Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Interview With Adrian Phoenix!

Raven helped compile the questions for this interview with Adrian Phoenix. Enjoy!

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Please tell us something about your inspiration for A RUSH OF WINGS. Raven is very impressed with Heather, your protagonist. How did you come up with her? What about Dante? You seem to know the Goth scene quite well--were you part of it, or do you do great research?

First off, thanks so much for allowing me the opportunity to connect with your readers. I appreciate it.

As for my inspiration for A RUSH OF WINGS, gaming and music had a large hand as did my fascination with myth and religious history. Both Dante and Heather were initially created as RPG characters and I developed an adventure for the other players which took them into Club Hell and a deep, dark mystery – one that was completely different from the story in RUSH.

Music, NIN in particular, evokes intense emotions within me, and images – haunting images. That’s how Dante was born. From song lyrics brimming with rage and ragged with unvoiced pain; from the picture in my mind. Same with Heather. But I had to do FBI research (very interesting) for her. I wanted her to be strong, of course, and driven, but compassionate despite the soul-draining work of hunting killers and knowing there’ll always be more killers and more victims, their voices forever silenced. She has her own secrets – her mother’s murder, her sister’s illness, her FBI father. She and Dante are kindred souls, despite their differences.

With Lucien, I was able to explore my thoughts on Gnostic teachings (the God of the Old Testament was a fallen angel), and develop my own mythology.

I’ve been a part of the Goth scene (too busy, alas, lately to go out) and my closet is jam-packed with Goth outfits. I’ve always been Goth at heart – even before it was termed Goth. I still do my research though, just to keep up with everything. Fashion, hair, music, ideology, sexuality.

Your bio states that New Orleans is the "city of your heart". Can you tell us more about your connection to New Orleans?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with New Orleans. I read books, studied its history, watched TV specials and movies, and wrote short stories that took place in New Orleans, and ran gaming adventures that also occurred in N’awlins. When I finally went to New Orleans, I dumped my luggage at the hotel (which was only blocks from the French Quarter), grabbed my friend and beelined for the Quarter. And I felt like I’d finally come home. I felt like I belonged, that I knew this place and it knew me – and I’d never felt that anywhere before. Or since. I hope to live in New Orleans someday. Since that moment, I’ve come to believe that if a person can have a soul-mate, then why not a soul-place? New Orleans is mine.

Did you write RUSH before or after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city? Did Hurricane Katrina impact your decision to set RUSH in New Orleans?

I finished it just before Katrina. In fact, I was supposed to return to New Orleans that October and spend Halloween there, attend Voodoo Fest. If anything, Katrina convinced me to keep the stories in New Orleans. Ironically, the sequel to RUSH takes place in Seattle. A few scenes are in New Orleans, but the majority of the story takes place in Portland and Seattle. In book three, I return to New Orleans. YAY!

Please tell is of the origins of your particular brand of vampire lore.

I’ve always been fascinated by vampires. Given that most cultures have vampire lore of some kind or another, I decided there must be an element of truth, one both romantic and savage. A living species. (As for the undead aspect, I’ll reveal my take on that in book 3) Vampires are predators, yes, but they also need mortals. Vampires – or nightkind, as Dante refers to them (think of the child who was trying to figure out why he was so different from the other kids) – can give death or immortality. Pain or sexual release. A symbiotic dance. And then there’s the Fallen...

Do you have a favorite scene or character in A RUSH OF WINGS?

It’s a small scene, but I love the scene where Heather serves her search warrant at dawn, dragging Dante from Sleep. Especially when he says, “Lucien doesn’t think much of you.” And Heather replies, “Good morning, by the way. Got that search warrant.” Take that, Mr.-I-gotta-do-it-the-hard-way. He lifts a hand and circles whoop-de-doo. LOL.

I like all the characters, but Dante’s my favorite. I also love Heather, Lucien and Von.

Which scene gave you the most trouble?

I didn’t have trouble, per se, with any of the scenes, but some were very hard to write, emotionally painful. I don’t want to say too much in case people seeing this haven’t yet read RUSH. I’ll put it this way – the scene in the slaughterhouse, the scene in the cathedral, the scenes in the van. Emotionally tough.

I understand that you have a four-book series planned. Can you give us a teaser about your sequel, IN THE BLOOD?

Four books for this story arc, anyway. Hopefully, there’ll be more later on. Deadly ripples from the “fall” of Bad Seed spread throughout the Bureau and the mysterious Shadow Branch. Dante falls into the hands of the man who helped design Bad Seed along with Johanna Moore, tumbling into a hell beyond imagination as his programming is triggered. Heather fighting forces from within the Bureau and her own family, falls into equally evil hands. She has to become a beacon for Dante, to guide him back from inner darkness while confronting her own. And Lucien fails in his desperate attempt to hide Dante from the Fallen...

Have you finished any other novels previous to A RUSH OF WINGS? If so, can we expect to see them in print, or are they permanently trunked?

This was my first novel, so I don’t have any trunked. I do have published short stories, some of which I’ll probably post on my website – especially “Sacrament” since it is a vampire story featuring Silver’s origins. I also plan to post short stories about Dante, Heather, Lucien and other characters from RUSH on my website revolving around events that happened just prior to RUSH. Hopefully, the stories will tide folks over until IN THE BLOOD is released next January. I’m also planning a Yahoo group called Dante’s Club Hell where people can discuss the book and my other stories and have scheduled chats with the characters – ask those burning questions!

Do you have a day job, or do you write full-time? If you work, how do you blend your writing life and your work life?

I have a day job, yes. I hope eventually to write fulltime, my head is so full of stories and characters, I worry about having enough time to write them all. I work at my day job Mon-Fri 8-5. I write every evening and on the weekends. I write every day, no matter if I’m tired, sick, or want to watch “Supernatural.” (That’s what the DVR is for. LOL.) My friends feel neglected from time to time (and so do my cats), so I make sure to thank them for their understanding and make time to go out to dinner and/or a movie. I definitely schedule playtime for my cats. So, right now, it’s like working two jobs.

Please share your publishing story and any writing advice you may have.

I was very lucky. I landed a great agent in New York and he sold RUSH a couple of months later. It’s all been like a dream – but do NOT pinch me! The important thing is to believe in yourself. Always follow your dreams. Never let anyone – not even yourself – talk you out of going for the thing you love. Always follow your heart. And, then, work. Write every day. Read – study the work of authors you like. See what works and learn from what doesn’t. Network with other writers, everyone can use some support and a cheering squad. But I can’t stress enough the two main things: Believe in yourself and write every single day. Work for your dream – you’ll get it. I firmly believe that.

Thank you!!

Merci beaucoup!

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Kimberly Swan has another interview with Adrian over at Darque Reviews.


Tia Nevitt said...

Thank you for the interview, Adrian! You brought up some fascinating subjects!

Robert said...

Good job everyone! I enjoyed reading that :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I loved that dawn search warrant scene too.

The scenes in the van in particular were emotionally tough to read.

Adrian said...

Thanks for the interview and the review to both of you -- Tia and Raven. I'm very interested to read the last part of your review, Raven!

Anonymous said...

It will be up soon!

Unknown said...

this is a wonderful book!!!!! i think evryone ought to read it. it rocks totally!

Kimberly Swan said...

Great interview! Definitely a great read as well. :)