Author Interview: Milton Davis


Milton Davis is an award winning Black Speculative fiction writer and owner of MVmedia, LLC, a publishing company specializing in Science Fiction and Fantasy based on African/African Diaspora history, culture, and traditions. Milton is the author of twenty-one novels and short story collections and editor/coeditor of ten anthologies. His short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines, most notably Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda, Obsidian Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora and Tales from the Magician’s Skull. Milton’s story ‘The Swarm’ was nominated for the 2017 British Science Fiction Association Award for Short Fiction, and his story Carnival was nominated for the 2020 British Science Fiction Association Award for Short Fiction.

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author?

Well, I released the sequel to my Ki Khanga story collection, Eda Blessed, titled Eda Blessed Two. I’m also about to drop the paperback version of Fallen, a sword and soul story collection that takes place in the world of Changa’s Safari.

What is your connection to the American South?

I’m born, raised and bred in the South. I was born in North Carolina, grew up in Columbus, GA and currently reside in the Metro Atlanta area. While I’ve traveled throughout the U.S., I’ve lived in the South my entire life.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer? 

They say we Southerners are storytellers, so I guess I’ve inherited that by proximity. On a personal level, I’ve only recent begun to tap into my personal experiences as a Black person growing up in the South as a source of my imagination. Some say those are my best stories.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

Working on a number of novels right know. The ones closest to fruition is Destiny, a Cyberfunk novel set in my Utopia universe and The Curious Cases of Martha Perrywinkle, a Steamfunk novel from my Freedonia universe.

You can all my books via my publishing company MVmedia and anywhere books are sold. You can also read excerpts from my books at my vanity website, www.miltonjdavis.com






Author Interview: Bobby Nash

Bobby Nash is not a man of action, a detective, or a hero, but he loves writing about characters who are all those things and more. Bobby is an award-winning author of novels, comic books, short stories, screenplays, and more. He is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers. When not writing or vegging in front of the TV, he tries his hand at acting and has appeared in several movies and TV shows, usually standing behind or next to your favorite actor. From time to time, he puts pen to paper and doodles, usually on envelopes. For more information on Bobby Nash and his work, please visit him at www.bobbynash.com, www.ben-books.com, and across social media.

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author?

2021 has been a busy year. Who knew how productive I could be by staying home? Freaky, huh? I’m a hybrid author, which means I write for publishers as well as publish my own books. That keeps me busy and have learned to juggle projects as a result. I also started publishing other writers this year through BEN Books as I’ve invited authors to be part of my Snow series with Snow Shorts. This has been a fun experiment for me and I’m thrilled with the stories that have come in so far from writers Gary Phillips, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Mark Bousquet, Brian K. Morris, and Charles F. Millhouse, and there are more on the way. There are more Snow Shorts on the way. My most recent releases are In The Wind – A Tom Myers Mystery (book 1) and stories appearing in the Occupied pulp anthology and Pulp Reality #2 magazine (featuring a Snow Short).

What is your connection to the American South?

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I have been told that I am a rare beast, someone born in Georgia who still lives here, though a little further outside of the city than I used to. I just turned 50 so it seems doubtful I will ever leave, although there are times that moving to a beachside community tempts me.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer? 

There’s definitely a southern voice to my writing. It’s hard to escape it. I have set a few of my creator-owned books in the South, including creating my own fictional Sommersville County and the town, now city of the same name. Evil Ways, Deadly Games, the Snow series, and the Tom Myers series all have ties to Sommersville as characters live there, work there, or just pass through. The South is where I grew up so I feel a kinship with the place. That rich history, both positive and negative, impacts the stories I tell. There’s a lot of story potential in the South. Sommersville feels like a real place because it is, or at least the amalgamation of a few real places.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

