I “met” E.J. Stevens through the Occult Detective Quarterly Facebook page when she was looking for reviews of her audiobook for Frostbite: An Ivy Granger Psychic Detective Prequel Story.
E.J. Stevens is the award-winning author of the Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective urban fantasy series, the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal mystery series, the Hunters’ Guild urban fantasy series, and the Whitechapel Paranormal Society Victorian horror series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, magnificent monsters, and kick-butt heroines. Her novels are available worldwide in multiple languages.
Her newest book is Craven Street (Whitechapel Paranormal Society #0.5):
In this spellbinding novella, E.J. Stevens weaves a tale of murder, necromancy, and demonic possession that brings together characters from her Whitechapel Paranormal Society Victorian horror series and award-winning Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective urban fantasy series on the fog-shrouded cobblestones of Craven Street.
Much maligned by their male counterparts within the S.P.R.B., the women of the Whitechapel Paranormal Society are on their own to face a sinister dark mastermind as dismembered bodies are set across London’s East End like figures on a game board. Can they predict the killer’s next move—a bloody, ritualistic murder that might tip the scales and give demons dominion over all of London—before he strikes again?
Did something in the real world inspire Craven Street?
I grew up loving the Sherlock Holmes stories, but wishing that the supernatural elements, such as the hound in The Hound of the Baskervilles, proved to be truly paranormal. I also wished to see more female and non-binary characters solving crimes, finding happiness, and saving the world.
Set against the backdrop of pre- and post-Ripper Victorian London, the Whitechapel Paranormal Society series answers the question of how cases such as the Thames Torso Murders, Tottenham Court Road Mystery, Whitechapel Murders, Goswell Road Mystery, and the Vanishing Girls of West Ham might have been solved if put in the capable hands of a team of female special agents.
When I read an article about the bones unearthed at 36 Craven Street, believed to be the remnants of an illegal anatomy school, I knew that I’d found the perfect creepy mystery to weave together with the Barnes Mystery and the earliest Thames Torso Murders.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
I love every interaction between Cora and her team, but my favorite scene is in the first section, “Flight from the Rookery,” when Flan arrives at the bolt-hole where Cora is taking refuge from a horde of demon-possessed Whitechapel residents. The combination of danger, romantic tension, self-sacrifice, and supernatural mayhem is at a fever pitch and yet their banter always makes me laugh. It’s one of those scenes that holds all the elements I adore about this series. These are intelligent, heroic women with genuine emotions, and I will never stop cheering for their happiness.
What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?
My basic process was the same that I’ve used for all of my novels and novellas. I did preliminary research and came up with a pitch and book description. Next, I wrote the first chapter, last chapter, and an outline with the major story beats. I find it helpful to have the last chapter written in advance so that I know exactly where I’m taking my characters and to have a clear goal for where the story will end. Finally, I wrote the remaining chapters, working chronologically.
I should note that the repeated emergencies and interruptions that have occurred, and continue to arise, during the writing of this series has made more than one friend comment that these books might be cursed. I’m not sure if it’s truly something malevolent or mere coincidence, but I’ve never had so many broken bones, family emergencies, or exploding home appliances. At last count, I’ve also cracked 13 teeth and have had at least 3 laptops burst into flames.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
I was shocked to receive a bit of hate mail for including LGBTQA+ characters in Craven Street, but there was a rainbow-hued silver lining. For every negative email, I’ve received dozens of messages from readers thanking me for including lesbian and non-binary characters.
What do you have planned next?
I’m currently working on the next Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective novel Blood Rite, the next Whitechapel Paranormal Society book Eeper Weeper, and we’re going into production on the Craven Street audiobook. We also have two more Ivy Granger translations releasing later this summer.
Pick up your own copy of Craven Street from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JQV7WW
Check out all of E.J.’s books: https://amzn.to/2JNVbXA
Learn more at EJStevensAuthor.com, IvyGranger.com, WhitechapelParanormal.com, and connect at @EJStevensAuthor.