CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. – Oct. 24, 2021 – PRLog — Author Meghan Purvis, was awarded an Arts Council grant to help her research The Wages of Dying, her debut novel, set between New York and New Orleans in 1920s America. Despite having family in Northern Louisiana, Meghan had never visited New Orleans and used her grant to fund a road trip.
“New Orleans has always fascinated me,” Meghan says. “And I went on the road trip of a lifetime, driving from New York down to New Orleans. It’s a journey I’ll always treasure.”
I ask why vampires?
“Early in the writing process,” she says, “the story was set in the present day. I was writing about the main character discovering a microfilm of a parade from the 1920s, and I just couldn’t stop describing things and adding more details. Finally my consciousness caught up to my writing fingers and said, Why are you trying to justify a twenty-page flashback? Just write the story you’re already telling! But as to the vampires, the idea came out of a flea problem in a place I worked – but that’s another story.”
Meghan goes on to talk about her mother’s family, who are from northern Louisiana, and how on her road trip she finally got to talk in person to relatives she’d heard about but never met. A key moment was her first ever meeting with her great aunt, Syble.
“Everyone has always said: I can’t explain it, you just have to be there,” Meghan tells me. “And I always thought yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard about New Orleans. But now that I’ve been there … well … I can’t explain it to you. You just have to go.”
The Wages of Dying is dedicated to Meghan’s great-aunt Syble. Meghan says of her, “She loved her family, the LSU Tigers, and a good glass of bourbon; I miss her every day.” In The Wages of Dying, the short dedication reads: For Aunt Syble — ten much; always;
Dan Grubb, CEO of Fantastic Books Publishing, says, “We all loved The Wages of Dying. The writing was superb, the pictures Meghan drew of 1920s America were vivid, and the tensions of following just the day to day traumas of a bootlegging gang had you at the edge of your seat. Once the vampires arrived in the mix, it was unputdownable. And Meghan has a lovely twist on the usual vampire tale, but I won’t let any spoilers slip.”
Although The Wages of Dying is Meghan’s first novel, she has a string of publications to her name and won the Stephen Spender prize for literary translation for her translation of Beowulf. Meghan grew up in California, but hopped back and forth between Cambridge, England and Raleigh, North Carolina for several years. After receiving an MA and PhD from the University of East Anglia, and an MFA from North Carolina State University, she settled in England, and now lives in London.
The Wages of Dying officially launches on National Vampire Awareness Day – October 30th, 2021.
Information about the book
The Wages of Dying is launched on 30th October 2021, and is available in ebook and paperback formats.