If I found myself cast in a remake of The Wolf Man, I would hope to find Séphera Giron portraying the traveling fortune teller I encounter in the woods. She would be perfect in this role. In addition to her smoldering beauty, Séphera has published a couple dozen works of horror — so she’d be familiar with the problems facing a lycanthrope; she is a professional tarot counselor — so she would have access to occult resources to foretell the troubles I’d encounter as a man-wolf; and she is an experienced editor, who has worked on over 600 works over the past decade, which could come in handy if I had the opportunity to re-write the typically dire narrative fated to most werewolves. Fortunately enough, I had the chance to consult with Ms. Giron on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Annex area of Toronto, far from any misty wilds and as yet un-bitten by any strange wolves.
Séphera is the ring leader for the Ontario branch of the Horror Writers Association, an international trade organization for those who compose dark tales, and she undertakes this role with great vigor. You’re likely to find her in stunning full goth regalia, staffing an HWA booth at FanExpo Toronto, Montreal ComiCon or Word on the Street, to name a couple. Their monthly meetings draw a regular crowd that has already outgrown one location. I expect to hear more as this cabal of Canucks enacts their plans for world domination.
Séphera’s most recent work of long fiction, Captured Souls from Samhain Publishing, is available as an ebook — I’ll pause for a moment for you to download it to your favorite e-reader. Captured Souls is an erotic thriller about Miriam Frederick, a current day Doctor Frankenstein of sorts who attempts to assemble her perfect lover from three attractive specimens, using state-of-the-art techniques and the cover of a University professorship. I had the sense that the mansion where Dr. Frederick pursued her unorthodox search for love was somewhere in the neighborhood where I met Séphera for coffee. I’m just to the part where things are starting to go horribly, horribly wrong for the not-so-good doctor. I appreciate both the subtle sense of humor that runs through the work, as well as the perspective of a strong female character. And, well to be honest, the sex scenes too. Intrigued? Check out the playlist of promotional videos on Youtube here, including a book trailer created by fellow horror writer John Palisano, who I met exploring a cemetery in New Orleans… but that’s another story.
Her follow up work, Flesh Failure also from Samhain Publishing (due out July 1st), presents a different take on the mad doctor motif. This period piece, set in the late Victorian era, tells the odyssey of self-discovery undertaken by Agatha, who is in effect a patchwork creation. Factor in being befriended by ladies of the night, bits of Jack the Ripper, and a craving for electricity and this work sounds like a perfect summer time read. Pre-order it here.
I wanted Séphera to read my fortune at the WHA/World Horror convention/ Stoker Award weekend in New Orleans last year, but it just wasn’t in the cards. No matter. As a tarot reader, Séphera uses the available technologies to deliver readings to a world-wide audience. She has read the cards at an amazing variety of in-person events, from bar mitzvah’s to bachelorette parties to fan conventions and haunted houses, but she also works with clients via email, Skype or phone. Séphera also shares monthly horoscopes through Youtube videos for the different signs. If you’re an Aquarius, you’re particularly fortunate because her coverage is especially comprehensive.
Even more impressive is the range of written texts that Séphera has edited. She offers a full gamut of services from proofreading and copying editing to full developmental editing. Her rates seem reasonable, especially for an editor of her experience. With the explosion of self-publishing, you likely know an author in need of these services, whether they know it or not. Do them and readers everywhere a favor and check out Scarlett Editorial Services for more details. She also offers mentoring services for those seeking more career-oriented, practical advice from an occult soothsayer.
Since horror is best seen against the backdrop of hope, I asked Séphera for a couple things that gave her hope in the contemporary world, and her first response was most endearing; she said my question reminded her of the Klaatu song, “Hope”. I have a soft spot for nerdy Canadiana, don’t you know. She is also hopeful about the ability of technology to give more folks a voice. Anyone can express him or herself and have the chance to get the work out there, as well as an opportunity to control his or her own career. Technology has provided us with connections that were previously not available; whatever community we want to be part of, we know we are not alone. Séphera hopes that our children’s generation will do good things, especially in areas like women’s rights and racism. Horror readers and horror writers also give her hope.
If the stars align favorably, I anticipate crossing paths with Séphera at Fan Expo or World Horror Con 2015 in Atlanta, but I’ve also got her on speed-dial in case I encounter any strange wolves in the backwood wilds of Ontario.