There are several projects in the hands of publishers that will be released sooner or later. I don’t always know when, but there will be more Domino Lady stories from me, a Secret Agent X novel, a Lone Ranger story, more Snow, Evil Intent novel, and more Sheriff Tom Myers stories on the horizon. In fact, I plan to have Snow Down (Snow book 6) and Such A Night (Tom Myers book 2) out in September/October along with the Snow Series 1, Vol. 2 collection. Both are currently running as serialized releases on my Patreon page (www.patreon.com/bobbynash). I’m also working on Hunter Houston: Horror Hunter, a 4 book series coming soon from Falstaff Books. I still have one more of those to finish. There’s a horror novel and a pulp adventure also in the works. There’s other stuff in the pipeline as well. There’s always more ideas. I need to learn how to type faster. Oh, and I wrote two full cast audio dramas based on short stories of mine that will be released this year. The first will be “Midway” and the second is “Just Another Saturday on Outpost Nine.” I am so excited to hear what the cast does with them.


You can find me and my work all over the internet. Here are a few links: Bobby Nash author page at Amazon; www.bobbynash.com; www.ben-books.com; Facebook; Twitter; Goodreads.

Author Interview: Jordan Rothacker

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author?

Well, my most recent novel, The Death of the Cyborg Oracle, came out last November (2020) and this November the French translation will come out in France from Les éditions du 38. It is my first work in translation, and it is very exciting, especially with my love of French and French literature. Also, this December, an anthology I’ve edited will be released from Kernpunkt called The Celestial Bandit. It is a collection of tributes to a late 19th century French writer named Le Comte de Lautréamont. He was a brilliant, precocious weirdo who wrote two earthshaking books and then died mysteriously at twenty-four.

What is your connection to the American South?

I was born in New York, and I got to Georgia at age seven after four months in Spain and France (long story; memoir-type stuff), and even at that age there was some culture shock. I then lived in Atlanta until I was nineteen and went back to New York for my undergrad at Manhattanville College. So, I got here accidentally and wrestled with it and tried to make the best of it. I came with a real Northern snobbery. 1980s Atlanta was constantly trying to prove itself to the world. I tasted New Coke as a sample in Piedmont Park. This was the New South. But I have this distinct memory of being twelve in middle school and making a friend whose favorite book was Gone With the Wind. I asked him why and he said he liked the chivalry of the Old School. I was twelve in 1989 and guffawed. Those assholes owned slaves, I remember thinking. The most polite thing I could say was, “I’m not interested in any of that; the only good about the South is the Black South.” This is over twenty years before I’d teach Black Diaspora Literature at UGA. After high school I went back to New York for seven years, then came back to Georgia for a two-year MA in Religion at UGA, finished on time, and never left. It’s been eighteen years in Athens now.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer? 

Well, living in a ragingly red state—until recently—but in blue enclaves like Atlanta and Athens has helped fuel the battle against political complacency I might have if I lived somewhere like Berkley or Burlington. Like anywhere, the South has given me a sense of place. And like Faulkner wrote of Mississippi, living here has helped me understand that we love not because of, but in spite of. When I think of Hawthorne or other early New England writers dealing with the shame and guilt of Native genocide as well as slavery, the South gave that to me: a more recent connection to the dark shame of America. In high school in the early 90s Flannery O’Connor and Southern Gothic was huge here. It still is it seems. So many hipsters naming their kids Flannery or Atticus these days. But to return to Faulkner, this is my home. It is the setting for three of my novels and several stories in my collection, Gristle.  I met my wife here. My children were born here. To me, the South, Georgia, Atlanta and Athens specifically, is home and a truly multi-cultural, international, globally-connected place.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

Next year will see the reissue, second edition of my first published novel, The Pit, and No Other Stories. It is my wife’s favorite of all of my books so I’m glad it will have a new second life. I’m also working on some plays and getting close to finally writing some screenplays. Maybe soon I will get to a sequel to The Death of the Cyborg Oracle. That world of Atlanta in 2220 has many more lives, stories, and mysteries to explore.

Visit Jordan Rothacker’s Amazon Author page here.

Author Interview: Zachary Steele

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author?

Well, it’s a busy time for me right now. My newest novel, The Weight of Ashes, is due out August 24th, with a fair number of events already planned and more on the way. I’m incredibly proud of this one and can’t wait to get reader feedback.

