Issue 050 Author Interview: Hannah Hulbert and “Daemonum Ex”

Today’s spotlighted author, Hannah Hulbert, tells us all about how she tried something new with her writing. “Daemonum Ex” is the result, and we couldn’t be happier to have it in our milestone issue!

LSQ: This is a twisty one! The whole time I thought one thing and the other thing happened! Did you have it in mind from the beginning for Marthim to have summoned Everelda?

Hannah: Absolutely! This is the first romantic story I’ve ever written and I wanted to make it as interesting as possible. Every time the romance trope took the plot into a ‘zig’ I made a deliberate effort to ‘zag’ back again in the opposite direction. I’m delighted that you didn’t see the twist coming!

LSQ: At the core, this has a theme of relationships and about how people/demons/witches change over time. Did you end up drawing on personal experience to create the evolution of the two characters?

Hannah: Yes, I don’t think I’ve ever written a main character who wasn’t actually a facet of my own personality. I’m not many birthdays away from forty and imagining what the future might look like for me and my family. I love using fiction to work through matters which are important to me, and then sending the work that I produce in the process out into the world. It seems a more fruitful kind of angst – never waste a midlife crisis!

LSQ: At the end, their bond is sealed by the idea to visit Lord Fortesque (which is funny and wicked at the same time). I can imagine lots of future mischief together. What do you imagine they are doing after the story ends?

Hannah: You know, I very rarely have an idea of what characters will do next when I finish a story. Occasionally they will pop up in another somewhere down the line. But I do like your idea of them having adventures together and causing low-level trouble. I think that’s exactly what they would do!

LSQ: Within the grim world you painted, you added such a lovely breath of romance. Is this a genre you often write in? What are your favorite kinds of stories to create?

Hannah: No, I actually challenged myself to write a romance in this story because my default fictional relationships are between The Girl Who Doesn’t Realize How Strong She Is™ and The Awful Boyfriend™. Although lighter, more hopeful stories are becoming more appealing to me these days. I’ve been thinking a lot about how fictional narratives provide a framework for us as both individuals and communities to envision our future. I think taking a more optimistic view of humanity (and other sentient life!) is a change I needed to make, and I’m glad to share that step with you all!