THE REBURIALISTS: An Interview with J.C. Nelson

J.C. Nelson's new book THE REBURIALISTS, from Ace, is available now at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Google.

J.C. is my mentor, and I don't mean that in the "smoking a pipe and dolling out sage advice while you crawl through barbed wire and mud" kind of way--although that did happen--but J.C.has worked with me on brushing up a manuscript, and is always good for a hit of street knowledge. This up-and-coming author joined me for a few questions about the newest book.


SG - You've written 3 Grimm Agency novels and a novella. How is THE REBURIALISTS different from your previous series?

JC - The Grimm Agency series is both humorous AND dark at times, mainly because I couldn’t imagine fairy tale creatures adapting to the modern world, and the collision of the two almost always makes me laugh. In The Reburialists, however, I set out to write something different. My original goal was to tell this story with your typical alpha-hero. But the more I got into it, the more I wondered why someone would behave like that, and the exploration took the story to places I didn’t expect.

SG - What can you tell us about Brynner Carson?

JC - Playing off my previous answer, I wanted to look at why someone would leave behind their family, use sex as an escape mechanism, hold everyone at arms length—and believe they were meant to face unimaginable evils.

SG - Egyptian myth plays a big role in the plot. How much research did you do?

JC - Confession time: In the first draft, it was heavily influenced by Egyptian Mythology. But the more i got into the story, the more I understood it was more a look at how the world had been influenced by the co-orgs. For instance, Hieroglyphics (as Grace points out) are usually repetitive - symbolic, followed by spelling out the word is common. But the co-org version combines many different character sets and makes an advanced language capable of expressing ideas that aren’t necessarily easy.  

So I did a great amount of research and then dropped most of it to focus on the story instead. :)

SG - Who would win in a fight between Marissa and Brynner? 

JC - Marissa would hire Brynner to deal with problems, not fight him. Hand to hand? Brynner would win easily - a fight over before it begins. He’s a hulking brute of a man trained in hand to hand combat from the time he was eight. Marissa *loses* most fights she’s in, if we look at it objectively—but it’s driven her to utilize different strengths. Since Marissa is loathe to kill when given a choice, it’s unlikely she would gun him down.

SG - Can we expect more to come for Brynner and the BSI?

JC - That’s up to the readers who buy my books and Ace. I have the events of a second book jotted down in a two page document, but I wanted to make it so that if this is the only one, readers feel like there’s a rock solid sense of closure. So how do we get a second book? Well, while the ending of The Reburialists looks nice and solid, some major changes have been set in motion that aren’t immediately apparent.

SG - Favorite scene from THE REBURIALISTS you can share?

JC - The scene I still love to read is when Grace sits down to eat dinner with Brynner’s aunt and uncle that first night. It’s where we get to see she’s not some “bitter, angry atheist” — she’s a rational person who works through science to understand everything, while they are deeply religious, loving people who believe it’s their destiny to deal with the re-animus.  The conflict there lets me show them as more than caricatures - the angry atheist, the foolish religious person.

SG - Favorite SFF archetype? 

JC - I’m a huge fan of evil overlords and minions. Evil overlords because…lava lair, of course. Plus, they have armies willing to obey their every command, vicious pets willing to devour people, and they don’t have to deal with home-owners associations. Evil overlords rule.


From the cover:

Burying the dead is easy.  Keeping them down is difficult.
At the Bureau of Special Investigations, agents encounter all sorts of paranormal evils. So for Agent Brynner Carson, driving a stake through a rampaging three-week-old corpse is par for the course. Except this cadaver is different. It’s talking—and it has a message about his father, Heinrich.
The reanimated stiff delivers an ultimatum written in bloody hieroglyphics, and BSI Senior Analyst Grace Roberts is called in to translate. It seems that Heinrich Carson stole the heart of Ra-Ame, the long-dead god of the Re-Animus. She wants it back. The only problem is Heinrich took the secret of its location to his grave.
With the arrival of Ra-Ame looming and her undead army wreaking havoc, Brynner and Grace must race to find the key to stopping her. It’s a race they can’t afford to lose, but then again, it’s just another day on the job . . .