What is your connection to the American South?

I am a Southerner by birth. Born in Orlando, raised in Florida and Georgia, nearly all my life has been lived in the South. From rural areas to big cities, both sides of the political coin, immersed in the history and culture. This is my home. I enjoy writing about it, and working to breakdown some of the stereotypes that exist.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer? 

More than anything, it’s given me an ideological base to draw from. Characters are always going to derive some aspect of personality from the real people I’ve known, but it’s the ideology of the South that has inspired my writing. There is a sense of family and community in the South that I haven’t seen in other parts of the country, and the depth of connection to one’s politics and religion is vibrant. People don’t just believe what they believe. They shout it with every part of what makes them a living human. Fortunately, I’ve had the privilege of spending equal parts of my adulthood in conservative and liberal areas. As a writer seeking to understand every motivation of the characters I create, it’s been amazing. I am a centrist, likely due to the exposure to such a variety of belief.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

I’m down the line on a contract for my fantasy series, the first of which is The Fallen Hero. Hopefully, I’ll have news to share on that soon. That will five or six books and follows the path of Oliver Miles, a young boy who finds himself the hero in the living world of his favorite series of books. It’s tremendous fun. I can’t wait for that one to come out. Also, I’m working with a friend on series of children’s books (either chapter books or middle grade). He’s an incredibly talented artist and the story is too fun not to tell. Beyond that, I’ll write a second novel for my current publisher to follow behind The Weight of Ashes.

My website is zacharysteele.com, where I blog occasionally and keep updated event info. There are links there to Atlanta-area indie booksellers who will have my book in stock. Otherwise, it’s available anywhere books are sold. So, no excuses! Otherwise, I’m rambling somewhere on social media channels about my writing, about Broadleaf Writers, the writing organization I run, my cat Winnie, or my new family that I absolutely adore.

Author Interview: Jessica Nettles

Jessica Nettles grew up with one foot in the real world and the other in a world mixed with dabs of spiritual belief, science-fiction and fantasy dreams, and spooky experiences that she, nor her family, could quite explain. At age 11, she found the perfect outlet for this bizarre childhood in the form of writing. Her influences range from Ray Bradbury to Flannery O’Connor and Shirley Jackson. She reads as voraciously as she can while balancing her career as an English Instructor and a writer of Southern Gothic and Historical Fantasy. She is also on the board of the Broadleaf Writing Association in Atlanta, Georgia and is a member of HWA Atlanta

Her first novel, Children of Menlo Park, will be released by Falstaff Books in the fall of 2021, and her short story (one of many, many short stories she’s written), “The Undead Have No Dignity” was published in Off the Beaten Path 4 by Prospective Press. To find more about her and her work check out jessicanettlesauthor.com very soon (the website should be up by DragonCon). She loves her beautiful adult children, who are successful in their own right, as well as her two black cats. She lives in Powder Springs, Georgia. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author?

The last few months have been really amazing. My story “The Undead Have No Dignity” was published in the Off the Beaten Path 4 anthology back in June. This marks the first anthology I’ve been published in, so it’s a sort of landmark in my writing journey. I also wrote a new story, “Cancer at Zero Degrees,” which got some attention back in June online (it’s no longer available where I posted it). Later this fall, my first novel, Children of Menlo Park, will be released from Falstaff Books. I am hoping to have some ARCs at DragonCon where I will also be doing a reading with my publisher and friend, John Hartness, who is the author of the fabulous Quincy Harker Demon Hunter series as well as the equally fabulous Bubba the Monster Hunter series. I have high hopes that my website will be live by that time as well. My best friend in the entire world, Amanda Canup, is designing it for me, and the previews I’ve gotten so far are just beautiful.

What is your connection to the American South?

