Sirius is a lover of glory, gore, and monsters. They are a queer, nonbinary artist living in the hot and bothered South; currently residing in a little spot that has been dubbed ‘Halloweentown’, North Carolina. They are the writer of The Draonir Saga, the first book of which is Uncrowned (The Laughing Man House), and The Gentleman Demon Series, the first book of which is Swallow you Whole (Curious Corvid Publishing).
Sirius began writing at a young age and started exploring the publishing industry when they were thirteen. With many bumps along the way, they have learned a lot and grown in the craft that they would consider their one true love. Queer characters, gothic aesthetics, and royal drama (fantasy of manners) form the foundation of their storytelling.
When they are not writing, they work as a professional drag performer, weaving the characters from their stories into visual art for the stage.
Sherri: Welcome Sirius to my virtual café. It is such a pleasure to welcome you and introduce you to my audience.
Sirius: Thank you for having me! It is an absolute pleasure to be here.
Sherri: My Creekside Café, while virtual has become a haven where I can chat with fellow creatives. It is such a pleasure to meet a variety of writers from all over the world and from every genre. While horror isn’t my favorite genre, I have found that there are techniques used by horror writers that translate into suspense and mystery. I love to listen to Steven King and Brandon McNulty on YouTube. While McNulty is more of a thriller writer, King has explored several subgenres of horror. What subgenres do you write?
Sirius: I am an avid lover of King and his diversity! When it comes to horror, I definitely write a lot of dark and gothic fantasy. I prefer fantasy worlds and paranormal themes placed in alternate dimensions that have flavors of our world. I have written my share of more classic horror as well – clowns, ghouls, ghosts, and serial killers. If it is atmospheric, dramatic, or gory – I am a fan.
Sherri: Tell us a little about your work. I can’t believe you started publishing at thirteen, successful or not. I wished I’d started sooner. Did you always write horror and dark fantasy?
Sirius: I was definitely an ambitious teenager! I started writing more epic fantasy, but vampires, demons, and angels took over as a major interest. Eventually, the two blended together for me.
Sherri: Your characters are queer, what is it you hope the reader will discover when they read your books whether gay or straight?
Sirius: I want my books to be a treat, a needlessly decadent queer narrative. All my beloved characters straddle that morally grey line, and I want readers – whether they are queer or not – to be able to enjoy reading queer characters whose queerness is not their defining trait. They love, mourn, plot, and yes – commit horrible war crimes – as people first and foremost.
Sherri: People first, I think that’s all any of us want. I know in my own stories, I want my characters, as well as myself to be accepted on our own merits, not as a label.
What is it you like about the monsters? I remember Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Monster wasn’t as frightening as the scientist who created him.
Sirius: One thing I love about writing the monsters is that they are unpredictable. They are capable of anything. Their reasoning is not always sound, if it ever was to begin with. Monsters are diverse and colorful and there is a lot of freedom in being able to dig into the chest of what makes something inhuman tick.
Sherri: Who are some of your favorite authors? Did their work influence or inspire your own?
Sirius: There are far too many to list, but I am heavily inspired by Anne Rice, Stephen King, Richard Lee Byers, and Ellen Kushner. Anything that gives a decadent, lush narrative or lively characters is instantly up my alley.
Sherri: You mentioned in your bio that you do Drag, and it’s influenced by your characters. I’d love to know more. Is this a hobby or do you have an income from your entertainment?
Sirius: Drag is absolutely part of my income – it is feast or famine just as any other part of the art world. It has become an enormous part of my life and being able to incorporate my characters into it has helped, tremendously, with getting to know them all over again – even the ones I have known a long time. I have had several new characters come to me that way, also. I am part of the Underground Presents troupe based in Greenville, NC – it is an incredible family and community that I am really grateful for.
Sherri: Are you indie-published? What would you tell a young writer attempting to publish their first book? Share the Pros, Cons, things you wished you’d known, or where you’ve found your best information.
Sirius: I am both indie published and I am signed with the Curious Corvid Publishing house. Again, a wonderful community that I am very grateful for. If I were to give any advice to a young writer attempting to publish – it would be to not give up. Make your budget, crunch the numbers, and then don’t compromise. Do not underestimate the power of a good editor and a professional cover. I made a lot of my mistakes early on in my career, and one thing I wish I had known was how much work it is even after the actual book is finished. It is a lot of work, a lot of marketing – and your first book won’t sell a lot, so don’t give up! Keep writing, write the next one! Be genuine online and in person, always, people love when you are yourself, and use resources like Writers Beware to keep yourself safe and not fall for predatory vanity press practices. Above all, remember that bad reviews, low sales, and low traction does NOT mean your work is bad. Your story needs to be told by YOU and there are readers out there who will love it. So much of making it in this industry is luck, so keep doing what you are doing, and you will make it – just keep writing.
Sherri: Just keep writing! Or whatever you love, keep doing it until you make it. Success is just picking yourself up one more time than you fall down.
If you enjoyed this interview with Sirius, come out to the New Bern Farmers Market November 20th, 2022 1-4pm for our Author Event. Books make wonderful gifts.
Tik Tok Handle: @palestarsirius
More Buy Links: https://linktr.ee/palestarsirius
The Draonir Saga, Book 1
May 13th, 2022
The Draonir Saga, Book 2
November 4th, 2022
SWALLOW YOU WHOLE
The Gentleman Demon Series, Book 1
February 14th, 2023
HUNTER GODDESS MOON
Short Story: The Spectre Review
THE DEVIL’S NIGHT GRIND SHOW or GRIND SHOW OF FEAR
Short Story: Magpie Messenger (Circus Edition)
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