SLAY! Interview with Samantha Bryant

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.

Samantha Bryant Biography

Samantha Bryant teaches Spanish to middle schoolers. Clearly, she’s tougher than she looks. She writes The Menopausal Superhero series of novels, and other feminist leaning speculative fiction. When she’s not writing or teaching, Samantha enjoys family time, old movies, baking, gaming, and walking in the woods with her rescue dog. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @samanthabwriter or at: and subscribe to her newsletter at:

Samantha Bryant Interview

1) What inspired your story in SLAY: Tales of the Vampire Noire?

The story of the ten plagues of Egypt always scared me. The G-d of my childhood was a terrifying deity, full of vengeance, punishment, and judgment. When he came for the first-born sons of Egypt, slaughtering children for the sins of the leader of their land, I shivered as I might reading any horror story. “His Destroyer” is a telling of the events of that night, imagining who and what exactly G-d sent to do his dirty work.

2) What do you think makes your story different than other vampire stories?

I’ve never read another one in this setting, or wherein a vampire was called into the service of the Lord. It feels like a unique take to me and I’m anxious to see what readers think!

3) Did you learn anything new about African Diaspora vampire stories while you were working on your story or coming up with ideas for SLAY?

I learned there’s a sad shortage of vampire stories of this sort. I’m really looking forward to reading the other stories in this anthology just to see the unexpected angles and new interpretations of tropes that have traditionally featured pale Europeans alternating preying on and falling in love with their human food.

4) Who is your favorite black vampire and/or what is your favorite African Diaspora vampire type and why?

Sadly, I haven’t read or seen that many. Wesley Snipes’s Blade still holds up well to rewatching, but Blacula is more than a little dated at this point. Octavia Butler’s Fledgling gets points for the kid-as-monster theme, one of my favorites. I’ve been added to my TBR pile as I learn about more characters and authors that I haven’t yet explored through my inclusion in this project.

5) What is your favorite romantic vampire story?

I like Sunshine by Robin McKinley and there was that one summer when I read all the Sookie Stackhouse books, but mostly I’m less interested in romantic vampires, especially if they’re in love with humans less than a quarter of their age.

6) What is your favorite scary vampire story?

I love Let the Right One In. I’m especially fond of scary children in horror stories and this one definitely fits the bill. Though they don’t really scare me anymore, I also have a fondness for 80s vampires like The Lost Boys, Salem’s Lot, and Fright Night.

7) What is your favorite funny vampire story?

Once Bitten really entertained me when I was a teenager, probably in part because it was full of sexual innuendo I was only just beginning to understand and I felt like I was getting away with something by watching it. More recently, I’ve enjoyed Rick Gualtieri’s Bill the Vampire series and John Hartness’s Quincy Harker series.

8) What other kinds of stories and books have you put out into the world already?

I’m best known for my Menopausal Superhero series, which imagines what might happen if the people suddenly gifted with superpowers weren’t footless and fancy free fifteen-year-olds skipping Algebra to learn to use their powers, but women with careers, responsibilities, partners, and maybe an axe or two to grind.

I like to play in different genres, so my published work also includes some ghost stories, fairy tale reinterpretations, mad scientist adventures, weird suburban tales, and horror.

You can find my work by checking out my website/blog or by following me on social media: @samanthabwriter on Instagram and Twitter and @samanthadunawaybryant on Facebook.

9) What are you working on that our readers might look forward to?

Right now, I’m writing the fourth novel in the Menopausal Superhero series, due out in 2021 from Falstaff Books. I’ve got stories coming out in two more horror anthologies in upcoming months: “The Cleaning Lady”  in Stories We Tell After Midnight 2 from Crone Girls Press and “Margaret Lets Her Self Go” in Outsiders Withinfrom Abstruse Press.

I’ve got several projects on my back burner I’m anxious to get back to including some historical fiction, a gothic romance, a middle grades witch story, and a dystopian adventure. I hope I live long enough to finish writing it all!

Who is in Slay?

Featuring anchor stories by award winning authors Sheree Renee Thomas, Craig L. Gidney, Milton Davis, Jessica Cage, Michele Tracy Berger, Alicia McCalla, Jeff Carroll, and Steven Van Patten.

Additional Contributing Authors: Penelope Flynn, Lynette Hoag, Steve Van Samson, Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald, Balogun Ojetade, Valjeanne Jeffers, Samantha Bryant, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Miranda J. Riley, K.R.S. McEntire, Alledria Hurt, Kai Leakes, John Linwood Grant, Sumiko Saulson, Dicey Grenor, L. Marie Wood, LH Moore, Delizhia D. Jenkins, Colin Cloud Dance, and V.G. Harrison.

More Interviews To Come!

~ by Sumiko Saulson on September 10, 2020.

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