I was born and raised in Georgia and grew up in West Cobb County when it was still pretty rural. My momma is from Cobb County and my daddy is from Chatham (Savannah) County, so I got a double dose of Southern. I’m a child of the 1970s and 80s, so I witnessed a lot of the changes and stress that has faced the South, particularly in the Atlanta-area, as it has attempted to morph and move away from what some call “our heritage” to become a more international and modern city and region. On a more basic level, I feel the connection to the South in the way I tell stories. I believe there is a sort of story magic that runs throughout the American South, and a lot of folk in this region know how to tap into it.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer? 

Not all of my stories are Southern, but I think there is a sensibility that runs through my work that is somehow, innately Southern. There are themes that run through my stories like family, belief, food, secrets, and strange doings (for lack of a better term). Lots of writers in lots of different places write about the same things, but somehow, the South makes all of these things seem louder and more intense, especially secrets and strange doings. When I write, often my stories begin with a secret or with someone not fitting in to the “family,” or some sort of darkness. That’s something else about the South—our people are born knowing how to hide darkness under smiling faces and tables filled with homemade food. Of course, if you’re someone like me, I want to look under the tablecloth and see that darkness and look it in the eye.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

My story “We All Gotta Eat” will appear in the HWA ATL anthology, Southern Nightmares, Vol. 1: Georgia Gothic (I’m not sure when the pub date is for this yet). I will also be a reader on Pseudopod this fall, which I’m really excited about because I got to read a really awesome Southern Gothic story by Michael McDowell. I’m also working diligently on my second novel, Kudzu Ridge, which is not even in the same world as my first novel. On top of finishing the second novel, I’m in the planning stages for two new novels, which continue the adventures started in Children of Menlo Park, and I have some ideas for a series about three witch sisters who live in a town much like my hometown. I’m also working on a short story for something called Scary Stories by the Fire, which is a Halloween event in Atlanta.

You can find me online at jessicanettlesauthor.com (website in progress). You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram. Mostly I post pictures of my cats and baking.

Author Interview: Gail Z. Martin

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing, and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, Badlands, and Lucky Town.

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What’s new and exciting in your life as an author? 

I’m really excited about adding new series, expanding existing series, and trying some different approaches. The Splintered Crown (by Larry N. Martin) is a portal fantasy quest adventure, in the heroic tradition of books like the Forgotten Realms, Guardians of the Flame, and Dragonlance. I’ve wrapped up the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series with Convicts & Exiles, a prequel that ties up the six-year gap that happens in Ice Forged. It’s also exciting to see nearly everything out in audiobook, which is great for so many readers who prefer to listen to their fiction. We’ve also got some exciting conventions coming up, including ConGregate, Raleigh GalaxyCon, DragonCon and AtomaCon. Plenty of chances to connect with readers and make new friends!

What is your connection to the American South? 

We moved South 22 years ago, first to Richmond, Virginia, where we lived for barely two years, then to Charlotte, where we’ve been for twenty years. We’ve raised our kids here, and it has certainly become our home.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer? 

The South is the setting for a lot of our series and novels. The Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series is set in Charleston, SC and it’s all about getting cursed and haunted objects out of the wrong hands and saving the world from supernatural threat. Charleston is very much a character in the book, and I pull a lot from local history and lore.

I also write urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance as Morgan Brice. My Badlands series is set in Myrtle Beach, a place we think of as a second home because we’ve vacationed there so often. It’s all about a psychic and a cop hunting down supernatural killers. My Witchbane series also has several novels that are or will be set in the South. Seth Tanner means to avenge his brother’s murder by hunting down the dark warlock who’ll killed him—he doesn’t expect to fall in love with the warlock’s next intended victim. The first book is set in Richmond, Virginia, and it was fun revisiting favorite places and learning new ghost stories to write that book. Upcoming books are set in Boone, NC, Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC, and New Orleans, all places I’ve come to love.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

We have a couple of new series debuting soon from Falstaff Books. Wasteland Marshals is a near-future post-apocalyptic series about the last two US Marshals trying to hold back chaos and supernatural threats after a series of catastrophes end life as we know it. The Joe Mack series is set in the Roaring Twenties, with former steel worker Joe ‘Mack’ Magarac becoming the immortal servant of Krukis, the Slavic god of blacksmiths, with a charge to walk the earth stopping monsters and battling the powers of darkness. The Joe Mack books are a tie-in to John Hartness’s Secret Council (Quincy Harker) series. We’ll also begin a new Spells Salt and Steel cycle, so I’m looking forward to more adventures from Mark Wojcik.

