1). Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm Vonnie Winslow Crist. I live in a rural area of Maryland where I write science fiction, fantasy, and horror fiction and poetry. I was born in the Year of the Dragon, so I suppose it's natural that I'm fascinated by myth, legends, and folklore.
2). Who is your favorite vampire author?
Deborah Harkness. Her “All Souls Trilogy” features vampires, witches, and demons. Each vampire (as well as each witch and demon) is unique. I like that Harkness has vampires who are scientists as well as servants, vampires who are heroes as well as villains, and vampires who seek the thrill of the hunt as much as blood. I like the British television series based on the books as well.
3). If you had the choice, would you be a vampire?
No. Though my life will be short compared to the longevity of vampires, I embrace the journey from infancy to old age, then death. I think to watch family and friends pass away again and again would be devastating.
4). Who is your favorite vampire?
Matthew from “A Discovery of Witches.” Though I like my image of him when I read the books more than the actor who portrays him in the television series. His character's restraint and control of his blood-lust is always a tightrope walk. Plus, he's a member of an ancient group committed to helping those in need of protection. What's not to like?
5). What do you like the most about Slay?
I love that the vampires are from the African diaspora. So many vampire stories rely solely on familiar European characters and settings.
6). What inspired you to write “In Egypt's Shadow”?
I've been fascinated by Egyptian mythology and the history of North Africa since I was young. When I read SLAY's guidelines, I knew I wanted to set a vampire story on the Nile River in the distant past.
7). Tell us a bit about your story.
“In Egypt's Shadow” is a love story. Akhon was in love with Kebi when he was made a vampire by Nawa. Kebi refused the opportunity to become a vampire, and moved on with her short life. But Akhon can't let go of the woman he loves. So he stalks her granddaughters for thousands of years looking for one who is just like his Kebi.
8). What do you hope to accomplish with “In Egypt's Shadow”?
I wanted to examine what it would be like to love someone for centuries—but someone you could never have. And to ask, when do you stop wanting to live forever?
9). Will there be more stories of Akhon?
My first inclination is to say, “no.” But I enjoyed writing about Akhon, Kebi, and Nawa. The story would have to take place before “In Egypt's Shadow” or during the time between page 1 and the end of the story. As I write this answer, I'm thinking I could go back even further to Nawa's story!
10). How do we keep up with all things Vonnie Winslow Crist? You can check out www.vonniewinslowcrist.com or https://www.facebook.com/WriterVonnieWinslowCrist/ or https://www.twitter.com/VonnieWCrist
11). What advice would you give to Slay readers about this anthology? Read SLAY. I don't think you'll be disappointed. The editor, Nicole Smith, has collected a wonderful group of vampire stories from writers both new and well-published.
To read In Egypt's Shadow by Vonnie Winslow Crist and the other amazing stories in this fantastic anthology, preorder your e-book today!