Hi Carmilla, I want to take a moment to welcome you to Lou’s Luscious Book Blog and to thank you for agreeing to take part in my relaunch/rebrand event.
On to the interview
I’ll start with the general questions:
I love so many films. Today let’s say “Pan’s Labyrinth”.
Post punk and Goth – stuff like Virgin Prunes, Coil, Fields of the Nephilim and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Favourite TV Show/Series?
Do you enjoy reading? If so what do you like to read?
I love reading. I’ll read horror, literary classics and contemporary fiction. Favourite authors include Clive Barker, Zadie Smith, Haruki Murakami and Iain Banks.
Who is your favourite author?
Of the ones above it’s hard to choose, but probably Clive Barker.
What are you reading at the minute?
Maya Angelou’s autobiography. I’m on book 3.
Favourite type of food and drink?
Sushi and coffee
Describe your perfect weekend?
Snuggled up with a pot of coffee and a great book, or walking through the woods in Autumn.
If you could be any age, what age would you be and why?
I actually like getting older, apart from the aches and pains.
Most embarrassing moment to date?
There are too many to count. A good friend used to say of me “For someone with a brain the size of a planet, you really say stupid things.”
When you’re not writing what do you like to do?
Reading. I’m sorry but it’s true.
When you were at school what did you want to be?
Journalist or author.
What freaks you out or gives you the heebie-jeebies?
I hate being too close to fireworks. Does that count?
Do you have any pet-peeves? Care to share any with us?
People who are too perfect.
Do you have any strange habits? Fancy sharing any?
I wear sunglasses outside in almost any weather.
Do you have any superstitions? What are they?
What is your earliest memory, that you’re comfortable sharing?
Most of my early memories revolve around photos and I’m not sure how accurate they are. I do remember as a pre-teen trying to seduce, with erotic dance, the posters on my wall.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
I want to visit Japan, the old and new capitals – Tokyo and Kyoto.
If you could meet any person living or dead who would you like to meet and why?
I’d love to properly meet Iain Banks. I saw one of his talks the year before he died, but I’d love to share a pint or two and a chat with him. Other than that I’d love to have met Emma Goldman.
If you were stranded on a desert island and had food and drink, what 5 things would you want with you and why?
Music – but unless there’s electricity I guess that would mean an acoustic guitar (I guess I’d learn to play). Books – at least a couple of novels and a book of poetry. A parasol and sunglasses – the sun and me aren’t the best of friends. Company, like a cat or dog or something.
Can you list 5 things (non-author) related that we may or may not already know about you?
I used to run a Gothic clothing company called Drac-in-a-Box. I need to live by water (sea or river) to feel content. I love cheezy horror movies. My hair is almost always messy. I love to dance.
Quick Fire Questions:
Sweet or Savoury?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Good Guy or Bad Boy?
Writing Related Questions
What drew you to genre of books do you write?
I’ve always loved horror. One of my fondest memories is watching Hammer Horror with my dad on a Friday evening. With horror there isn’t really a limit to what you can do or express, but I try to keep the stories very human at the same time.
Would you ever consider writing a different genre? If so which one?
I’d love to write literary fiction, but I always stray towards very dark places.
Do you have a certain place that you write? (Like a writing cave?) Or do you prefer a certain type of atmosphere? (like quiet or music in the background?)
I tend to write with a laptop on my lap on a comfy chair, or if I feel stuck I’ll take a notebook and pen to the woods.
Do You have a set writing routine? Will You share it?
What made you want to write?
I find it the best way to express myself and I desperately want to be understood.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
A shower or a walk.
Do you outline the whole story before you begin writing or just roll with the flow?
Always with the flow.
Do you listen to music when you write? If yes do you have any particular favourites?
Sometimes, and it depends on what I’m writing. One of my favourites is Dead Can Dance.
How do you research when writing your books?
Mostly by reading non-fiction but also, when possible, by visiting a place.
Do you set yourself daily targets when you’re writing?
Do you have people to use as a sounding board?
Yes. I have a beta reading team and also a couple of authors I chat with.
How do/did your family feel when your first book was published?
My dad was proud, the rest weren’t particularly impressed. They’d like it more if I made money, I think.
Where do you get your character inspiration from?
Myself and people I meet.
