________Lost Souls_______
Alex Severin Interview


Alex Severin is widely published on the web in numerous ezines and sites including: Fangoria, Horrorfind, The Dream People, Short Scary Tales, Suspect Thoughts, Ophelias Muse, House of Pain and Death Grip.  In print she has featured in Peep Show Magazine 1 & 2 and Chaotic Order magazine.  Alex is also to feature in the forthcoming anthologies: Femmes de la Brume, Scriptures of the Damned, Blasphemy and Ghostbreakers.  She is the editor and webmistress of the exquisite BDSM, Fetish & Erotic Horror ezine, Shadow of the Marquis and owner and webmistress of custom written erotica website, Personal Erotica.
     She is also co-author of BROKEN - Twisted, Gore-soaked Tales of Sex, Death & Pain with Hertzan Chimera & Wrath James White, co-author of BoyFistGirlSuck with Hertzan Chimera and has her debut novel, Vampire Red, coming out later in the year.
     Despite all this, Alex still found time to answer a few questions for Lost Souls' debut issue!  I interviewed her quite successfully (seeing how I was an interview virgin) but things got a bit bloody towards the end, and I still have the scars to prove it!

Hello, Alex!  First off, for anyone who doesn't know anything about you and your work, how would you describe yourself and the fiction you write?
Hi there, David. Just some mad goth chick with a compulsion to write is how I would describe myself.  My fiction, I would say, is dark, erotic, intense, passionate.  I love writing erotic horror and try to be true to what my own definition of erotic horror is - making the reader question themselves for finding some of the subject matter arousing.
What's your debut novel, Vampire Red, all about, and when can we expect to see it published?
'Vampire Red' is about a writer, Lily Transyl, who writes a vampire erotica novel which is so potent it influences fans of the book around the world to kill in her name.  'Vampire Red' has a cult, serial killers, goths, vampire lifestylers and REAL vampires, immortals.  Vampire Red is scheduled for publication later this year (2003) by Massacre Publications.  You can read excerpts on the 'Official Vampire Red Website' at www.vampirered.com!
Is the character of Lily Transyl based on you? To what extent did you draw on your experience of being a writer?
Lily's not based on me, not really.  Lily's a world-famous writer, for one thing!  LOL  I suppose there are similarities between us, but perhaps not the ones you would imagine whilst reading the book.  Nuff' said. 
Vampire Red has Lily's fans killing after reading her book, what sort of responsibility do you take for what you yourself write? Do you ever worry that people might get ideas from your stories and carry them out in real life?
It does cross your mind from time to time - the whole life imitating art thing - then I think to myself it would be extreme arrogance to even worry that something I wrote could have such an effect.  I don't think a writer should have to self-censor in case some unbalanced person reads it and decides to copy it.  People can find hidden meanings and inspiration in almost anything if the inclination and the will to do wrong is there.  When it comes down to books that inspire such, we may as well ban the bible.  How many people have been killed in the name of some 'God' or other?  Yeah!  Let's start with the bible!  Ban it, I say!  Ban it!  *grins*
You like writing about vampires a lot, why do you think the vampire has lasted so long in the works of fiction and films? What do you think its appeal is?
The success of vampire books and films endures because, unlike other monsters (Frankenstein's monster, zombies, werewolves etc) there's so much more room for sex with vampires!  The vampire is a dark and mysterious, exotic creature, usually with a velvety accent and hypnotic eyes.  The vampire is the personification of seduction.  The vampire IS sex.   
Which is your favourite vampire novel and why?
I have a couple of favourite vampire novels - 'Interview with the Vampire' by Anne Rice (predictable, I know!) and 'Vampire Junction' by S.P. Somtow.  Both these books are filled with history, vacillate between time periods and places.  The prose in both of these books is stunning in its richness and passion.  Another brilliant vampire novel is 'Necroscope' by Brian Lumley but very, very different from the other two I mentioned.
Similar question, have you a favourite vampire movie and why is it your favourite?
I have to say 'Interview with the Vampire' is my favourite vampire movie.  Because the book means so much to me, seeing the film for the first time was this HUGE deal.  And it's just such a beautiful film.  Another vampire movie I'm a big fan of is 'Innocent Blood.'  'Innocent Blood' blends my two favourite genres - Vampires and Gangsters!  It's a very different vampire movie from one like Interview but I get something completely different from it.  It's like the difference between 'Blade' (which I also like a lot) but watch and enjoy more as an action movie as opposed to a vampire movie.  The vampires in 'Blade' aren't my kinda vampires (the romantic, foppy pretty beautiful people,) but animalistic and monstrous.             
You have a story in the forthcoming erotic, religious, horror anthology, Blasphemy, what's it about? And when can we expect to see the book published?
'Blasphemy' is coming out later this year through Massacre Publications.  The official website has excerpts of every story, author bios and order info!  You can learn more about it on the Official Website at www.religiouserotica.com 
My 'Blasphemy' story is called 'Ripened Fruit' and is set in Imperial Russia.  It features the equally captivating and repulsive Grigory Rasputin.  Now there's a character!  What a fascinating man he was.  Writing 'Ripened Fruit' was such fun and I'm planning a novel featuring him as well.
Who are you favourite writers and why?
