Friday, March 22, 2024

Special Guest Interview - Lucius Valiant


1. I am so excited to welcome Lucius to Booker T's Farm. Can you share a little bit about yourself and your Thornhill Vampire Chronicles series?

I'm one of those authors who spent over a decade working on my debut novel. In retrospect, I'll put that down to the sheer terror of putting something creative that comes from your soul out into the world where others can judge it. In the end, the idea of not ever finishing my book and not putting it out into the world became much more frightening than the prospect of actually doing it. I'm relieved that I made it past that hurdle, because I've gone on to write two more novels in the series and I'm currently working on the fourth installment. 

The Thornhill Vampire Chronicles is a dark fantasy series set in the UK where I live. It draws on a lot of well-known themes and uses set pieces that readers of horror and gothic literature will be familiar with - think vampires, haunted mansions, moldering crypts, a famous Victorian cemetery, dark family secrets. But the series is mostly set in the present, and the main protagonist, Harlan Thornhill, is a Gen Z Millennial cusp vampire hunter.

When I wrote book two, I made the main antagonist from book one the narrator. I've had quite a few readers message me (or mention in their reviews) after reading it that they really didn't want to like Gabriel Graves, but book two made them capitulate. That made me very happy, because I like surprising the readers by turning the tables on them. I like surprising myself when I write, and I don't believe that the main character has to be a nice guy to be likable. 

Because I prefer it when characters aren't easily classifiable as good or evil, there are no purely good or purely bad characters in the series. Some characters are just a little deeper into the dark end of the moral spectrum than others.

2. Dark Roots features quite a few supernatural beings/characters (and one in particular I didn't see coming). What about the supernatural interests you so much?

I love this question, and I feel like it deserves a good, meaty answer. Unfortunately, I don't quite know why I love the supernatural so much, but I can tell you that I always have. I think it's something about the feeling of possibility and freedom that it gives you as an author.

I've got a folder on my Google Drive full of ideas I've accumulated for books I want to write in the future. All of them have the supernatural as an element. It's just what the Muse has got for me. Every time the Muse shows up with a new bag of inspiration, I know there is going to be something supernatural in there.

3. If you yourself could be a supernatural being (or maybe you really are), what would it be and why?

A vampire, beyond a doubt. I've always felt very connected to that archetype. I think that's why it's easier and more fun for me to write from the perspective of a vampire than, say, a regular guy who lives down the street and works in a bank. I just find vampires much more relatable.

4. Who are some of your writing influences?

I'm very influenced by classics of Gothic Horror like Dracula by Bram Stoker, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. If we're talking themes and subject matter, these three books alone go a long way towards explaining what fuels my creative imagination as an author.

My more contemporary influences include Anne Rice, Poppy Z. Brite, Stephen King and Haruki Murakami.

5. Can you share three of your favorite books or authors? (Mine happen to be Stephen King - The Shining in particular, The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune, and What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson).

Oh, this is a tough question. There are so many wonderful, wonderful books and authors out there that I could give the title of ‘favorite.’ Since I've already name-dropped my favorite author influences, I'll give you the titles of three of my favorite books and the names of the authors who wrote them.

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami and Misery by Stephen King. The latter is particularly hard-hitting if you read it while recovering from surgery in hospital like I did.

6. Currently, there are 3 books in the Thornhill Vampire Chronicles. Are there plans for more and if so, do you have a definite plan for ending it after a certain installment?
When I started writing Dark Roots, the first book in the series, I had no idea that there were going to be others. But with each book I've written so far, I keep pulling up more new threads that have to be pursued. And I'm working with such a big cast of characters with overlapping histories at this point that I really can't say for sure where this is all going to go. I think there are going to be six books in the series in total, but that's not a promise. Writing this series feels like walking deeper and deeper into a haunted mansion that keeps growing around me as I move along. And I keep discovering new rooms, sudden trapdoors and secret passageways.

7.  Anything else you would like to add?

I’d like to say thank you so much for interviewing me. Trying to make my way as a new author, every piece of encouragement, every comment or message that a reader sends me, and every invitation like this is a huge encouragement. I don’t take any of it for granted, and I’ve decided that even if and when I grow to have a much bigger readership, I never will. 



  1. Nice interview! I've got the first book now and plant to read it.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  2. I'm intrigued by this series, I'll have to check it out! Really good interview, and I love Lucius' answer about what supernatural creature he'd be😁