1). Tell us a bit about yourself?
-Well, hello! I am St. Louis, native, Midwest born, Romance and Speculative Fiction writer, Kai Leakes. I am a hopeless romantic and vampire lover whose obsession with all things fantasy, romance, and the dark began as a kid and expanded through adolescence. I am a movie/TV fan, neo-soul lover, a Blerd with a love for dark anime, comics, and foodie. I am also the creator of the popular dark fantasy/horror series ‘Sin Eaters: Devotion Books, Sin Eater Chronicles’ novella & steamy romance: Love, Trust & Pleasure: BOK series. My unique passion for romance with a touch of darkness has allowed me to be featured in the HWA award-nominated horror anthology 'Sycorax's Daughters’, and sci-fi anthology 'The City'.
2). Who is your favorite vampire author?
My readers would automatically know the answer to this and I’m glad to continue to share it. My favorite vampire author is the incredible L.A. Banks, may she rest in peace. She was a force of awe for me. She gave me a sista who was loved, and whose love was fought for. L.A. Banks brought wisdom and bad-ass Blackness to the vampire genre. She made sure we as a community saw ourselves in her stories. She did the same with her other inclusive characters. She was an amazing force and literary icon that many copy but can never duplicate.
3). If you had the choice, would you be a vampire?
I love my vamps but it would depend. I’d probably want to be a daywalker or like my own vampires, for me to say a definite yes. I mean unless my maker is Idris Elba. LOL Then whatever type of vampire he is, I’d be.
4). Who is your favorite vampire?
I might surprise some, but it’s a tie. My favorite in the classical form of a vampire was Louis from Interview with a Vampire (but the movie version). He was a brooder, but he was valid in his upset in being made. My next is of course Akasha, mix it with the flair that Aaliyah gave the character with the correct badassness in the book, yup, she’s my fave. I would have loved her fate to have changed but, villains have to learn. Then Blade. He needs no explanation.
5). What do you like the most about Slay?
Slay’s concept of bringing African vampires, Black vampire stories forward to share and shake up the old genre is what makes me excited. Its beyond time that Black vampire stories are told in abundance. We have vibrancy. We have allure, and in some cases, we were the first.
6). What inspired you to write Di Conjuring Nectar of Di Blood?
My inspiration came from some research into what type of vampire entities were in Africa. The next was the fact that I already write West African based and Black American based vampires as is, so I wanted to show a different linage of Black African vampires. I lucked up and found some that also brought in some magic with it. As I was working on my story, Watchmen on HBO came through and it helped me find a moment in time and experience that my lead vampires experienced in order to start their legacy. I’m excited and it’s a story I may expand on in the future.
7). Tell us a bit about your story.
-My story ‘Di Conjuring Nectar of Di Blood’ is a Black vamp love story and generational family story that spans from West Africa to St. Louis, Missouri. Here is the synopsis:
There’s a delectable conjuring sweetness in the blood. An ancient legacy that spans a generation. This is the story of the early beginnings of a unique cursed breed of African vampires that predate their popular European counterparts. Comfort and Easy’s love began in Abomey, West Africa. The deplorable destruction of their kingdom and kidnapping of their people changes the pair into a curse designed to reap vengeance on the hunters who erased their world, continue to hunt them, and aim to bring destruction to others.
For the next generation to carry on the legacy, Crimson must connect to her parents’ painful memories to understand Sankofa: looking to the past while staying present, for education about a reemerging sect of dangerous vampyre hungry for the power of day walking, magic, and rebirth that runs through her blood. She must shake her fears and embrace the rooted nectar of her blood to protect the innocent and herself.
8). What do you hope accomplish with your story?
I mainly hope to entertain and give readers a little Black Vampire love with that of a warrior story featuring strong Black female leads, that the readers connect with and remember.
9). Will there be more stories based on your main character?
-I really like the bases of my story, since it’s different from my precious vampires and more rooted in some of the classical sense of a vampire. So, I hope to expand on their world, their magic, their blood lust, lethalness, and family unity/generational love. Besides, I really love Comfort and Easy, they are quite an interesting and sensual pair in my mind.
10). How do we keep up with all things Kai Leakes?
-Interested readers can find more information about my other works at my website (www.kaileakes.com) or find me on social media at Facebook and twitter (@kaileakes)
11). What advice would you give to Slay readers about this anthology?
-If you feel the literary bloodlust inside you for vampires, write it. Let their stories live. Practice self-care and work at your own pace and wellness. Don’t rush but enjoy the experience.
To enjoy Di Conjuring Nectar of Di Blood and other Slay stories, preorder your book today!