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.
hunter Elena Deveraux is the best at what she does but she’s not prepared for
the Archangel Raphael or the mission he has for her.
In a world
where the monsters are real, and vampires and angels are interdependent upon
each other, a human has little chance of survival. Thankfully, Elena is a little
more than human. A born hunter, she heals faster and has a greater ability to
hunt, smell, and decipher clues than a regular human.
chemistry between Elena and Raphael threatens to set the city of New York against
itself. He is the most powerful being in New York city and she is the estranged
daughter of one of its wealthiest families, both are haunted by nightmares.
in danger of becoming one of the monsters. Falling in love with Elena could
mean the loss of his mortality. Could one’s weakness bring greater strength? As
their romance heats up so does the case that brought them together. The two
risk everything, including their own lives to stop a true monster and rescue a
city endangered by darkness.
The twist of
fate that Nalini Singh creates at the end of this story is truly a stunning
feat of fictional writing. I loved it. This is an action adventure paranormal, with
tough, strong, dynamic characters. I am in awe of Nalini, her craft, style and
is a fabulous narrator, I’ve enjoyed her reading of several different books. Her
reading of Angels’ Blood was fantastic. She brought the characters to life and made
it seem as if I were inside the book. I could see, hear and feel the world
around me. Justine was a great choice for this work and added another layer to
In my Leeward Files novels, I have truly horrendous
monsters: murderers, pedophiles, rapists, sex and drug traffickers, and extreme
racists, but not all bad guys are truly monstrous. Sometimes, a good guy can be
pushed into doing bad things, other times, a good person will do bad in the
hope of something good coming from it. The old adage, “The end justifies the
means.” In fiction, as in real life, we know that someone committing a crime,
even for the “right” reason, is still guilty. Murdering the men who raped your
daughter or wife might be justified but it’s still against the law.
What would cause you to commit murder? We are often quick to
say I would kill for this or I would never kill for any reason, but I don’t
believe we truly know what we are capable of until we are faced with it.
As I am finishing up the Leeward Files series and moving
into the next series, The Heroes of Leeward, I am delving into why Todd, Devin
and Phil were so evil. It has been documented that too often, children of abuse
become abusers. These men were emotionally tortured and sexually molested as
children. Todd went from a sadistic little boy to a serial rapist and murderer.
Devin is more of a manipulator. He preys on those he sees as weaker but runs
from confrontation. Phil believes he is a hero and wants to rid the world of
the monsters, but he doesn’t have the honor and guidance to aid him. He
believes the ends justifies the means, and it is more important to stop the bad
guys that preserve the good.
Not all criminals are monsters, some are coerced into a life
of crime, like Dana’s cousin in White Gold. Family is everything but
what if you come from a family of monsters, does that make you a monster too? After
his father dies, Robbie JR is raised by his angry, racist grandfather who
blames him,( sins of the fathers and so on), for the disappearance of his
rebellious daughter and her biracial daughter. The grandfather feels it is his
duty to rid the world of the abomination who shares blood with him. His sadism
and anger drive him to attempt murder.
In the real world we see crimes committed in the name of
religion and morality. People too often hate and fear what they do not know,
they lash out and try to conform it, or erase it. Centuries of wars fought in
the name of religion or country has seen whole tribes wiped out. We may have
evolved in some aspects but we have devolved in others. People still hate, are
still consumed by vice and greed, no matter how much we preach love and
compassion, there will always be those who refuse to live in peace. But
thankfully there are those who overcome prejudices, fight the battle for
equality, heroes who keep the world safe, and give us hope for the future. I
believe in hope and happy endings. Wishing you all your own happy ever after.
Allegra, to my virtual café. This is my dream job where I can write all day or
when I need a break, step out and talk to artistic and interesting people who
come to visit. Creekside Café is a place for readers and writers to hang out,
share their stories and a few drinks.
Allegra: Thank you for this opportunity, have
I mentioned this is my first interview?
Sherri: Well, I’m honored to be your first.
I was a reporter for a small, local paper so I enjoy asking questions, but I
recently gave my own first interview and it’s different being on the other side
of things. I’m so afraid I’m going to say something stupid, but if I do, it
won’t be the first time, it’ll just be in print.
Maybe we should have a drink first.
