If something happens three times, it’s a trend, right? I’m hoping so because this is a trend I would like to see continue. It happens like this: I hear about an anthology call that excites me, I write a story specifically for it, and they accept the story! That’s what happened with Slay, and it’s happened to me two other times.
Nicole Givens Kurtz, author, and publisher at Mocha Memoirs Press is a friend as well as a colleague, so you know I follow her all over social media like her own personal fangirl. She’s always doing something exciting in the book world. Something new, innovative, different. When I saw the submission call for Slay, I really wanted to be a part of it. I’ve never seen an anthology like it and the only thing better than reading it would be to have my work included.
But I’d never written a vampire story, though I’ve read quite a few and watched lots of media including them. I set the idea on the back burner and let it percolate there for a bit, stewing in my subconscious. One night, I had the thought that became the story: Who was His Destroyer anyway?
One of the most personally disturbing religious stories I can remember from my childhood was the Ten Plagues of Egypt, specifically the tenth one. The one where all the firstborn sons of the land were slain to punish the stubborn Pharaoh. When my grandmother first told me the story, I’m sure she intended for me to feel grateful that our people survived, but instead I walked away frightened by a deity that would kill children who had done no wrong for the wrongs committed by the adults.
In this story, as I know it, there’s not much detail about how exactly the children were killed. Just that “His Destroyer” was sent to perform the deed.
So, that was the seed of my story: thinking about who His Destroyer could have been and what exactly happened that infamous night in Egypt all those generations ago.
I hope readers will be as disturbed and intrigued by the answer I came up as I am.
Samantha Bryant teaches Spanish to middle schoolers. Clearly, she’s tougher than she looks. She writes The Menopausal Superhero series of novels and other feminist-leaning speculative fiction. When she’s not writing or teaching, Samantha enjoys family time, old movies, baking, gaming, and walking in the woods with her rescue dog. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @samanthabwriter or at http://samanthabryant.com and subscribe to her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bwgsxD