Today's guest on the blog is Sera Trevor, author of Curses, Foiled Again, a new paranormal novel from NineStar Press! Welcome, Sera!
Curses, Foiled Again is a story centered around the the persisent efforts of a vampire named Felix to win the attentions of a cursed and world-weary witch. Tell us what makes your story unique from the usual paranormal tropes surrounding these paranormal beings.
Vampires in my universe are the result of multiple curses. The first curse creates mindless, shambling corpses, which accounts for the Old World vampire stories. The second curse was created by witches who wished to give themselves immortality, but they often aren’t able to tolerate the horrors of having to kill for sustenance and tend to end their lives prematurely. The third curse is the one that my vampires are affected by. The witch who created it was terrible at spell craft—he meant to make a curse that would torment “villians” (i.e., rich, good-looking people who mocked him and would not invite him to their parties), except he accidentally adds in a lot of provisions that give them super powers. For example, complaining about how “flighty” they are gives them the power to fly. And by dwelling on how “heartless” he finds them, the vampires under this curse are incapable of remorse, which means that the whole point of the curse is nullified.
My vampires also are very different from the sensual, dominant beings of most vampire literature. Yes, they’re predators, but in my world, the witches are the ones who hold the real power. Vampires are pretty hapless in comparison.
What is it about the paranormal romance genre that draws you to it as an author?
I’ve always been drawn to fantastic stories because reality is often boring and/or terrible. Paranormal romance is a great genre because it blends the mundane with the fantastic, letting you pretend for a little while that there’s a world parallel to our own where magic is real and good triumphs over evil. I also enjoy how paranormal and other fantastic stories can explore real issues via metaphor. For example, one of my main characters, John, is under a curse, which leaves him despondent. The way he behaves is an awful like someone with depression. Everyone brings their own baggage when you start a conversation about mental illness, but by using the metaphor of a curse, I was able to bypass that and talk about what depression can do to a person in a fresh way.
What is the most difficult part of your creative process?
The first draft. I love coming up with the initial idea, and I love doing the outlining. I also love editing, because that’s just a matter of polishing things up. But the first draft always falls short of the expectations I have—like a poor translation of my original idea. It all works out in the end, but boy is it painful sometimes.
Tell us about other works and upcoming projects! What's coming that has you most excited?
I am three-quarters of the way through the expansion of my award-winning debut novella Consorting with Dragons! It’s about three years late, but I’m very happy to almost be at the finish line. I first wrote the story for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet event and was thus working under a pretty strict deadline, so I didn’t get to flesh it out as much as I would have liked. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out, and I think readers will be, too!
I love this question, so I ask everybody some version of it: what supernatural creature or animal best suits you as an avatar or mascot?
A phoenix. I routinely flame out, but I always rise again!
Thank you for joining us on the blog today, Sera, and congratulations on the release of Curses, Foiled Again! Where can readers interact with you on the web?