Vampire Novelist Denise K. Rago

  • 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!

 

As a lifelong reader I find that although most books entertain, there are some which contain a magical quality; a kernel of truth about the human condition which then elevates the novel allowing the story to remain with me long after I read the last page. Something more than just a great plot or compelling characters.

I find this illusive, magical quality to be the hallmark of great writing, and so, to honor all these authors and their works, I am dedicating a page on this website to my favorite books, 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.

Characters such as Theo Decker, Gretchen Lowell, the Vampire Lestat, Anita Blake, Captain Ahab, Detectives Charlie Parker and Harry Hole…I am sure you have your favorites too. These are some of the people who have stayed with me.

Perhaps you will find some of my choices to your liking. Books you might choose to place on your very own book shelf. Please send me your feedback and stop by often as new editions will be added all the time.

Enjoy!

I have been a life-long Anne Rice fan, reading Interview With The Vampire when it first published in 1976 and knowing that she had changed the genre for this bloodthirsty creature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interview_with_the_Vampire/

The buzz for me this fall has been the publication of her latest novel, The Prince Lestat. I too fell in love with this charming vampire along with thousands of other readers and I have since gone onto to read all of her vampire novels as well as her series on The Mayfair Witches, angels and werewolves; however, nothing beats her vampire novels and there is none more famous vampire than Lestat.
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In anticipation of her latest novel, there is much speculation around what actor would play this mercurial, gorgeous vampire on film. Who could fill that frock coat?

I refuse to revisit the original debate that ensued over the actor Tom Cruise landing the role of the infamous vampire and the pros and cons of the studios’ choice. I do know that I loved the movie. As I mull over all the possibilities I have come up with three actors who could bring Lestat to the screen and fill his shoes, or should I say boots? I welcome your feedback too and you can’t tell me you have not thought about this too.

The first gentlemen that comes to mind is Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard. Famously know for his portrayal of vampire Eric Northman in True Blood; He is tall, blond and frighteningly gorgeous with a very dark side.

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My second thought is the lesser known actor Michael Pitt. Best known for his portrait of troubled gangster Jimmy Darmody on Boardwalk Empire, he has the coloring and angst to play Lestat. He too is tall and foreboding and may fit into the eighteenth century quite well.

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The third choice is one of my favorite musicians and actors, Jared Leto. His portrayal of Reyon in the film Dallas Buyers Club earned him an Oscar but also my undying love and respect. I can visualize him prancing around in a lace shirt, high heels with long blond hair. Lestat resurrected as a rock star. They way I see it, is already there.

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It’s almost Halloween and things are starting to get creepy…it seems like the perfect time to host a GIVEAWAY of two books about vampires – don’t you think?

Simply come visit my Facebook fan page for “Immortal Obsession” and if you’ve not already “liked” us, give us a like!

Then please share the post and leave a comment that you did so and then you’re entered into the giveaway – how easy is that??

And did I mention the giveaway is for BOTH of my novels? So drop by today and have a look around! The contest will run till Halloween, October 31st so you better get sharing!!!

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My Writing Notes

What is my writing process?

Do I outline my books?

Do I know how they will end?

Where does my inspiration come from?

How do I develop my characters?

Why do I work a full-time job and not write full-time?

I am asked these questions all the time but there are no easy answers.

As a very visual person I write a scene as it unfolds in my mind and go back and edit it later. As the dialogue unfolds it takes shape and the chapter feels like a film that I sort of control.

I never know where a scene will end let alone how one of my novels will end. I may have an idea or two but that has been known to change on a dime.

I know there is an arc, a trajectory which peaks at a certain point and then winds down, but I never know where that point is until I begin to write. Who will live? Who must die. Who needs to be heard in this chapter?

I do not outline. No, I should clarify. I do write notes and draw lines between characters and as the scenes unfold I get a sense of where the story is going and then it builds on its own momentum.

My characters are all “in there” meaning they live inside of me. It sounds schizophrenic I know but they do and I know all their likes and dislikes, their pain and deepest secrets. Perhaps they are people I knew in a past life for I know them so well.

A reader confessed that she knew nothing about vampires. I have created a world filled with mortal and vampiric characters.

Although I draw on the influences of Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton, my characters are as fragile and guilt-ridden as you and I. Living forever gives one a certain power and perspective but it does not make one less prone to the pangs of love, betrayal or regret. Taking a life does not give these vampires the power to go back in time and mend a mistake. Just like us they have to live with themselves and their choices. Immortality gives one a lens with which to look back over long expanses of time. That is sometimes not a good thing.

Why don’t I write full-time? I had a well-known published author once tell me not to quite my day job. She was not referring to me but to the group of us writers attending her seminar. As she explained, it has taken her decades of writing and selling novels to reach a point where she did not have to work another job and just focus on writing. I was shocked but not discouraged and though I wish I could devote more time during my day to writing I also enjoy working and being around people. Honestly, I would lose my mind being home alone every day.

For the time being I write when inspiration fills me and time allows. I must admit that if an agent approached me then I might sing a different tune but I think the world of publishing is like any other business. It’s about making money, not necessarily great literature. What type of story will sell? What is “hot” right now? We have all read incredible novels that do not sell and in turn, I have read some mediocre novels that have made it to the shelves of Barnes and Noble and onto the NYT best seller list. Some novels create a buzz and some novels just are in the right place at the right time.

The wheels of publishing turn but I can’t imagine being ground up in that process.

And finally, where does all this inspiration come from?

I have written at length about the experience that lead to the creation of he vampire Christian Du Mauré. Nine years later it is still haunting and ineffable and I am forever searching like a star-crossed lover for the story I am to tell. All I know is that it is one of deep love and profound sadness.

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It is getting to be that time of year when I spend a lot of time by the fire, reading and writing. Though I am not a winter person I do love a good fire. Winter feels to me to be such a long season and more of a sedentary one so I do a lot of reading and writing.

I thought I would list a few books I planned to read over this fall and winter. I tend to read larger books that I don’t want to rush through and I don’t want to travel with or carry to the beach. The first one that comes to mind is a rather large book titled The Annotated Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  Did you that that she wrote only one novel?  Quite an impressive debut novel.

My second choice is a rather thick tome by Dan Simmons titled Drood.  The inside flap starts with the following: Drood is the name and nightmare that obsesses Charles Dickens for the last five years of his life.

At almost 800 pages it should keep me very busy as I discover the nature of the obsession of the great writer Charles Dickens.

My last choice is a massive narrative biography titled Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie.  Catherine is one woman who has always interested me and again, at 600 pages this is a book best savored by the fire.

Share with me some of your winter reads and why you choose this time of year to read them.  As always, thank you for stopping by.

 

  • by Denise K. Rago

This is my favorite season; a time of transitions as we move from summer to winter.  Where I live the leaves are starting to turn from green to yellow, red and orange.  So beautiful yet I have such mixed feelings. I am not a winter person. Not a fan of cold weather, shorter days and gray days although I do enjoy sitting fire side with a good book and lots of candles burning. I must admit it is a cozy feeling.

Fall here at home.

Fall here at home.