The Van Helsing Paradox

“A gal has to look out for herself after all.”

Clara Grey’s parents once said that the world was a dark and dangerous place. There was more truth than fiction to those words. There were things that lurked in the shadows which defied the laws of nature: perversions that fed on the dead, terrorised the living, or escaped the chill touch of the grave.

Clara is a member of the Tower, a religious order of hunters who work outside the confines of the Church. As keepers of the arcane, her order takes an active role to counter these threats. The life of a hunter can be short, and many disappear before their training is complete. So, what does it take to succeed against all odds?

Explore Clara’s origin, a child born before the dawn of the twentieth century. Witness her rigorous training, how she faces adversity, and fights in the Great War to become the derringer wielding flapper she is.

Throughout her tale, keep in mind that no matter the threat, a gal has to look out for herself after all.

Check out the book here

Our Interview with Evelyn Chartres

Q1. What made you decide to become a writer?

The first step for me was to actually finish a novel. Sure, I could write short stories, but the idea of a full-length novel was so daunting back then! It was a bit like finding myself in the shadow of a mountain, humbled by the journey ahead. Still, all adventures start with a single step, and given a lot of time and patience, I was able to complete The Portrait. That's when I realised there were more stories to tell. So I've been writing novels since, giving life to characters and worlds that exist in my mind's eye. Then I figured, why not share these stories with the rest of the world? That's when I decided to become an Indie author!

Q2. In addition to writing Gothic fantasy novels, I've noticed you also write recipes online.  Do you do that for fun, or will you publish a recipe book one day?  Which recipe is your favourite?

Cooking is one of my passions, and I'm a big fan of the phrase 'live to eat.' As a result, I've taken an interest in recording family recipes and some of my personal favourites for my own edification. The former are a challenge since some have no instructions or come in obscure measurements. How often does one come across 'an egg of grease' in modern recipes? Sometimes these recipes require some research to get right. Still, it's great to bring those recipes to life! So why not share? That way, these recipes can live on and be enjoyed by others. My favourite was often served during special occasions or when the family congregates. It's a deep-dish meat pie prepared as a family and takes hours to cook in the oven. So this dish is as personal for me as it is tasty! Sounds good? You can check La Tourtiere du Lac-Saint-Jean below:

Q3. What inspired The Van Helsing Paradox?

I often have 'What If' moments, and The Grand is built on a slew of such questions being answered in story form. The Grand revolves around a fictional hotel that caters to things that go bump in the night. This type of setting begged for an answer to this question: What would happen if a hunter found their way to the hotel? 'The Van Helsing Paradox’ started as a chapter in The Grand. However, the main character, Clara, would not be silenced so easily, and far more 'What Ifs' demanded answers. That's how The Van Helsing Paradox came about. What sequence of events was needed to lead a hunter to the Grand? What drove her to hunt? What were her motivations? What makes Clara tick?

Q4. What I love about your book is the story is based around a strong female character.  If you were to give advice on how to write a strong female protagonist, what would it be?

That's a tough one! In the end, any good character is first and foremost human. They all have their motivations and quirks that make them unique. Being true to their motivations will create a believable character that the reader will buy. So let them make mistakes, learn from them, and face adversity in a believable way. Let these characters grow and earn their strength, so the reader becomes invested in the story. I also believe that strong characters must have faced adversity at some point in their lives. A hardened soul is armoured in steel, forged in conflict.

Q5. What future books do you have planned?

After I get The Van Helsing Incursion ready for release, I plan to work on a new project. I've already written a primer, a story that takes place on futuristic Earth that is being terraformed by an unknown entity. As the water levels rise, the ultra-rich head into space to escape a dying planet. Whereas the rich seek out shelter in the ocean through a series of invasive procedures that include genetic manipulation and surgery. Those left are forced to seek out alternate methods of escape. When desperate, people will do pretty much anything to survive, and this story will focus on the descendants of those survivors. The 'What If' in this case is what happens to those who managed to escape into the sea but were not fully adapted to the environment. What about the social dynamics that revolves around multiple classes of mermaids? And what happens when something from the surface reaches down into the depths? I am most definitely looking forward to taking on this story!

About Evelyn Chartres

Evelyn Chartres is the nom de plume for a self-published Canadian author. The writer of four Gothic fantasy novels, Evelyn introduced the Portrait in 2016, the Grand in 2017 and the Van Helsing Resurgence in 2019.

A fan of the phrase live to eat, Evelyn shares her recipes on this website. Her recipes have a loose focus on French-Canadian cuisine, which features deep-dish meat pies, seafood, and desserts rarely seen outside of La Belle Province.

Evelyn is currently living in Ottawa, Ontario and is busy laying the foundations for her next project.



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