*Ed Note: Interview done by Pattinson Post’s Editor and Co-Founder, Jen.
A year ago, a good friend of mine introduced me to the novel, ‘Gabriel’s Inferno’. It was originally written as a fan fiction, but recently it had been updated and published. The book is set at the university in Toronto. As I was headed there to visit my friend in a month, I thought it was perfect timing for me to read ‘Gabriel’s Inferno’. The love affair between the brilliant, handsome, yet dark Professor Gabriel Emerson and his sweet, innocent student, Julia Mitchell held my attention from beginning to end. I finished reading the novel on the plane to Toronto. During my visit, it was great fun to take the ‘Gabriel’s Inferno’ tour to see all the different sites. The sequel to ‘Gabriel’s Inferno’ is to be released soon. We recently caught up with its charming author, Sylvain Reynard and gained insight into both his writing process and his novels.
1. When did your passion for the written word begin? Did you write as a child or start as an adult?
Allow me to begin by thanking you for the invitation to join you and the readers of the Pattinson Post. I’m glad to be with you. I wrote as a child, but somehow stopped when I became an adult. “Gabriel’s Inferno” is my first novel.
2. The professor has such a fascination with Dante and his love, Beatrice. Was this something you were fascinated with prior to writing this book?
I’ve been interested in the story of Dante and Beatrice for a while. You can’t visit the city of Florence without encountering their history. I’ve always wondered what Beatrice’s view of Dante was, since we hear very little from her in his writings. If readers are interested in their love story, they can find it in “La Vita Nuova,” which can be read here: http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Italian/TheNewLife.htm.
3. When I was in Toronto, a friend of mine gave me a tour of the key places in your book. It was great fun seeing the sites where the professor and his love spent their days. Have you gotten feedback from your readers that they have done the ‘tour’?
Several readers have written to me saying they’ve taken the same tour. Of course, the city changes constantly and so some of the places have changed, but the Royal Ontario Museum is a constant. It will always welcome friends of the Professor.
4. You have music that accompanies your story on your website. What drew you to the music you listed?
I’m drawn to the melody and lyrics. Sometimes, I’m drawn to the rhythm. In all cases, it’s about expressing the mood of a scene and perhaps offering insight beyond what is expressed on the page. I’m a fan of Mozart, Diana Krall, Dave Matthews and Matthew Barber, and so their music is well represented in the soundtrack.
5. Your second book in the series comes out soon. Will that book complete the story?
Yes. There’s always the possibility of more, but I think the sequel ends at an appropriate place. We’ll be revealing parts of the cover on Tuesdays over the next few weeks. Another, larger teaser will be released soon, as well.
In the meantime, I can offer the prologue…
The poet dropped the note to the floor with a shaking hand. He sat silently for several moments, motionless as a statue. Then, with a great clenching of teeth, he stood to his feet and swept agitatedly through his house, ignoring tables and fragile items, disdaining the other inhabitants of his home.
There was only one person whom he wished to see.
He strode quickly through the city streets, almost breaking into a run on his way to the river. He stood at the end of the bridge, their bridge, his moist eyes eagerly scanning the adjacent riverbank for the barest glimpse of his beloved.
She was nowhere to be found.
She would never return.
His beloved Beatrice was gone.”
6. Do you have other writings in the works?
Heather Huffman and I have been talking about writing a romantic comedy together and donating the royalties to charity. I hope that this will be my next project. (Heather is the author of Throwaway and is an anti-human trafficking activist.)
@Krystih asks: How do you juggle writing and editing with your other responsibilities?
I try to write every day. I carry a notebook with me in case I need to jot down an idea or a piece of dialogue. But balancing writing with work and other responsibilities is challenging and on some days, I don’t have time to write. On those occasions, when I have a minute to myself, I’m usually thinking about a story.
@debb24601 asks: What is your writing routine like? Do you have any quirks or superstitions? And, how do you combat writer’s block?
I write on my computer in a quiet space. I don’t listen to music or background noise, because I need to hear the words in my head. (The voices are friendly).
My goal is to get the words out on the computer screen, even if it’s rough. Then I spend the majority of my time revising.
Writer’s block is tricky. Sometimes I’ve beaten writer’s block by switching to another chapter or project. Sometimes I need to do something else and return to writing when the Muse is more cooperative. She’s a fickle mistress
Our final question for Mr. Reynard – You regularly support many charities. How do you choose the charities you support?
And thank you, especially for asking about my work with charities. I’m glad to have the opportunity to speak about it.
I’ve been involved in various charitable fundraisers in the past and I also use my Twitter account to highlight the charities I support, in an effort to use social media for good. Some of the charities, such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep or WorldVision, are organizations I’ve supported for some time. Others, such as Not For Sale or Project Liberty, are charities I’ve recently begun supporting.
In general, I favour charities that fund causes related to the abolition of human trafficking, cancer research, the homeless, the eradication of child poverty, and micro enterprise in the developing world. I try to support a combination of domestic and international organizations.
When it comes to charity, it isn’t about the money. Charities need volunteers and goods and services as much as they need monetary donations. I’ve been blessed to have a readership made up of people who are generous with their time and their money, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to draw awareness to their good work, as well, and to encourage others to join them.
Mr. Reynard has been releasing Teaser Tuesday pieces of the book cover for the sequel. We have included a piece of the cover for you.
You can view the other teasers and learn more about his book, charities and characters at http://www.sylvainreynard.com/.