We have a local vineyard just outside of town, Bennett’s Vineyard, I thought
you might like to try their Rose, although in truth, I’m more of a whiskey girl
myself. I think I’ll have a little Bird Dog Blackberry over ice.
used to be a strictly whiskey girl, however, I was introduced to Rosé and have
taken a liken to that, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. I don’t do the red wines,
they give me a headache.
Sherri: You’ve been writing several years
now, how did you get started?
Allegra: I began my writing career in late
2017, although, I have been writing in one form or another most of my life. My
first published piece was a fanfic based on a Fantasy Ball that the OSRBC (Facebook) group holds every
year. The fanfics were band together and given to our group members as a
holiday gift. I spent nearly a year revising and expanding that fanfic to a
novella which is now Something Different, the prequel to
my Silverton Series. Something
Different is a contemporary steamy romance with a second chance at love
and featuring an older couple. March 2018, I was published in the now
unpublished Shamrocks, Shillelaghs, & Shenanigans anthology with my sexy
short Getting Lucky! Getting Lucky! went through a revision and was
re-released in March 2019, with an extended ending. Getting Lucky! is an
erotic short story with bisexual m/m/f scenes throughout. It is not a romance, however, there is a
happy ending. With my sexy short, Saving
Faith, featured in the Moonlight,
Monsters, & Magic anthology, I dip my toes into the Paranormal Romance
genre. Saving Faith is a modern-day twist on the Salem Witch Trials, Faith is a
witch, Gabe the investigator they are engaged. A protection potion goes awry,
and Faith wakes up ten years in the future with no memory. Fun times.
Sherri: Your work sounds fun and eclectic.
Honestly, I’m new to this and still learning my way. I have story ideas from
many genres. Much like my reading habits, I don’t stick with just one genre,
however, Romance has been and will be the most often written.
Sherri: I think that’s the great thing about
being Indie Published we can do our own thing. Writing is creative and
expressive, why would we want to limit ourselves to one genre or subgenre?
Do you write
full-time or hold down another job?
write full time or at least I attempt to, the muse is not always cooperative.
have a story coming out in The New Romance Café summer anthology, Hot Summer Nights, what else is brewing?
Allegra: My next release, Cooking
Up Love, will be part of the Hot
Summer Nights anthology. All proceeds from the sale of Hot Summer Nights will go to Breast Cancer Research &
Awareness. In Cooking Up Love, Maggie is a kitchen klutz who has been given a
gift of cooking lessons. Enter our hero Seth, chef by day, cooking instructor
by night. Once a klutz always a klutz, Maggie’s first lesson lands her in the
emergency room and Seth doesn’t mind keeping her company. Cooking Up Love is a
sweet romance with a very low heat level, featured in Hot Summer Nights and
launching in June 2019.
currently working on book one of my Silverton
Series, Something Real, a steamy contemporary new adult romance. Something
Real, features Taylyn a twenty-something year old with mental illness
and very dark past. Declan has his own problems namely his grand plan of being
a professional football player was crushed along with his knee cap. Declan is
back in Silverton to rebuild his life without football and to finally get the
girl that got away. If only he can convince her he’s not like all the others.
Something Real will be released in the Fall of 2019.
can’t wait to read your story in the anthology but Something Real definitely
peaks my interest, tell us more about it.
Real, it is book one in my Silverton
Series. In Something Real, the heroine, Taylyn, has Borderline Personality
Disorder. (I also have BPD and struggle with it on a daily basis, hence using
old journals as part of my research) When we meet Taylyn at the beginning of
the book she is a mess, her life is falling apart, her reaction to a cheating
boyfriend lands her in trouble with the law, and she is forced to deal with the
consequences of her actions and her mental illness. Throughout the process she
leans on her two best friends and fights her feelings for Declan, our hero, a
guy she she has history with. Taylyn has sworn off love and everything that
goes with it, Declan swears he’ll change her mind.
