Ever since she published the first entry in her Starblood trilogy of dark, gothic novels Carmilla Voiez has continued to make a name for herself in the world of eroticism and horror. Her epic tale of a flawed romantic magician and the girl he desires has spanned from English nightclubs to entire hell dimensions as it explores the nature of desire and ownership in love.
Now the story is concluded, and it contains Voiez's darkest and most disturbing moments yet. Her heroes, Satoria and Star, leave behind the demonic son they created with Lilith and try to return to the normal world to live the lives of traditional human lovers. Sadly, the wounds they've inflicted on each other through magic, jealousy, rage, and the desire to be free follow them across the barrier, and when their son decides to come looking for Star literally all hell breaks loose.
It's unsettling, oft-times hopeless work that screams up from the page that some wounds never really heal. Voiez challenges the boundaries of sanity at every turn, and leaves a trail of blood from beginning to end that leads to an unbelievable and horrific finale more in keeping with Revelation than a popular novel. Even for someone as notably frightening as Voiez is, it is impossible to be prepared for where she'll take you.
I caught up with Voiez on holiday in Glasgow for a brief interview on Black Sun.
Art Attack: It's a much more chaotic work than the previous two, with madness and indecision woven throughout the whole thing. Was that intentional?
Carmilla Voiez: In part, yes, although it also reflects my life at the time of writing and my own indecisions when it came to the dissolution of my marriage. I felt, liberated writing the third book, having introduced my writing style and themes in the first two books I gave myself license to thoroughly explore the characters and story from the opening paragraph to the climactic scene.
AA: What would you say the main difference is between Lilith as we met her in Starblood and her as we see her now?
CV: Lilith was angry and misunderstood in Starblood. Her sole purpose was mischief and chaos and she was definitely the villain of the story. After Psychonaut Lilith feels whole at last and she achieves a sense of peace, possibly the only character in the trilogy who achieves this. She understands herself better and gains the acceptance she has yearned for since her birth. It is with this new self-knowledge that we meet her again in Black Sun, as though she has ascended after her fall.
AA: Parents play a much bigger role in this story than they have in the previous ones, and in almost all cases it's because of a sense of rejection. What made you want to tackle that aspect this time around?
CV: In the circle of a woman's life motherhood often plays a pivotal role. Star is a mother in Black Sun and I wanted to explore this theme not only for the main character but for other characters as well, the difference between the expectations and reality of parenthood.
Interview continues on next page.
AA: Sexuality, and society's tendency to criminalize it in women, is one of the main focuses in the trilogy. Does Star ever really learn to accept herself in that respect?
CV: She begins to. Her time at Lilith's villa is a period of therapy for her and she works to unravel her thoughts about herself, her gender and her sexuality If it hadn't been for the interference of the overriding narrative and how it forces her to make difficult and immediate choices, tackling her distress head on before she is equipped to do so, I believe she would have had the chance to grow as Lilith grows. Instead she chooses another solution.
AA: Without spoiling the story too much, why did you bring Satori's tale to the end that you did?
CV: Revenge and to allow Star to move beyond him.
AA: Was there any special significance to the name Mark for their son? Is it Biblical?
CV: It is biblical, but that's only partly why I used it, aka the end of days. He is also a target, the hunter and the hunted. He makes his mark on the world and leaves it tainted.
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AA: The trilogy ends on an extremely down note, almost hopeless and certainly violent... just as it began, actually. Is that a statement on the cruelty of the world, or more that there is no hope of change without pain?
CV: I believe the end shows the potentiality of change as yet unfulfilled, very much as I see the world in these explosive and chaotic times.
Black Sun is out now.