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I’m often asked how I ever managed a writing career with five kids. The Unholy is one of those great examples of how having five kids can actually help a writer!
Of course, the “helping” began long ago. Thanks to the kids, I learned about Little League, music, dance and more, went on phenomenal trips, read great books and saw phenomenal movies. Kids always make life an adventure.
In this specific case, it’s because of the world of fascinating people you can meet through your children.
The Unholy came about because of a beautiful and talented young friend of Shayne and Bryee-Annon. She grew up just houses away from us.
She went off to California to work.
And, due to the talent she cultivated and the skills she learned, she wound up with a pretty spectacular job.
Michelle works for a special effects studio, one that’s involved with some of the most talked- about and popular movies of our time. She also works on commercials and other video ventures, makes costumes you could die for—and dresses some of the biggest names on the silver screen. Not to put her on the spot or give away too much…I’ll just say that she helped with a character who created a costume with a technology that allows him to fly, battle gods from another world, and even divert a nuclear explosion.
Because Michelle is a friend, she brought my family in to see her studio—shortly before it went into lockdown for one of the blockbusters now playing in theaters.
Seeing the studio was an experience I’ll never forget.
There were scary monsters, sometimes in pieces. There were charming piggies now gracing a number of commercials. We saw mannequin women who were stunning—until you realized that one side of their faces had been eaten away.
There were giant spiders, zombies, mutated beings, vampires and werewolves. Plus costumes for super heroes, boxes of storage, backdrops, sets and more.
And standing there, I couldn’t help but imagine what it would feel like to be there alone, in the dark, with only emergency lights….
What if one of the creatures or characters suddenly began to move?
I wondered, too, what it would be like to be Michelle. Someone who works so hard to create these fantastic illusions. Some so horrific, some so comic-world super-spectacular—and some incredibly beautiful.
I asked her if she was ever scared herself, working on these special effects.
“Everyone can be a little scared sometimes,” she told me.
I was mulling over my second set of Krewe of Hunter books at the time, and, of course, I knew instantly that one of them was going to take place in Hollywood at just such a studio. Luckily, I already had a character who’d worked in film and special effects. He was in Texas at the time (having made his first appearance in The Unseen), but hey, he’s a good guy and definitely deserves his own book.
The Unholy was truly a labor of love. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
- Heather Graham
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