Vampire Novelist Denise K. Rago

Pont Neuf 1

 

If you’ve been following the saga of The Enchanted Bloodline series, you know that the Pont Neuf is almost as important a “character” as Christian and Michel (particularly in Blood Tears). In fact, Christian describes his feelings about the Pont Neuf in this excerpt:

The city he remembered had been swallowed up and digested by the industrial age, yet the majestic Pont Neuf still took his breath away. Christian stopped on a bastion, remembering how magnificent the bridge seemed in ages past, built of stone and so wide that people could promenade leisurely while carriages passed without incident. Mortals toiled in their shops during daylight hours, yet scurried home before darkness fell when all manner of bandits and prostitutes emerged. He and Michel would hide in the shadows, waiting for the whores and drunks to amble by on their way to a tavern or one of the numerous brothels. In the gaslight it was always impossible to see the beautiful vampires until it was too late.

God, it was so easy to kill then.

Do you know the history of this amazing bridge though? The Pont Neuf (or “New Bridge”) is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris. It stands right by the western point of the Île de la Cité, the island in the middle of the river that was the heart of medieval Paris. The bridge is composed of two separate spans, one of five arches joining the left bank to the Île de la Cité, another of seven joining the island to the right bank.

The construction of a new bridge over the Seine was initiated by Henri III, who laid the first stone in May 1578. His successor, Henri IV, decided to take on the task with the idea of creating “The New Bridge” as a way to win over the people of his newly conquered capital city. And it worked. Parisians from all walks of life adopted the Pont Neuf and saw it as the symbol of their city and the most important place in town.

 

 

Pont Neuf 4

And why did they take to it so well and so quickly? Because the Pont Neuf became the first truly communal entertainment space in the city. It was free and anyone could come there – anyone at all, rich or poor. After decades of religious violence, this was exactly what the Parisians needed – a place to finally come out of their houses and enjoy themselves in public again.

The Pont Neuf has played an important role in Parisian history and an important role in my novels. It’s one of my favorite places in the world and I love being able to share it with all of you!

Many of you have been asking for a peek into my latest novel, Eternal Hunger, book three in The Enchanted Bloodline Series.  Enjoy and I would love your feedback.

 

Prologue

From the diary of Josette Delacore ~ Paris, 1793

They flowed out of the heat; detaching themselves from the shadows on a tepid summer night in the year of our Lord 1787. I was but a girl of fifteen yet already deflowered by one of the most powerful vampires in all of Paris on whose arm I gently clung. I was months away from marrying a much older man, yet at that moment time stood still for me as they approach us. I could feel Gaétan shift slightly in front of me as if to shield me from them.

But I was already transfixed as they came closer.

Both were tall, well over 6 feet and thin, but that is where any comparison ended, as they were opposites in appearance and later I would learn, in almost everything under the sun, or should I say the night sky? It was obvious that my lover Gaétan hated them and when the tall blond vampire took my hand and pressed his cold lips to my skin I shuddered and shattered all in an instant. Perhaps if they both had just kept walking by my life would have turned out differently but I had begged an introduction and when his dark eyes locked with mine, I found myself exposed, as if a locked door within my heart flew open and my soul lay exposed for him to touch and feel.

When he told me his name as his voice curled around me like my favorite silk scarf, and although I did not know it then, I had fallen into a chasm I had no hope of escaping: Christian Du Mauré.

I braced myself as he explained to Gaétan why they were not with Gabrielle, which made my heart sink for just a second. I sensed that Gaétan could not wait to whisk us away, but I would have none of it. I could not let this tall stranger slip away.

Then I turned my attention to his friend: Michel Baptiste.

He was a human sculpture come to life with flowing black hair that caressed high cheekbones and full lips. His eyes glistened in the torchlight and though I could tell they were light, only later would I discover they were almost a Peridot green; like a stain glass window with the light shining through. When he became angry, they would darken and over the next three years I would see them darken more than once, but at that moment I was so taken with both of them I could barely breathe.

Their energy embraced me and I found myself unable to choose one of them.

DeniseWritingProcess


 

If only it were that easy. How many times have I read or heard this simple directive when it comes to writing?

“Just write.”

Some writers extol the blank page. Like the empty canvas of the painter, anything is possible. The blank page staring back at me holds both the promise of a new chapter and the ramblings of my unconscious mind.

Dare I say I am not sure which is which sometimes?

When asked if I write in a linear fashion after first creating an outline, I usually smirk, then laugh, as I think of all the writings/ramblings I have created that remain in folders on my desktop computer, waiting to be born.

My writings stem from the voices in my head – yes, the voices of my vampires talking to me, prodding me to tell their stories. I cannot plan for it or schedule a time to “sit and write” in a disciplined fashion. Too many other parts of my life call to me and so when my muse taps on my shoulder through the voice of my main character, Christian Du Mauré, or his best friend, Michel Baptiste, or their mortal lover, Josette Delacore, I sit down and write what I hear and “see” in my mind.

