new releases

Interview with Sylvain Reynard, Author of The Raven, Part 2

Interview with Sylvain Reynard, Part 2….

I decided to publish this last segment of my interview with Sylvain Reynard after The Raven’s release.  I’m not a fan of spoilers, and while I don’t think there are spoilers in this interview, I wanted fans to have a chance to meet Raven and the Prince before reading this. So read on for more juicy tidbits from Sylvain Reynard….

(If you haven’t read Part 1 you can find it here)

 

The novella The Prince is followed by the full-length novel The Raven, in which we meet a young woman who finds herself thrust into the Prince’s world.  Raven is a very different character from Julia.  Both represent the epitome of goodness, but Raven finds herself with a man who (by all admissions and appearances) embodies darkness and, perhaps, evil.  How were you inspired to create her character?

When I began writing The Gabriel Series, there were two scenes that dropped into my head. First, the conflict in the classroom that opens “Gabriel’s Inferno,” and the scene in the orchard, which occurs a few chapters later.

 When I began writing “The Raven,” the scene that entered my mind fully formed was the scene in which Raven walks home after a party. I saw what she looked like, how she walked, and her entire history. I knew she was an artist and an art restorer, and that she was extremely intelligent, compassionate, and very creative.

Raven is a very intriguing character.  She’s brilliant but her confidence takes a hit from the frustration she feels with her self-image and her physical limitations. The Prince can’t understand why she feels the way she does about herself or her appearance, reflecting an interesting perspective on the changing perception of beauty over the centuries.  I’m sure that many readers will relate to her body image issues and appreciate that she’s not perfect.   What led to that particular aspect of Raven’s character?

As I mentioned, I saw her in my imagination fully formed, but I also intended her to be an atypical female lead. She doesn’t possess extraordinary physical beauty or bodily perfection and she isn’t thin.  She’s an attractive woman but much of her beauty comes from her character and her actions.

What’s next for the Prince and Raven?  

Thank you for asking. Readers will have a taste of the sequel to “The Raven” at the end of the book, because I’ve included a teaser.

 At the moment, I’m continuing to write the sequel and I can tell you that a lot of danger and adventure are coming their way. Please stay tuned …

To purchase The Prince, click here.

To purchase The Raven, click here.

Many thanks again to Sylvain Reynard for taking the time to do this interview!

Advertisements

Prince Lestat Entry 5: Home Stretch (Spoiler Free)

I have about 75 pages left of Prince Lestat  I’m deliberately pacing myself.  I am forcing myself not to peek and see which chapter is next.  I want to know what happens but I don’t want to reach the end of the book.

It’s quite the dilemma.

Like every Anne Rice book, Prince Lestat moves along like a fine piece of classical music, weaving in and out until the crescendo builds and the song-in this case, the story-comes to an end. The process can take a while.  The mythology must be built.  But I can sense that the end is in sight and it’s both satisfying and saddening.

Lestat is in fine form. Rest assured of that. I am thoroughly enjoying seeing friends from previous books popping up. Prince Lestat could be a thousand pages and I don’t think it would feel long enough.

But the end is in sight.  My next post will most likely be my review (still spoiler free, of course).

Prince Lestat: Entry 4 (Spoiler Free)

I’m almost to page 300 in Prince Lestat. I could have easily finished the entire book yesterday when it was released, but I’m savoring every bit of it.

This evening I met with one of my students who told me about a project she has for her English class.  It’s a mythology project where she must study a culture and their myths.  This got me thinking.

So much of Anne Rice’s writing revolves around myths. I don’t speak of vampire mythology or lore, because she created her own world.  I speak of the mythology created every time one of the characters shares his or her story.  The history is so rich.

When people critique her work, it is often because they find Anne Rice books to be too long, too flowery, too dense. What they don’t realize, and certain can’t appreciate, is that she is creating a mythology of her own.  She isn’t creating some transient backdrop so she can insert her characters. She not only gives life to her characters, but the settings themselves become characters. Take New Orleans, for example.  The city is now synonymous with Anne Rice.  The flat on the Rue Royal is as famous as Lestat and Louis.  Anne Rice creates new worlds in her writing.

