Hello Queer Sci Fi Radio listeners and welcome back! This is Ben Brock, Special Correspondent for the Paranormal Public, and it is my pleasure and utmost delight to present to you an esteemed—though not always visible—member of the queer paranormal community. He has achieved immeasurable success in the face of adversity.
Please welcome, Declan, vampire and man of many talents.
It’s a pleasure to be here.
Thank you, Declan, for appearing on my show today. As I understand it, I have your dearest friend, Detective Forge, to also thank for this honor. I must confess, I had misgivings with bringing you on the show, and not because I didn’t want to interview you—I very much did—but I highly doubted you’d be interested. I can only extend my most sincere gratitude to Detective Forge for his assistance, and to you for your generosity.
You’re very welcome, and Jonas Forge can be quite persuasive when it suits him.
When I do take the spotlight it’s often not as myself but as a cover identity I’ve established over the years. I’ve heard many actors bring to their on-stage characters’ aspects of themselves. For my part, that’s something I do as well. There is some of the real me in all the identities I present to the public eye.
A good spy, or con man, has the ability to fit in wherever needed. I like to think that’s a talent I’ve in some small way managed to develop over the years.
I’m sure. There are many members of the queer paranormal community who may not have heard of your real name, and yet there are others who have very good memories and may not recall you fondly. I imagine it’s a bit of shock to be in the spotlight!
You began as French aristocracy, but quickly gave up that privilege to set sail to the New World. While most of our US paranormal community can perhaps relate to this choice, in your own words please tell us as about your early years and the moments that lead to this path.
I was born into an aristocratic family in France in 1721. I was raised to be nobility and a gentleman. That meant I was to learn the art of fencing—something I did enjoy then and do to this day. There were other things I didn’t like as well. Hunting for sport—
it’s much different than if you’re hunting to survive. As a child I was an artist. I wanted to paint. That didn’t sit well with my father who wanted his son to ‘be a man’. As was the custom then he arranged for a ‘lady’ to educate me in the art of making love to a woman. I knew even then I had no interest in women and my best recourse was to leave France. It was around that time I chose to leave behind my family name and title and become known by the name Declan. There are very few in this world who know my true name. I think I make a better Declan.
Indeed, fathers can be horribly overbearing–but believe me–mothers aren’t much better.
In the New World, you once again changed course and became a warrior. Could you perhaps tell us a bit of this impetus and its aftereffects?
It actually began before I reached the New World. In order to survive on a ship of pirates becoming a warrior was an absolute necessity. I had misconceptions when I boarded that first ship, everyone does. Becoming a warrior and learning to fight—and fight dirty—was imperative to survival.
When I was on dry land again, learning to track and hunt as well as communicate with the natives was also a means of survival.
The Algonquin I lived with were amazing people. They accepted me for what I was. Being a homosexual wasn’t a crime, or abomination. Honestly, they were more interested that I learn to throw a spear and track dinner than who I was attracted to sexually.
From satin to loincloth. And then you were turned. Can you tell us a bit about the cognitive transition from human to vampire? How did becoming a vampire further change your world view?
By that time I knew quite a bit about vampires. The man who became my lover and, according to the customs of the tribe I lived with, what would be considered my husband today was a vampire. His name was Kitchi.
There were a number of vampires living among that tribe. Changing from human to vampire was something one chose and there was a special ceremony that took place. Of the vampires I know, I’m one of the very few who planned their change. One of my associates in The Vampire Guard, Ori Bier, underwent a planned change. Though his circumstances are very different than my own.
Becoming a vampire doesn’t alter one’s basic personality. I do believe the extended life span, and the varied experiences that go with have influenced my thoughts and opinions over the years.
I can only imagine. While in budding America, you met Detective Forge, who was a common villager in a small town. Well over one hundred years after the fact, Forge’s sire has now been officially updated in the records… to be you.
Despite this—at best—lie of omission, you and Forge have stuck together through the many years. Though you are more friends than lovers now, it’s undeniable you make a great pair. How does his lawful goodness blend with your chaotic neutral?
Yeah, I wouldn’t use the word ‘sire’ in conjunction with our relationship. I did, in fact, change Jonas from human to vampire, but I didn’t sire him. That would be a bit creepy considering for one-hundred-fifty years or so we shared a bed. I know a number of vampires who would shudder right out of their skin thinking of the vampire who changed them in a parental way. And, don’t forget, a woman can be a vampire and change someone just as easily as a man.
I think we make a great pair as well, thank you.
As far as Jonas’s ‘lawful goodness and my chaotic neutral’ as you put it I believe has been something that kept us alive during certain times. Jonas is a soldier, a warrior. I am not. I prefer covert methods. Those nicely complement each other. There were times when we procured information and goods at the edges of the law. Jonas would often operate at the limits of the law, or outside of it, in order for us to use one of my personas to accomplish our mission. Never, however, when he was on duty as a police officer.
Ah, ever the hero. If you would, share something embarrassing about Detective Forge, so we may bring him down a notch.
Ha, there are so many to choose from! Back in the 1950s or 1960s, I can’t remember for sure, surveillance cameras and technology were just becoming more used and available. Until that time they were very expensive.
