Kazz: Hi, Rachel! It’s nice to be here! Please, call me Kazz, everyone else does. I hate the name Karan because everyone spells it wrong, then they look at me as if I’m the one who misspelled it! As if I don’t know how to spell my own name!
RR: Okay, Kazz it is. Tell us a little about yourself. You work with the Undead Unit, so that must mean that you’re an Immortal?
Kazz: I’m a Shapeshifter. We aren’t exactly Immortal, but we can live for hundreds of years, so humans pretty much lumped us in with the other Immortals.
RR: So you can turn into different animals?
Kazz (laughing): I wish! No, each Shifter can only turn into one animal, and mine happens to be a dog. But I have a brother who can turn into a cat, and a sister who’s a bird.
RR: That must have made for an interesting childhood! Tell me about your work with the Dallas Police Department. What made you want to be a cop?
Kazz: I don’t know, I just always wanted to be a police officer, so I could help people and keep them safe. I’ve only been out of the Academy about six months now. I was assigned to the Major Crimes Unit under Lieutenant Anderson. Even though she’s in charge of the Undead Unit, she also oversees Major Crimes. I went on a call with her and Detective Scarber a few weeks back, a dog fighting call. I guess I impressed the lieutenant, because after that, she asked me if I’d like to be assigned to the Undead Unit.
RR: Now, I understand that Lieutenant Anderson is a Vampire, and Detective Scarber is a Werewolf. How do the three of you manage to work together?
Kazz: I guess it was really hard for Lacey and Colton to be teamed up, at first. Every once in a while, I sense some deep buried tension between them. But, most of the time, they’re good together. Colton always calls her ‘Little Sister’, something to do with the first big case they worked together, but he does it like a joke. She even calls him ‘Big Brother’ sometimes. But don’t get me wrong, they’re both sticklers for the rules. But they’re not jerks about it.
RR: What can you tell me about your last case?
Kazz: Well, it’s still in litigation, but since the press jumped on it, I guess I won’t be breaking any rules if I tell you. A Reaper was stealing souls from people who weren’t scheduled to die, and he was keeping them, if you believe that!
RR: A Reaper? As in, the Grim Reaper?
Kazz (shrugs): Sort of, but not really. Sure, Reapers exist to harvest the souls of humans, to guide those souls into the Underworld so they can rest before being born again. Reapers have to consume part of the human spirit; the rest, they release to the universe, because the soul is nothing more than energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed.
RR (shivers): Stealing souls? What happened to the victims??
Kazz: They were still alive, of course. A Reaper, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t actually bring about the death of the human, only the harvesting of the soul. So, his victims went about their business, but without their, well, conscience, for lack of a better word. What we call “morality crimes” went up astronomically: petty crimes, vandalism, prostitution, gambling, calls like that dog fight. And when they were interviewed, the suspects seemed not to care that they’d broken the law.
RR: So, you said the case was in litigation. This means you caught the one who was doing it?
Kazz: Yeah, we did. He’s behind bars, which is better than he deserves, if you ask my opinion. I don’t know what the court’s going to decide to do with him, but he’ll never see the light of day again, I guarantee it. And good riddance. But, it’s a little sad too, because what he did has made the humans really suspicious of Reapers in general. And one helped us to catch him, but I doubt the human population will remember that part. We may end up seeing a rise in hate crimes against this species of Immortal for a while.
RR: So, what do you see in store for your future? Will you stay with the police department? What about having a family?
Kazz: Well, I really hope to take the detective’s exam someday. I’ve never wanted anything else. And I don’t have a boyfriend or anything right now. But I’m young, I have plenty of time to think about that.
RR: If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?
Kazz (laughs): I don’t mind! I’m 83 years old this spring.
RR: And you can live for hundreds of years?
Kazz: Sometimes for eight or nine hundred years.
RR: How did Shifters evolve?
Kazz: We are descended from small pockets of humans living on the extreme edges of the Earth’s habitable zones. Northern Alaska, Siberia, the Sahara Desert. Places where it was hard to find enough food to eat. So, we evolved to have the ability to change into animals. At first, Shifters could phase into multiple animals, but I guess over thousands of years of evolution, we became specialized to just one. It gave us advantages over our environment and allowed us to survive and thrive.
RR: Wow, that’s fascinating!
Kazz (her phone beeps, and she checks a text message): Hey, that’s Lacey. We’ve got a call. I’ve gotta go!
RR: Well, thanks for being here with us today, and please be safe out there. Thanks for tuning in, and if you’d like to pick up a copy of Souls of the Reaper, you should do it now. There’s a half-price special on it if you pre-order it before release day. It’s available for pre-order on Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, iTunes, Google Play, Google Books, and Kobo, and the print version is already available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Createspace. This book is currently in production as an audio book as well. Plus, you can order signed paperbacks through the author’s eBay or Square Store. For more about the Undead Unit Series, visit Metamorph Publishing at their website. And stay tuned for Blood Lust (The Undead Unit 3), coming later this year!