A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author, she’s published novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.
You're the youngest of seven. Did that help with character-building?
I didn’t grow up with most of my siblings, as they are quite a bit older. They were around, of course, but our relationships did have a built-in distance that had to be overcome. That sort of dynamic helps with the outsider type of protagonists I like to write.
What do you like most about writing horror?
I enjoy delving into the darker psychological aspects of human nature and exploring what makes people give in to their darker impulses. Plus, I get to kill characters in fun and gruesome ways. That’s always satisfying and delightful.
What book inspired you to be a writer as a child?
It wasn’t a book, but a short story called All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. That was the first story where I felt a subconscious “wow, this is how words can rip your heart out”; it created a strong emotional reaction after reading, and it definitely influenced my desire to write. It also started my lifelong love of short stories.
Did you celebrate when you finished your first book? If so, how?
My very first book was a poetry collection, and I didn’t really celebrate. It was more like an “Oh my, what have I done?” sort of feeling. The first book where I had a sense of triumph was Chronicles of the Undead; getting that book to work was an achievement. But I still didn’t celebrate. It was on to the next book.
"The legends of Camelot got it wrong." I love this line in the blurb for Eternal Myths: A Contemporary Arthurian Fantasy. Where did the inspiration come from?
That came from some of the dialogue in the stories where the characters mention the various legends, and how things didn’t really happen that way. There are so many versions and interpretations of the Arthurian stories, I had the characters address that. Being immortals, I felt they would have strong opinions about the retellings of their lives.
Tell my readers about Past Legends: The Camelot Immortals, Book 1.
Past Legends is the first book in the Camelot Immortals series (Eternal Myths is also part of the series, but more of a prequel/companion book) and is a modern-day fantasy. I’ve made the characters of Arthurian legend immortal (a side effect of magic) and the book and series focus mainly on the women of Camelot: the protagonist Nimue, and the secondary characters Morgan le Fay, Iseult, and Vivienne, who is the Lady of the Lake. There’s also an original character, Martin, who is Iseult’s grandson.
Past Legends begins with a crisis, the kidnapping of Morgawse by Nostradamus, and escalates from there with a threat that could destroy magic itself. The powers behind the threat figure into the rest of the series as well. Nimue is a reluctant hero; she really doesn’t want to deal with this crisis but is dragged into it by circumstances and the better side of her nature. She’s not happy about what she considers wizards interfering with her peace and quiet and complains, swears, and drinks her way through all the mayhem. And there’s a lot of mayhem with wizard battles, Iseult ex-husband, a talking griffin, a mysterious dark wizard, a sentient grimoire, and the final showdown to save magic.
Are you working on any horror stories right now?
Yes, I’m working on a novella called Shadows of the Dead which is a Victorian-era psychological horror tale. That one is about a demon obsessed with a woman named Cora and their disturbing, dysfunctional relationship. There’s also a subplot with a character named Richard, who the demon is using to get to Cora, and several murders.
In addition, I write horror for Pen of the Damned and take part in the monthly Ladies of Horror Flash Project on Spreading the Writer's Word.
Will there be more Eternal Myths books coming out?
I do plan on writing more companion stories to the Camelot Immortals world. Since the books are written in first person, there are several events in the series that I would like to show from the other characters’ points of view. I’m planning on posting some of them on my blog, but eventually gathering them into another Eternal Myths collection. The main Camelot Immortals series has five books planned so far.
Find A.F. and her books at the following links.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Facebook Page: A. F. Stewart
Facebook Group: A. F. Stewart’s Minions
Book Blog: A.F. Stewart’s Blog