S. T. Gibson was recently kind enough to grant SciFiPulse an interview. Gibson is the author of A Dowry of Blood and Robber Girl. Additionally, Gibson is a poet and a tarot reader. During this interview, she discusses vampire fiction’s enduring popularity, the enemies to lovers trope, and beginning writers’ mistakes.
SFP: Why do you think that vampire stories and media have been around for centuries and continue to be popular?
S. T. Gibson: I think we’re all fascinated by monstrosity, and vampires are one of history’s most enduring monsters. They’re apt allegories for desire, aristocracy, existential dread, addiction, religious crisis, and so much more. They evolve alongside culture and adapt to our fears, and I don’t think they’ll ever really go out of style, because there’s always a new direction to explore.
SFP: What do you think is the secret to writing a romance that readers will root for?
S. T. Gibson: You have to understand your characters intimately: what drives them, what they’re terrified of, what they secretly long for. Romance utilizes tropes for a reason, and I really believe that beloved tropes are wonderful tools for constructing a dynamic and memorable romance, especially when they’re being subverted or combined in interesting ways. Writing wonderful romance really comes down to leaning into themes and tropes that fascinate you and exploring them through characters you know like the back of your hand.
SFP: What are some common mistakes that beginning spec fic writers make and how can we avoid making them?
S. T. Gibson: Beginning writers sometimes worry too much about being “original” or making sure they’re writing is on-trend, but I think that sort of self-consciousness ultimately hurts the writing in the long run. I encourage everyone to write from a place of joy and enthusiasm, focusing on whatever themes are most energizing to them. The world needs those stories.
SFP: Why do you think the enemies to lovers trope is used so much in modern spec fic?
S. T. Gibson: Tropes never really die, and enemies to lovers is a classic. I think its main appeal comes from the inherent tension and high stakes of the pairing, and the possibility for all that fraught, agonizing sexual tension.
SFP: What is the greatest vampire novel the English-speaking world has never heard of and why?
S. T. Gibson: I’m not sure, as I’m an English speaker! However, I know we’re currently experiencing a renaissance of vampire books from marginalized writers exploring the queer experience, the immigrant experience, and the non-white experience, and I hope works in translation get their time to shine in American publishing as well.
SFP: What are you working on at the moment?
S. T. Gibson: I’m currently working on a sultry, summery gothic about an artist’s commune and an occult crime romance.
SFP: And finally, what do you think the greatest vampire novel, film, or TV shows are?
S. T. Gibson: That’s such a tough question! I’ve watched a ton of vampire movies over the last few years but I think my favorite is still the delightfully campy 2004 film Van Helsing. It was a huge inspiration behind the writing of A DOWRY OF BLOOD and holds a special place in my heart. I’m incredibly partial to Anne Rice’s take on the vampire mythos, and books like INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and THE VAMPIRE LESTAT were formative high school texts for me. I don’t watch much serialized television, but I love What We Do In The Shadows. It’s the best humorous addition to the vampire canon, hands down.
SciFiPulse would like to extend our most heartfelt thanks and best wishes to S. T. Gibson for so graciously taking the time to answer our questions.
Gibson’s website is ST Gibson
Her Twitter handle is: @s_t_gibson