Hubert L. Mullins has written three books of dark fantasy, “The Vampires of Hope’s Covenant”, “Rage of the Vampire” and “War of the Vampire.” He lives in Welch, West Virginia.
What do you think has been your greatest inspiration for the fantasy world you created, Mystyria, where your three novels are set?
“I would have to say the world around us. I live in a semi-remote part of West Virginia, and it is easy to look out my window to the mountains and draw inspiration. In 2001, I was blessed enough to take a trip to Ireland and that provided a great backdrop for many of the locations that we see in Mystyria.”
Those three novels, “The Vampires of Hope’s Covenant”, “Rage of the Vampire” and your latest “War of the Vampire”, are all so richly detailed. Would you care to shed light through the shadows you’ve woven
and give some insight behind each of them?
“Sure. The Vampires of Hope’s Covenant follows a vampire hunter named Tranas who has trailed his greatest mark to a tiny, remote town called Hope’s Covenant. As the story progresses, we learn more of Tranas, his “good” vampiric friend Sigmon, and helpless woman caught up in the middle of things named Sky. Also, the vampiress herself, Dyne plays a big part. These characters come together in a plot that will have readers wondering if their meeting in Hope’s Covenant is chance, or if something larger has orchestrated it.
Rage of the Vampire follows Dyne as she pursues renown vampire Kersey Avonwood. Kersey, one of the ten original vampires, isn’t what readers will think and I believe this cat-and-mouse story will force readers to feel pity for the lifestyle of a vampire.
War of the Vampire picks up where Rage leaves off – at the precipice of a great War between vampires and the living dead. Mydian, the god of the underworld, has abandoned his realm and has come to Mystyria in order to lead his vampiric army across the barren land toward the lighter cities of the world. In this novel, we see many old faces return.”
Who would you say is your favorite character in Fantasy literature?
“Without a doubt Drizzt Do’Urden from the R. A. Salvatore dark elf series. He is just so well written, so insightful and just a joy to read.”
Out of all the characters you have created, which one do you relate more with personally?
“I suppose all of my characters are a part of me, but I would have to say I’m more like Dyne. I approach situations and problems the same way and I’ve felt the heartache she describes.”
Whose work has most inspired you?
“As I said before, R. A. Salvatore weaves some of the most haunting characters and situations. I would love to have an ounce of his creativity!”
Where do you think the fantasy market, more specifically the dark fantasy genre, is headed?
“I want to hope it is moving forward and upward. As long as we can make that distinct line between fantasy and horror, we will do fine. Dark fantasy has the problem of pulling in readers under false pretenses. Some readers were expecting more horror, others more fantasy. It is difficult to find a happy medium that will satisfy everyone.”
Many writers have little rituals that help them put their words to prose, like writing on the backs of their lovers for example, do you have any system that helps you turn your ideas into pages?
“I wouldn’t say it’s much of a system, but just a tried and true method. Firstly, I have to pray. Without God, I’m nothing and that will translate directly to my work. Also, I write at night, the later the better, and I have to have headphones in with some sort of loud music that creates ‘inner silence'”.
As you mentioned on your website you chose vampires because they had become watered down derivatives of the monsters they used to be but why did you decide to give them different types?
“It’s the same reason why I made zombies in my last two books different: Because it was time for a change. When we think of vampires, we already have a preconceived idea of what they should look like and how they should act. I wanted to redesign them–not make them “hip” or “trendy”, but give them a different angle. Since my world is fiction and polytheistic, God as we know Him, does not exist. Vampires in popular culture are hindered by God (the cross, holy water, churches, etc.) so I had to reinvent what they feared and why.”
Without giving to much away about any up coming work, what can we expect to see in the near future, do you plan to return to Mystyria?
“Currently, I’m working on a book that involves angels and demons. It is a contemporary tale, much different than anything I’ve ever done. I’m still very early on, so stay tuned to my website for details. As for Mystyria, I would love to return. I have a 700 page unfinished manuscript that serves as a prequel–it tells the story of Kersey Avonwood and the other nine original vampires that started the whole thing. Maybe one day I’ll finish it, if people seemed interested to know.”
Has your experience with self-publishing been a good one and why did you chose to go down that road to publish your work?
“It has been a great experience and it’s the only way I would ever think of publishing. If you are true to your art and to your characters, then self-publishing is the only way you’re going to stay that way. I love the idea of knowing I have the final word. I chose to go down this road because I refused to kill of my favorite character. I firmly believe that art should dictate money – not the other way around.”
And finally what advice would you be willing to share with would be writers today?
“Write every day! This may seem silly, but it is the best advice I can give to anyone that wants to write. Even if you only jot down a paragraph a day, do it! Just like we have to keep our bodies in shape, so do we have to keep our minds sharp. People mostly ask me “When do I need to go ahead and get an agent?” I’ve never needed one! Perhaps it is just me, but I’m a very hands-on person. I love doing my own PR work and setting up my signings. There’s something liberating about it. Finally, make sure you write what you love. Most people will tell you to write what you know, but I disagree. Anyone can write about motorcycles if they’ve serviced them for years. But if your passion is gardening, then write about it! Your passion will come across so much more vibrant than your textbook knowledge of brake lines.”