sylvain reynard the raven

The Prince Speaks: An Interview with Sylvain Reynard’s Vampyre Prince of Florence

Recently I had the incredible honor of interviewing the Prince of Florence.  If you’re not familiar with his story, I urge you to read his introduction in Sylvain Reynard’s novella The Prince, as well as The Raven, which is the first installment of the Florentine Series.  The Prince also appears briefly in Gabriel’s Redemption; unbeknownst to Professor Gabriel Emerson and his lovely wife, Julia, the Prince is tied to the Emersons in ways they cannot yet comprehend. 

I would like to thank the Prince of Florence for agreeing to do this interview, and many thanks go out to Sylvain Reynard for making it possible.

Without further ado, I present to you the Prince of Florence.

Would you do us the honor of introducing yourself?

(The Prince looks around, obviously uncomfortable with his surroundings)

 I am the Prince of Florence.

How would you describe yourself?

As the darkness made visible.

 Is there anywhere else in the world that captures your interest as much as Florence?

I have a fondness for Rome and the city of York but for various reasons, I rarely leave the confines of Florence.

 What is your favorite book?

Lately, I’ve been entranced by “A Discovery of Witches.” It was very educational. (Author’s note: Deborah Harkness is the author of A Discovery of Witches and her All Souls Trilogy is soon to be featured on the BBC)

 You’ve been around since the 13th century.  In your estimation, what has been the most significant historical event you’ve witnessed?

I never discuss the event that had the most personal significance to me.

 But I can tell you the rise of the Black Death was incredibly significant for Florence and for my brethren.

 I’m a huge fan of Shakespeare.  In Sonnet 116, the Bard talks about the human frailty and the passage of time.  Love, however, is immortal.  “Love alters not with its brief hours and weeks but bears it out even to the edge of doom.”   Your thoughts?

 I’m afraid I’m new to the subject of love. My kind know little enough of it. But for the sake of a particular pair of green eyes, I’m willing to learn.

 Did you know that there is a whole genre of fiction, called paranormal romance, which revolves around women and vampires as lovers?  Would you have ever thought such a thing could be?

 I have a difficult time imagining such a thing.  If this kind of literature truly exists, it would pose a grave security risk.

 I must inform the other principalities …

 What would you like your legions of fans to know about you?

Fans?

 What is your definition of beauty?

I think women are beautiful. I like their softness and the way they smell.  But a woman who lacks intellect and a strong character is unattractive.

 “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Your thoughts?

It’s certainly true. But the question is what is one willing to do in order to maintain one’s power …

 Should humans fear vampyres?

Without qualification.

 You rule over the beautiful city of Florence.  Are there places in the world that are not good environments for vampyres?

Sunny climates are not especially conducive to vampyres, nor are areas built atop consecrated ground.

 Are there things you love about being a vampyre?  What don’t you enjoy?

We have time enough to spare and we heal quickly.

 I have trouble remembering what it was like to be human.  I miss the ability to sleep.

 In Interview with the Vampire, the reporter Daniel asks Louis if he can look at crucifixes and whether or not he sleeps in a coffin.   We know you’re very special (we won’t tell anyone, Mr. York!), but are there traits that all vampyres share?  Can you give us a primer?  Vampyres 101?

Vampyres are a kind of animal. They prey on humans and reproduce through the exchange of blood.  They have enemies, as every predator is prey to something.

 Your relationship with Raven is very special.  Why Raven?  What draws you to her?

In short, she’s beautiful and she has an exceptional mind. I’m drawn to her character and her very being.

 What does Raven mean to you?

It can’t be put into words.

Raven was able to get you to watch a film with her.  The Godfather.  Has she been trying to introduce you to other modern wonders?  What has captured your interest so far?

The film was interesting, to a point. She tried to get me to watch Star Wars, which reminded me very much of the Middle Ages. Jawas are Franciscans and the Jedi are Jesuits. I had trouble identifying the Benedictines and Dominicans.

When did you learn to ride a motorcycle?

 Many years ago.

What made you choose a Triumph as your motorcycle of choice?

A respectable vampyre wouldn’t choose anything else. It has to do with the way the bike handles and also the sound of the motor. Ducatis and Harley Davidsons simply can’t compete.

 Do you ever drive cars?  Which would you prefer—an Italian car, like a Ferrari or Lamborghini, or a British car, say, an Aston Martin or Lotus?

I’ve driven cars in the past – I favour Ferrari. But I prefer my motorcycle.

 Quickfire thoughts on the following:

 Anne Rice – Gifted

Bram Stoker – A paid propagandist

Women’s Fashion – I am more interested in what my woman looks like under her clothes …

Honor – Priceless

Love – Immortal

I can only imagine that Sylvain Reynard is a wonderful guide through your adventures.  We know you’re not fond of Dante, but SR does resemble Virgil in his own way. Can you describe your relationship with SR?

If he were the one responsible for revealing our secrets, I’d say his life would be very short-lived. Perhaps someone ought to advise him of this.

I’d like to thank the Prince for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview.  If you’ll excuse me, I think I might need to send a note of warning to Mr. Reynard….

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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!