Watch for new books in the Deadly Curiosities and Night Vigil series, as well as more Salvage Rat and a new Jake Desmet adventure in the world of Iron & Blood!

Visit Gail Z. Martin online at ascendantkingdoms.com or on Twitter @GailZMartin

Author Interview: Jeff Strand

Jeff Strand is the four-time Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of over forty books, most of them humorous horror but with various other genres (thriller, fantasy, a romantic comedy and a smut comedy) sprinkled into the mix.

Jeff Strand Author Photo for Blog

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author? 

My latest novel, MY PRETTIES, just came out. I’m known as a “horror/comedy” guy, but though this book has a lot of humor, at least in the early chapters, it’s definitely one of my darkest books. My previous novel, FEROCIOUS, which didn’t come out all that long ago, is a fun-filled action-packed creature feature with all the chainsaw mayhem you could want. Maybe even more than you’d want.

What is your connection to the American South?

I lived in Tampa, Florida for over twenty years, and I’ve lived in Atlanta, Georgia for two. So I’ve got the street cred, even though before that I spent fifteen years in Alaska and eight years in Ohio. After I graduated from college, my #1 priority for a place to live was warm weather. I’m completely thin-blooded now and even the Atlanta “winters” are too cold for me.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer?

It varies by book. I have to admit that I’ll usually default to setting a book in whatever state I happen to live in at the time, unless there’s a reason the story won’t work there. I lived in Florida when I wrote PRESSURE, but I had an idea for a great scene that took place amidst a field of cacti, and that’s really the sole reason the book took place in Arizona. The closest I have to a true “southern” book is probably WOLF HUNT, which is very specifically set in Florida because our heroes are from New York and are miserable in the hot sweaty weather.

Cabin 12 Roan Mtn

Jeff Strand, finishing his novel MY PRETTIES at a haunted cabin in Roan Mountain, TN
(look closely and you can see him on the front porch)

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Look for at least two more novels in 2019. Plus I’m working on a very cool project that I’m not allowed to talk about that definitely will NOT be out in 2019, so there was no compelling reason to share it in this interview. Those crazy enough to want more information about my books can find it all at www.JeffStrand.com.

Author Interview: Christopher Martin

Chris Martin Paradise Garden

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author? 

My debut book, This Gladdening Light: An Ecology of Fatherhood and Faith, came out this past summer with Mercer University Press. It’s kind of a memoir/essay collection/spiritual journal hybrid. It won the Will D. Campbell Award in Creative Nonfiction and has been featured in ArtsATL and the AJC, and is the subject of a recent Literary Atlanta podcast. I was just nominated for a 2018 Georgia Author of the Year award in the essay/creative nonfiction category for this book.

As for individual pieces, I have some fairly recent essays published at New Southerner.

I’ve got plenty of other irons in the fire. My full-length poetry collection is done and I’m just trying to find a publisher for it. I might be self-publishing a chapbook soon. I’m working on a book about R.E.M.’s Fables of the Reconstruction. And I’ve always got individual poems or essays or satire pieces floating around.

And while this isn’t publication news, I’m excited to share I’ve been invited to lead a monthly writing workshop at Reformation Brewery in Woodstock, Georgia. The first one, which will focus on creative journaling, is set for February 11 at 3:00. It’s free but space is limited to 30 participants, so anyone interested can reserve a spot here, and the FB invitation is here.

What is your connection to the American South?

I’ve lived in Georgia all my life. I’m originally from Gwinnett County, spent a short but significant time in Newton and Jasper Counties, and ended up in northwest Cobb. Both sides of my family have been in this general Georgia piedmont area for a while. My wife is from Washington County so we also have a deep connection to rural east Georgia. My sisters now live in Atlanta, which has become a meaningful place for me, as well.

