1). Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a speculative fiction writer, a Spelman College graduate, a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Carolina African America Writers’ Collective. I’m the author of nine books, including my Immortal and Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective series, and I’ve been published in numerous anthologies including: Steamfunk!; Sycorax’s Daughters; Black Magic Women and, most recently, All the Songs We Sing, and Bledrotica Volume I. I’ll be releasing my tenth novel, Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective: The Case of the Vanishing Child later this year.
2). Who is your favorite vampire author?
If you had asked me this last year, I would have said Anne Rice. But recently, I have a new favorite: Penelope Flynn (who also has a story in Slay). I’m not shy, at least not about anything writing-related, so I don’t mind saying that I love to read (and write) about vampires of color.
3). If you had the choice, would you be a vampire?
Definitely! I have loved vampires since I was a little girl watching Dracula and Dark Shadows. I was never afraid of them. Instead I envied their immortality and preternatural powers. And I always felt like they got a raw deal in movies and TV shows. Why did they always have to be evil, and why did they always have to die? When I started writing about them, I vowed to fix this.
4). Who is your favorite vampire?
“Blacula,” hands down! I love the concept of an African vampire reborn to seek out his immortal bride. The cherry on top is the 70s setting and funky music (although I don’t care much for the ending).
5). What do you like the most about Slay?
Slay is a groundbreaking anthology, a collection of diverse and talented authors, all writing about vampires of color. For me, it is a dream come true, and an honor, to be able to see my name alongside them, and to be able to share my voice.
6). What inspired you to write Beautiful Monsters?
When I first saw the call for submissions, I realized that I had never written about traditional vampires, as much as I love them, only vampires that drink time (as in my novel Immortal III: Stealer of Souls). This inspired me to try my writing hand at creating a vampire more along the lines of those I grew up watching.
7). Tell us a bit about your story.
In my story, “Beautiful Monsters” Sanyu is young black vampire. Young in the sense that she’s only a few centuries old. She drinks blood. But she is also a skilled warrior fighting to free her people from an oppressive sheriff. In this sense, she’s something of an “anti-hero.” Beautiful Monsters is set in an alternate steamfunk world, so I had a chance to write using two of my favorite tropes: steamfunk and vampires.
8). What do you hope accomplish with Beautiful Monsters?
I hope to entertain my readers with story that has lots of action and also give them a tale that will leave them feeling breathless and upbeat.
9). Will there be more stories about Sanyu?
Someone suggested that I develop “Beautiful Monsters” into a novel. I haven’t decided whether to create a novel based on Sanyu, but I’m betting she’s going to show up in future novels and stories.
10). How do we keep up with all things Valjeanne Jeffers?
Folks can visit me at: www.vjeffersandqveal.com
11). What advice would you give to Slay readers about this anthology?
Readers you are in for a wonderful (and sometimes frightening) journey-- one unlike any before. So, sit back and enjoy.
To read Beautiful Monsters by Valjeanne Jeffers and the other amazing stories in this fantastic anthology, preorder your e-book today!