It’s sort of like watching a film. I see them in a room, or wandering at night through Central Park, and as they converse I record it. Yes, I go back and edit it, and although each conversation may not be meaningful at that moment, it may become part of a chapter or even a whole chapter. I won’t know until I sit down and write.

I may “feel” Michel needing to say something to another character and so I sit and write his dialogue; whether it is in the here and now or in the eighteenth century. I visualize what my characters are wearing and feel their emotions – especially their loneliness and grief.

Slowly, the chapters fall into place and then I have Part One, and then Part Two.

When I begin a novel, I do not know where the story will take me, as the characters are continually surprising me. And although I may say to myself, “Christian feels so much guilt over leaving Josette behind,” I am never sure how to share this with the reader until I write it. He will tell me.

Writing is the unknowable, which is the magic and the maelstrom of my creativity.

I leave you with E.L. Doctorow who puts it so nicely -

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Exactly.

My New Year is getting off to a great start.

I hope that yours is too.

My newest page titled Bookshelf has undergone some construction and I will be posting books again soon.

Thank you for your patience and for always dropping by.

 

 

It has been an exciting year for me.
Starting with the publishing of Blood Tears in January and the book launch in March. I have so many people to thank for always being there for me and my books.
Well Versed Creative and Social Marketing Solutions have given my brand and my website more direction than I could ever have dreamed possible. I look forward to 2015.

To everyone who drops by to read my posts or visit my Bookshelf. I love your comments and hope you keep coming back.

To my friends and family, both here on social media and behind the scenes, you give me more than I can ever thank you for and I love you all so much.

Have a Happy Hanukkah, A Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Live in Peace.

Today I received my Certificate of Registration, better known as my copyright registration for Blood Tears today.
I don’t know about any other writers but there is something magical about this piece of paper.
Not that it makes my novel more real, it just feels official to me that my novel is shelved in the Library of Congress.
Despite taking almost a year to receive it I knew it would come and I will file it away along with my Certificate of Registration for my debut novel, Immortal Obsession.

In the same mail delivery I received the new proof for Blood Tears. I changed the author photograph and added some one liners from some of my favorite book reviews.

I took this as a sign that I am on the right track as I begin book three. Oh yes, Virginia, there is a book three coming!

  • by Denise K. Rago

This happens to be the diary of Josette Delacore.

This image of a bloodied diary happens to be the diary belonging to Josette Delacore, one of the main characters in both of my novels. She has kept diaries for most of her life. This allows the story to be told in parts from her perspective.

Another diary writer is Eleanore Du Maure, the mother of vampire Christian Du Maure. She also kept a diary of her love affair with a mysterious man, nine months before her son Christian was born.

Storytellers use various vehicles to share the lives of their characters. I happen to enjoy journal writing myself and so do my characters. It gives the reader a deeper appreciation of a character if they can see into their private world.

They flowed out of the heat; detaching themselves from the shadows on a tepid summer night in the year of our Lord 1787. I was but a girl of fifteen yet already deflowered by one of the most powerful vampires in all of Paris and to whose arm I gently clung. I was just months away from marrying a much older man, yet at that moment time stood still for me as I watched them approach us. I could feel Gaetan shift slightly in front of me as if his actions could shield me from the two of them.

I stood transfixed as they came closer.

They were both tall, well over 6 feet and thin, but that is where any comparison ended, as they were opposites in appearance and later, I would learn, in almost everything under the sun, or should I say stars? It was obvious that my lover Gaetan hated them. I could feel anger pouring from him and then, when the the blond pressed his cold lips to my skin, I shuttered and shattered all in an instant.

Perhaps if they both had just kept walking my life would have turned out very differently, but I had begged an introduction and when his dark eyes locked with mine, I found myself exposed, as if a locked door within my heart flew open and my soul lay exposed for him to look inside. Then he told me his name as his voice curled around me like my favorite silk scarf.

I had willing fallen into a chasm I had no hope of escaping: Christian Du Maure.

Last month on the Immortal Obsession Facebook fan page, I ran a contest to give away a copy of both “Immortal Obsession” and “Blood Tears”. Participants “liked” and shared the Immortal Obsession fan page to be entered, and today I would like to announce the winner!

Congratulations to Erica Danielle of North Carolina! A big thanks to Erica and everyone else who entered this contest. I truly appreciate your support. Enjoy your books, Erica!

 

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My new website page is finally here! As of today “The Bookshelf” has gone live and I’m so excited to share it with all of you. I am dedicating a page on this website to my favorite novels, as a way to say thank you for demonstrating one again, the power of the written word to move me to tears, take me to another place and leave an indelible mark on my soul. The Bookshelf will be updated every Friday with new books so be sure to stop by every week.

Some books you may find to your liking but feel free to comment with your suggestions, so I can see what books YOU love. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on my favorites and share thoughts on yours. Enjoy the Bookshelf!

You can find the Bookshelf page here!