About the Book: Emily has been dead a year, but that doesn’t stop her from crashing in on her former best friend’s life in a whirlwind of mayhem, dark magic, and music. She’s been resurrected by a supernatural mixtape full of excellent but probably evil pop tunes. Amazing powers of transformation flow through her, piece-by-piece endowing her with abilities beyond anyone’s understanding. Within and without, a dark presence dwells, ready to express itself in all sorts of colorful and destructive ways. It’s all in the music, man. Press “PLAY” at your own risk.


The Drive Behind Resurrection Mixtape by Jeff Bowles

The pandemic beginning in 2020 has come to represent not only a singular moment in history but a paradigm shift in the ways we work, spend time with our families, and take care of our health. Many, many people were forced into a kind of solitude they’d never experienced before. Many suffered, many prospered, and still others got to work, created new and exciting things, improved upon themselves, learned to experience better sides of life, creativity, output, production.

Resurrection Mixtape is my COVID book. It was the quiet, secret project I worked on for many months, diligently piecing it together, undoing it, piecing it together again, sometimes in an incredibly slow and laborious fashion.

A few years before the pandemic broke out, I suffered a terrible mental breakdown. Psychosis, as it turns out, is not good for creativity, and neither is the sudden unexpected development of Schizophrenia. I was thirty-two years old when they diagnosed me, which is fairly late in life, as I understand it. As you can imagine, I battled demons and delusions and hallucinations every day, every hour, and I had little desire or ability to create good fiction. The things I wrote at that time are confused and uncomfortable, much like I felt, I suppose.

Resurrection Mixtape, on the other hand, felt like a breath of fresh air. I began work on a rough draft the day before Thanksgiving 2020, having recovered somewhat from my 2016 collapse, and I didn’t finish it until March of the following year. It’s not an exceptionally long book, only about 40,000 words. I could no longer produce 2,000 words per day, which meant I had to be diligent and put in a small amount of work every single night.

Aside from that, the pandemic affected the writing of Resurrection Mixtape in some pretty dynamic ways. It forced me to think on my feet, because I’d prepared for myself a narrative playground in which anything could happen. I didn’t outline this book, just had a few key ideas and took a running start. Maybe that was crazy enough in and of itself. But it meant that anything happening in the world could appear in my writing at any time. The somber tone of certain scenes, the intense focus on death and the
death experience, that’s all pandemic-era material.

And something else happened while I was working on the book. It is generally referred to as the January 6th Riots, though terms like insurrection and patriotism are thrown around on opposite ends of the American political spectrum in equal measure. I won’t get into the politics of January 6th here. In fact, I’m no fan of politics, and don’t talk about it very much, even when it’s all anyone else seems interested in discussing. Still, I watched that even live on TV, as it happened, and it had a profound effect on me. Perhaps not as profound as the pandemic itself, but I suppose it’s no wonder that Resurrection Mixtape ends up in Washington D.C., at the seat of power, where an overgrown menace we once trusted and loved has made a huge mess of things.

Music and life are as essential to this story as are death and the world of spirit. It contains a main character who returns to life at the outset, and as things progress, she begins to develop strange and sometimes terrifying new abilities. All because of a mixtape. Cursed and full of magic, naturally. I suppose I always knew this character would end up with too much power, but I hadn’t any idea where the story would take me until I got there. When I did, I realized world events had helped shape something I would never have arrived at a decade prior, five years prior, a year prior. I didn’t go out much during the worst of the pandemic. Only to get my vaccine, and I know even then, I was rattling off long fictional nights in Seattle, the other narrative stomping ground of Resurrection Mixtape.

We were jabbed by needles, told to remain indoors. We ordered a lot of delivery food (and God bless the brave people who did that for all of us). I played and finished at least a dozen video games, watched countless Marvel, DC, and Star Wars movies and TV shows, and yes, I cooked this book, four hundred words at a time, keeping track of my progress in a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Now it’s here for you to read. Funny how the world works, but really put your back into something, and I think you’ll find it’s more than possible, it’s inevitable that you finish. I hope you enjoy Resurrection Mixtape. Did I enjoy writing it? Well, that depends. I enjoyed creating something despite my own mind fighting me nearly every step of the way, despite the state of the world, which has grown increasingly strange and just a bit scarier than any of us would like.

This book is about music, but it’s also about letting go. We only get one spin on this crazy blue ball. Much like a record. Or maybe even the reel-to-reel innards of a mixtape. The tunes play on, but unless we stop and listen, look around, count our blessings, everything we love and cherish can change, disappear, leave our experience without us being the wiser. Press play at your own risk. You never know what life will throw at you once the music starts playing.

Resurrection Mixtape is different from anything else I have ever read. It is part horror, has a supervillain, a tiny bit of romance, sacrifice and even some religious overtones. When the supernatural beings depend on music to keep alive, you know there has to be a bit of humor as well. I do not want to say much about the story, as it is not a long one and I don’t want to give it away. There are several people who have died and are brought back to life, resurrected, and the longer they are alive and the more they listen to the music, the stronger they get and the more superpowers they claim. Jason is the one that Emily appears to and he is blinded by the love he has felt for her for years, but he eventually realizes that something is amiss. Stephanie works with him and she also knows something is wrong. Can they come together to save the world? This was an interesting story, one that I puzzled over several times. I will say, I enjoyed the ending and was happy to be able to say, that good still overpowers evil.

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About the Author: Jeff Bowles is a science fiction and horror writer from the mountains of Colorado. The best of his outrageous and imaginative work can be found in God’s Body: Book One – The FallLove/Madness/DemonGodling and Other Paint StoriesFear and Loathing in Las Cruces, and Brave New Multiverse. He has published work in magazines and anthologies like PodCastle, Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, the Threepenny Review, and Dark Moon Digest. Jeff earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at Western State Colorado University. He currently lives in the high-altitude Pikes Peak region, where he dreams strange dreams and spends far too much time under the stars.