J.T. Hall on the Yokai, Asian Mythology, and her release ‘Fraud Twice Felt (The Oddities #2)’ (guest blog and giveaway)

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Fraud Twice Felt (The Oddities #2) by J.T. Hall
R
iptide Publishing
Cover by: L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase from Riptide Publishing

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J.T. Hall here today talking about the influences in her latest story in her Oddities series, Fraud Twice Felt.  Welcome, J.T.

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Yokai in the Oddities Series by J.T. Hall

No, I’m not talking about the popular anime series, but the “real” yokai, or Japanese legends of spirits which often take on monstrous forms and torment mankind.

I’ve always had a fascination with Japan and Japanese culture. I don’t know why, but I find their culture intriguing, from the grace and beauty of geisha, origami and bonsai trees to the crazy and often funny television shows and manga. My partner is Japanese-American, and we were fortunate enough to be able to visit Japan several years ago. I’ve been wanting to include more of this cultural influence into my writing ever since.

When I started designing a gay paranormal romance series, I didn’t want the typical vampires and werewolves and other European monsters. I’d read up a lot about Shintoism and the concept in Japan that everything has a spirit. So I decided in my “demon-infested” world that the so-called demons would come from Asian mythology rather than European. And since this is set in the Pacific Northwest where there’s a large Japanese community, having yokai seemed appropriate.

The term “yokai” is made up of kanji for “bewitching” and “apparition,” “spectre,” or” mystery,” so basically it means a bewitching ghost. The term was used during the Meiji period (1868-1912); previously the same types of creatures had a different name that relates more to the spirits within things.

The whole concept behind the yokai is that they are the life energy that dwells within all things, and they take various forms, often to the detriment of humans. In the lore, various forms came from the stories of different religions including Shintoism, Taoism, and Buddhism. In fact, yokai don’t have to be of Japanese origin at all—any strange, supernatural entity (like Bigfoot, a will-o-the-wisp, etc.) is described in Japan as a yokai. The term includes any mysterious being.

Because of all these different meanings and origins, and because there are really no rules about dealing with yokai, I felt they were perfect for the series. The yokai in the Oddities series are interchangeably referred to as either yokai or demons—the latter is more used by those of European descent or Judeo-Christian faiths. After all, there is no Hell in Japanese lore but outsiders might not know that. In the background of the world, German scientists opened up a portal between the natural world and the supernatural in their quest for the atomic bomb, and this allowed the yokai to begin manifesting on Earth wherever there is nature. (This ties in nicely with the Shinto beliefs that everything has a spirit). While there are religious figures shouting that this is the Apocalypse and that these are demons out of Hell, in this world the Japanese lore is actually the reality, so those views are misguided.

I hope readers enjoy these spirits and monsters out of Japanese lore as they read Book 2 of the Oddities series, Fraud Twice Felt.

About Fraud Twice Felt

Three weeks after solving his old boyfriend’s murder, bounty hunter Derwin Bryant is trying to let go of the past and embrace his new life with Elliot Leed, a former rentboy and fellow Oddity. Elliot, meanwhile, is trying to adjust to working at Bob’s Bail Bonds and having a real relationship despite his strange power of Object Reading. Hanging over the couple is the fear that Roy Yoshiro, notorious gang lord, will make good on his threats to claim Elliot. If that happens, not even Derwin’s superhuman strength will be enough to protect the man he loves.

Their concerns are overshadowed when Derwin’s friend asks for help finding her missing son. It’s not long before the case takes Derwin and Elliot back to the crime-ridden underbelly of the city and straight into Yoshiro’s clutches. Two gangs are vying for power, and Derwin and Elliot get caught in the middle of their very public fight.

Derwin and Elliot must find a way to thwart both gangs’ plans and escape alive. This time, one misstep could spell disaster for all the inhabitants of Nis.

Available now from Riptide Publishing

About The Oddities Series

The government wants to control Oddities. Regular people condemn them. And the corporations want to study their DNA . . .

Derwin Bryant is a bounty hunter, a demon hunter, and has an Oddity that allows him to feed on pain to increase his strength and speed. Elliot Leed is a rent boy turned private investigator with a rare Oddity of his own—the ability to read objects with strong emotional imprints. Together they take on cases that no one else can, in a city full of corruption, crime, and the forgotten poor.

It’s a tough place for two men in love to make a difference.

Check out The Oddities! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/oddities

About J.T. Hall

J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her Master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts.

Connect with J.T.:

Blog: jthallwriting.wordpress.com

Twitter: @JTHall7

Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/jthallwriting

GoodReads

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Fraud Twice Felt, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit and an ebook from J.T.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 3, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

7 thoughts on “J.T. Hall on the Yokai, Asian Mythology, and her release ‘Fraud Twice Felt (The Oddities #2)’ (guest blog and giveaway)

  1. I first read stories with Yokai years ago and it made me look up the myth online, it’s quite interesting. Thank you for this post and congrats on your newest book release, JT. I so enjoy the Oddities series and looking forward to more stories.

    Like

  2. I first the term yokai from my sister who studies Japanese literature. I’m getting quite intrigued with this book. Need to catch up with book #1 first though. Thanks for the whole blog tour, J.T.

    amie_07(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Like

  3. It’s been a while but i first heard the term yokai through manga and then anime. The book looks great and I wish you much success with the release =)
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    Like

  4. Congrats and I like that you used Yokai in the series. It makes this book sound even more interesting, as well as the series. I love the idea of special powers, especially with mixing it into a crime thriller\gay romance combo. –
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

    Like

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