(Originally posted on the MVMedia Blog)
1). Tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I am an award-winning horror author, and I have six novels under my belt but I didn’t start writing paranormal romance until the third one out. I believe that my experience with paranormal romance in the Scierogenous 2 anthology (Valjeanne Jeffers and Quinton Veal are behind that) and my Somnalia collection helped me bring the sensuality needed to “Asi’s Horror and Delight,” my story in this anthology.
2). Who is your favorite vampire author?
That’s a hard question. It’s either gonna be L.A. Banks or Anne Rice.
3). If you had the choice, would you be a vampire?
I wouldn’t. I would not want to outlive everyone and I would have problems with drinking people’s blood and killing them.
4). Who is your favorite vampire?
I actually like Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Bram Stoker’s Dracula the best, all of that Victorian charm. Dracula in the book was not that charming, he was basically a jerk, but all of the Victorian era men like Jonathon Harker were so repressed that he seemed really sexy by comparison.
5). What do you like the most about Slay?
I am so excited about the whole concept of centering vampires from the African diaspora, and there are also a lot of African diaspora authors in it.
6). What inspired you to write your story?
I really wanted to tell a story about men loving men in the vampire genre, but at the same time I wanted to write about male bisexuality and women complicating a man’s love for another man, and not necessarily in any kind of a good way. It’s ultimately about a witch and a god of the underworld fighting for the love and loyalty of a vampire.
7). Tell us a bit about your story.
Asi is an impundulu or lightning bird, which is a shape shifting vampire from South Africa, who can appear as a glorious metallic-gray lightning bird, or a comely young man. The imundulu is always the familiar to a witch, and is handed down from generation to generation in the same family of witches. Ozymora, the witch Asi serves, seeks to use his charms to best Phobetor, the Grecian god of nightmares. In Greek mythology, some of the gods are of African origin, and Phobetor is Afro-Grecian in this tale.
8). What do you hope accomplish with your story?
I wanted to increase queer representation in the world of black storytelling, and in this particular instance, to have the two bisexual men re-center the story about themselves, pulling control of the narrative away from the straight woman Asi serves, who is trying to make their liaison all about her personal needs, wants, and desires.
9). Will there be more stories of Asi?
Phobetor is one of the major characters in my books Somnalia and Insatiable, and I am writing a third book, Akmani, where he appears but is not a focal point. I hope to write a fourth book that centers around him as the main protagonist, so Akmani will slowly slide in his direction, setting up the next book in the series, Phobetor. I would want to put Asi in the book Phobetor, so I will try to set that up so that Asi will eventually get some more page time.
10). How do we keep up with all things Sumiko Saulson?
I have a website, www.SumikoSaulson.com, and I am @sumikoska on Twitter, Facebook and Tik-Tok, and @sumikosaulson on Instagram.
11). What advice would you give to Slay readers about this anthology?
Some of these stories are really terrifying, so don’t read them just before you go to bed, or you’ll end up having to sleep with all of the lights on!