Leslie Swartz and I met through social media.
Leslie Swartz is a 39 year old ex-poet and mother of three. She moved around a lot growing up, from the hood to the country to the suburbs, each place influencing who she would become as a person and as a writer. The tragedies endured in her childhood helped fuel her creativity, earning her first place in a second grade writing competition. She went on to win several more writing contests and was published in her local paper at age twelve. She took a distance learning course through The Institute of Children’s Literature after high school before deciding that what she wanted to write was much more adult. Her biggest influences aren’t just great poets and authors like Poe, Shakespeare, Stephen King and Anne Rice, but also amazing song writers including Freddie Mercury, Don McLean, and Paul McCartney.
Tell us about yourself
I’m a thirty-nine year old mother of three with an eccentric personality and more story ideas than I’ll be able to write in my lifetime.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was four. I don’t remember a time when ‘novelist’ wasn’t my dream job. When I saw ‘Legend’ for the fist time when I was five, I decided my career would be based on writing something that Sir Ridley Scott would be proud to direct.
What genres do you read/write?
I like to read horror. Stephen King has been my favorite author since third grade. I don’t consider myself to be a horror writer, though some have disagreed with that assessment. I have ideas for horror novels, but they’re on the back burner while I focus on my current series. I write paranormal urban fantasy, so while there are vampire, ghost and demon characters, I don’t think my work is particularly scary.
Is your book for adults, young adults, or children?
The Seventh Day Series is definitely adults only. Graphic language, sex and violence are prevalent.
What is your current release or project?
Book Two of The Seventh Day Series will be released today. It’s the second in a series of at least five, but probably seven. Book One, ‘Seraphim’, is available now on Amazon.
Tell us about the key characters.
My main characters are “Wyatt”, “Gabriel” and “Lucifer”.
“Wyatt” is pretty broken at the beginning of the series. He has mental health issues that drive his wife away, he’s borderline suicidal. At his core, he’s a selfless, kind protector of humanity. And, he’s low key Thor.
“Gabriel” is the bisexual Messenger of God whose back story is pretty much a mystery in book one. She has several super powers and is generally sick of everyone’s bs, but she’s hilarious and loves her family, even when they drive her insane.
“Lucifer” is like “Klaus Mikaelson” without the warm and fuzzies. He’s God’s strongest and most devoted servant, but spending millenia in Hell has made him a little unhinged.
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
Wyatt is a typical schizophrenic firefighter with daddy issues when his life falls into shambles. His wife leaves him, he loses his job and the voices in his head are getting louder. Just when he thinks he’s finally made a breakthrough, a woman interrupts his therapy session, setting his life on a course more unbelievable than his hallucinations.
Gabriel is the Messenger of God and she loves humans. Like, all of them. Beautiful men, gorgeous women… and sometimes both at the same sexy time. But when she’s called to save the world from a long forgotten enemy, she drops everything and gets to work.
Four angels, born human, must join with Lucifer to stop the sadistic and sexually deviant Lilith from destroying the Gate between Heaven and Earth, enslaving humanity and slaughtering millions.
Seraphim tells a disturbing, yet hilarious story of complex familial and romantic relationships on a backdrop of the Apocalypse. Set in present day NYC during God’s rest.
“Like if Dean Winchester and Buffy had a baby and it grew up a little slutty.”–Allen Black
Please share an excerpt
“Was it you?” Lilith asked as she approached. “Did you kill my subordinates? Seems so unlike you, destroying all of the so called innocent people my followers were populating, but it has been a couple thousand years. People change.”
“I didn’t kill anybody,” she replied, her fear turning to anger as she thought about the demon that killed her brother and how he was only there because of her, the psycho that now threatened to take her own life. She let the pain of her loss fuel her rage, believing it was her only chance at getting out of this alive.
“No,” Lilith said. “I didn’t think so.”
“But, I’d have no problem putting your little girl wearing ass down.”
“Well, that’s hostile.”
“I’m about to show you hostile, bitch!”
Lilith came closer, the look of bewilderment returning to her face. “Even at full power, which you’re obviously not, you don’t stand a chance against me alone, and you know that. So, I ask you again, what are you doing here?”
Valerie shakily pulled her knife from her pocket and held it to her enemies throat.
Lilith giggled. “You can’t be serious.”
“I’m dead fucking serious, bitch.”
“Have it your way,” Lilith sighed, waving her hand, throwing Valerie into a wall across the room. She slammed against it and crashed to the floor. She struggled to stand back up as Lilith moved toward her again.
“If you didn’t kill the demons in the theater,” she gathered. “Then, someone else did. Who else is here? It can’t be Michael, he’d never leave Father unguarded during his sleep. Is it Camael? I thought I felt his presence a few weeks ago, but it’s been so long, I could have been mistaken.”
She grabbed Valerie by the throat and slammed her into some chairs. She climbed on top of her, squeezing with one hand her cheeks and chin while she decided what to do with her.
“This is quite a beautiful body you’ve chosen, sister,” she said, looking Valerie over. “Tell me, is incest still as taboo as it was in the beginning? So many things have changed.”
Valerie panicked, adrenaline coursing through her veins. She started to hyperventilate, which only excited Lilith more. She slid her hand down from Valerie’s jaw to her chest and began unzipping her jacket, a mischievous smile creeping across her face. As Lilith slipped her hand inside the jacket, running her hand along Valerie’s left breast, the knife, which remained clenched in Valerie’s hand, erupted in flame. Without hesitation, she plunged the fiery pocket knife into the monster’s gut.
Do you have a favorite scene?
I have two favorite scenes, the first being “Lucifer’s” church scene. Throughout the book, it seems like he’s kind of a jackass, but relatively harmless. A reader may not understand why “Valerie” and “Tae” are so afraid of/angry with him, until that scene. It really sums up who he is outside of “Gabriel’s” influence, left to his own devices. The second scene is a short interaction between “Gabriel” and “Lucifer” after they’ve seen the carnage “Lilith” left at a sorority house. It’s some funny banter that includes my favorite line in the book: “Battier than the underside of a haunted bridge.”
What advice would you give a beginner?
The best advice I could give a new author would be, EDIT. Use beta readers (after you’ve copyrighted your manuscript) and if you can’t afford a professional editor, use every editing software you can. I published ‘Seraphim’ thinking it was properly edited. It wasn’t. I had to go in and fix a ton of typos and punctuation issues. Two hundred and sixteen people downloaded it looking like trash. It haunts me. When you think your book is done, leave it for two weeks, then edit again. You’ll be stunned by everything you missed.
Social media links
US ebook- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RPZ72Q4