10 Questions for Nephylim on Hump in the Night
My first time hosting an interview here on my blog! I’m very pleased to have a Q&A from Nephylim for the anthology of supernatural m/m stories, Hump in the Night.
How long have you been writing for?
All my life.
I remember when I was a kid, maybe ten or eleven, my mother would be constantly having a go at me for ‘having my nose in a book’. It didn’t matter to her whether I was reading or writing it was an alien concept. The only thing read in our house was the daily newspaper.
If I had gone to university straight from school I would have done an English Degree and would probably have started getting my writing out there sooner, but I decided to take a year out and work, then things drifted by and I eventually moved into Law.
It wasn’t until about five years ago anyone else read a word I’d written, although there were hundreds of thousands on the computer waiting to be read. When they did read they urged me to publish online, which I did with Gay Authors and the rest is history.
Who or what are your influences? Not necessarily other writers, but anything at all (music, art, people you’ve met?).
Everything influences me. I am interested in everything and everyone. From a drop of dew on a leaf, to screaming kids, to old people on a bus. I notice everything, and am influenced by it all. It’s overwhelming actually. But to look for specifics is hard.
I don’t think anyone influences my writing. I’ve read all kinds, Terry Pratchett and Storm Constantine are my favourites, and there are so many different styles I can’t say any of them come through that I can see. I’m proud to be unique.
Do you have any writing routines/rituals that you’d like to share?
I write as much as I can when I can. I spend every spare minute in front of the computer, or writing in a notebook – at work, on the bus, when I’m waiting for a lift, before I go to sleep. Haha. Just had a ‘brilliant typo’ moment. I typed ‘when I’m waiting for a life’ and I think that’s quite apt. I’ve got to the stage where it’s almost frustrating to have plans or visitors or a life, especially when I’m at a crucial place in my story
Apart from supernatural m/m, what else do you write?
Most of my writing revolves around the relationship of two gay men. Some of them have sex in them… well okay, most of them, but that’s not what they’re about. Other than that I don’t there’s a label that comfortably fits them all. They’re very different and I love to experiment… with tenses, point of views, layouts, relationships etc.
Of the books currently in print, one is based on a fairy tale and is pretty much a contemporary romance. Another is about a freed sex slave with mental health issues and how he learns to relate to and fit in with, society again. Another is about a teenager who was subjected to government led experiments to release latent psychic abilities that went horribly wrong. I guess the general theme is that they all have darkness in them to some degree.
You won’t find fluffy bunnies in my writing or, if you do, they will either have their head on a pole or be carrying a deadly disease. I actually like that idea, watch the presses.
Did you write these stories specifically for the anthology, or were they published before/lying around on your hard drive waiting to be released?
Yes, I did. Matt Bateman, from House of Erotica, contacted me after seeing my stories in other anthologies and asked if I’d be interested in trying something new and writing erotica. This was after me having two stories that had no sex at all in them, published in erotic anthologies through House of Erotica. I guess he wanted to know if I was able to do it properly. I think I showed that I could.
I have to admit, though, that sex isn’t really my thing. Sure I enjoy it and it shows up in most of my stories where it needs to show depth of commitment or exploration. However, I found it very difficult to write so much of it. There are only so many ways after all….
Could you us me a bit about the inspiration for these stories? Not all of them if you don’t want to, but a couple would be great!
The Curse was the first story I wrote. The inspiration came from a painting by a very good friend, Maria. She painted a ‘zombie boy’ and I decided to write a story about him. He was entombed in an enchanted tomb and that became the faery tomb that was excavated in the story. I have always had a fascination with the fae of Celtic legend. They are beautiful, immoral, sweet, selfish, spiteful and magical. Scary beings capable of great good and great bad. Living in the hollow hills they work alongside humankind, sometimes with and sometimes against.
That’s Where he Died is based on another of Maria’s paintings which depicts a boy lying bleeding on the ground. She saw him as bleeding out after having been spurned by his love and then attacked- being doubly alone. The story as she told it raised hairs as does the painting every time I see it. I didn’t use it as it was but took the essence, that shivery feeling of dying alone and, apparently, unloved.
Son of Angels comes from my fascination with fallen angels and my belief that there really is very little difference between angels and daemons.
And the other two come from my love of vampires and werewolves, two side of the same coin in my opinion. To me they both represent sexual desire. The vampires are the higher level – sensuality, beauty, sexiness, eroticism. The werewolves are the base level – raw passion, animal magnetism, hot and heavy, little finesse.
You make much of blood and other body fluids in some these stories. I really liked the vampires enzymes in ‘Dance with Me’ and the affects of demon and angel blood in ‘Son of Angels’. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I don’t really know. There are only so many ways you can describe sex so I looked for ways to make it more interesting. I also have a fascination with altered states of consciousness and that blurring of reality that happens on the edges. Almost all my stories involve unconsciousness in one way or another. I guess it’s one of my fetishes
There is also the idea of blood being the bringer of life so for it to be a poison is perverse and I guess I am too. Perverse; not perverted 😉
Did I spot an interest in pierced nipples? Not just for ornamentation, but during sex? (Not complaining at all, rather, it intrigued me!)
I think piercings are very sexy. I find nipple rings a total turn on and the idea of actually having my nipple pierced during sex is hot as hell. Of course, I’d need it to be by a needle sharp vampire fang while I’m tripping my tits off on his venom. I guess it’s not very likely to happen, but a damn sexy image for me.
The anthology covers a whole range of supernatural creatures. What is it about the supernatural that compels you to write about it?
I’ve always had a fascination with the supernatural. I’ve been surrounded by ghosts since I was a child and it confuses me when people try to tell me they don’t exist. Why do people naturally assume that because they can’t see it, it isn’t there?
I’m a Celt through and through and my entire life has been saturated with the myth and culture which, I think, is more accepting of the supernatural than others might be. I inhabit a world filled with faeries, spirits and, yes vampires, demons, angels and werewolves. Why not? I’ve never been afraid of the dark.
What’s your next project?
I’m working on a series of 8 books with a friend S L Danielson, which is aimed at the Young Adult audience, and have a few books being considered by various publishers.
My second novel with Romance First Publishing will be out later this year, Fallen Angel. This explores more deeply my beliefs and ideas with regard to vampires, weres, fallen angel and the otherkin community in general.
Unusually for me, the protagonists are not a gay couple. They are a male vampire and female were panther. It’s a rocky relationship but one that goes back a long time to a previous incarnation when they were two very different beings.
It explores the connection between vampires and fallen angels and is a Da Vinci Code kind of battle to solve the clues to an ancient riddle before disaster overcomes one of them.
I’m excited by it. I hope others will be too.
Five stories of the paranormal, designed to thrill and tease the senses and to challenge all you’ve ever been told about the creatures that go Hump in the Night.
Nephylim was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.
Nephylim has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.
Later in life, Nephylim became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.
In present times, Nephylim lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and her two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. The part of her that needs to earn money is a lawyer, but the deepest, and most important part of her is a storyteller and artist, and always will be.