Kalayna Price's Grave Undertaking

Kaylana Price kicks off her new urban fantasy series with this month's release, Grave Witch. The series heroine, Alex, has the ability to see into the world of spirits and this witch's powers are attracting the attention of an unusual admirer. Get an inside look at the world of a heroine who is not afraid to flirt with Death!

My vision narrowed, leaving the world faded behind a patina of gray. Flakes of rust covered the stainless steel gurney, and the threadbare, tattered linen sheet covering the body rippled in the breeze blowing through me. The linoleum floor under my boots had worn away, and the cement beneath it crumbled. Outside the circle, John’s wrinkled jacket was pocked with holes, but he was filled with light, his soul a dazzling shimmer of pale yellow.

Alex Craft, the main character in Grave Witch, raises shades, talks to ghosts, and even flirts with Death himself. She’s a grave witch, a voice for the dead, and with so much interaction from beyond the grave, I knew as soon as I started plotting the series that my world building would have to explain what happens after a character dies. 

In Alex’s world, ghosts exist on a separate plane. This plane overlays the mortal world perfectly, but in the spirit world, everything is dead and decaying. It is a bleak place where the buildings crumble, the fauna withers, and the lost souls gaze at the shadows of the living. When Alex uses her magic, her psyche bridges the gap between those planes, allowing her to interact with the dead but also thrusting her into the spirit world. It’s a dreary place, and extended exposure has physical consequences for Alex, but it is also a source of power because she must draw ‘grave essence’ from the dead and the spirit world to raise shades. 

Shades, unlike ghosts, aren’t lost souls, but are constructed from the memories trapped in every cell of a dead body. Alex’s magic gives these memories shape and form so that the living may question the dead. The distinction was very important in my world building because Death failing to take a soul is a rare occurrence, a special circumstance. I wanted Alex to be able to question the dead, but I didn’t want her to know all the secrets in store for a human soul. 

- Kaylana Price

You can now pick up your copy of Grave Witch from bookstores everywhere.