In her essay “Home,” the late Melissa Walker writes, “To most Southerners, home is the place where they were born and grew up. Like many people my age in the South, I lived in one place until I left to go to college, and that place is the center of a larger geographical area extending from the Georgia Sea Islands and the Okefenokee Swamp in the south to the Appalachian Mountains in the north.” She goes on to call her house in the Atlanta area “only one of many linked elements that all together comprise home.” While I didn’t live in one place growing up and don’t feel rooted to any one particular location—even for the relatively small range of places I’ve lived, we moved around a lot between parents and grandparents within that range—I get what she means and more or less feel the same. The northwest Georgia piedmont is about as close to home as it gets for me—places like Kennesaw Mountain and the Etowah Mounds make up my spiritual terrain. But places like Jekyll Island and Blood Mountain inform my sense of home and my connection to this region, too.

It’s hard to think of any one place as home but I’m always haunted by the idea of home (which is a somewhat redundant thing to say given the etymology of haunted). The suburbs, often soulless, probably have something to do with that, as well. I guess the title of your blog got me thinking along these lines. But I’ve always been here in Georgia, and my family has been here for a long time, and this is the American South, so…

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer? 

I like thinking about open-ended questions but I’m not that good at answering them. I start to ramble. Though I am a Southern, place-based writer, “Southern” isn’t a label I’m particularly interested in claiming or reclaiming, though I don’t disown it, either. I just let it be what it is. It has too many associations—positive and negative, romanticized and demonized, documented and caricatured, and everything in between—that vary far too widely to meaningfully talk about in a general sense in a short space. I guess the best answer to this question is the work itself. I could say, for example, that the Confederate flags flying in downtown Kennesaw inform my work as a writer, in the sense of making me angry, and I wouldn’t have that basis anywhere but here. But I could also say the diamorpha on Arabia Mountain informs my work as a writer, in the sense of giving me peace, and I likewise wouldn’t have that basis anywhere but here.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

I mentioned the poetry book and the book on R.E.M.’s Fables of the Reconstruction. I have tons of poems in progress; I’m particularly proud of two unpublished drafts called “My Daughter Refuses to Smile” and “Crawling Out of Christian Psychology.” Maybe they’ll be out soon. I’ve got some notes for children’s books. I try to get a piece of satire into McSweeney’s once a year (I guess my time’s run out on 2017, though it happened in 2015 and 2016). I’d like to write some kind of manifesto on Christianity and unicorns. That sort of thing.

My book is available at all the big online outlets, though I encourage folks to order directly through the publisher, Mercer University Press, or to ask your favorite local indie bookstore to get a few copies for its shelves (and maybe hit me up for a reading or signing while they’re at it).

My website is christopher-martin.net. Anyone interested can find most of what I’m up to through links at the site, which I try to keep updated as much as humanly possible.

Author photo (above) by Cannon Martin (7), taken at Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden 

This Gladdening Light

Author Interview: Nicole Givens Kurtz

Nicole Kurtz profile pic

Nicole Givens Kurtz is the author of the cyberpunk/SF Mystery, CYBIL LEWIS Series. Her novels have been named as finalists in the Fresh Voices in Science Fiction, EPPIE in Science Fiction, and Dream Realm Awards in science fiction. Nicole’s short stories have earned an Honorable Mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest, and have appeared in Crossed Genres, Tales of the Talisman, and numerous anthologies such as Baen’s Straight Outta Tombstone, and Onyx Path’s V20: Vampire the Masquerade Anthology.

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author? 

My latest fantasy novel, DEVOURER: A MINISTER KNIGHT NOVEL, was recently released.

What is your connection to the American South?

I’m a born and raised Tennessee Volunteer! I graduated from the University of Tennessee, and I prefer driving while barefoot and eating fried deliciousness. All of my childhood friends have nicknames and I put salt in my grits. I love being a southerner.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer?

