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Faith Hunter | Conversations in Character with Nell Nicholson Ingram

Rift in the Soul
Faith Hunter




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Soulwood #6

March 2024
On Sale: March 5, 2024
384 pages
ISBN: 0593335791
EAN: 9780593335796
Kindle: B0BHD9SMF7
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Faith Hunter:
Rift in the Soul, March 2024
Final Heir, September 2022
Dirty Deeds 2, June 2022
Of Claws and Fangs, March 2022


Nell Nicholson Ingram, how would you describe your family or your childhood?
When I was very small, I thought it was wonderful. I had dozens of half sibs, true sibs, and cousins galore. We played together, fought, hollered, chased each other. Then I got older, more observant, and realized that a huge family with three mamas (mine and daddy’s other two wives) came with problems. Growing up in a polygamist religious compound created dangers I never considered. I stopped believing that women and girls were property, and I got away from the church as fast as I could. I educated myself in all sorts of ways. I can use a computer just fine, drive a car, work an old stick shift, keep a tractor going, can my food, and hunt for my dinner.


What was your greatest talent?
I’m a Plant Woman. I can make things grow. It’s a gift from my own compounded and intertwined genetics. I can think at a plant, “Grow,” and it will. Sadly, that gift can have unexpected repercussions. When I lay dying, my blood and my will to live changed me into more plant than I wanted to be. My magic also changed an ordinary oak tree into … something else. I call it the vampire tree because what else can I call a tree that eats meat and starts taking over a whole forest. One that has achieved a sort of sentience and who talks to me. And tries to kill anyone who hurts me. I mean... That tree’s dangerous. And unkillable. Oh. In case I didn’t make that clear—I’m part plant now, and I talk to vampire trees.


Significant other?
(Plucking leaves out of my scalp, off my fingertips.) Sorry. They grow when I’m stressed out. When I was twelve, to keep myself safe and out of the Colonel’s claws, I married John Ingram and moved off church land, becoming a second wife. Romance wasn’t involved, so men ain’t—aren’t—weren’t—something I wanted. (Blushes) Now I have Occam (pronounced Oakum) and he’s … Dagnabbit. I love that man to the deeps of the roots and heights of the branches. And the fact that he’s a were-big-cat don’t bother me none at all.


Biggest challenge in relationships?
I tend to speak my mind and I don’t care who knows what I think. I don’t play games with bosses, churchmen, or men in general. I defend myself. And women who sneak around, whisper gossip, and foment trouble? I don’t care overmuch for them neither.


Where do you live?     
When my husband, John, died, I was the only wife he had left. To protect me from the church, he had married me legal-like, and he bequeathed me our farm and house in the hills outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. I’ve updated it a mite, and no longer live completely off the grid, but it’s mine, free and clear. And I got the shotguns and handguns and my tie to the earth to keep it mine. Oh. And that blasted tree. It protects me whether I want it to or not.


Do you have any enemies?      
I got more enemies than I can properly count, even though I done killed a bunch of them. Between the churchmen who want my land and who will me force me to marry one of them (if they can), to the vampire Master of the City of Knoxville, to, maybe, the organization I work for, PsyLED. They’re perpetually nosy, and I got secrets.


How do you feel about the place where you are now? Is there something you are particularly attached to, or particularly repelled by, in this place?
I’m thinking how to answer this, and I guess “this place” for me, means this place in my life. I’m a member of PsyLED, the branch of government that chases down and captures or kills paranormal bad guys. And I got my sister Mud out of the church. And I got my Occam. And I got a dog, my first since the churchmen killed the others. I got home and my land—Soulwood. And got the power to keep us safe. So, I’m really happy in the place where I am.


Do you have children, pets, both, or neither?
No kids. I’m not sure a plant woman can have kids. Maybe sprouts? (Laughs) I got my true-sister, Mud. A few chickens. Cats to keep the varmints down. And now a dog, Cherry. I was thinking I might get some goats, except the were-big-cats that roam my land most nights would probably eat ‘em.

What do you do to entertain yourself or have fun?
I used to read a lot, especially Shakespeare, though I read less now that I work for PsyLED, because a job means I’m double busy. I work for law enforcement, and I also still keep the farm and a pretty big garden. And can my produce. I love my farm and making things grow, so that’s my entertainment I reckon.


What is your greatest personal failing, in your view? 
My tongue gets me in trouble all the time. If you know your Shakespeare, it stings like a wasp. The first time I met Rick LaFleur, my direct upline boss, I told him off and kicked him in the nuts. Being reactive isn’t something I can always control because of the way I was brought up.


What keeps you awake at night?
Sometimes I wake up with fear from the past, and need to reconnect to my land. And maybe I sometimes—not often, mind you—sometimes I might think I’m sorry I killed some of the people I did in the way I did. Then I remember that they were trying to kill me or mine at the time, so they deserved it. Overall, sleep is easier now, because Mud and Occam are part of my life. We’re family. And were-big-cats roam my land most nights, keeping watch. So, yeah. Sleep is easier.


What is the most pressing problem you have at the moment? 
You asked the biggie. Ming of Glass, the Master Of the City of Knoxville. Turns out, the vampires got back their souls somehow and that’s made them batty. (That’s a vampire joke.) And now, that crazy-as-a-bat Ming wants me to kill someone for her. As a vampire, she is most assuredly not going to take no for an answer.

Thank y’all for bein’ interested in a woman who grows leaves in her hair and off the ends of her fingernails, and who fights evil and crime wherever she can.

RIFT IN THE SOUL by Faith Hunter

Soulwood #6

Rift in the Soul

Nell Ingram and her team face a dire, supernatural evil in this newest thrilling paranormal procedural in the New York Times bestselling Soulwood series.

Nell Ingram draws her powers from deep in the earth, and uses them to help Psy-LED, the Psychometric Law Enforcement Division, which solves paranormal crimes. When a local vampire calls to report a dead body on her compound, Nell knows she and her team have to be ready for anything.

But the dead body is just the beginning of a mystery that involves supernaturals of all kinds, including some of the most powerful vampires in the country. As Nell gets closer to the truth, she begins to understand that the perpetrator is tracking her too—and that there is something personal about this crime. Something with roots that go almost as deep as those in Soulwood.


Fantasy Urban | Romance Paranormal [Ace, On Sale: March 5, 2024, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780593335796 / eISBN: 9780593335802]

Vampires are acting oddly...

Buy RIFT IN THE SOULAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring modern-day, dark earth magic user, Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role-playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)

Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries. Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.


Jane Yellowrock | Soulwood






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