After reading author Steve Bein’s post on his writing experience with martial arts, I was inspired to write about the female martial artist’s point of view. The thing is, I love kick ass heroines. And for my Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mysteries, I wanted Riga to be able to defend herself. Realistically.
In addition to being a writer, I’m also a student of martial arts. My instructor tells me I’m one of the best in the class when it comes to technique. But during sparring, I routinely get beaten by fifteen year old boys.
I really hate sparring.
Here’s the thing: technique is awesome, and I’m glad I’ve got it. But men are stronger and faster, and that gives them a tactical advantage. So when I’m not “clean fighting” in a sparring match, I’m practicing how to fight dirty. Just like my heroine.
Her go-to kick is in the crotch. So as not to break her hand, she strikes with the palm heel, fingers curled into claws so she can break the bad guy’s nose and claw his face and/or gouge his eyes. She’s also a big fan of throwing elbows, and if she can disable someone with a strike to the neck (a potentially lethal blow), she’ll do it. Riga understands that if a man is attacking her, all bets are off, and she can assume his intentions are the worst.
Most men will fight to win. Women have to fight to survive.
It’s a very different mentality, and it’s tough to get your head around it. As women, we’re taught to play nice. Don’t hurt anyone. We don’t even want to hurt people’s feelings.
Riga’s got that survival mindset. But even so, she doesn’t win every fight. She’s no black belt and she makes mistakes. Fortunately, she’s a team player, and won’t go into a dangerous situation without backup. And when she can, she’ll avoid it completely.
Even so, Riga manages to get into plenty of trouble. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a story!
Kirsten worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and deep in the Afghan war zone. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.
Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking good wine.
When Riga Hayworth finds a dead body in her bedroom a week before her wedding, it’s par for the course. When the corpse drives off with her fiancée… That’s a problem.
Riga knows dead. More intimately than she’d like. So when a murdered photographer gets up and walks away, she’s believes there’s necromancy afoot. And when she discovers that several of her wedding guests are under the influence of dark magic, she’s certain. But how can she catch a killer and stop a necromancer when even her nearest and dearest are lying to her?
Murder. The undead. Irritating relatives. The Infernal Detective is a fast-paced, paranormal mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, and magic lies just beyond the veil.