"Something Secret This Way Comes" by Sierra Dean - cover detail (Samhain Publishing Ltd.)
"My vampires work in a tiered system of merit-based power. My werewolves function in an old-school royalty-based leadership system where the king is the final word. I wouldn't have been able to successfully write these political systems without a foundation in Roman and medieval history."
—Sierra Dean, Winnipeg Author
It is safe to say that Winnipeg writer Sierra Dean is prolific.
Dean (real name Ashley MacLennan) has released five e-books in the U.S. since last May. She is celebrating her first worldwide print release this month, called Something Secret This Way Comes: A Secret McQueen Novel. And she has a goal of writing two books a year from now on.
Dean's current series revolves around a half-vampire, half-werewolf bounty hunter named Secret McQueen. SCENE asked Sierra to explain how her background in history feeds her writing.
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Ever since I put up my bio on my website I'm constantly asked "what's a rogue historian" or "what does it mean when you say you're a "reformed historian"? Of all the questions I get asked in interviews, this is probably my favorite.
My first university degree was, not so surprisingly, English Literature. But my second (unfinished) is an honours BA in History. I've had to take a break since writing and a day job do not leave me time for studying but history is still a passion of mine. And believe it or not, it's a huge factor in my writing.
How, you ask?
Urban fantasy, at least the successful stuff, hinges on something known as world-building. Creating a believable version of our world wherein supernatural beasties co-exist side-by-side with humanity.