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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

ℚ MudMan: The Golem Chronicles [1] - James A. Hunter

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about MudMan (, Shadow Alley Press, Inc., 327 pages), a Adult Urban Fantasy, book one of The Golem Chronicles.

Levi Adams isn't good in social settings, but he's great at killing things. A dark tale of vengeance and redemption (with a healthy dose of ass kicking), James Hunter's MudMan is a knockdown beat-'em-up that doesn't pull any punches.” –Domino Finn, author of the Black Magic Outlaw series


Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Tour Stops


Hello James, welcome to BooksChatter!
"Hey folks, my name is James Hunter and I’m a former Marine Corps Sergeant, combat veteran, and pirate hunter (seriously).  I’m also an Urban Fantasy writer—not that you’ll catch me making that confession in public.

I’m the author of the Yancy Lazarus series and now the Golem Chronicles, which revolves around the adventures and various shenanigans of Levi Adams: a homicidal, shapeshifting golem, crafted from the muck, mire, and corpses of a World War II concentration camp.

Levi’s been saddled with a divine commission to dole out judgment on those who shed innocent blood.  After seventy years as a cold-blooded murder machine, however, the disgruntled MudMan is trying to change his grisly nature.

I’d just like to take a quick moment to thank BooksChatter for having me on this excellent blog."
It's a pleasure to have you here. And thank you for that fantastic introduction :-)

What was the inspiration for MudMan?

"Though I love urban fantasy in all its various forms, I really wanted to write a character that hasn’t been done before (or at least not often).  I hold a degree in theology, so I was familiar with the legend of the Jewish Golem—who is typically ugly, dumb, violent, and generally a terrible hero—and thought it would be cool to see a golem take center stage as the good guy. Though in truth Levi’s isn’t really a good guy; he’s been programmed to murder and it’s taken him years to curb his murderous lust."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Each book, to a certain extent, has elements of my own life and experiences woven throughout.  There’s an old writer’s axiom, Write what you know—I’m a history buff, a theologian (at least on paper), and I love mythology, and I think that shines through in my work."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for MudMan by Lou Harper.
"Book covers sell books, no two ways about it.  I really like the cover for MudMan and I think it captures the tone and genre well: dark, gritty, bloody, with a hero who doesn’t exactly conform to the typical hero mould."
Why should we read MudMan and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Though my other urban fantasy series—the Yancy Lazarus series—falls more in line with the traditional urban fantasy troupes, there isn’t much on the market like MudMan.

Levi is a golem, pulled from the pages of Jewish lore, with a divine commission to dole out judgment on those who shed innocent blood.  He has World War II related PTSD, and is also a Mennonite who is desperately working to kick his murder addiction.  He’s extremely socially awkward, ugly as sin, can shapeshift, and uses his golden blood (called ichor) as a weapon.

Plus, there’s a mad-doctor, a pre-Babylonian murder god, Atlantis, and a rough-edged female lead named Punk Rock Sally.

Generally, my books are shoot-‘em-up, magic-slinging, roller coaster rides that are high on entertainment, which is just the way I like ‘em."
Can you tell us something quirky about MudMan, its story and characters?
"Levi Adams, the MudMan, is inspired by the legendary Golem of Prague.  Though Golems are occasionally seen in Dungeons and Dragons manuals, they aren’t necessarily a mainstay in current Urban Fantasy, nor are they typically the heroes of the story.  But Golems do have a long and rich history, steeped in Jewish mysticismKabbalah. Ancient Jewish mystics believed it was possible, through study and discipline, to imitate the miracles of God found in the Old Testament.  Arguably, God’s greatest miracle was the creation of man from the dust of the earth.  Kabalistic Rabbis, likewise, believed that a MudMan, or Golem, could be crafted and brought to life, though it would lack the divine spark.

In the 16th century a renowned Rabbi, Judah Loew ben Bezalel, is said to have built a golem of clay, who was brought to life and charged with protecting the Jews living in the Prague ghettos from anti-Semites.  He was a powerful creature who, purportedly, could make himself invisible and summon spirits back from the grave.  And, according to legend, the remains of the golem are still stored in the attic of a Synagogue in Prague, so that he may be reawakened if the need ever arises again.  Levi draws on this rich tradition, while also altering a number of significant features."
Who would you recommend MudMan to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Though this book might be appropriate for someone in high school, my intended audience is adult. The book is quite dark, there is violence and a smattering of foul language, though there is no sex whatsoever. Also, if you are particularly sensitive toward holocaust issues, this book does have a few scenes that depict the horrendous conditions of Nazi concentration camps."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Right now my mainstay genre is urban/dark fantasy in all its wonderful and morbid forms.  Originally, though, I started out writing horror novels and short stories and someday I may swing back that way.  I also have an idea for a more traditional high-fantasy, which I would like to get around to writing one day."
What is in store next?
""Though MudMan is the first book in a potential series, as of right now I have no plans for follow-up books in the Golem Chronicles.  I’m going to wait and see if my readers are interested in reading more about Levi before I commit to a book two.

Right now, I’m working on a new novella and a full-length fourth book for my primary urban fantasy series, the Yancy Lazarus series.""
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Sadly, no cats, but I do have two wonderful children who mean the world to me (my son, Sam, was just born a few weeks ago)."
Fantastic - thank you for sharing! I will definitely have to get myself a copy of MudMan ;-)

MudMan
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