Authors: Tananarive Due
Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Fantasy, #Contemporary, #Horror
irst, heartfelt thanks to the faithful readers who began this journey with
My Soul to Keep
in 1997 and followed Jessica and Dawit to
The Living Blood
in 2001. I know it took many years to revisit my immortals’ story with
but I wanted to have a story worth telling. Hopefully, the wait will not be nearly as long next time.
It took a village to create this novel. I enlisted assistance from many corners; but any mistakes contained herein are the fault of the author, not my sources.
Thanks to my husband, novelist Steven Barnes, for his ready and willing wizard’s mind. He always suspected there were other immortals lurking out there somewhere! He is my living proof that our predestined mates are waiting for us.
Thanks to Darryl Miller, a writer, reader and editor, whose dedicated page-by-page input was more helpful than I can put into words. I don’t always listen, Darryl, but you are a lifesaver. Thanks so much!
Thanks to writer and Senior Editor Robert Vamosi, an award-winning columnist for CNet, who first mentioned the names Octavia E. Butler and Harlan Ellison to me when we were undergraduates at Northwestern University in the 1980s. Thanks for your input on near-future technology, and for your constant support since our days in CRC.
Thanks to Dr. Lee Pachter, cohead of the division of general pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and lecturer on pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He is also a pediatric researcher at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. His research interests include multicultural health care and sociocultural influences on child health. Not only did he lend medical expertise, but he served as a sounding board on the social implications of Glow.
Also, thanks to Dawit Worku, a reader and writer from Ethiopia who, like Lee, first contacted me through email as a reader. Thank you for your input on Ethiopian culture and history, especially the Battle of Adwa. (For readers who would like to learn more about the Battle of Adwa, I also suggest the documentary
Adwa: An African Victory,
released in 1999 by director Haile Gerima. It can be hard to find, but it’s worth seeing! Try www.sankofastore.com.)
I gave myself a crash course on the history of Christianity while I was writing this novel. I would especially like to acknowledge the lectures of Professor Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory University in his course Jesus and the Gospels, which is offered through The Teaching Company. I also enjoyed the lectures of Professor Bart D. Ehrman, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in his course Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication, also offered by The Teaching Company. If you love learning on many college-level subjects, visit www.TEACH12.com.
For musical inspiration, thanks to the group Conjunto Céspedes and its album
Una Sola Casa
for its beautiful version of the Cuban classic “Lágrimas Negras.”
For translations, thanks to Lydia Martin, Dan Moran and Giovanni Micheletto. For advance reading, thanks to Amy Stout Moran, Trisha R. Thomas and Leslie Banks. Also, thanks to my golden circle of longtime friends: Olympia Duhart, Luchina Fisher, Kathryn Larrabee, Craig Shemin and Sharmila Roy. Thanks to Blair Underwood, Nia Hill and D’Angela Steed, for their trials and commitment on the battlefield called Hollywood. Thanks to Blanche Richardson at Marcus Books in Oakland, just because. And thanks to Harlan Ellison, for his vision, friendship and generosity of spirit.
At Atria Books and Simon & Schuster, Inc., thanks to Malaika Adero, Krishan Trotman and Judith Curr, for always believing in me and my work. It has been wonderful to have a place to call “home.” Thanks also to my literary agent, John Hawkins of John Hawkins and Associates; and to my film agent, Michael Prevett of The Gotham Group in Los Angeles.
Thanks to my parents, civil rights activists John Due and Patricia Stephens Due, for their example in how to create social change. And thanks to my sisters, Johnita Due and Lydia Due Greisz, for carrying on the fight for a better world in their own ways.
Thanks to Nicki and Jason, for reminding me every day that the future matters.
Last, I would like to thank all of my readers who will vote in 2008 and beyond. I am happy to report that I believe the actual world of 2015 need not be as trying as the world
depicts…but much of that will be up to us.
It is long past time for universal health care in the United States.
Period. Rather than believing empty rhetoric and scare tactics, I urge my readers to investigate the systems in other industrialized nations—we are the only holdout—and draw their own conclusions. Then vote for the leader who will help us all build the future we deserve.
The Living Blood is a creation of my imagination. Unlike Fana, we are not immortals. We will all age. We will all get sick one day.
Luckily, we don’t have to be like Fana to change the world.