I’m happy to report, given this digression on mythology, that I am winding through Prince Lestat and stopping to appreciate the mythology along the way. Prince Lestat is a gem when it comes to mythology.

Prince Lestat: Halfway Point (Entry 3. Still Spoiler Free)

I read Chapter 12 of Prince Lestat this morning.  I saw the words “flashing silk tie” and smiled at once because these are the descriptions I have come to know and love in every Anne Rice book I have ever read.

I became a history major largely due to her writing.  To me, the vampires were secondary.  I was never a Goth. I liked the characters because I loved their rich stories. I love the idea of having a conversation with someone who witnessed the fall of Rome and who painted in Venice.  I fell in love with the city of New Orleans and was thrilled when, in 2011, I was able to travel there for a week and stay in the Vieux Carre (French Quarter…yes…I even learned French after studying Spanish, partly due to The Vampire Chronicles).  The idea of being around creatures who are literally living history books makes my fingers twitch because I love history and I’d be the equivalent of David going from vampire to vampire asking them to share their stories. (My fingers always twitch in those situations…it’s a reflection of my continual desire to read and write “stuff”. I’m a total nerd that way…)

So now I’m at the halfway point and I’m rearing to go.  I’m racing to the finish because I honestly don’t want to put the book down.  Prince Lestat has been worth the wait.  It’s everything I hoped it would be. (So far…you never know what can happen in 200 pages…)

Prince Lestat: The First Day (Entry 2; Spoiler Free)

At the end of Day One reading Prince Lestat, the newest installment of The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice, I am on page 207, chapter 12.

I wish I didn’t have to sleep. I want to keep reading…but I don’t want it to end too quickly.  This is the best book in the series.  Seeing old friends, and meeting new ones, is pure joy. I have the education (I majored in history, largely due to Anne Rice’s characters who are pulled out of time) and the maturity to understand the themes and grasp the symbolism that might have previously escaped me. Memnoch the Devil came out when I was 15. It was the first new book in The Vampire Chronicles to come out since I’d discovered the series.  I was still caught up in the world of The Tale of the Body Thief and I didn’t understand a lot of the religious and existential happenings until I attended a private Catholic university years later.  This book is very different from the others (so far). It’s a wonderful departure that is true to the mythologies Ms. Rice has created.

Anne Rice’s writing is incomparable.  Prince Lestat serves as a reminder of quality and not quantity.  Each book has been meticulously researched, every detail cross referenced.  She isn’t turning out books yearly, and the quality of this book demonstrates that.

I am almost halfway through Prince Lestat. I really don’t want it to end.  But I promise to keep posting during this journey, and please share your thoughts with me about the book.  I’m eager to hear what others have to say.  I will post my own review here when I’m done.

Prince Lestat: Cracking the Spine (Entry 1)

At long last, Anne Rice’s newest installment of The Vampire Chronicles has arrived.  Prince Lestat hit stores today.  I was at Barnes and Noble at 10am sharp and I had my copy in hand at 10:02.

The last time a book in The Vampire Chronicles was released was back in 2003.  I was 23 years old, and my life was very different than it is now.When I consider that I first read Interview with a Vampire when I was 14 (in 1994), it makes me see how much has happened in the past 20 years.  I grew up with Anne Rice books, though most of the symbolism came to me years after reading the books.  I’m glad to be reading with the perpective of time under my belt.

It’s fitting, then, that we celebrate the release of Prince Lestat.

Reading an Anne Rice book is to take a journey with old friends.  I’ve read critiques of her books from new readers who have turned to The Vampire Chronicles as the vampire rage has hit new peaks. Some of these critiques complain about the verbose nature of the books.  I told the lady at the bookstore today that reading Anne Rice is like having a thick smoothie when you’re used to drinking water.  This is due, in part, to the details that Anne Rice is famous for.  They’re never just curtains; they’re velvet curtains.  Armand never wears lace; it’s Versailles lace.  You have to understand that this is why it’s great literature.

So my plan is to post blog entries about the experience of reading Prince Lestat as I go through it.  I will never post spoilers.  My full review will follow as soon as I’m done with the book, and you’ll be able to read it here and at http://www.darkmediaonline.com.

Are you about to take this journey into Prince Lestat with me?  Please leave your comments below!