Angie Gallow, author of The Coven, is currently touring in support of her debut novel. The Coven is a vampiric tale set in Victorian England and is full of intrigue and bite! I turned my site over to Angie, asking her what difficulties she faced while writing The Coven and in writing in the realm of speculative fiction in general. She bought along with her an extended excerpt and a giveaway. This is what she had to say…
The Difficulties of Writing Speculative Fiction
In writing The Coven, I was plagued with many difficulties. For one thing, if a writer is trying to dig into a genre, the first rule is knowing how that genre operates. One needs to know the elements and trends in all of those genres because if a writer doesn’t know, they completely botch the story they’re trying to write. Genre fiction is tricky because everyone wants to write but the key is to be original and to stay original. Aspiring writers want to emulate their favorite author or write something similar to their favorite genre story, but unfortunately you can’t recreate something that’s already been created in the writing world. Readers like the fresh and new, not something they’ve tasted once before.
When I was writing The Coven, I knew had to come with something strong, especially in the vampire world, because almost everything has been done to and with vampires. So the hardest part for me was both the story line and the characters. My novel had over seven active characters I needed to not only keep up with but to give them their own working life and contribution into the story, not just having a phone book of characters that really didn’t do anything to move the story along.
I had to be extremely careful not to lose focus on what the main character was trying to do and draw focus away from him. Granted, there were other characters but I had to use them as a means to help my main character along, keep the story active and driven without digressing to the point where the reader would forget what was really going on. Genre fiction is already a hard topic to write, especially horror because horror is so picky and everyone doesn’t have the hand for it just like I don’t have the hand for romance and detective stories.
Another thing that’s difficult about writing speculative fiction is figuring out what the story is going to be about, how to shape your characters and how to make all of the story-puzzles fit together to make readers want more of what you’ve got to share with them. Once readers see what you’ve got, how original you can be without breaking the cardinal rules of the genre, they’ll come back for more.
After a gruesome betrayal, vampire Sebastien Vilmont is flung into a whirlwind cat and mouse game when his traveling party is ambushed by an opposing group of bloodthirsty vampires. Maurice, the leader of Sebastien’s coven, makes the decision to not only wage war against the opposing vampire clan, but a clerical organization known as The Diocese Club who wishes to exterminate all vampire-kind.
Trying desperately to protect the secrecy of their coven’s location below the streets of Whitechapel, London, Sebastien finds himself at odds with Maurice in his desire to not engage in all-out war with the renegade Catholic faction. At the same time, he must also battle the other vampire coven to guard their anonymity from humans. In doing so, Sebastien is forced into choices and alliances he might not otherwise have made.
Set in the tone of Victorian England, The Coven is a thrilling and horrific journey through the seedier workings of the vampire underworld, and pious ideology of The Diocese Club.
Read this Extended Excerpt from The Coven by
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angie Gallow was born in Chicago and currently attends Columbia College Chicago.
This is her debut novel.
Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of The Coven by Angie Gallow to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!