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Interview Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc AKA Belladonna Black

Please check out my feature of Andrea AKA Belladonna Black 

Lili's Lair: What led you to the path of becoming a writer? 

Andrea: I've always been a story teller. In fact, I've been called a "Master storyteller." As a child I invented fantastical worlds that were real to me, so my storytelling had an outlet, even if, at the time, it only 
With age, I decided to put those worlds on paper, never dreaming anyone else would care or be even remotely interested. I'm glad I was wrong.  
 Lili's Lair: What would you say influenced you to specifically write in the horror/gothic genre?
Andrea: I had a very cool Aunt growing up who is only a decade or so, older than me, and she got me hooked on horror. 
However, believe it or not, my first love wasn't was SciFi. But being the blackhearted belle that I am, it only makes sense that Horror won out. There's no denying your soul I suppose.
 Lili's Lair: Do your ideas evolve from?
Andrea: The sick, demented and twisted corners of my mind that few can actually understand.
 Lili's Lair: Why vampires?
Andrea: I see Vampires as posh, gentile and upper class, but not as vapid as the humans who only think they fall into the same category. It's the Vampire world I prefer, so, I write what I wish I was actually a part of. 

 Lili's Lair: Who were your influences when you began?
Andrea: No one. My ideas are all my own. I've had many imitators (this isn't my first foray into writing) and I'm not only surprised...I'm a degree. I have been favorably compared to both Anne Rice and Edgar Allan Poe. I'll take that compliment.
 Lili's Lair: How have your influences changed over the years?
Andrea: Where I was once visceral and very graphic in my writing, balanced with the story, I now focus more on back stories and actual STORY telling to bring my characters to life, the focus being more on them...than the bigger picture.
 Lili's Lair: What motivated you to get into music?
Andrea: I like being creative and I like sharing my talent for mixing public domain tracks. The fact that people like them is simply a bonus.
 Lili's Lair: Who influenced your musical style?
Andrea: My main influence is Dark Sanctuary. They simply don't make music like that anymore, but...there's also a Black metal bitch side to me too, so...neither side will be denied, though I prefer fog and shadow to slash and thrash. They are BOTH, me though.
 Lili's Lair: What is your creative process in creating music?
Andrea: Worlds. I want to create worlds that people can get lost in and feel at home in. I want people to be inspired by MY inspiration and feed off of what I can offer, sharing, engulfing and growing that world.

 Lili's Lair: Tell me about your inspiration for Belladonna Black, and how you came up with her

Andrea: My crazy inner voice. Seriously...I can NOT shut her up. While I was contemplating ideas one day, the words "Belladonna Black" came to mind. Aloud, I said, "That's the stupidest, most cliche name I've ever heard. Please..." 
Well, not one to be silenced, that inner willful woman kept on. Every time I had a second to myself..."Belladonna Black," came into my head. I finally gave in and crafted a world around her. 
 Lili's Lair: Why did you start a "real" vampire house?
Andrea: I've been a part of Vampire communities in the past and it was like being in High School; cliquish, backbiting, politics, divas and petulant children.
However...being an Energy/Daywalker Vampire and knowing that I can't have been the only person disillusioned by the silliness of people who are supposed to be better than human sheeple, I decided to make a home for those like myself. Honor...Gentility... Knowledge...
That's our creed. If you're a scammer, drama diva and you can't act like/solve problems as/like a cultured adult and if you aren't interested in learning and expanding your brain... we're not for you. 
 Lili's Lair: Why do you believe you are a "real" vampire?
Andrea: Actually...I never did...until... As I said, I was once a part of a Vampire community. Visiting with a couple of them one evening, I laughed and said, "You know this is all crap, right? You REALLY think you're Vampires? You know that Hollywood isn't real life."
Now...a bit about me. I'm a genuine Empath. I hail from a long time of Hereditary in, I was born into a real family of Witches...Country healers and Wise Women. 
I've always had powers...accurate and often terrifying/upsetting powers I couldn't understand. I've always had illnesses that defied medical knowledge...I've never fit in or felt like I belong in this life. 
Now...with age, the sun drains me to the point that I can't function. It has a far more serious affect on me than most people  
Anyone I've ever tried to talk to about these odd traits that make up me, I've been shunned, laughed at and made fun of, so...coming across "real" Vampires for the first time in my life, those decades ago, I was disposed to do the same as, up until that point in my life (mid to late 20's) I'd never met anyone even remotely like myself, making a life in a world where they didn't fit in. 
We continued chatting, so I opened up about my problem with the sun and the physical problems it causes me and my other, "gifts" and oddities and I remember the woman looking at me and saying, "Why don't you just admit you're a Daywalker?"
I said, "Because that's from a movie." She disagreed and told of a history of unique people like myself, people who don't fit in and have problems with the sun...people with abilities and/or traits seen as abnormal to regular society.
With that new knowledge, I decided to join in and identify as a Daywalker and was immediately jumped on (on a Vampire message board) by a superioristic snob, when an Elder (I've long since forgotten their name) gave them a dressing down, based on historical fact that I've long since forgotten and I can't even recall the link they gave as reference. 
I was just stunned than an Elder in the "World," spoke up for a newbie still trying to find her place. 
It wasn't long after that I was exposed to the ugly side of belonging to any group, and left the Vampire world behind.
However...I've never stopped loving Vampires and with age, and my writing retirement over...I'm no longer constrained by worry about what others think or in the event of...their malfunctions.
 Lili's Lair: What message do you have for those who might believe they are "real" vampires?

Andrea: Scrape off the snobs. There will always be those who think they're superior. Find your own way and be who you are. Just keep role playing and silliness out of it. You can't fly, turn to smoke or anything else, you CAN enter a house anytime you please, you DO have a reflection and can eat garlic (unless you actually have a real intolerance to it, like some people do) so keep Hollywood out of it and you'll be fine as you discover who you are. 
 Lili's Lair: Is your House open for new coven members to join? 
Andrea: Yes. Anyone is welcome to join as long as they understand that while many of us game, personally I'm addicted to the game Vampires Dark Rising, keep GAMING out of it. You DON'T have powers like in the games. 
 Lili's Lair: What projects do you have coming out this year?
Andrea: Coming out of a 12 year retirement, I've been busy. 
My introductory Vampire novel, Tales From The Blackford Manor (the first in the two part series) is out now, via Kindle and in Print and my Gothic Poetry collection No Night Without Mourn and Paranormal Gothic Romance, Ghosts of The Old Inn are available for pre-order.
My collection of Gothic Mystery and Dark Academia, The Caretaker's Cottage Library is due out from my new publisher, later this year. 
I'll publish the link on my official House website when I have it. 
 Lili's Lair: What projects would you like to do in the future?
Andrea: I'm a professional voice over artist (30 years worth of experience in everything from on hold ads for major corporations, to documentaries, to film) and would LOVE to do voice work for Vampire The Masquerade or other cool Vampire game, or do voice work for a cool Gothic band for some tracks. 
I'm also still hopeful that a serious movie maker (not the fly by night flakes I met back in my younger years) will want to turn one of my stories/books into a film...even if it's a short one. 
That's my ultimate see one of my works as a film. 
Lili's Lair: Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Andrea: Thank you for taking the time and thank you to those who have purchased and are spreading the word about my works. 
 Lili's Lair: Please tell us where people can follow you on social media.
Andrea: House Dusk...the gateway to ALL my projects, including my music and free vampire movies...
House Dusk