The Monster Spin — Kelly Gay Back to Blog

Winner of the ARC — drawn by the fabulous Kid randomly chosing a number (her birthday, no surprise) is . . . Melissa T. Send your mailing info to me at Congrats, Melissa!!



One of my favorite things about reading and writing urban fantasy are the monsters! From the sexy right down to the out-and-out disgusting, I love them all. It’s a wide open world, where we writers can modify, or create from scratch, any kind of monster imaginable. Like so many others, I adore vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, fairies and shape shifters. But, holy cow, do I love it when an author modifies these beings and puts her own, unique spin on them. This, to me, is what makes them special and memorable, that which sets them apart from the cultural myths and legends that spawned them. Think of it as evolution. Monster evolution. J


A few recent ‘spins’ that come to mind that I have really enjoyed is Jaye Wells’s take on vampires in her debut urban fantasy, RED-HEADED STEPCHILD and the connection to the biblical Lilith. Or Ilona Andrews’s vampires in her Kate Daniel’s series. She turned the idea of the vampire and master on its head with her grotesque creatures and the powerful beings that control them. Or Mark Henry’s zombies in his Amanda Feral series. The list goes on…


For one of the races/creatures in my debut, THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, I decided to put a spin on a creature known as the jinn. In my mythos, they were the basis for the human legends of demons. My jinn are a hulking warrior-like species, insanely territorial and tribal. All the males are bald, completely hairless in fact, with varying shades of gray skin. They also enjoy jewelry, piercings, tattoos, and have a penchant for hot, damp, underground climates. They’ve also got some interesting powers and a very complex social structure where the strongest rules with complete and total authority over the tribe. But any more than that, you’ll have to read… J


. . . read, you say? But, Kelly, your book isn’t out yet, you say? Ah, but I have ARCs people! Just leave a comment telling me what fictional beings/monsters out there you like and (optional) what ‘spins’ or unique aspects you like about them, and one winner will win an ARC of THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS. [Just be aware not use any spoil-ery type info. If the spins in which you speak are from a well known/established series or found easily on the Author’s site or back cover copy, then by all means, but if it’s some little known fact or something from a debut that would spoil the surprise for the rest of us – please make sure you write ****SPOLIER**** first!]


Thanks for having me here, Cynthia! It’s been an honor to come to your most excellent blog and visit for a while. And an early Happy Halloween to everyone!






(Pocket Books, November 24, 2009)      



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38 responses to “The Monster Spin — Kelly Gay”

  1. Paula says:

    Oh, I agree, it’s fun to see all kinds of monsters “evolving” in the UF genre. The latest spin I liked is Nalini Singh’s angels (and vampires) in her Guild Hunter series. I’m looking forward to finding out more about them when book 2 comes out.

  2. Diane Sadler says:

    I’ve just picked up a copy of Sarah McCarty’s new release Caleb and just started reading it so haven’t gotten to the bad monsters yet; however the hero’s being a vampire/shifter/ cowboy has me hooked so far. I am enjoying it.

  3. Awesome post, Kelly!

    Ever since I was a little girl and would read and re-read the Big Book of Mythology that my grandma gave me one Christmas, I’ve been fascinated by creatures, great and small. For instance I think the Medusa totally got a raw deal–turned from an innocent girl to a hideous monster whose forced to live alone and then everybody and their brother is trying to take your head off. She got a raw deal, IMHO.

    As far as a favorite, there are so many to choose from but if I had to go with a current one, it would be Kelley Armstrong’s Werewolves from the Bitten series. They aren’t tied to the moon, can change at will and their hierarchy is pretty cool. Werewolves who were turned are considered ‘mutts’ and are watched within an inch of their lives, the born and bred weres eschew killing humans and bring down some pretty harsh punishment for those who break the rules.

  4. Natasha A. says:

    I love it all. Vampires. Were’s. The only I can think of that I don’t enjoy are ghosts… Although with the right story I am sure I could enjoy it!

    I certainly enjoy you take on the jinn 😀

  5. Raelena says:

    Right now I’m really into shapeshifters. I like that your book is about jinn because I have only read a couple books about them.

  6. Edie says:

    You’re certainly putting a unique spin on the Jinns. It’s not technically a monster, but I loved Cynthia’s succubus in Midnight Sins.

  7. Kelly Gay says:

    Ooh, good ones so far!

    Pamala, I agree about Medusa… In fact, my young adult novel making the rounds right now features a bit about that myth. 😉

    I’m currently reading an ARC by Kelly Meding — THREE DAYS TO DEAD. Very cool takes on monsters.