When you’re writing do the characters talk to you? Do they tell you what they want to happen?
Yes. I often dream about my characters too.
Who is your least favorite character to write or that you have written and why?
I disliked writing Paul from Starblood. I never managed to get under his skin.
Who is your favourite character to write or that you have written and why?
Freya, again from Starblood. She’s really out there.
Are any of your characters based on real people?
Most of them contain aspects of me, and I’m real, I think.
Can you share a snippet of your current WIP?
Venus Virus is in a very early stage so I don’t feel comfortable sharing that yet. How about a page from Psychonaut the Graphic novel, illustrated by Anna Prashkovich?
How important do you find reviews? And what do you make of negative ones?
I love reviews both of my work and books I’m considering buying. I always try to leave reviews. I don’t get upset about negative reviews. They are never nasty and I know not everyone will like what I write.
Do you or have you ever used events from your own life in your books? If so how close to the real event did you keep it?
Yes. One of the short stories in Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales was about something that happened when I was a teenager and then a revenge fantasy added on for good measure.
If you could collaborate with any author alive or dead who would it be & why?
Mary Shelley. She was a visionary and I would have loved to meet and write with her.
If any of your books were turned into a movie or tv series who would be your leading man/lady?
OMG! I have no idea.
Which book would you most like to see as said movie/tv series?
The Starblood Trilogy as a TV series to give it plenty of time for the characters to develop.
And finally is there anything else that you would like us to know?
I’ll be at The Darker Side of Fiction event in Peterborough on October 7th.
Spotlight time, please provide blurbs, covers & links to your books 🙂
Excerpt from The Starblood Trilogy by Carmilla Voiez.
Lilith rests her face against the windowpane. They will not see her. Their eyes, mouths and hands sense only each other. Her own body grows moist and hot as she watches them caress each other. Hands cling, pull and grasp in movements more forceful and aggressive than in consensual couplings between man and woman. Lust drives them blindly into each other’s bodies, again and again.
Lilith places her hand against the glass. Oh, to be in there with them, and experience this passion first hand. Their love-making feels demonic, a step above human sex, as when Samael filled her, all those years ago. Their sex had a purpose: procreation, filling the world with demons to thwart His great work. The magicians’ poundings have no purpose other than pleasure and eradication: losing themselves in each other, desperate to forget the world around them, locked inside their own warm, safe place.
The boy is tiring. Or is he crying? He crawls beneath the sheets of the huge bed. The white-haired man plants kisses on his lips, but the boy shakes his head. Letting his lover sleep, the man sits naked on top of the covers, smiling. He glances up at Lilith then reaches for his glasses. Slowly, as if every muscle in his body has turned to gelatine, he pushes himself up and stumbles bow-legged towards the window. Their eyes meet and he reaches out his own hand and places it on the other side of the glass. She smiles at him as he reaches for the window latch with his other hand. The handle moves but the window doesn’t open. Pointing to the lock, he shrugs and motions to Lilith to meet him downstairs.
Sliding off the windowsill, she falls lightly to the ground, landing on her feet. Then, she crosses the perfect lawn to the front door.
Moments later, she steps inside. The man before her is different from the boy-magician. Sentences beginning and ending with ‘your will’ and ‘humble servant’ gush from him. Her thoughts drift upstairs to the pale body curled up in slumber in the room above them. Again she wonders why she feels drawn to him. He is nothing – an awkward, arrogant child. She heads towards the staircase.
‘Lilith,’ the white-haired man calls to her.
She turns to look at his thin, silk wrapped frame and weak, obsequious eyes. He is speaking again. The sound annoys her.
‘I felt it the moment you stepped from Chaos into Malkuth. The world trembled as your foot touched the floor. We all did. You have an army here, should you want it.’
What is he telling her? The words buzz around her ears like ravenous gnats. An army? What do I want that I might need an army? ‘An army.’
His eyes shine. ‘Yes, we want to change the world in your name. Stay here, please. Lead us into temptation.’
Lilith shakes her head. ‘You’re a liar and a misogynist. You want to follow because you want revolution, freedom and fire. If Samael or Asmodeus appeared beside me you would bow before them and, under their protection, spit at all I am and all of womankind. Why do you desire revolution when this world is already of your making?’
