I am so, so thrilled to introduce the FIRST of three new Murder She Writes regulars … STEPHANIE BOND!
I first met Stephanie six years ago at the RWA conference in Atlanta. She was gracious enough to open her home to an agency party and, at the time, we were in the same agency. She’s fun, arty, talented, and prolific. So please — welcome Stephanie!
A few years ago I wrote a couple of books surrounding voodoo dolls. Since my knowledge of voodoo extended to rock songs “Black Magic Woman” (Santana) and “Voodoo Child” (Jimi Hendrix), Saturday morning cartoons (Scooby Doo), and cult horror movies (VOODOO starring Corey Feldman—don’t go see it), I had to do some research. Enter THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO VOODOO by Shannon Turlington, which explained enough to make me realize how much I didn’t know, and how complex (and ancient) the religion of voodoo truly is. For this Kentucky farm girl who grew up Baptist, I don’t mind telling you that the deeper I got into it, the more nervous I became. In fact, I purposely didn’t seek out someone who practices voodoo because I didn’t want to know…you know? And since I write comedy, I needed to keep things a little on the light side anyway…I didn’t want the stories to come off as a farce, but neither did I want to paint voodoo only with broad strokes of stereotypes. I think I managed to fall somewhere in between, giving homage to those who practice voodoo with conviction and a loving spirit, while acknowledging the “fringe” elements of the religion that are more controversial, visually arresting, and—frankly—more conducive to creating an entertaining story. And along the way, I confess that I managed to entertain myself. When it came time to create a doll for the book covers, I came up with a passable facsimile….and it was no mistake the doll had a passing resemblance to someone I was grudging at the time! I bought a few pins and placed them strategically (and forcefully) before I dropped the doll into an envelope and shipped it off to the photographer to shoot. Smug as a bug in a rug.
And then I lay awake at night, worried that, like the character in my book, my actions would set in motion some tragic series of events. How’s that for passive-aggressive?
It didn’t (er, yet….that I know of). But the act of stabbing a voodoo doll does bring up other interesting concepts, like the power of suggestion and the idea of karma. And what it says about me that I could’ve put “good” pins in the doll in happy places, but didn’t. (Voodoo dolls are not just for causing pain and anguish and grisly death; they can also “suggest” healing.)
And apparently, I’m not alone in projecting my fantasies onto a poor helpless cloth doll—readers flooded me with emails about who and how they’d like to voodoo, and where could they get their own voodoo doll? Yikes. Since I’m not trying to start a movement encouraging violence, I found some virtual, less aggressive ways to cast your revenge (or good wishes!) onto the person of your choosing:
And here are some apps for your SmartPhone (not necessarily free):
How about it? Does the idea of a voodoo doll intrigue you? If given the chance, who would YOU voodoo? (First names or initials only, please!)