Q&A with Nicole Givens Kurtz
Have you heard of Slay?
FGS: Slay is exactly what we need in horror right now. I love everything about it! Can you tell us a little about the inception of the project?
NGK: The project was inspired by legendary author L.A. Banks. Her Vampire Huntress Legend Series had a profound impact on me as a horror reader. I wanted to provide an anthology of stories that celebrated what she did, Black Vampires and slayers. I often felt I didn’t have anything interesting to give to the vampire mythos until this, SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire.
FGS: What draws you to vampires and vampire fiction?
NGK: Vampire stories are often horror’s love stories; however, for me, I look at the impact on being immortal has on the individual and those around them. Those stories are the ones that resonated to me the most as a reader of vampire fiction.
FGS: What or who have been your greatest influences in your writing?
NGK: This answer changes some each time I’m asked, but greatest influences are Stephen King, Sue Grafton, and Robert B. Parker. Later I exposed to Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler and I those had an impact as well.
FGS: What has been your experience as a Black woman writing genre fiction? Any advice for other Black women wanting to break into genre fiction?
NGK: My experience as a Black woman writing genre fiction has been a complicated and emotional journey. Over the last 20 years, I’ve experience outright racism, dismissiveness due to my race and gender, rampant misogyny and hurdles that plague the science fiction/fantasy and horror communities. Those issues remain in genre fiction, as they do in American society at large. My advice for Black women wanting to break in to genre fiction is believe in your work, know your worth, and do your research. There are true predators in this industry. There are also true warriors who will help you and push you to go higher. Some will extend a hand to help you up the mountain.
FGS: Fright Girl Summer was started to promote women in dark fiction. Are there any writers we should be keeping our eye on, or other books you want to shout out?
NGK: I want to shout out Alledria Hurt’s ALICE, a zombie novel set against cosmic horror. I also want to shout out anything by Sumiko Saulson and L. Marie Wood. Excellent works by both of them.
FGS:What books or stories written by Black women would you like to see made into a film? I ask this so the universe will hear my call!
NGK: I would love to see L.A. Banks’ Vampire Huntress Legend made into an episodic tv/streaming service.
FGS: What is next for you? How can we follow and support your work?
NGK: I completed the next instalment in my Kingdom of Aves Mystery series. It’s titled . The first novella in the series, is available now. continues the on-going mysteries that Hawk Prentice Tasifa must investigate for The Order. Prentice is a hawk and she sees the unseen using her abilities. This time she’s investigating the theft of the goddess’s crown, The Five-Feathered Crown. A high profile theft is the least of it. Soon there’s a murder, an arson, and a missing person.
People can find me as follows:
Other Worlds Pulp-Nicole’s website, http://www.nicolegivenskurtz.net
Nicole Givens Kurtz is an author, editor, and educator. She’s a member of Horror Writers of America,. Sisters in Crime, and Science Fiction Writers of America. Her novels have been a finalist in the Dream Realm Awards, Fresh Voices, and EPPIE Awards for science fiction. She’s written for White Wolf’s Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Anthology, Bram Stoker Finalist in Horror Anthology, Sycorax’s Daughters, and Serial Box’s The Vela: Salvation series. Nicole has over 40 short stories published as well as 11 novels and three active speculative mystery series.
You can support her work via Patreon