Originally published via Foxton Files, May 4, 2013
An Interview with
Fables Of The Reconstructionauthor
Abbie Foxton picks brains and swaps recipes with the Queen of Zombie Erotica.
Greetings to you Pomba Gira Molambo – much respect!
When I told workmates that I was reading a most intriguing tale of zombie sex, life & death set in Steampunk London, jaws dropped and an eerie silence filled the kitchen. I couldn’t begin to describe to them how this novella affected me. How quickly it was devoured… how much I needed it.
I made some grunting noises, dragged my arse back to my bench and assumed the position – to my day in, day out . This scenario seemed so much more dire because of this book. Hunter S Jones filled me with a passion fire. This book changed my life.
Fables Of The Reconstruction is more than what it seems. It will cast a spell. In what form that manifests itself, will be up to the reader – it’s a personal thing. For me, it was the beginning of an old pursued passion, something long forgotten – a dance into the underground to expose the magic within.
I’m glad it didn’t take the heart of a virgin dove, a snake head and some Laudanum to convince The Huntress to be with us today. Her Southern charm and lust for life, shine even through the ether. Her blog Exile On Peachtree Street -another musical reference – is a homage to The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street. This was an album that received it’s accolades in retrospect, but was always a darling of musos and journos around the world. This album is one of Hunter’s favourites. The Peachtree bit? Well, that’s a reference to her current digs in Atlanta Georgia.
Coincidentally, Hunter lives not far from the Pulitzer Prize winning author Margaret Mitchell. MM’s little book, Gone With The Wind – with it’s heroine Scarlett O’Hara, who fiddle dee dee’d while Tara burned - is a wonderful connection to make with Ms Jones – strong in mind and character, as Mitchell was – and it is a thrill to share the page with her.
“Thanks Abbie and thank you for having me on your blog today”. – See what I mean, a beautiful spirit (and she says ‘she is the one your mother warned you about!’ well…she still may be right about that)
In this hectic 21st Century we inhabit, full time writing is a luxurious pastime. Indie authors often have their nine to five before they even attempt to nut out a plot. An exhausting existence. It is fundamentally the life of a loner – or at least someone who likes to spend the bulk of their waking hours in their own company and thoughts. It owns and controls you. It becomes obsession. Writers make sacrifices, but in itself, the writing process can be very selfish.
It was time for Ms Jones to be in a luxurious position. Due to a severe Achilles injury, Hunter had to make a choice. Her situation put her in a classic ‘T’ – two paths to go down.
“Was it a quick decision for you to turn your unfortunate predicament into a positive experience?”
“The decision to write following my accident was something I saw as an opportunity. I had been having dreams about Pierre for years and decided to begin writing them down”.
Monsieur Pierre von Minzle is the most ‘gorgeous’ Belgian Zombie ever to walk London’s Whitechapel circa 1890. His sexual prowess and spell over the insatiable prostitute and partner in brain crime, Mary Montague, will sizzle your mind and make it very hard for you to walk. Minzle’s forked tongue – an added bonus to quivering quims.
“From there, the story ofFables Of the Reconstruction developed – The working title was Fables Of The Reconstruction Of My Leg. So, there is a hidden meaning there, too”.
“Well, It’s good to see you had some humour during your ordeal, takes time to heal and you probably felt a little like a Zombie reanimating – learning to walk, like Bambi taking his first steps?”
“In your storytelling style throughout Fables…, it feels like you are paying homage to one of your favourite authors Anne Rice, in that you use an interview style like narrative – character’s thoughts in first person that have a journalistic rhythm – Hunter as reporter, but not as Gonzo as her namesake. Was this approach a conscious take to reveal the story or just channeled naturally?”
“The story began as Pierre watching Mary Montague’s every move. Then, watching all the characters – something of an all seeing – all knowing point of view. My editor felt it was too complicated for an author who had no audience, so the story developed in the first person format”.
“A omnipotent voyeur would have made his character even more powerful, too potent. He is a most magnificent creation.”
“You couldn’t have picked a more seductive, strange and powerful diety for your Fables…than Pomba Gira. What was the lure that chose you to her or her to you?”
“While researching Voodoo, Pomba Gira kept appearing. So, I began researching Her. She is revered in African, Spanish, Portuguese and in some Haitian and Santeria cults. She is also the Goddess of the Guitar. Being from Nashville, there was nothing to do but dedicate my first book to her and weave her in, in some fashion, throughout Fables…”
“Many of your ideas come to you in dreams and in water. This imagery conjures a birth of ideas. Dreams I get, but what is it about the water?”
“I really don’t know, but an idea can appear to me even when I’m doing something as simple as washing dishes”.
“I can’t see you washing dishes. I just envisage you sitting on the porch with your black lace fan, writing, sipping mint juleps. Talking of visions… that cover! It is what initially drew me to your work. Great design.”