Anyway, they were just starting to be used in Flint. Jonas has never shied away from using his vampire abilities during an investigation. To my knowledge he never stepped outside the law to apprehend a criminal, but I think using vampire skills against humans is cheating.
There was a robbery in a jewelry store in Flint. Jonas knew who the guilty man was, but was having a hard time proving it. So, he gets the bright idea to follow the man into his house. The man was human and couldn’t see Jonas run through the open door after him.
He confronts the guy and gets a confession. For years, decades even, the word of a respected police officer was always taken over that of someone suspected in committing a crime. Problem was this man had cameras in his home. There was no sound recording, but there was photo. The man showed up rather well on the film and while his actions looked odd, there was nothing incriminating. Of course, he could prove Jonas was never at his home, Jonas didn’t show up on the film! That was before he became a detective but I’ve never let him forget.
And now I won’t either!
After all your adventures, here you are in Flint, Ohio. How did you get to this life in a sleepy Midwest town?
Jonas and first arrived in Flint, or what would become Flint, Ohio shortly after the American Civil War. Interestingly enough, that is about the same time the Coate pack settled in the area. It’s been observed several times that certain geographical areas seem to attract supernatural beings. I believe Flint is one of those places.
And we liked the area. We made friends, and in Jonas’s case began a career.
In spite of your best efforts, you have been popping up more and more in the paranormal news, and you are being recognized for what you do. What do you think of this?
Honestly, I have a skill set that is useful in trying to improve my little section of the world. It’s not something I set out to do in life, but it’s what I have, so I use those skills.
I try to help out in whatever way I can, but I don’t think what I do is special or more than another man would do in my position.
That’s very noble. I’d like to switch gears for a moment. Because this is Queer Sci Fi Radio, I’d like to ask you a bit more about your queer identity. You shared with us some sobering details of when you were younger, but now you live openly in a house of queer men. What are the differences in being queer then compared to today? Vampires are known for their long game and scope. Where do you see the future of gay paranormal men headed?
Let me address the gay issue first, since being gay transcends being human or vampire or werewolf.
It depends on the culture. The Native Americans I lived among for many years—decades—were quite accepting. To them being gay wasn’t a curiosity or in any way abnormal. It was simply another facet sexuality and they revered vampires. The colonial settlers not so much.
In our Western culture of today being gay—man or woman—is far less gossip worthy than it once was. There have been and will always be bigots and jerks who think their way is the only way. Today a LGBTQ+ person can live as openly as they’d like in some areas of the world and from what I can see those areas are expanding. The best thing for anyone who is queer is not to hide anymore. Granted, having my particular skill set and being a vampire I have far less to worry about in regards to physical injury. Yet, I still have worries about how my friends and loved ones are treated, our careers and credit rating. Just like our human counterparts we have to make a living. I think human gays should know they have allies and protection with vampires and werewolves.
As an interesting side fact, werewolves have no distinction between straight or gay. It’s quite common and accepted in werewolf packs to have multiple partners of both sexes. This is nothing new to them.
I’m willing to bet that in another twenty or fifty years no one will understand what the fuss was all about.
Now, as to being a paranormal, I’m not sure that will ever be well accepted—again depending on the culture. I can say there are more people today who know I’m a vampire than there were even twenty years ago. Maybe there is hope.
Certainly no one would’ve been asking me these questions a couple of decades ago.
So true. It’s been lovely having you on the show today, Declan. Thank you for your time and patience, and may you have peace and a long life.
And to you as well. Thank you for inviting me to participate. It’s been a pleasure.
Did you miss our previous interview with Forge? Catch it here:
Elizabeth Noble lives by the adage “I can’t not write”. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to write them down. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. Using a real love of scifi and urban fantasy highlighted by twisty plots she crafts stories taking place in a slightly altered version of our world.
When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She shares her little brick house with an adorable canine princess and her tabby cat side-kick. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Indians!) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotting her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.
Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the 2015 Rainbow Awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
Please visit Elizabeth Noble at
Emotion in Motion: http://www.elizabeth-noble.com
Facebook group: On the Patio with Elizabeth Noble: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1551582581800123/
Elizabeth’s direct email is: [email protected]
Visit The Vampire Guard
Quarry is available now!
The members of the Vampire Guard—Jonas Forge, spy and soldier turned cop; computer hacker extraordinaire Blair Turner; Declan, thief, con man, and ex-pirate; and medical examiner and werewolf Dr. Lucas Coate—face a dangerous and elusive enemy.
And this time, it’s personal.
Over the course of three hundred years, a man has touched each of their lives in ways they are only just realizing. When a hunt for a psychotic killer in the present resurrects memories and clues from the past, they discover how they have been affected and are bound by the existence of a ruthless vampire criminal. Now, while preventing a heist at a high-tech art show and thwarting several large-scale explosions, the team must employ their unique blend of science and supernatural abilities to put an end to the machinations of the man toying with their lives.
This time, he won’t slip through their fingers.
This time, it’s more than a case. It’s a hunt, and Forge, Blair, Declan, and Lucas won’t stop until they’ve captured their quarry.