Friday, 15 March 2013

Interview with Angeline Trevena- Horror Writer and Enthusiast, and Author of "Being Superhuman"

Angelic Knight Press have published an anthology of erotica- oh what a surprise, eh? In the wake of the success of E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey, everyone is jumping on that bandwagon at the moment after all!  Oh...but I forgot to mention though...this is no ordinary erotica.  This, my friends, is zombie erotica.

I'll just give you a moment to get your heads around that.  The anthology is called "Fifty Shades of Decay" (I see what you did there!) and features 51 different authors, and their tales of undead pleasure and decadence; certainly not one for the faint of heart.  One of those authors is writer Angeline Trevena; you maybe more familiar with her works of spine-chilling horror fiction. This is her first erotica story- and my first author interview! I caught up with Angeline to find out more about her short story "Being Superhuman".

- Although very well acquainted with the world of horror, erotica is a newer genre for you as a writer. What sort of challenges did this present for you?
It is such an unfamiliar territory for me, as I'm not even a reader of erotica. At first it did worry me, and my biggest issue was how graphic I should be. I follow a few erotica writers on Twitter, and know another in my local writing group. I appealed to them for help, and received a lot of advice and encouragement in reply. As long as I avoided all those comical and awkward euphemisms, I knew I could give it a good go!

- What was it about the Fifty Shades of Decay submission that appealed to you in the first place?
Just how unusual it was. Who would have ever thought of mashing zombie stories with erotica? It's so deliciously and disturbingly wrong that I simply couldn't resist it!

- You’ve said that you initially struggled to write zombie erotica, but was suddenly struck with inspiration, leading to the creation of Being Superhuman. What was the difference in your approach that lead to your success?
After a lot of false starts, I reverted to that good old piece of advice 'write what you know'. So I wrote a horror story which included sex, rather than attempting to write erotica and add horror to it. Once I got that distinction into my head, the story just flowed from there.

- The word limit was very tight, itself presenting a challenge. How did you overcome that particular obstacle?
It was tough. I ended up cutting about half of the first draft to fit the limit of 2,000 words. My story involved a lot of travelling across country, so all of that disappeared. I also cut the whole of the opening, beginning the story at the start of the action rather than spending time setting the scene. It certainly does teach you a lesson about word economy and cutting out the waffle.

- What is the significance behind the title “Being Superhuman”? It intrigued me, but didn’t allude to the sinister twist that took me by surprise!
Without giving too much away, the zombies in my story are stronger than they were as humans, they have more energy and more stamina. They are, in essence, superhuman.

- Despite the limited word count, Being Superhuman seems to hint at something deeper and larger. What message does Being Superhuman share, and do you think you’ll revisit this theme?
2,000 words doesn't give a lot of scope for character, world, or plot development, and when you're writing about something your reader doesn't have any real life experience of, you are left leaving suggestions of things, letting your reader fill in some of the gaps themselves.
For me, Being Superhuman is a story about unconditional love, and the power of lust within a committed relationship. It's about saving that relationship against extreme odds. This is certainly a theme I'll revisit, although not with the same setting and characters.

- Erotica is open to a lot more criticism than other fiction genres; why do you think this is, and how do you think these perceptions can be changed?
Erotica is mainly written by women for women, and we live in a society that is highly suspicious, scared even, of women's sexuality, and women being in control of their sexuality. While men have an unspoken freedom to explore theirs, women are subject to slut shaming, victim blaming, and an unrealistic expectation of virginity and abstinence.
It's sad that, even in the 21st Century, society reacts to sexually open women with either disdain or ridicule. Women spend their lives fighting against this cultural attitude, and I suppose we'll continue until we can find some sort of sexual equality.

- Do you think you’ll return to the erotica genre at some point in the future?
At the moment, I can't see it, but I'll never say never. Relationships are an integral part of any story, so there is sure to be sex popping up in my writing in the future.
I really enjoyed writing this story because of the unique mashup of genres, so if another chance to write horror erotica comes up, I'm sure I'll jump at it.


Fifty Shades of Decay is currently available in ebook format, and due for paperback release soon.  To find out more about the anthology, and about Angeline Trevena and her work, please follow the links below! :)


  1. Thanks for letting me hijack your blog Laura!

  2. Great interview! I don't read much erotica, but this anthology definitely intrigues me, since I love seeing the zombie trope turned on its head like this! Very cool how you attempted a story in a genre you normally don't do, Angeline! :)

    1. It's always scary to step out of your comfort zone, but I'm definitely glad that I did it. It really is an anthology that needs to be read to be believed!