    One of the things I really like about Atlanta — the place where my debut takes place is that it’s a crossroads for ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’, so I get to play with all kinds of mythological creatures from the jinn to shapeshifting nymphs, imps, ghouls, ‘angels’ and the nobles of ‘hell’. It makes writing this series so much fun!

  8. Barb Patrick says:

    Hi Kelly! Fantastic post today. I have soooo been looking forward to reading your book. I have to say that I pretty much love everything paranormal and the idea of jinns with a bling fetish, sounds REALLY interesting ** LOL ** Have a great weekend!

  9. Minna says:

    I love them all, vampires, shapeshifters, werewolves…

  10. Barbara Elness says:

    I enjoy the new take on an old monster. Lara Adrian’s vampires are based on monsterous aliens that bred with the people of earth. I like the mythos of vampires that are born, not made – like Lynsay Sands and Kimberly Raye’s. Richelle Mead’s shapeshifting werepanthers that aren’t out to harm anyone, they’re just trying to live their lives, as different as they may be. It’s always fun when someone takes a legend and puts a unique spin on it to come up with a new, interesting story.

  11. Jody F. says:

    Even though Sookie Stackhouse isn’t exactly a monster, she does have otherworldy abilities. I’ve found it interesting to see where her abilities come from.

  12. Jacqueline L. says:

    Vamps, weres, fae, you name it, I probably like it! 😀 I like Lynsay Sands’ spin on vampires.

  13. Sara M says:

    My favorite supernatural being is the werewolf. I think they’re a little underrated with the abundance of fae and vampires. My favorite spin on the traditional werewolf is Maggie Stiefvater’s werewolves in Shiver. I love how they’re tied to the weather instead of the moon. It’s a very unique concept.

  14. Valerie says:

    I love all things supernatural and paranormal. I love Hellboy. I even love those evil elves in the second film. I enjoy Joey Hills vampires….so dark and mysterious and very, very dangerous!!!

    in Germany

  15. RKCharron says:

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for the guest post Kelly 🙂
    I like Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells in which the vampires can only be killed by apple wood. Plus Sabina Kane the MC is half-vampire/half-mage.
    All the best,

  16. Shawna Lewis says:

    I LOVE the Fae,
    To all fae bearing winged, air is the element of choice. Every storm and breath of wind is their work, from the tiniest puff to the most terrifying gale. They often take the shapes of birds, or incorporate aspects of their design into their human forms and are particularly fond of birds’ wings. Many speak the language of birds and sometimes teaching human speech to the birds. Air is a creative force, resulting in their intellectual versitily of air faeries, who work to stimulate inspiration and creativity.
    Fae who fly are the most evolved of the fae, having incorporating all aspects of the four elements. Wings are symbolic of air, legs of earth, their shimmering qualities of fire, and a shape shifting aspect represents water’s fluidity. Added to these four, is the fifth magical element, moonlight.

    In this section you will find: Slyphs, Trows, Phooka and Fachan.

    Thanks for this chance to win this ARC of this AMAZING book!!!

  17. Estella says:

    I love them all—-vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, demons, jinn, etc.

  18. Michele says:

    Hi Kelly, thanks for stopping by! You totally have caught my attention 🙂 When is THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS coming out? Just need to know in case I don’t win an ARC 😉

    It’s kinda of hard to pick a favorite “monster” but I would have to say werewolf.

    Thanks Kelly for the chance to win an ARC, have a great weekend 😀

  19. Nancy Gilliland says:

    Fantastic post today Kelly! I love all the “monsters” but my favorite would have to be shifters: especially dragon shifters. Dragons are such mythical, mystical creations in any context and I am very much hooked on them.

  20. Darkreader says:

    I love all types of paranormal, but my favorite would have to be Werewolf.

  21. Melissa T says:

    I’m going to have to agree about Jaye Well’s RHSC. I love the vampires vs mages. So good not to have the ages-old yawn-inducing vampires vs werewolves thing in yet another book.

    I also loved Lilith Saintcrow’s take on necromancers from her Dante Valentine series.

    (Also I have hopes that if I follow Kelly around the internet for long enough I will finally win the copy of her book I’ve been trying to for months. Or else it will finally come out and I’ll get to buy it. Whichever comes first.)

  22. Jennifer L says:

    Favorites would be a toss-up between the fae and vampires…but I haven’t read a spin on the fae lately, and it’s hard to find one on vamps that doesn’t involve sparkles.

