Teresa Frohock came to my attention under less than ideal circumstances. Last year, ebook piracy reared its ugly head, as genre authors highlighted just how much piracy hurt them. Teresa was one of the authors that spoke out. Her comments, along with Maggie Stiefvater’s, prompted me to write an article on the harmful myths that surround ebook piracy.
This morning I received a Google alert that shows Miserere has 84,323 views and 432 favorites on a torrent site for free downloads.
This is why there will be no sequel.
Torrents might not hurt the Stephen Kings and Neil Gaimans of the world, but they destroy authors like me.
— T. Frohock (@T_Frohock) November 8, 2017
While it wasn’t the happiest of circumstances that brought Teresa to my attention, I am glad I discovered her. I recommend following her on twitter, as she’s funny and honest, something I can never get enough of.
Her three novellas of Los Nefilim (Harper Voyager Impulse) are being followed up with a novel trilogy coming soon. This is the perfect time to support a wonderful fantasy author who loves to explore the darker, weirder side of fantasy and magic!
What do you enjoy about dark fantasy and horror? Have you always enjoyed creepier genre fiction?
I’ve always enjoyed creepy fiction, even when I was a child. I think if I had to say why, it would be because horror treats magic with a weird kind of reverence.
I mean, let’s face it, the supernatural exists in both fantasy and horror. The fantasy genre tends to normalize magical ideas—dragons fly, magical spells produce immediate results, selkies shed their skins to become human, etc.—so that the concept and practice of magic is an accepted principle within most fantasy worlds. It’s not something that needs to be explained.
The horror genre tends to do the opposite. In horror, magic is a powerful force that invades the mundane world in terrible ways, disrupting everything in its path. As such, it forces the characters and the reader to reevaluate reality in new ways.
Even though the protagonist doesn’t always make it in the end in horror, there is usually a constant struggle to do the right thing in the face of overwhelming adversity. So for me, I like the way horror uses evil to highlight someone’s better nature.
Gothic literature has long been popular. What is it about the genre that continues to interest readers?
Both the Gothic and noir serve as seedy little peep shows that make us feel okay about our lives. We can engage in glimpses of the bleaker aspects of morality and life without jeopardizing ourselves. A safe form of living vicariously.
Much of your fantastical writing has roots in history. Why do you like to set your fantastical worlds in the past?
It’s a personal tic for me. I think the early twentieth century is probably one of the most fascinating time periods because of the sheer amount of innovation and political upheavals going on in the world. The intrigues and various factions make for endless conflicts and stories.
What genre tropes would you like to see retired/what unexplored avenues would you like to see the genre tackle?
That’s a hard one to call, because what I’ve learned is that no one writes the same trope in the same way. This allows for an incredible amount of innovation, and while one trope might fall flat for me, there are eight more people who will think it’s fabulous. I would like to see more older characters and their thought processes in novels as heroes. Older people aren’t hidebound. There is always room for us to grow no matter our age. Otherwise, I’m open to just about anything.
Why should we be reading Los Nefilim?
If you like shows like Babylon Berlin, but with angels and daimons who use song for their magic, you’ll love Los Nefilim. Instead of Berlin, the novellas are set in Barcelona and follow the life Diago Alvarez and his husband Miquel. Miquel is part of a secret society called Los Nefilim (Spanish for The Nephilim–say it like “The Mob” and you’ve got the right idea). Los Nefilim monitors daimonic activity for the angels and is run by one of Diago’s old friends, Guillermo Ramírez. Together, they solve crimes and become involved in mortal intrigues in 1931, just before the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
Three brand new novels, which are set in the same world, will be coming soon. These books will follow Diago as he thwarts a fallen angel, flees Spain at the end of the Spanish Civil War, and helps the Allies invade Normandy on D-Day (roughly in that order) while juggling his responsibilities as a father to his son, Rafael, and his relationship with Miquel. It’s going to be great fun!
Teresa Frohock is the author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale, and the trilogy of Los Nefilim novellas (In Midnight’s Silence, Without Light or Guide, and The Second Death). She lives in North Carolina, where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.