Sherri: Oh, I
can’t wait to read it. You said you began your writing career in 2017 but when
did you start writing, or have you always been a writer.
sounds cliché, but I’ve been writing since childhood. As a child I would make
up stories to entertain my friends and family, as well as stories to act out
with my Barbie dolls. In my late teens, it was suggested by a therapist that I
should, “write my own happy ending” to situations that I was struggling with. I
have many journals filled with these happy endings. Writing became a form of
therapy for me, some entries were rants or vents, just to get the feelings out
instead of holding them inside. I continue to do this and have started to read
my older journals as part of the research process for my current WIP.
don’t think its cliché, many writers started as children either to entertain or
therapy or a combination of both. I was a lonely only child who dealt with a
lot of death within a couple of years and found writing was a great release.
Where are you from Allegra?
currently live in Southern California with my husband, Joe and our daughter,
you ever been to North Carolina, or the East Coast before?
I was born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts. I have traveled through
North Carolina twice, in route to South Carolina for our sons’ boot camp
graduations at USMC Parris Island. It’s a very long road trip especially when
dealing with bad weather, traffic, and a little girl with ADHD who is “very
bored” in the back seat. And don’t get me started on the blizzard we had to
drive through on the way home the second time.
Island, that’s how my father-in-law ended up here. He was sent to Parris Island
for bootcamp and then stationed at Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville. He loved it so
he stayed. I take it, you don’t have such fond memories of this area.
Allegra: As I said earlier, I was born and raised in Taunton Massachusetts, about fifty miles south of Boston. Fun fact, Taunton was founded by a woman, Elizabeth Pole, a Puritan from Devonshire England, in the early 1600’s. Although the history books do not give Miss Pole credit for this, the credit goes to her brother. Don’t get me started on that. My hometown has a lot of history to it; our town center was used as training grounds for Revolutionary War soldiers, the site of a few battles during the King Philip’s War, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of silver in the 1800’s, and a POW camp during World War I. Those are just a few of the highlights. I guess you could say I’m a bit proud of my hometown. I am the youngest of three children having two older brothers. I had normal childhood, for the most part, until my tenth year, life as I knew it changed overnight. I lost my father to heart disease and what is now known to be Dementia at the age of fourteen. I was devastated and my life took a very dark turn, cue being diagnosed with my first mental illness. Things went downhill pretty rapidly from there.
said you no longer work outside the home but has there been a past job that may
have influenced your writing?
haven’t worked outside the home in over twenty years. I have mental illness,
after the birth of my daughter I suffered a series of breakdowns which left me
unable to work. Prior to Amber’s birth I worked in Marketing Research. I was
the night and weekend supervisor overseeing six to eight interviewers,
reporting to clients, and running taste-testings, product display, product
packaging, and product samplings.
sounds like a great asset to a writer, marketing is one of the hardest things
I’ve faced. Do you have any suggestions?
no, I am struggling with the marketing aspect myself.
Writing is about creating, experimenting, do you plan to write any other genre
in the future?
Probably, if only to give it a try.
do you love about writing?
Creating a world where the happily ever after can happen. The real world is so
full of negativity, violence, and heartbreak it feels good to be able to create
a world where those things fade away and love, peace, and happiness shine
is your least favorite thing about writing?
Editing! Oh, the tears I have shed over edits… I’m pretty sure I’ve sprouted a
dozen new gray hairs with each and every editing round.
Sherri: I know
your pain, grammar isn’t my strong suit. I’m just starting to experiment with
the Pro-Writing Editing Program, we’re still in the getting to know you phase.
I’ll let you know how the relationship progresses.
Speaking of relationships, you mentioned
you are married.
Allegra: I met my husband at the age of
twenty-one, it was blind date we were both on the rebound neither of us
expected it to go anywhere. Twenty-five years later, twenty-six in July, we
have been married for sixteen years have a beautiful daughter together, our two
sons, my bonus prize at the wedding, and two grandchildren. We currently live
in California, just outside of San Diego. Our boys were stationed out here
during their time with the Marines. They refused to move back to the east
coast, so we moved out here after our daughter graduated high school back home.
We now understand why they refused to move back home. We don’t blame them,
we’re not doing that either the weather is gorgeous out here!
you’re down east, can I interest you in a bowl of shrimp and grits? My husband
doesn’t like grits, but he’ll eat the shrimp over rice.
favorite foods are Seafood and Mexican. My favorite recipe is ordering take
enjoy cooking but after working all day, some days the local take-out place is
my best friend.
Do you have any hobbies or interests
love to listen to music, watch sports and do various crafts when the mood
strikes me. And of course, reading I’ve always been an avid reader.
