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Our SPFBOX interviews continue with E. V. Belknap, author of The Tenfold Tenants.

SPFBO (the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off) is a free online contest run by author Mark Lawrence. 300 authors compete across ten judging teams to see who will be the winner! You can read more about the contest here.

 

The beautifully illustrated cover of E. V. Belknap's The Tenfold Tenants. The cover features the facade of a fancy apartment building with an old-fashioned lampost outside. In each window (there are six visible) is the silhouette of a different tenant. From left to right: vampire hanging upside down, curly-haired person in a sports outfit drinking soup from a cauldron using a ladle, boarded up window with sparkling ooze dripping from between the slats, person whose hair is made of fire holding a ball of fire, person peeking from behind a red curtain, and werewolf reading a book. A seventh figure wearing a red scarf, ordinary jacket, and pants, is leaning against the doorframe. Autumn leaves from the building, which is coloured in blues and purples. The atmosphere is warm.

INTERVIEW WITH E. V. BELKNAP

 

Tell us a little about yourself and let our readers know which blog you’ve been assigned to for SPFBOX!

 

Hi! I’m a story-hoarder with a lego addiction, an extremely late discovered ADHDer, and as a nonbinary pansexual I can’t make a choice to save my life. I’ve been assigned to Fantasy Book Critic


What inspired you to write this book?

I was in a Good Omens hyperfixation mode one day, when I was visiting a retirement home. None of the doors were locked, and I thought ‘anyone could walk in here’, and then I went on to think how funny it would be if a demon, instead of bringing a baby to a hospital, would instead go into a retirement home to take a baby out. That became a silly short story, which I shared with some friends. And they kept asking what happened next. So I started having fun with it. And then I suddenly had a book.

 

 

 

Can you tell us a little bit about your writing or editing process? What’s most exciting to you about writing or editing?

I love drafting, I love editing.

 

[The Tenfold Tenants is] fantasy, it’s funny, which is what I grew up on, but it’s also queer normative, which I wish I’d grown up on a little more.


Who or what have been your major literary influences?

This might be a huge surprise *glances up two questions*, but it’s all Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s fault, really. I wouldn’t have gotten it into my head I too could be an author without those two egging us all on.


What makes your SPFBOX book unique?

Well, I wrote it, and there’s only one of me. Of course that means every other SPFBOX book is unique as well.


Do you have a favourite character from your SPFBOX entry? Tell us about them!
I’m not allowed to show favouritism, the tenants would have my hide.

 

When I was visiting a retirement home. None of the doors were locked, and I thought ‘anyone could walk in here’, and then I went on to think how funny it would be if a demon, instead of bringing a baby to a hospital, would instead go into a retirement home to take a baby out.


How does your work fit into (or challenge) its genre?

Is this the indie version of ‘where does your book fit on the shelf’ from the query forms? I still don’t really know. It’s fantasy, it’s funny, which is what I grew up on, but it’s also queer normative, which I wish I’d grown up on a little more.


What do you hope readers take away from your SPFBOX entry?

I hope they have fun with it, first and foremost. I hope they can see themselves in some of the tenants, and feel like everyone deserves to belong somewhere.


What are you currently working on?

I am currently doing my last round of edits on my next book: Stake around and find out. In which Ava wants to be a vampire, has kept on failing to find a vampire to turn her, and is now joining the vampire hunters as they’re the expert finders. Surely everything will perfectly go to plan.


The Tenfold Tenants

 

Corvinian Hark thought he’d be the next great villain. What he ended up as, is a caretaker of magical tenants. This setback was supposed to have been temporary. It has been temporary going on eight years.

But things are looking up, or at least he was told things are looking up. If you were to ask Corbin, things mostly keep looking sideways. Because his latest tenant might just be human. It means no more magic in the hallways and keeping skeletons from wandering out of the closet. But mostly it means that if he can’t figure her out, he’ll be out of a job. Which would be rather unfortunate, as it is where he keeps his bed, and all of his stuff, and all of his friends.

He’ll just stick her between the vampire and the harpy and hope she doesn’t notice, shall he?

 

 

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ABOUT E. V. BELKNAP

E.V. Belknap lives in a house in Belgium with the downstairs filled with books, the upstairs filled with movies and series, and the leftover cracks stuffed with lego. There’s worse things to be addicted to than stories.

Steve Hugh Westenra

Steve is a trans author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror (basically, if it’s weird he writes it). He grew up on the eldritch shores of Newfoundland, Canada, and currently lives and works in (the slightly less eldritch) Montreal. He holds advanced degrees in Russian Literature, Medieval Studies, and Religious Studies. As a reader, Steve’s tastes are eclectic. He enjoys anything that could be called speculative, including fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, but has been known to enjoy a good mystery as well as literary fiction. He’s always excited to try something new or that pushes boundaries, particularly from marginalized authors. Steve is passionate about queer representation, Late Antiquity, and spiders.

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