Welcome to Three Questions where we ask an Apex author two serious questions and one stupid one!
Sara M. Harvey, author of the paranormal fantasy The Convent of the Pure (our Patreon title of the month), joins us today. Sara is an incredibly talented writer, teacher, and all-around awesome person. Her fiction has appeared many times in our anthologies and in other genre publications. Most famously (to me) she may have saved my life during one scary evening in St. Louis … but more on that later.
Let’s flip on the interrogation lamp and place Sara in the spotlight.
Is it fair to say that the “Blood of Angels” (The Convent of the Pure being the first book) trilogy shows a strong Jacqueline Carey influence in your writing?
I LOVE that you think my writing shows a strong Jacqueline Carey influence! She’s one of my favorite authors (and just one of my favorite people in general). Her world-building is lush and her characters feel like old friends. I also love how she folds myths into her stories and makes them feel as solid and fleshed out as any real world faith.
I take as much influence as I can from her in all of my work and I am always thrilled to pieces when it shows! She and I hold a similar fascination with the intersection of faith (outward expression) and spirituality (inward experience), and the intersection of spirituality and sex … or, more broadly, of body and spirit and what that means. I think I was working out a lot of those thoughts in this series. And obviously didn’t finish because then I went and wrote an entire other novel (and possibly sequels) on this same theme (but with less emphasis on romantic love and more on how faith and spirituality physically manifest and what effect that has on people).
The Convent of the Pure is filled with lots of ass-kicking, magic, and rueful dialogue. But at its core it is a love story between your two protagonists. I always felt you could write a whole series around Portia and Imogen. Have you ever revisited their world (outside of The Convent of the Pure‘s two sequels)?
Awww, thank you.
I think about them a lot, actually. I sort of wonder how they’re doing these days.
I definitely ended that story line but left things open in case I wanted to return to it. And you’re not the first person who has asked about that.
Like with all my work, what I went through with these characters informs my later writing, so Portia and Imogen are there beneath the surface of every word I have written since. But also, I always leave the door open in case their story needs another moment in the light. At this moment, I’m not sure it does, but I am currently in the early stages of a new book about a couple of magical girls and how their paths connect and bring them together. And there will definitely be a lot of tapping into what I learned from Portia and Imogen happening there.
Do you have any regrets for saving my life on that fateful day in St. Louis years ago?
Do I regret not leaving you to the unseen Lovecraftian horrors of an abandoned hospital in the bad part of town so I could usurp your place as the head of all things Apex and have all of this for myself??
AND HOW DO YOU KNOW I HAVEN’T?? HMMM???? I COULD BE A MASTER OF DISGUISE!!! (I mean I am a master of disguise, I have a master’s degree in it and everything!)
But, no, I don’t. Even though it was the weekend after my wedding and I spent more time with you than with my husband (and the fancy suite with the two-person Jacuzzi tub, sigh) and drove your delirious butt all the way back to Kentucky (you are truly adorable when high as a kite on pain meds, you know that?), it was all worth it.
You’ve done a lot for the SF/F/H world since then and I would have mourned the loss of what could have been if I had let the shoggoths get you. So, no, no regrets. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
A big thank you to Sara M. Harvey for writing the wonderful The Convent of the Pure and for saving my bacon in St. Louis when a certain publisher — delirious and out of his mind from the pain of severe kidney stones — found himself in the basement of a nearly abandoned hospital seeking pain medicine.
You can learn more about Sara at her website.
Check out her short story “Six Seeds” at Beneath Ceaseless Skies for a good read!