“Robin Ludwig does all my artwork and design layout. Her talent and insight are amazing. For Fables… cover, I sent her three pictures and let her know the colour scheme had to be black-white-red”
“My three favourite colours and Pomba Gira’s colours are red & black. So it was a no brainer (pun intended). Robin returned the draft to me THAT afternoon. She so understands my vision”.
The novella is such a seductive size to read, an hour of your time and your lost in the lamplight. It is a perfect vehicle for Hunter’s words, well at least for the time being. When I think about Zombies in film, literature and cultures around the world, they are usually linked with the deprived. A history linked with slavery and voodoo cults. InFables Of the Reconstruction no one is spared. Hunter has joined the upper and under classes ‘in this undead world together’ The English author R.J Askew – on reviewingFables…http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/571539912 – asked the question ‘perhaps life makes Zombies of us all’. A demanding life to devour more. An observation that Hunter agrees. But don’t think that that reality lessens the erotic rumblings that rage on every page.
“The sex you describe is mind blowing! And you don’t muck around. I suppose being a novella there was no time to waste. Did you challenge yourself to see just how ‘down and dirty’ you could go?”
“No…There was no challenge. It was that crazy Pierre! But really, can you write about prostitutes and not include sex?
“A little bit of a challenge”. ‘Mary made the bed then went to the kitchen to make tea’…”Maybe? …not as fun though as your Zombie ladies of the night”.
“You are somewhat of an anglophile. One gets a feel you know and have a historical sense of the place – it’s mood and cadence - all cogs, leg o’muffin sleeves and corsets. Is this an era that you are fascinated with or does it go into a deeper past?”
“I’m not sure, Abbie. I just wanted to find a place where today’s zombies could be born. Victorian Whitechapel seemed a logical choice, so I emailed one of the top zombie experts in the UK and asked him if it would be feasible for today’s zombies to originate and hide out in Whitechapel. His reply was a one word email that said…Brilliant!”
I want that job, Zombie expert! What a pick-up line.
“You paint strong female characters, even the less fortunate Polly Poppet knows what she wants. I see strong woman references all around you from your blog to other characters you have created.”
“That’s probably due to my Cherokee ancestors. The independent nature of the Cherokee woman is legendary. Maybe some traits are inherited. Or, maybe those traits come through in my stories. The old story is that if you can find a reason to make a Cherokee woman stay with you, you’d better take it because she’ll move on to the next opportunity.”
“The Cherokee spirit comes to the fore in your flash fictionTales Of The New Amsterdam: The Legend. The ‘no limits… ‘ lust explosion of Suzie and Tommy was mesmerising. I love flash! They enter the bloodstream like a quick fix. Susie (also Cherokee) talks of the act of ‘taking your blanket’, if you feel compelled to take a new lover you are free to take that blanket to another man – no guilt?”
“The women were allowed to move on if a man didn’t fulfill his obligations to her or if he was found unsuitable, She could move on to a more acceptable mate. They didn’t have the cultural/societal mores that we have today. Their’s was a matriarchal society were the women made the decisions at every level.”
“Do you have an animal totem?”
“The Hawk. The Crow, The Hummingbird. The Cat. Three others will be revealed to me during life’s journey”.
“…and if you carried an amulet, what would you have in it?”
That leads us on to A Celtic Tapestry. Eight female authors, eight Celtic festivals and a story on each. Hunter’s Magic In Memphis is a folktale of traditions, ritual, respect, reflection, beauty and ancestor worship. Honouring the eternal cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. James Departs is one of the most perfect paragraphs I have ever read. Her partners in fiction equally mesmerising.
“Voodoo to Celts, similarities in the ancient practices of runes, talismans and spells. These sub cultural practices have a link wouldn’t you say”.
“Yes, all the ancient beliefs appear to have many components in common. It’s very fascinating to study them.
“Your book Fables Of The Reconstruction is taken from the same title of the brilliant 1985 release from fellow Georgia band REM. The flip-side label to that release wasReconstruction Of The Fables – a double homage with your second book release taking on the title. How is that progressing?”
“It’s on hold for a while because Pierre hasn’t given me any insight recently. Plus, I’m involved in a couple of great projects that are taking place – tell you all about them soon.”
“REM’s Can’t Get There From Here, Driver 8 – love it!”
“Fables Of The Reconstruction is one of the greatest albums of all time” agree. “There isn’t a bad song on that album. It is so complex, so layered, so beautiful. Words, imagery, music…it’s all there. Supposedly, one of the meanings is the deconstruction of literature. It’s just so deep.”
The Indie scene plays a big part in Hunters life. Indie authors and Indie music, it’s the “Independent rebelliousness of it all” that attracts Hunter and you can find her music and writing on ExPats post http://expatspost.com/?s=Hunter+S.+Jones. Creativity is more without guidelines. And, as the boys from Athens Georgia blurted ‘Philomath they know, they low down’
“So, I’ve heard in past lives, that writers were once circus performers – I’m thinking Hemingway as lion tamer, Shakespeare being shot out of a canon and Steinbeck trying to sweep Weary Willie -like, his spotlight into a dustpan. What was your act, your trick.”