Are you ready to embark on a journey into the mysterious world of brujería? Look no further than Sinner, the captivating new book by Carol James Marshall. In this thrilling tale, a bruja named Matea discovers her connection to the enigmatic Santa Muerte from birth, setting her on a path filled with cosmic forces, strange intuitions, and a power that threatens to consume her. Now available for purchase on Amazon, Sinner promises an unforgettable exploration of spirituality, destiny, and the supernatural. Get ready to lose yourself in this gripping horror series that seamlessly weaves together culture, religion, and the human experience.
From her earliest days, Matea’s life has been intertwined with Santa Muerte, the personification of death. Haunted by a sense of darkness and intensity, Matea struggles to comprehend the unique cosmic forces that shape her existence. Bound to Santa Muerte since birth, she fears the immense power she may possess. As Matea grapples with her identity and wrestles with the unpredictable forces that surround her, she must also reckon with the question of who can protect her from Santa Muerte’s oppressive influence and whether the world can be kept safe from her own potential.
To delve deeper into the origins and themes of Sinner, I had the opportunity to interview the talented author herself. Carol James Marshall sheds light on her inspiration, character development, and the significance of control and fear in Matea’s journey.
Q: What inspired you to write about a protagonist who is connected to Santa Muerte from birth?
A: I had been thinking about writing about brujas/witches for a couple of years. With Santa Muerte belief rising in popularity, I knew that by blending these two elements, I could explore themes of spirituality, destiny, and the supernatural into a compelling horror series.
Q: Can you describe the process of developing Matea’s character, particularly as she grapples with the power she may possess?
A: I like my characters flawed, real, and raw. To me, a character who’s too evil or too sweet isn’t interesting. All of us are a mixture of both. Matea wants her life to have meaning, to make something of herself, but can’t seem to make headway. When she discovers what Santa Muerte means to her and experiences that power, she gets to see herself in a different light, as something “more than” she thought she was.
Q: “Sinner” seems to explore themes of control and fear. How do you think these themes relate to Matea’s relationship with Santa Muerte?
A: Losing complete control of oneself is a huge fear for me. The idea that my body is doing things that I am experiencing but can’t control terrifies me. Matea gets a taste of the power of being Santa Muerte but then quickly realizes she can’t control it.
Q: What research did you do to accurately portray the religious and cultural elements of the story?
A: I didn’t need to do any research. The culture of the church and brujas I depict in the Santa Muerte series is what my life was like as a child and in my twenties. My mother believed in “the church,” but she also believed in her brujas/witches. The belief that a bruja is a counselor, helper, and protector was ingrained in me throughout my life and is prevalent in Mexican culture. I added the Santa Muerte element because of her rise in popularity.
Q: Without giving too much away, can you tease what readers can expect from the unpredictable events that Matea experiences?
A: I loved that you used the word “unpredictable.” I always aim for unpredictability in my work. Both Matea and Esme will discover who they are at their core and what they are capable of. Being capable of something is not a prediction of going forward with it. We are all capable of many things, but would we do them?
Q: What do you hope readers take away from “Sinner”?
A: I hope readers are interested enough in the characters and culture that they continue reading the series. I wrote the Santa Muerte series to represent my culture. I wanted to share the beliefs in brujas and Santa Muerte with the readers and show them something they might not have known about before. There are many traditional stories about witches, but I don’t believe many people would know the way witches/brujas are viewed in Hispanic culture.
Q: How did you approach balancing the supernatural and realistic elements of the story?
A: Mexican culture, the supernatural, and life go hand in hand. They are water and cup. Mixing the two was utterly natural for me.
Q: In your opinion, what makes “Sinner” unique among other books in the same genre?
A: I believe I am introducing many readers to a belief system they may not be familiar with. In Mexico, brujas are respected and feared. A person goes to a bruja for guidance and help. The bruja will do a spell for you, which is called a trabajo (a work), for a fee which is made to help solve the person’s issues. The belief system is very familiar with countries that believe in “witch doctors” and “voodoo.” I haven’t come across any books, television, or film that truly depicts that.
Q: Are there any particular scenes or moments in the book that you found particularly challenging or rewarding to write?
A: I love the scene in “Sinner” when Santa Muerte appears to Esme when she has drawn a salt circle. The belief of Santa Muerte devotees is that Santa Muerte loves a good time. I wanted scenes with her to be over-the-top dramatic, where she always makes a grand entrance.
Q: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects you have in the works?
A: I’m currently halfway done with writing “Salvation,” which will be book 3 in the trilogy. “Salvation” and the Santa Muerte box set will be released this October. Additionally, there will be a companion novel to the Santa Muerte series. After that, I plan to start writing a vampire series I’ve been thinking about for three years. I believe I have finally ironed out how I want to depict vampires and my characters.
Immerse yourself in the dark and compelling world of Sinner by Carol James Marshall, a gripping horror series that delves into brujería, spirituality, and the supernatural. With its unpredictable events and flawed, relatable characters, Sinner offers readers a unique and captivating experience. Don’t miss out on this thrilling journey—order your copy today from Amazon. Stay connected with Carol James Marshall on Instagram to get updates on her upcoming projects and explore the rich cultural tapestry she weaves through her writing.
A special thanks to Book Lover Blog Tours for the opportunity to feature and arranging this interview.