Today I'm really excited to welcome author Kate Evangelista here at my place to celebrate the release of her debut novel, Taste. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to read and review Taste as a member of Book Lovers and as soon as I finished reading it, I was so in love with it that I just couldn't pass the opportunity to work with Kate a little more. After all, I was so intrigued by the Zvamvy myth, I just wanted to know as much as possible about it and its inspiration. And what better way that let Kate explain everything herself. So, please welcome Kate Evangelista and don't forget to check at the end of the post for your chance to win a copy of Taste.
by Kate Evangelista
Before I discuss how the Zhamvy mythos evolved, I first need to share with all of you the genesis of Taste.
As many of you might have read from several interviews, I used to teach high school. And at one of the schools I used to teach at, there is this practice of ringing a bell in the afternoon to signal to the students still on campus that they have to wait by the gate to be picked up by their parents. This meant no students should be on campus at a certain time.
The practical reason for this has to do with the nuns who run the school being at prayer and cannot be disturbed.
In my head, something happened on campus at night that the students during the day shouldn't know about. I imagined corpses rising from the ground and going to school. This is the beginning of Taste.
When I'm writing something new, I keep the research to a minimum to avoid cross contaminating my creativity with information already out there. This meant I didn't really look into the zombie myth as much.
At the time I was writing Taste, vampires were all the rage. Twilight was hot. So, I thought to myself that I wanted to go a different route. Zombies came to mind since they weren't the trend. I guess, since Taste took a while to reach readers, the trend of Zombies over took me. *laughs*
But I digress.
To be honest, I never thought of the Zhamvy as zombies. They are more like a race of apex predators. In real life, humans are the apex predators because nothing eats us. So, I thought: what if there are creatures that are very similar to humans but live off human flesh? That's how the Zhamvy were born. They are essentially the hunters of humans. An evolved, better, more long-lived version of the humans.
But, as with many great civilizations, something happened that forced them underground. I would spoil the story of Taste here by mentioning what that thing is.
So, if they are not zombies, then where did the idea of zombies come from? You might ask.
The basic definition of a zombie is an animated corpse. Now, depending on who you believe, these creatures attack and eat humans. At least that's what happens in some capacity in every zombie apocalypse movie.
The walking dead.
Well, in Taste, the Zhamvy essentially become the walking dead for a different reason. Their civilization is dying, and the only reason they've held on for so long had to do with the underhanded tactics of Dray, the Zhamvy bent on saving them and the humans too.
I love the Zhamvy. Their society is based on a caste system without the extreme prejudice that usually comes with castes. They segregate themselves based on their hair and eye color, and they are bred for specific tasks. Through Luka's and Demitri's descriptions, I've had the privilege of exploring their world, which I hope you will do to by reading Taste.
At the end of day, the Zhamvy were born from the simple idea of ringing a bell in the afternoons. When I'm asked what inspires me, I always say anything and everything. If you're open to everything, anything can inspire you. If it weren't for my experience of teaching, I wouldn’t have come across the ringing of the bell. And if it weren't for that, Taste would never have been written.
Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. To learn more about the Zhamvy, please grab your copy of Taste. It's not your typical paranormal romance. I really want you to meet Demitri, Luka, Dray, Calixta, Yana, and the rest of the Zhamvy. Happy reading!
Thank you so much Kate for stopping by today :)
Visit Kate here:
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans. When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn't realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.
Kate has generously offered an e-book of Taste to one lucky winner. (Open Internationally)
~ The contest is open Internationally.
~ You must be 13 years old or over to participate.
~ The winner will be chosen via Random.org
~ The prize is submitted by the author/publisher and I have no responsibility whatsoever over it.
~ The contest will be open until August 5th
~ The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have 48 hours to confirm his/her e-mail address before a new winner is selected.
~Fill the form below to enter ~