Fangtastic Friday Finds Fungus
Yes, you read that right. This post is about fungus. Let me explain via a bit of history. I spent the majority of my working life looking for opportunities to plug my clients into current events. In public relations, dovetailing off hot news stories is the surest way to garner attention. So, when I read in January 2010 that a deadly fungus was decimating bat populations in the Northeast, I said, “Aha.” And then I said, “Perchance there’s an opportunity here to bring public awareness to this serious problem…with a little help from my vampires.”
You see, I love bats, and I’m mighty fond of vampires. The vampires in my stories can morph to bat form, and why wouldn’t they get involved in helping to save bats? Of course they would.
I began this kernel of an idea with research into white-nose syndrome, the fungus that has now spread from the Northeast into the Mid-Atlantic states and the Southeast, including my state of North Carolina. White-nose syndrome has killed more than a million bats since it was discovered in a New York cave in February 2006. To date, nine bat species in 17 states have been documented as carriers of the fungus, which thrives in the cold and humid conditions of caves and mines…where bats hibernate. The fungus itself is only part of the syndrome. Bats affected by the fungus awaken more often during hibernation. If they fly out of the caves, and their typical insect fare is unavailable, they usually starve to death or freeze. Did I mention that I love bats?
There’s little known about white-nose syndrome and no treatment as yet. Bat biologists say the epidemic has no end in sight.
Why should you care about the plight of bats? They serve a significant role in ecology because they consume millions of insects and they are plant pollinators. If the white-nose fungus decimates entire populations of bats, humans could be plagued with mosquitoes out the ying yang.
So, what can YOU do?
1. Install bat boxes on your property.
2. Stay out of caves and mines. (You could carry the fungus on your shoes or clothing.)
3. Don’t handle sick or dead bats. (Okay, that one should be a no-brainer.) If you see one that you think might have white-nose syndrome, e-mail: email@example.com.
Now, on to my story. Here’s the blurb for Black Fang…
Someone is deliberately infecting bats with a deadly fungus. The flying mammals are dying by the thousands, and along with them, a significant number of vampires in bat form have also succumbed. Enter John and Lauren Wright. The vampire couple has conquered evil enemies in the past, but the perpetrator behind the bat deaths is more cunning than any they’ve encountered. Though John initially suspects that werewolves are the culprits, he discovers he is up against a colony of Unseelie faeries. The intoxicating scent of the faeries has been known to deceive vampires, pitting friend against friend—and wife against husband.
It’s a wild romp through the land of vampires, werewolves, and faeries. There’s romance, intrigue, mayhem, and some faerie hanky panky sprinkled on top like pepper on a Cobb salad.
Black Fang is COMING SOON from DCL Publications (www.thedarkcastlelords.com).
I guess you know by now that I like bats. What do you think about these furry little creatures?
P.S. Click on John Wright’s (aka Julian Fantechi) eyes above for a fun animated banner, deftly produced by the talented Annie Marshall.