SLAY! Interview with Nicole Givens Kurtz

SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire is an anthology of vampire stories from the African Diaspora. Mocha Memoirs Press is proud to present SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire — a revolutionary anthology celebrating vampires of the African Diaspora. SLAY is a groundbreaking unique collection and will be a must-have for vampire lovers all over the world. SLAY aims to be the first anthology of its kind. Few creatures in contemporary horror are as compelling as the vampire, who manages to captivate us in a simultaneous state of fear and desire. Drawing from a variety of cultural and mythological backgrounds, SLAY dares to imagine a world of horror and wonder where Black protagonists take center stage — as vampires, as hunters, as heroes. From immortal African deities to resistance fighters; matriarchal vampire broods to monster hunting fathers; coming of age stories to end of life stories, SLAY is a groundbreaking Afrocentric vampire anthology celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the African Diaspora.

Nicole Kurtz Givens Biography

Nicole Givens Kurtz’s short stories have appeared in over 40 anthologies of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her novels have been finalists for the EPPIEs, Dream Realm, and Fresh Voices in science fiction awards. Her work has appeared in Bram Stoker Finalist, Sycorax’s Daughters, and other fine publications.

Interview with Nicole Kurtz Givens

Q. What inspired you to put together SLAY: Tales of the Vampire Noire?

A. The inspiration for SLAY came about due to many conversations I have had with authors about the lack of Black vampire stories in the wake of L.A. Banks’s death. Sure, there have been other Black vampires, but they remained on the perimeter, in the background, window dressing. We wanted stories like Banks wrote, that centered Black people, Black vampires and Black slayers in the forefront. What would that look like now? So, the idea was born to seek out short stories for an anthology to answer that question and to fill the void.

Q. Who is behind the striking cover art for the anthology? 

A. The amazing Taria Reed! She’s a fantastic artist, not just cover artist. People can check out her work at

Q. What is your favorite vampire story, and why?

A. My favorite vampire story is Minion by L.A. Banks. It featured Black people in many of our various glories. I loved it. It was set in Philly and it was a lot of set-up, but the mythology that’s created is fantastic.

Q.Who is your favorite African Diaspora vampire?

A. Blade.

Q.What are some of your favorite stories in the anthology and what stands out about them?

A. Oh, this is definitely asking a mother to pick her favorite child! I loved them all, for various reasons, but the stories that lingered the longest after I read them were, Craig L. Gidney’s “Desiccant,” Steven Van Patten’s “The Retiree,” L. Marie Wood’s “The Dance,” and Alledria Hurt’s “Uijim.”

Q. Which story do you think is the scariest one in the anthology, and why?

A. The scariest story in the anthology has to be Gidney’s  “Desiccant.”

Q. What is your favorite romantic vampire story?

A. My favorite romantic vampire story is Interview with the Vampire. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful. 

Q. What is your favorite scary vampire story?

A. Gary Oldman as Dracula in the Kenneth Braghan version. I’m such a 90s girl. LOL.

Q. What is your favorite funny vampire story?

A. “The Retiree,” by Steven Van Patten is the most funny, but it also made me cry. 

L Marie Woods Biography

~ by Sumiko Saulson on September 7, 2020.

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