Hi C.S. and welcome to BookWinked. To start us off, can you tell us about yourself and how you became an author?
Thank you for having me! I’m a reluctant wanderer of the world, in the sense that I love going to new places, but the moving process is really the dumps. I currently reside in Key West, but have also called New York City and Ibaraki, Japan home. I also love cats! The more the merrier.
My career as a published author began in June of 2015 when I published my first short story with Dreamspinner Press. I’ve been writing for far longer, but I firmly believe in practice, practice, practice, so I spent about fifteen years doing just that.
How did you first become interested in writing The Mystery of Nevermore?
I came up with the idea about five years ago after reading more about Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane. I couldn’t stop thinking of alternative universe what-ifs, and so decided to write about it. It took around half a dozen re-writes to really nail down the plot and characters of Nevermore from that point, though. The very first version of the story took place in New Hampshire, Sebastian was recently divorced, and Calvin wasn’t even Calvin— he was Jack. That early draft makes me laugh.
What was the hard part in writing The Mystery of Nevermore?
Without a doubt, he is the most difficult character I’ve ever written.
And of course, then we want to know what the best part was in writing the story?
Can I say everything? Ha, ha. I loved writing the setting. New York City is a character just as much as Sebastian is, and I think in exploring the nitty gritty details of the location, it brings extra oomph to the book.
Edgar Allan Poe plays a large part in the story. What does Poe mean to you and for the story?
I love Poe! I suppose that was fairly obvious though, right? He was an incredible writer, and we have him to thank for so many advances in fiction, including horror, science fiction, and detective stories. I even have a quote from The Raven tattooed on my arm.
He’s of course a vital element to the novel, with the murders taking place around Sebastian in theme with some of Poe’s more macabre writing. I wanted to embed Poe deeply into the plot, providing facts and details about the man, but letting mentions of his work speak for themselves by the manner in which grisly situations were presented to Sebastian and Calvin.
Did you do a lot of research for this story?
Oh yes. I tend to do more research than what is strictly necessary, but I love to learn. While this can work against me (read: deadlines) at the same time I believe it to be beneficial to the writing. Even if ninety percent of what I learned about X subject doesn’t get mentioned, I feel that what does make it into the novel is more convincing because the author is confident in the details and that shows through in their choice of words.
In The Mystery of Nevermore we get to know Sebastian quite a bit, but Calvin Winter remains a bit of a mystery. Can you give us some insight into his character?
I can’t mention too much about Calvin without potentially spoiling future books in the series. He’s very serious and reluctant to let his demons out, as seen in Nevermore. But part of the arc that ties the books together is how he flourishes as a man, coming from a lonely and bitter place to one of acceptance and joy.
Did you have any writing rituals that were specific to The Mystery of Nevermore?
.. hm… I don’t think so, at least, not specific to this title. I do majority of my writing before sunrise, so I was usually working on Nevermore between three and six a.m..
We know the sequel The Mystery of the Curiosities will be released in March. Will there be more books in the series?
Yes! I’m working on Book Three this very moment, which will be out in 2018, and a fourth will tie the series up.
Tell us why people should read the Snow & Winter series?
Ah well, I’d never want to make anyone feel obligated to read it, everyone’s got a flavor they prefer, after all. But I will say that if you’re looking for a new series, the books in this are standalone, complete plots with an overall arc (that being the ongoing relationship of Sebastian and Calvin) tying everything together. If that’s the sort of series you enjoy, give Nevermore a whirl!
If you’re not sure about mysteries, I do promise the subplot is very much a romance. Also Sebastian is a colorblind sleuth (pretty cool) and Calvin is a redhead (pretty hot.)
C.S. Poe is an author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books.
She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.
She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful, and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued three cats, including one found in a drain pipe in Japan who flew back to the States with her. Zak, Milo, and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.
It’s Christmas, and all Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with CSU detective, Neil Millett. But when Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest.
He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.
In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive, and live happily ever after with Calvin.