At the risk of repeating myself, Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles' have to be the books that have had the most effect on me, been the most inspirational.  I wouldn't say she influences my own writing although I have been compared to her - but that's something that is inevitable when you write vampire fiction -people tend compare every vampire book released (or vampire short story)  to her vampire books.  Clive Barker's early work just totally captivated me - the way he can take something visceral and write it in a way that is almost beautiful.  Richard Laymon's 'Resurrection Dreams' absolutely blew me away and it will always be one of my favourite books - I'd never read anything quite like it at the time and its a book that endures, will never lose its potency.  I can still remember screwing up my face reading that book! 
As for small press writers, my personal favourites are Kailleaugh Andersson (liked him so much I married him!) Hertzan Chimera who's utterly certifiable and has one of the most incredible imaginations on earth but really shouldn't be walking around unrestrained, and Simon Logan who writes the near future as a place we really don't want to go to.   Other names to watch for are Brian W. Cooke, C. Dennis Moore, L.J. Blount and Deborah Alton.  Deborah Alton has a story in 'Blasphemy' which is just gonna pop people's corks.  It did mine!
Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you first start writing? And can you remember any of your early attempts?
Yeah, pretty much always wanted to be a writer.  I've always written little stories and poetry and song lyrics for as long as I can remember.  I started writing regularly in 1991 when I was looking after my grandmother who had chronic Alzheimer's.  She had a fascination with a baby doll which inspired my first proper short story.  From then on I wrote all night while I had to sit and watch over her.  Writing was extremely cathartic for me and it's still the way I relieve myself of most of my stresses.  None of those early stories will be published in their original form but I may use some of the ideas in the future and re-write the stories from scratch.  I only really started submitting material 2000; prior to that I was a regular guest writer on one e-zine that was called Blood Candles, (under the pen name Alex Draven [original, I know!] ) but didn't submit anywhere else at that time.
Have you ever written anything that was too violent or too perversely sexual that you never let anyone see for fear of what people might think of you?
I'm *way* past giving a shit about what anybody thinks of me.  I used to censor myself all the time when I started writing erotic horror.  As a consequence I was never happy with it because it didn't read the way I wanted it too; it always seemed a little stiff and as if something was missing.  Then I came across guidelines on a site called 'Gothic Press' that basically said to write what you want and be truthful and don't hold anything back.  I wrote 'In the Flesh' that day and subbed it to the editor who accepted it.  So, *that* editor is to blame for creating the monster that is Alex Severin.  But don't worry, he's being punished for it - I married him!  LOL! 
What advice would you give new writers to get a foot in the publisher's
door? How easy or difficult was it for you to get published?
Well, because of the type of fiction I write, it's sometimes very difficult to get published.  In 2000 I couldn't seem to get a rejection.  From 2002 til now I can't seem to get an acceptance.  As my writing progressed and got more hardcore, some editors just don't want to know, but that's fine and I know which markets to avoid anyway.   Last year I barely subbed anything out at all.   My advice to new writers would be to write what you want to write, chose your markets carefully, *always* read guidelines meticulously and polish your product best you can before submitting it to an editor.  You can write the best goddamn story in the world but if it is sloppily edited and poorly formatted, it won't even be read.  Learn the basics, hone your craft, read a lot, write a lot and submit a lot!  It's *very* important for writers to read a lot as well as writing.  By doing that, you can learn to pick out things you SHOULDN'T do as well as things you SHOULD do.
What are your interests outside of writing? Anything unusual? Surprise me!
Well, during the day, I'm a rare Heirloom vegetable seed broker!  LOL!  Myself and my husband run a business which specialises in Eastern European vegetable varieties.  He does the messy bit and I do the admin.  I collect baseball caps, rosaries, and books - but not in the 'Ooooh, I have a Lovecraft First Edition bound in human flesh!' type of collecting - I just love books.  I also enjoy making handcrafted gothic jewellery and seasonal (Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter etc.) novelty jewellery.
What are your plans for your follow-up novels? Have you any ideas yet? What sort of areas can we expect to see you writing about in the future?
Yep, lots of plans!  'Vampire Red' my debut novel out later this year is the first book of the Lily Transyl Chronicles.  The working title for the second book is 'The Keeper of Bones.'  I'm also working on a couple of more mainstream novels.  I'm also planning on turning the 'Bad Habit' series of stories into a novel or a novella as well.  And there WILL be lots more vampire books
Well that's it, how was it for you?
The earth moved; can we do it again?
Thanks, Alex.  Keep gushing out the crimson!
(Alex starts gushing out the crimson again.) Damn it. You got a Band Aid, David?

Alex's top ten favourite books, not in any order, are:
1.  Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
2.  Vampire Junction by S.P. Somtow
3.  Necroscope by Brian Lumley
4.  Colored People : A Memoir by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
5.  Red Hedz by Hertzan Chimera
6.  Cabal by Clive Barker
7.  Resurrection Dreams by Richard Laymon
8.  The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
9.  Byron: A Portrait by Leslie A Marchand
10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Discover more about Alex at the following locations ...
The Official Alex Severin Website
Vampire Red - the debut vampire erotica novel by Alex Severin
Blasphemy - The Anthology of Religious Erotic Horror
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