Sherri: Who are
your favorite authors or your favorite genres?
Allegra: Philippa Gregory, Lynsay Sands,
Tessa Dare, James Patterson, Agatha Christie, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, and
Avery Cockburn. For those wondering, Avery Cockburn is an LGBTQ romance indie
author that I absolutely fell in love with about five or six years ago,
starting with her debut novel Playing for Keeps, which is
mentioned (with permission) in my debut novella Something Different as
MacKenzie’s favorite book.
are your writing strengths and weaknesses? (what comes easy and what do you
have to work harder to get)
Dialogue comes easiest to me, I am constantly struggling with POV/head-hopping
and telling vs showing.
struggle with the both of those as well. POV I usually catch in rewrites, as
well as the showing versus telling but sometimes I miss something. I think the
more we write the better we become.
Allegra: Well, I think I’ve held you all
hostage long enough. I’ll turn this interview back over to my host Sherri, that
is, if I have bored her and you to sleep already.
Sherri: I’ve enjoyed our time together and I
am sure our readers did as well. Please come back again and best wishes for Something
Real and Hot Summer Nights.
Allegra is an indie author who enjoys writing steamy love stories with a
twist. The twist would be her imagination. Originally from Massachusetts, she
now resides in Southern California.
Some of Allegra’s favorite things include
all things purple, glitter, fairies, and unicorns. Her hobbies are reading,
procrastinating, listening to music, watching sports, and napping. If she likes
you, she’ll bake you cookies or cupcakes. If she doesn’t like you, she’ll write
you into a story and, well, bad things will happen. Never make an author angry.
It won’t end well, trust me on this one.
You can find Allegra fluttering around Romancelandia, figuring this
author thing out, one book at a time. You can follow her adventures in writing
on most social media platforms.
Do not judge me because I laugh too much or too loud
Do not think I know not pain
You do not know the tears I hide
My jokes & jests are just so much camouflage.
I CHOOSE to be the happy clown
For one caustic tear like acid waste will erode this dammed wall—
And teardrops shored will then flood my soul.
You know not my fear, my guilt, my shame
The mistakes I’ve made the choices that blame
The monsters hiding beneath my bed
Those who call my name
The demons whose taunts linger in my head
screaming, clawing, accusing, condemning my soul.
The laughter chases back the night
Shoves my tormentors back into our shadowy corner of Hell—
They wait…straining at the edge of the light
Biding their time
Seeking the moment when they can sink their steely fangs into my fragile flesh
and devour my Peace.
They will not consume me.
I choose to be happy
I choose to be free
They will not enslave me
I will NOT give the monster succor!
They will not reign over me…Master supreme.
For I am the Captain of my destiny
Mistress of my soul
I shall not go quietly into the darkness
I will sing, I will dance, I shall give my words wings
For Laughter is the Night Light that keeps the darkness at bay.
Harlow manages to make her stories both comical and emotional, funny and frightening. This adventure of FREAKS agent Beatrice Alexander takes us on a journey to Texas. On special assignment with the dreamy un-dead Oliver Montrose we see the evolution of their friendship and Agent Alexander’s talent as they battle psychotic vamps and bad guys with guns. Bea suffers abuse from Oliver’s jealous ex-lovers, kidnapped and tortured, she has to fight her own fear and her selfish desire to survive in order to rescue herself and those she loves.
It is amazing how this fun paranormal with all its fantastic characters can be so well written. It makes the unbelievable feel almost mundane. We take Harlow’s account as fact. She weaves her story of the monster control agents with what we believe about the FBI. She shows a very real account of detection as Agent Alexander goes through the motions to uncover the killers targeting Dallas.
This is another fun, fast paced, action filled adventure in the life of the FREAK Squad but don’t write it off as just another romantic comedy. Jennifer Harlow fills this novel with layers of personality, fear, passion, love, friendship and vengeance. The theme of friendship is woven throughout the story. What would you do for a friend? Would you risk your life to save your friend’s life? This novel will leave you feeling hopeful and happy. Since I jumped to the next in the series I know what comes next but I think I might have to reread it just to get ready for whatever comes next.
sherrilhollister.com/Suspense She Writes Bookstore Dismiss