ve published.
How did you come up with this story? What inspired you to write it?
In 2009, an Italian woman, trapped underneath her bed after an earthquake, kept herself occupied by knitting. I read about her around the same time I was learning how to knit. I imagined firefighters digging through the rubble and finding her wrapped in a knitted afghan.
The story tumbled around in my brain, somehow intersecting with my interest in Mexican culture. From there, I discovered the Mayan twin myth and the battle with the demon Vucub Caquix. Bit and pieces of Mayan mythology adhered themselves to my imagination, morphing into a history of magic and needlework.
Soon Gabby and her family formed, along with a question: what if you could not only knit your way to safety but also create a disaster through knitting. It wasn’t long afterward that Blood Stitches pushed its way through my fingertips.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Never give up: the publishing world rewards hard work and dedication. Sometimes I think success in writing has more to do with patience, perseverance, and the ability to revise than raw talent.
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