Is That Your Scythe or Are You Just Happy to Kill Me?

Book 2 in Michele Vail's The Reaper Dairies is called UNCHOSEN.
Unchosen by Michele Vail
Writers are constantly asking, "What if..." and when it came time to ... er, flesh out the story lines for The Reaper Diaries, Michele relied on the experience gained by penning her long-running paranormal romance Broken Heart series. Blending supernatural elements with humor and heart is Michele's signature style as an adult fiction author, which she brought into the young adult genre. When Undeadly debuted in December 2012, Bookish Brunette said, "Molly is a brave, witty and wickedly funny heroine."

Michele's idea for a teenage girl tasked to become a reaper was influenced by darkly comic views of paranormal phenomenon, such as the zombie flicks Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, the hit television series Supernatural, and the horrifyingly hilarious novels Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry, The Sinister Mr. Corpse by Jeff Strand, Jailbait Zombie by Mario Acevedo, and My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland.

Want to know more about Molly? Buy UNCHOSEN today!

Mythos of the Reapers

When ancient Egyptians figured out how to mummify human remains, they also figured out how to re-
Read more about the reaper mythos in Michele Vail's books, Undeadly, Unchosen, and Unbroken.
Anubis, Ruler of Reapers
animate corpses
by using a sliver of the soul they called the "ka." In Egyptian mythology, the soul has seven parts, which all serve a particular purpose. Using this idea as a fictional foundation, Michele based her reaper mythos on five of these soul parts: Ib, Ka, Sheut, Ren and Ba. In her research, she discovered that "heka" was an ancient Egyptian word for magic, so she appropriated it for her new mythos to mean "reaper magic."

So, how did humans end up with reaper gifts? A long, long, loooooong time ago, the uncle of Anubis, the god of chaos named Set, got into a battle royale for Underworld rulership. It was a hot mess of death--and not even the immortals escaped the destruction unscathed. Anubis and his loyal reapers defeated Set and the betrayer reapers, and Set got put into a cage far down into the Underworld. The Reaper Wars is the reason that Anubis granted certain humans reaper powers--splitting them into five distinct abilities to prevent one person from having too much power. Giving humans the powers of reapers served a two-fold purpose: First, Anubis took away the powers of the reapers who fought with Set (save one, his twin sister Anput) as punishment, and second, he recruits new reapers from humans who used their reaper abilities well. Learn more about the heka by watching the short video (less than two minutes) below. Check out the exciting second book in the Reaper Diaries by clicking here!

Enslaving the Dead

In Molly's world, ghosts and zombies have been servants of humans for thousands of years. Michele created a fantasy world that merges with present-day realities by making zombies and spirits as common in homes and businesses as televisions and technology. Of course, zombies in this day and age come with a lot of rules and regulations--at least in the United States and Canada. Unfortunately, zombie mills abound in places like Mexico. Black-market zombification, however, can often lead to human deaths, just like this one in Las Vegas. In The Reaper Diaries, Molly's younger sister, 14-year-old Ally, founds an organization called Citizens for Zombie Rights. In fact, she's the one that put together the following zombie PSA:

The biggest difference between having a walking corpse and a sentient spirit as part of your household is that legal zombies are made in licensed zomporiums--and have been around since ancient times. The acquisitions of sentient spirits, however, is due to an invention created by a Mr. Michael Ruddard in 1898 (around the same time Guglielmo Marconi created the wireless telegraph using radio waves). One reason Ruddard took interest in spirit communication was due the peaking popularity of spiritualism and mediumship in the 19th century. Ruddard's work led to the first SEER (Spirit Extraction, Encapsulation, and Restraining) machine. Nowadays, SEER machines are found in homes, businesses, schools, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Did you know spirits:
  • Cannot be photographed or filmed? (This is why Broadway and live shows have seen such a revival in the last 100 years!)
  • Must have an intact soul to be attached to a SEER? (If the soul's "ka" has been used to zombify the person's remains, there's no way to use the same soul to initiate a spirit extraction.)
  • Will often follow ren hekas around? (If a ghost isn't attached to a SEER, they can only communicate with each other, a ren heka, or sometimes, a human psychic. Believe it or not, the dead really like to talk. A lot.)
  • Of animals are rarely seen? (The theory is that animals are already pure of heart and go straight to the heavens.)
  • Are mentioned in nearly all of Molly's adventures, including UNCHOSEN? (One of her BFFs is a ren heka!)

Michele Vail is the author of the paranormal YA series, The Reaper Diaries.
Paranormal YA Author Michele Vail
Meet Paranormal Teen Fiction Author Michele Vail 

Michele Vail is the author of The Reaper Diaries, a young adult fantasy series set in the modern world with a zombie twist. The stories center on 16-year-old Molly Bartolucci, a reaper-in-training who's learning to deal with love, destiny, and death.

Michele Vail is the pen name of national bestselling paranormal romance author Michele Bardsley (who also writes thriller mysteries under Michele Freeman). The Reaper Diaries consist of three books: Undeadly, Unchosen, and Unbroken.

Don't forget to check out UNCHOSEN, Book 2 in The Reaper Diaries!

UNCHOSEN is also available for the Nook, in Trade Paperback, and in a variety of downloadable formats at Smashwords.