How has your background in science helped with the Nightkeeper novels?
The good news is that my research training (I used to be a lab rat who worked on cloning genes for inherited eye diseases) has definitely helped me track down the information I need to bring the Nightkeeper books to life. I love the history of the ancient Mayan and Egyptian empires, and I’m fascinated by the science surrounding the 2012 end date.
For example, the Maya set their calendar to end on the day—far in their future—that their astronomers precisely calculated that the earth, sun and moon would align as they passed through the dark hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy (which the Maya believed was the entrance to the underworld). It’s just a coincidence that this day corresponds to the symmetrical date of 12/21/12 in the Gregorian calendar … or is it?
That’s one of the many questions the Nightkeepers must answer as they race to find and win their destined mates in order to protect the barrier of psi energy that forms humanity’s last line of defense against the ancient Mayan demons.
More, in each book, I try to bring in a different piece of the Mayan culture: Skykeepers touched on the use of chocolate in Mayan rituals, and this month’s release, Demonkeepers, includes the Mesoamerican ball game, which was the first to use a bouncing rubber game ball—and which, incidentally, could be won by putting the ball through a high, tiny hoop … representing the passage of the sun through the dark spot at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Are we seeing a theme here?
But although it’s a good thing that my research has uncovered a ton of cool details… I struggle to contain my inner nerd when it comes to the stories. As I’m writing, I always want to include all the cool details, and wind up with a way fat manuscript. So then I have to cut it back by focusing on the details that need to be in the story for the sake of the romance and the plot, and aren’t just cases of me thinking ‘ooh, shiny!’
Overall, I do my best to tell a satisfying, sexy love story against a thrilling action backdrop, with enough detail sprinkled in to make the stories into something a little different than the paranormal norm. At least I hope that’s the end result!
FMI about the novels of the Nightkeepers, please visit www.JessicaAndersen.com