He bows his head, but not before she sees the hatred burning in his eyes.
‘You want power and glory,’ she says. ‘I see through you, into the black heart beating pointlessly in your skinny chest. You are nothing, good for nothing.’
‘I am nothing,’ he agrees. He kneels before her. ‘Please, make me something. Let me serve you. Do you want him? I can call him down. What do you want? I will get it for you.’
Lilith strides into the kitchen. Everything sparkles; it is like magic. Drawing a heavy butcher’s knife from a chrome block, she touches the tip and runs a finger along the blade.
‘Sharpen this,’ she tells the man hovering in the doorway.
He looks at her then sets to work, gathering a wand and leather strap from a drawer. The knife sings as it is sharpened. Closing her eyes, she lets its song fill her.
‘Knives. Wonderfully phallic, don’t you think?’ she says, more to herself than him.
‘Yes,’ he answers quickly. ‘People who carry knives are sexually repressed. It’s the act of penetration they crave.’ He blushes and turns away. ‘I’m sorry … here, it’s sharp now.’
She takes the blade from his extended hand. He does not meet her eyes. ‘You know what I did. Did you watch? Did it excite you?’
‘No … I didn’t watch,’ he stammers, shaking his head. ‘Baron … my guide … told me.’
‘Ahh.’ Losing interest, she turns on a tap. Water hisses into the sink, beating a frantic rhythm on the aluminium. She turns it off again and looks around the room, but her mind wanders upstairs. A smile makes her lips tremble then it grows into laughter. The man looks at her. His lips twitch in a silent prayer or chant. Is he afraid now? Good. She steps towards him, and he takes a step back then recovers himself.
‘I want to help you,’ he says. ‘We share the same dream: a world full of demons and magic, hedonism and despair.’
‘You will help me,’ she tells him. She pats the flat edge of the knife against her thigh. The movement attracts his attention, and his jaw drops.
‘I’m more valuable alive.’ He looks as though he wants to say more, but his words fail him.
Another step closer, she can hear his heart beating fast, the rhythm flawed; a beat skips and another echoes.
‘No! Please!’ he cries. ‘Satori, help me!’
His words are silenced by her fist. She smashes open his jaw with her punch. Terrified, he stares at her, his mouth hanging open. Tearing open her blouse, she reveals the swell of her left breast and pulls his gaping maw to her nipple.
‘Worship the terrible mother,’ she whispers in his ear. ‘For she gives you life and binds you to death.’
Excerpt from The Ballerina and the Revolutionary by Carmilla Voiez
Portraits loomed over my head. I shrank beneath the weight of their stares. My ears grasped echoes of resentful whispers and I hung my head in shame. Ashamed of what? I couldn’t remember, not really, perhaps it was purely that I wasn’t more like her.
I faced her door, shaking with fear, expecting her to rush out at any moment, screaming my name or slapping my face. I concentrated on my breathing, trying in vain to calm down. I was grown up now. She couldn’t hurt me anymore.
Mastering my fear, I opened her bedroom door and inspected the empty room. Vivienne’s huge bed crouched in the corner like a monster ready to pounce. Shadows lingered at the edges, a dark audience to mother’s regular performances. The air smelt stale. It reeked of old perfume, sweat and sex.
I marched to the wardrobe and opened the door. Frills burst forth from its bowels. I moved soft, delicate fabrics and checked behind them. No one lurked there. I pulled back the curtains and opened a window. Sunlight poured through the smeared glass, bouncing off Vivienne’s full-length mirror and flooding the room.
Breathing slower now, I sheathed my knife and strolled to the bedroom door. Already the air smelled fresher. I turned around as I reached the hallway, glancing back at the rich fabrics and heavily patterned wallpaper – a true boudoir, a shrine to her pleasure. I sighed and moved to walk away when something caught my eye. Turning back to the room, I watched as the décor altered.
Subtly at first – the colour of the light-shade, a change of carpet then everything looked different. And there was Mother, centre stage, on the bed, naked, legs splayed and mounted by a huge man. Her flushed face fixed on me and I was a terrified ten-year-old girl once more.
‘What do you think you’re staring at?’ Vivienne demanded.
‘Maybe she wants to join in,’ the oily-voiced stranger suggested.
Other books by Carmilla can be found here:
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