Thursday, December 20, 2012
Interview of Tony-Paul de Vissage
Latest Book: The Last Vampire Standing
Tony-Paul de Vissage is a Southerner of French Huguenot extraction, whose first movie memory is of viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter, on television, and being scared sleepless--and that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires.
This was further inspired when the author ran across a band of transplanted Transylvanian vampires who were sightseeing in the South. Thinking were getting a bad press and in need of some favorable publicity, he decided to do what he could to change that attitude through his writing. Though it may be argued his efforts have probably done the opposite, no vamp has complained…yet
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Since it wasn’t my first book, and there was a long space between it and the second one, I was just greatly relieved.
Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The beginning and the ending. It’s all that business in the middle that slows me down.
Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: See above. After I get the essentials out of the way, I have to go back and put in the details and make sure they all match up. That’s the tedious part. Like making sure if a chapter start at midnight and only a few minutes elapse before it ends, the time hasn’t skipped a couple of days or months. I once had a scene beginning at night and ending two days later in a different location with no explanation of how the transition was made, and not even the copy editor noticed that.
Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Vlad, of course. He’s such a smart-mouth, as well as being the part-narrator. I really enjoyed writing him. It was fun putting those irreverent nosferatic words in his mouth.
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroines? Tell us about your heroine.
A: I like that little blonde who’s on Revenge. What’s her name? Emily VanCamp. She’s got just enough gumption and good-looks to be Meredith, and she sure doesn’t take any guff from anyone!
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroes? Tell us about your hero.
A: I partly envisioned Vlad as being like Ian Somerhalder on The Vampire Diaries, so, with a little tweaking from the make-up department, he’d do.
Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Not a bit. If they did, I’d be writing a series.
Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I’m a Southerner. I dote on boiled peanuts. Shelled, of course, so I don’t have to bother with that. Actually, any food inspires my imagination because I love to eat. Ribs, fried chicken, barbeque… (And my waistline can confirm that!)
Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: Painting and sculpture. I’ve a BA in Art and once actually had a one-man show. The walls of my apartment in California were covered with my paintings and the tables decorated with sculpted pieces, and I’ve sold a few.
Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: My over-active imagination, coupled with a desire to get those stories out of my head and into the computer as fast as the ol’ fingers can fly. Having a bad shoulder and having to occasionally slow down on the keyboarding is absolute T*O*R*T*U*R*E.
Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: Something erotic, but here’s a secret (whispers) I’m working on an erotic horror novel now, set in the 1800s in New Orleans.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Two men…separated by thousands of years, cultures, and customs…and in love with the same woman…
All grad student James Tucker Upchurch wanted was to earn summer credit on an archaeological dig to Central America…and to marry his fiancée, Shannon. All Semris wanted was to escape the monotony of a millennia-old life, and the burdens being a demon king, and the son of the Mayan God of Death, have placed upon him.
For five thousand years,the misplaced Dark Lords of Hell have been trapped in this world, ruling the Mayan city of Nikte-Uaxac. While elsewhere civilizations rise and fall, they and their subjects remain unchanged, until Twenty-first Century intruders appear, stealing from them their most precious possession, the Emperor himself…
Tuck never expected to lose his girl to a demon nor to be given immortality, and Semris never thought he’d experience mortal love, but when the current world meets a more ancient one, everything and everyone they know will be changed. Forever.
Tuck walked over to the cage.
Oh, God, did that last shot kill him? As far as he could tell, Semris hadn’t moved. When he saw the slow rise and fall of the bare chest, he felt abrupt relief. He also saw the golden amulet, recognizing it as the twin of the one that had started all this unpleasantness in the first place.
The fruit hadn’t been touched, was rapidly darkening, the sweet, overripe smell permeating the cellar, attracting flies. How the Hell they get in here, anyway? Several big bluebottles were buzzing around inside the cell, hovering over the peaches, a couple crawling along the edges of the plate. One was floating in the water glass, wings fluttering and making little splashes.
Tuck knelt and opened the little flap, reaching inside to remove the glass. As he reached back in for the plate, it happened. so fast he didn’t even realize Semris had moved until he felt the iron grip upon his wrist, saw the fangs drop and the dark head covering his hand.
He screamed as twin razor slashes struck through his wrist...knowing no one could hear, struggled desperately to get away. Frantic, disbelieving thoughts whirling through his mind. Oh, God, this is why he didn’t eat the fruit. He’s a vampire! Sweet Jesus, he’s going to kill me! Help someone, help me! Why should they? I didn’t help him.
The pain went away, his arm numb from wrist to fingertips.
He knelt there on the floor, watching the pale body crouched so near he could have reached out and touched his shoulder...his bare, wingless shoulder. Where did his wings go? What happened to them? All he could do was watch those shoulders heave with the strength of each deep swallow, feeling his life ebb away, and a vague surprise that it didn’t hurt at all.
Eyes rolling up, Tuck gave a little sigh and collapsed against the bars. He was barely conscious as he saw Semris raise his head and release his arm. In spite of being only slightly aware, he felt a stab of surprise as the quiet voice whispered, “Gracias. Gracias por su sangre.”
He’s thanking me? Thanking me for letting him kill me? With an effort, he made himself withdraw his wounded arm, cradling it against his chest with his other hand. Forcing his eyes open, he stared at his wrist, fighting the wave of blackness floating before his eyes.
There was no bloody ripped-away flesh as he’d imagined, only four deep punctures. Two of the five little veins had been pierced, but the wounds were clean and already clotting. Tuck forced himself to take a deep breath, then let it out, and repeated the procedure. Keep breathing! Don’t pass out. He might decide to have a second helping.
“I took too much. I am sorry. I was too hungry.”
There was such concern in Semris’ voice that Tuck found himself replying, “That’s all right. I-if I’d known, I… Oh, God, what am I saying?” He fell silent, feeling a bout of hysteria galloping toward him.
Something was thrust into his hand. One of the peaches. Semris’ hand, between the bars, holding it out to him. “Aqui. Come. Pronto.”
So he took the peach and bit into it, choking slightly as the rich, sweet juice slid down his throat, but forced himself to keep chewing and swallowing. As the fruit sugar hit his stomach, he began to feel better.
“That was good.” With a sigh, he tossed the peach pit aside.
Through the bars, hands helped him to his feet. He leaned against the door, hanging onto it to keep his balance as dizziness flooded back.
“Again, I am sorry. He looked up, meeting Semris’ eyes, startled at the concern in them. “It has been so long since I have had the living wine.”
Living wine…what a beautiful way to describe it. Tuck still felt a little groggy, wondered if he was now under the vampire thrall. He decided to find out. “Am I your minion now?”
“Why would you think that?” Semris sounded genuinely puzzled.
“Well, you’ve taken my blood. Generally, when a vampire--”
“Vampiro! Donde?” Semris looked around quickly, arms crossing over his throat in a protective gesture.
“You.” Tuck answered, feeling he’d made a mistake. “Aren’t you a vampire?”
“Of course not!” The answer was disdainful that Tuck might mistake him for such a vile creature. “I am a Dark Lord. Un demonio.” The pale chin lifted proudly. “Los vampiros are creatures accursed.”
Tuck thought that over. “And you’re not.”
“No.” Semris shook his head, the dark hair swinging. “I am not.”
Tuck realized he must be feeling better, to be able to marvel at the absurdity of this conversation.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I have a new vampire series coming out in 2013 from Double Dragon Publishing. Three books have been written so far. It's called The Second Species, and it’s about a family of vampires who aren’t really vampires.
Posted by Marianne Stephens at 12:01 AM