Today, we have a very exciting character interview courtesy of the wonderful Sylvain Reynard. I read this book after hearing great things about it from some lovely Twitter folks, and boy am I glad I did! This interview was fabulous to work with and I’m so happy that he agreed to do it.
I had to extend my questions to feature some reactions to the professors *cough* attention 🙂 I enjoyed this interview, it was fun! All the bits that are in purple are me and I apologise for any grammatical errors now 🙂
As for the giveaway, I’m offering up $5 worth of Omnific gift vouchers to get yourself this book; it really is fabulous so that would be my recommendation of where to spend the cash. All comments are classed as an entry and you don’t need to follow to enter. End date is 12/10/11 and the winner will be contacted on the 13th
So, let’s meet Gabriel….
Professor Emerson enters the room and upon seeing Miss Nic, bows, before taking her hand. “Hello, Miss Nic. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
The Professor seats himself across from Miss Nic. “I’m a professor of Italian at the University of Toronto. I study the works of Dante and I enjoy sex.” His lips curve into a half smile. “In fact, I’m a specialist in the art of seduction.”
He leans over to grasp Nic’s hand, gently pushing the sleeve of her shirt up to bare the skin of her forearm. Fixing her with an intense gaze, he begins stroking the skin of her inner elbow. “This part of a woman’s arm is an erogenous zone. If we were lovers, I’d worship this area with my mouth.” He smirks. “Will that satisfy your readers?”
Heart-pounding and mouth dry, Nic sits in stunned silence, staring at the fingers still stroking her arm. The purpose of this interview was to turn the tables on the seemingly unflappable Professor Emerson yet, somehow, she had become the one who was squirming. She turns her eyes to the next question on her list in an attempt to get the interview back on track. “Your specialist subject is Dante. What is it about Dante and his life that fascinates you so much?”
Gabriel releases Nic’s arm, sitting back in his chair. “Dante was a poet. So you could say that my interest begins with poetry. Dante’s La Vita Nuova is a very passionate work. He’s obsessed with a woman called Beatrice – so much so that on the day in which she passes him on the street and ignores him, he spirals into a depression.”
Gabriel shifts uncomfortably in his seat. “Dante loves her deeply but they never consummate their sexual relationship. When she dies at a young age, he mourns her for the rest of his life. That kind of passion and commitment demands respect.”
Realising that she has caught the Professor at a rare uncomfortable moment, she leans forward to press her advantage. Time to take the questioning into even more uncomfortable territory “Your Author has one work published that features yourself as the male lead. Can you tell us a little about that story?”
The Professor scowls. “I wasn’t especially pleased that my next door neighbor decided to make my vices public. Nevertheless, I enjoy a particular reputation and I will say that he did that reputation justice.”
He winks at Nic flirtatiously. “Back in the fall of 2009, I met a graduate student named Julianne Mitchell. We got off on the wrong foot. I had a few personal problems that semester that almost cost me my career … “
Nic leans forward in her seat expectantly. This is the tale that held the most interest to her but the Professor seems to have become lost in his thoughts. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she decides to interrupt his daydreams. “Introduce us to Julia. What were your first impressions of her?”
“When I met her in my Dante seminar, I ….” The professor pauses, shaking his head. “I thought she was attractive, of course, but she also seemed familiar. Little did I know that we had a previous connection.”
You refer to her as Beatrice throughout the book, comparing her to Dante’s own love. What is it about Julia reminds you so much of Beatrice?
“Physically there is a resemblance. Beatrice was supposed to be dark and Julia has dark hair and eyes. But there’s more.” He clears this throat. “Beatrice was a woman who men used to stare at whenever she walked down the street. Julia is beautiful, but she doesn’t usually elicit that kind of reaction. What’s most attractive about her is her character. She’s the kind of woman who is kind to strangers and children. She forgives quickly and loves fully.”
He smiles, a far away look in his eyes. “Julianne is the kind of woman you want to talk to as well as stare at. She’s the kind of woman who would inspire the most ardent lover to place all his erotic arts at her service.” His blue eyes darken.
Feeling a little flushed but realising this is pure gold for the interview, Nic presses the Professor for more information. “If it’s not too personal, can you tell us your favorite memory of Julia?”
He grins. “A gentleman never kisses and tells.”
Realising she has just got a very polite “no comment”, Nic decides to move on. Quickly checking the page, she realises that the interview is nearly over. Shame really, she has enjoyed the company of this charismatic man. “So, What’s next for the pair of you?”
“There’s a museum in Florence that I’m eager to show her.” He leans forward, resting his forearms on his knees. “I wonder how many of your readers have ever had sex in a museum?”
Sure that her complexion is taking on the same colour as a tomato, Nic decides to skip ahead to the final question as to escape with her dignity intact. Any more of this man’s charm and she’ll be begging at his feet. ”Tell us, why should people read your story?”
“It’s a story about forgiveness and redemption, love and sex, but at root, it’s a story about two imperfect people. There’s art, music, travel … And since I enjoy the pleasures of the body, it’s a very sensual tale.”
Quickly shoving all her things into her bag, Nic glances back towards the man sat across the table from her, ready to bid him farewell. “Well, Thank you Gabriel, this has been enlightening” With that she briskly exits the room, vowing to go straight home and give her hormones a cold shower.