Sunday, September 10, 2006


From the author:

On a road trip from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I stopped for breakfast in a Black River Falls cafe and happened upon a conversation between two men about the Wisconsin town of Tuonela, where they claimed a vampire once roamed the streets.

I introduced myself and asked if they'd mind telling me more. They fell silent, looked at each other, then grudgingly continued. The story they told was so outrageous I decided they must be having fun at my expense. They'd probably meant for me to overhear their conversation; I was their entertainment for the day. Tuonela didn't exist, and we all know vampires don't exist.

In the car I pulled out an atlas and was surprised to find a town called Tuonela on the map. If you were to draw a triangle by connecting Wausau to La Crosse to Portage, Tuonela would be somewhere in the center on the Wisconsin River. That area of Wisconsin was settled by Finns, and if you're up on your Finnish mythology and the Kalevala, you'll know that Tuonela means land of the dead in Finnish.

That left me to ponder about the men and our conversation, and about the vampire they'd referred to as the Pale Immortal. Had they been telling the truth after all? Was I now included in a secret only a handful of people knew? I have no answers to these questions. All I know is that day in the Black River Falls cafe the men told me the town often vanishes, and many don't believe it even exists. In case you think I'm making this up, dig out a map of Wisconsin and try to find Tuonela. Ninety percent of the time it won't be there.

anne frasier


Blogger Anne McAllister said...

You are trying to spook me, Anne! I know it. And having been on the banks of the Wisconsin River when it is fog-shrouded and positively eerie, I can tell you that you're doing a very good job!

8:09 PM  
Blogger Kelly Parra said...

Great idea on this blog!! Focus on the book & creation--awesome!!

10:00 PM  
Blogger anne frasier said...

anne, i didn't meant to scare you.
wait. yes, i did! hehe

kelly: thanks!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I'm glad you decided to do this blog. :)

11:51 AM  
Blogger Jer said...

I love it, anne. Keep spooking us. Jer

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

This is freaking me out! :-D


6:38 PM  
Blogger anne frasier said...

thanks jeff and jer!

alex - LOL! that took me a second, but i got it. :D

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

I think it was one of those things that *might* have been funnier while it was still rattling around inside my head :D

4:03 AM  
Blogger Rob Gregory Browne said...

Nice set up. Now, really, how much of it is true... :)

2:32 PM  
Blogger anne frasier said...

alex, it was funny here too. :D

rob, it's hard to tell where truth ends and fiction begins... you still believe in the Easter bunny, right? ;)

2:59 PM  
Blogger c.rooney said...

The preview of the book intrigued me, but this has me hooked. What an incredible story.

I'll be looking for Pale Immortal.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous anne said...

c.rooney: i hope you enjoy it!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Love the video! But I have to tell you, 100% of the time Tuenola is on my map of Wisconsin. :) You did come upon some cool mythology though and I can't wait to read the book!

12:23 AM  
Blogger anne frasier said...

laurie, thanks so much!

you must have a special map. ;)

1:10 PM  
Blogger Daniel Hatadi said...

Anne Frasier, you are evil.

Evil is good.

8:12 PM  
Blogger anne frasier said...

daniel, i might have to use that as a quote somewhere.




8:27 PM  
Blogger briliantdonkey said...

Very intriguing and interesting. Now I am off to read some more. I am torn. A) I want to try the map thing cause I just HAVE to know if it is true and B) I dont think I want to know if it IS true.

Nicely done.


7:06 PM  
Blogger anne frasier said...

brilliantdonkey, that's actually the perfect attitude to have regarding the map. :)

9:27 PM  
Anonymous klgilbert said...

Wow, Anne! HOW IT ALL BEGAN is a great story in and of itself! The whole thing is just captivating.

8:36 AM  
Blogger anne frasier said...


9:13 AM  
Anonymous Mad Hatter said...

I think Stroud was the best character I mean he barley knew his son and he practically went to go get killed for him. >)

1:36 PM  
Blogger Gretchen10 said...

Hey anne,
this is gretchen your cousin from illinois. My mom (susan) bought me on eof your books and it is really great! it is the garden of darkness!!! i am in eigth grade and i am doing it for my book report!! my friend miranda really wants to read it next! She bought pale immortal so we are going to flip flop!! i cant wait well i hope to meet you some time!! I can brag that my sousin is a awesome author haha!!

4:38 PM  
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