Urban Fantasy Review & Interview: Bad Mojo by Shane Berryhill

A double-treat this afternoon - our very own Donald has stopped by with a review of Bad Mojo, and he also sat down with the author, Shane Berryhill, to talk about horror, magic, and music.

Bad Mojo (Zora Banks, #1) by Shane Berryhill
Published July 28th 2014 by Ragnarok Publications


"Berryhill's brand of southern-fried, supernatural noir is something to behold." –Cherie Priest, bestselling author of Boneshaker and Bloodshot

BAD MOJO is a tale of love and murder among the men, women, and monsters of a mystical, modern-day South.

Shane Berryhill’s first dark adult fantasy is the story of Zora Banks--a beautiful, Southern conjure woman of mixed race--as told through the eyes of her partner, Ash Owens, a pretty boy-redneck cursed with a monstrous alter ego.

When Tennessee State Representative Jack Walker hires Ash to find his missing, drug-addicted wife, Ash finds himself at odds with Chattanooga’s various underworld gangs--both the living and the unliving--as he and Zora become embroiled in a far-reaching occult organization’s grab for ultimate power.

Equal parts True Blood and Justified, BAD MOJO will prove a dark delight for fans of urban fantasy, Southern Gothics, paranormal romance, and hardboiled crime.


Monsters, bad language, and urban fantasy - a southern recipe that Shane Berryhill has stirred up for one heck of a read.

Ash, the now well-populated man since he took on the case of the disappearance of Congressman Walker's daughter, getting in his beatings and near-death moments, to seek the truth behind this southern recipe.

Zora, the sexy sidekick with the magic at hand, fighting alongside, later helping decode the strange writing found a journal, while whipping up spells.

The angel chase scene is marvelous. I felt like I was on Ash & Zora's heels running with them.

I'm already anticipating for part 2.

(as posted by Donald on Goodreads)


1.What inspired you to write?

I've always been a reader. But I went through a lonely, difficult time in my twenties and reading books like most people breath air became my escape. My asylum. But, anywho: around the turn of the millennium, I was reading a bestseller by some big name author that turned out to be pure schlock. I tossed the book aside and thought, I could do better. After further consideration, I decided to try. That was the first big step in a long and winding journey.
2. Bad Mojo is one helluva read.  Where did your ideas come from to put together this urban fantasy romp?

I enjoy urban fantasy, and wanted to place my own personal stamp on it. But to give you an answer to the broad ranging question you're asking, I'll hone in on a singular example. There's a character in the book, Sandy, based on an actual person who resides here in Chattanooga. He's among several, well-known/recognizable "homeless" people who live in town who--while pleasant as the day is long--likely suffer from sort of relatively benign mental illness. My imagination being what it is, of course the idea struck me that there is more going on with Sandy and his peers than meets the eye--that, in fact, they're all conjure men who've spent too much time in the Crossroads, BAD MOJO's nexus between realities, and been infected with the fae madness as a result. It's made them powerful, but left them with too few wits to make any real use of said power. That's the quirky way my mind works--and one small corner of the house of lore that became BAD MOJO.

3. Do you believe in magic?  (And no I'm not singing to you.) I mean like mojo witch Louisiana bayou type of magic?


4. What would be the soundtrack for Bad Mojo?

It would definitely be a Southern Culture on the Skids (best of) mix. In fact, when my were-person protagonist, Ash Owens, first strikes out in search of his quarry--a missing congressman's wife--he pops "Camel Walk" into his truck's CD player. Fun fact #1: Chattanooga is a character in BAD MOJO in its own right. If the book were ever adapted into a movie--after an action/horror-packed opening, I'd love to have opening credits roll to the riffs of "Camel Walk" as Ash drives around the "Nooga." Fun fact #2: I'd love the film to end with a "cut-to-black" as SCOTS's "Mojo Box" cranks up (then roll ending credits). Fun fact #3: All that said, I listened to the DRIVE (Great book! Great film!) soundtrack while writing the latter half of the novel to put my mind in "hardboiled" mode. That's ironic as it's all 80s pop, but, in my mind, it's all associated with that neo-noir film, so (shrug).

5. Tell us a little bit about your other projects.

I'm most known for my young Chance Fortune books--the story of a young superhero-in-training (The first two volumes where published by MacMillan/Starscape. Book three in the series, Chance Fortune Out of Time, should release from Crossroad Press this Fall). But, for the YA set, I've also written Dragon Island (a love letter to the kaiju films of my youth), and The Long Silent Night: A Jack Frost Mystery, which is my first true toe-dipping into noir fiction. But horror-centric BAD MOJO fans may want to check out the weird western ebook I wrote under the pen name, Bear Hill, SKINWALKERS. Also, issue one of my creator-owned comic with 12-Gauge Comics, SHERWOOD TEXAS (Robin Hood reimagined as a biker gang epic) sold out. Issue two hits shops August 13, 2014. But both may be found online at comixology (Just go ahead and sign up for the entire limited series :).

6. Give us something funny. A saying that bounces around in your head, an experience that was just wildly funny, anything.

I was a guest of San Diego Comic-Con in 2006, but I received no special treatment. In fact, when I found out I'd been waiting in the wrong line to meet one of my idols, Ray Bradbury--and refused to move--I politely "debated" the sheer wrongness of my having to go to the back of the correct line with security for a good twenty minutes--to the point they were threatening to throw me out of the convention. Ultimately, they won the "debate." As I'm staring at Bradbury from afar, tears literally in my eyes, Stan Lee and his bull-horn blaring entourage came barreling through the crowd, making their way to sit beside Bradbury. I seized the opportunity and pretended to be a part of said entourage, holding out my hand in warning and asking people to step back (I look like a bouncer, anyway) as we made our way to Bradbury's table. I got to pass my first Chance Fortune novel off to Ray--a gift of thanks. That experience has taught me just about everything I needed to know about how life works in general.

7. How bout some inspiring words to other authors out there that are climbing the ladder behind you.

Ha. Can I talk you guys out of it? Trying to succeed as a writer will break your heart. The only way you know you will succeed is 1) You truly know your craft, and 2) You simply can't help yourself. By the way, I'm still waiting to "succeed." Writing full time for a comfortable living--something that has thus far eluded me--is my own personal definition of success. So buy BAD MOJO and help me come that much closer :)

8. And last how about a little sneak peek at the next installment of Bad Mojo!

No sneak peeks here. But, along with Ash getting himself into trouble and his beautiful hoodoo of a partner, Zora, bailing him out, you may expect "inhuman" trafficking and more proof that man is the greatest monster of all.

Thanks again, Shane.

Thank you, Donald!