    I really liked the spin on werewolves in Kit Whitfield’s book “Benighted” (known as “Bareback” in the UK).

  23. Kelly Gay says:

    Michele — Thanks for asking. Oops on my part; I forgot to say! The release date for BPOD is November 24, 2009.

    I’ve been having so much fun reading through the comments you guys! It’s so great to be amongst folks who have a passion for the supernatural — we rock. 😉

    Melissa ~ LOL. *fingers crossed for you* They’ll be more contests as the time approaches, though — plenty of chances left to win, my friend!

  24. Wendy says:

    Hi, Kelly! I can’t wait to read BPOD! Looks so awesome!! 😀

    And to enter the contest (hee) my favorite fictional monsters are the werewolves, I’ve always like them.

  25. Pamk says:

    your book sounds awesome and I would love to win it. And my spin book I like is Jacquelyn Frank w/Jacob and demons where the demons are good guys. Was the first one I read like that.

  26. Karin says:

    Classical monsters are great, but the evolution of them is even more fascinating. My favorite monster of all time is always going to be Frankenstein’s monster. Mary Shelley did a great job of creating a monster to scare people.

    My favorite evolved monsters have to be Shelly Laurenston’s shifters. The reason I like them so much is because she’s given them a great sense of humor that is definitely lacking in classical tales of werewolves.

  27. Lori T says:

    Oh, I love them all…vampires, werewolves, demons, zombies, and lots of others. I do enjoy seeing the different take that authors have on them.

    I would love to be entered to win as The Better Part of Darkness sound really great!

  28. Donna S says:

    Great post. I like most takes and unique characteristics writers are taking on the classic vamp and shifter legends. Vamps are my favorites though.

    Better Part of Darkness sounds great. Congrats on the upcoming release!

  29. Van P. says:

    My favorite are vampires and shapeshifters. I love Jeaniene frost’s spin on vampire and Ilona Andrews’s spin on Shapeshifters.

    Better part of Darkness sounds like a great book, can’t wait when it comes out 🙂

  30. stacey smith says:

    I like Sherriln Kenyon form of a Vampire in A Dark Hunter Series.
    Have you read them there good.

  31. Lindsey Ekland says:

    I am liking all the demon/fiends that are showing up everywhere. Jessa Slade in Seduced by Shadows has repentent demons Teshuva posessing humans and fighting evil.

  32. Mel K. says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I’m very attracted to vampires. There’s something erotic about biting the neck. The romantically tragic figure of the vampire, cursed to haunt the night, hunts or seduces his quarry seeking to quench the eternal thirst. Then at last, that moment of surrender when the tender neck is submissively revealed and the victim’s willingness to be possessed, body and soul, ends in a climax with penetration and blood. This sensuality is what attracts me to the vampire.

    Hi Kelly,
    I am looking forward to reading TBPOD. I visited your site for the first time and the book appeals to me greatly. I read and collect ARCs and I’d love to win! Thanks.

  33. Foz Meadows says:

    I love new takes on old ideas: the whole concept of taking something familiar with set rules, and then reimagining it. Werewolves and shapeshifters are always interesting, because there’s so much room for play in making them loners, or putting them in tribes, or deciding the circumstances under which they can change and into what; ditto for vampires, as there’s so mauch room to make them different things. But I really love to see less commonly-used creatures from mythology given new contexts, as there’s so many of them that have scarcely been touched.

  34. Ilona says:

    Shifters and vampires head my list but the monster twists I like are Vickie Taylor’s Gargoyles and how vampires are made in Robin T Popp’s Night Slayer books

  35. blodeuedd says:

    I love how all monsters have become so popular now, vamps and weres are something more now. I also like that other monsters have the chance to be shown now too. I like an author who takes chances

  36. Danica Avet says:

    Hm, this take on the jinn sounds great!

    I’m partial to shapechangers, most likely because I’m such an animal lover (Hello…Thundercats? How cool was that cartoon?!) but I’m also partial to vampires.

    However, if I have to think of a monster with a different spin, it would be Jessa Slade’s ‘malice’ monsters in Seduced by Shadows. I’m not going to give any spoilers, but I found the idea of personifying an emotion into a monster, wonderfully innovative.

  37. Fuzu says:

    Ooh shoot i just wrote a long comment and when i hit reply it come up blank! Please tell me it worked right? I do not want to sumit it again if i do not have to! Either the blog glitced out or i am an idiot, the second option doesnt surprise me lol.

  38. Hello just figured i will let you know that i had a issue with your blog coming up frozen also. Must be chimpanzees in the system.