What: “Lucifer Rising,” book 3 in the “Gothic Memoirs” series
Author: Rebekah Armusik
Publisher: Lady Noir
It’s no secret the supernatural has grabbed hold of society lately, with much of the focus falling on vampires. While Rebekah Armusik’s tales are laden with the bloodsuckers, labeling them as strictly “vampire fiction” would not be right.
“There’s nothing so trite and boring and formulaic about it,” Armusik said. “It’s not like anything you’ve ever read before.”
The Wilkes-Barre native, who now resides in Hamburg, is in the midst of a 13-book “Gothic Memoirs” series. The first two works, “Memoirs of a Gothic Soul” and “Mariposa,” have been out, with “Lucifer Rising” released this month and “Vlkolak King” coming out around Halloween.
The series focuses on Nadija, a college graduate who travels to Prague to research her Slavic ancestors. What she finds is a world of fallen angels, vampires and Guardians, a group of protectors whose bloodline goes back to Adam’s first wife, Lilith. Much to Nadija’s surprise, she’s actually a key component in such a world.
The rich story, much of which is based on Slavic folklore and Judeo-Christian mysticism, is a major draw for those willing to pay attention throughout. Not only that, but Armusik presents a character that anyone from Northeastern Pennsylvania could have easily gone to high school with or lived next door to. It makes sense, as Nadija is very much Armusik herself.
“I started writing the series when I was in school at King’s College and wanted it to be an autobiographical work about growing up in a Slavic home and the tales my grandmother would tell me,” Armusik said.
She soon realized she wanted to put a character into those stories, to actually live them. She not only modeled Nadija after herself but many of the characters and settings after those she experienced in Wilkes-Barre.
“The characters are all based on real people, so at one point some of those conversations actually happened. I think that’s why this series resonates with people, because they don’t see it as something contrived or manufactured.”
Whether readers are familiar with the area or not, Armusik said the emotion behind the events draws readers in.
“What do I have in common with the housewife, the 18-year-old kid?” she said. “The commonality of my book is that it’s about real feelings, real life, real emotions. Human experience is the glue that binds this whole story together. It’s about suffering, love, redemption; someone trying to find themselves in a time where it’s hard to define people at all.”
The “Gothic Memoirs” series will top out with 13 books but won’t stop there. Armusik plans to write an additional 13 books, set before the “Memoirs” collection, that will explain the story behind the major players and themes in “Memoirs,” such as Lilith and the angels. The series will conclude with four books that return to the “Memoirs” series, wrapping up with a total of 30 works.