In my horror work, the parts of the south that are deeply horrific — racism, radicalized violence, and the ramifications of slavery and Jim Crow linger in the veins of most southern African-Americans. That horror is in our genes, in our veins, and blood so when I sit down to write horror, it pumps out onto the page, anchoring me to the present by way of the past.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

My latest review is available in the latest issue of Skelos. I have an upcoming release from Falstaff in the Spring.

You can find my books online at http://www.nicolegivenskurtz.com or via online bookstores.

Author Interview: Valjeanne Jeffers

Valjeanne Jeffers author pic

Valjeanne Jeffers is a graduate of Spelman College, and the author of ten books, including her Immortal and Mona Livelong series. Her novella, The Switch II: Clockwork (Books I and II combined) was also nominated as the best eBook novella of 2013, by the eFestival of words.

Her writing has been published in numerous anthologies including: 60 Black Women in Horror Fiction; Steamfunk!; The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology; and most recently, Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures; Sycorax’s Daughters; and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler. Her stories (Awakening and The Sickness) have been published as podcasts by Far Fetched Fables. Valjeanne is also one of the screen writers for the horror anthology film, 7Magpies (in production). 

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author? 

Late last year, I released the second novel of my newest series: Mona Livelong: The Case of the Powerless Witch. It’s a steamfunk/horror series and it’s become quite popular, which makes me happy. I love it when my readers dig my offerings. I had three stories and an essay published in 2016-2017. Also, Quinton Veal, my fellow author and cover artist, and I published Scierogenous: An Erotic Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy (2016). This is an anthology which brings together both new and seasoned authors’ unique take on erotica and science fiction, and we’re very excited about it.

What is your connection to the American South?  

My parents, Lance and Trellie Jeffers, were both English professors and writers. My father (now deceased), was from San Francisco. My mother grew up in a little town in Georgia, Eatonton, about a hundred miles from Atlanta. I grew up listening to her stories: she is a most certainly a griot. My whole family enjoyed her stories; I guess now they would be called folklore. My father, wrote over a dozen poems to her and her Southern roots. Most of my mother’s family still lives in Georgia, and as a child, I often spent my summers in Eatonton. This is where I had some of most memorable experiences—both good and bad. And all of this has found its way into my writing.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer?

When I wrote my Immortal series, I drew heavily from my experiences as child of the Civil Rights era, and of the beautiful “Make Love not War” zeigeist of this movement. This 1960s-1970s flavor is part of the mosaic of my Immortal series; in fact I think it binds together the synergy of Afrofuturism, sorcery and shapeshifting of these novels. But when I wrote my third novel, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, I embraced both this era and my roots. “Annabelle” the newest main character, is definitely a Southern. She is a powerful, conflicted, dangerous meta-human. She brings both the beauty and the terror of her (my) Southern heritage to the series.

When I began writing Mona Livelong, I dusted off some of the memories of the gritty urban novels I read as a child to create something new. Again I returned to my roots. I returned to my mother’s stories, to that little town in Georgia, to some of my experiences that blur the lines between reality and fantasy. They are the stuff of dreams and of nightmares. The beginning of Mona Livelong III was actually inspired by an experience I had while visiting relatives in Eatonton.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

I just released an audio book of Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. I read and produced it myself, and it was a lot of work. But I had fun working on it. Readers can purchase the MP3s (listen online or download) at www.gumroad.com/valjeannejeffers. The CDs are available at www.vjeffersandqveal.com. I’m going release Immortal IV: Collison of Worlds, which I also plan to read myself, in the near future. I’m writing Mona Livelong III: The Case of the Vanishing Child as we speak, and I plan to release it in 2018. Quinton and I are also planning to release a sequel to Scierogenous in 2018.

Readers can purchase the novels of Valjeanne Jeffers at www.vjeffersandqveal.com or at Amazon (click here for her Amazon Author Page) or at Barnes & Noble. You can purchase her ebooks at www. Smashwords.com.  Free stories are available at Smashwords:  Grandmere’s Secret and Outcasts.

Immortal I and Immortal II: The Time of Legend are also available at Audible.com.