Saturday, March 20, 2010

Author Interview: Tony-Paul De Vissage

Today I would like to introduce Tony-Paul de Vissage, author of Dark God Descending. Today Tony-Paul is going to talk about his book, and his new short vampire story, 'Blood Will Freeze.'

Natasha:  Tell me a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? When you’re not writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

Tony-Paul: I’m a relative newcomer to the writing experience, having come into existence around the year 2001.  My first short story was published in 2008 and my first novel in 2009.  As for free time, I’ve a couple of websites to take care of and novels to write, so—free time?  What’s that?  Unless you call reading books for my Book Review page recreation.  Come to think of it, that’s my second favorite pastime, so I guess I like to spend my free time reading.   Maybe eating would be my third favorite.  Being a Southerner, I love Down Home Cooking, especially Louisiana-style.

Natasha: Your novel, Dark God Descending, is a book published by Sam’s Dot Publishing, which I happen to know is a very professional publisher. How do you like working with Sam’s Dot Publishing?

Tony-Paul: Tyree Campbell is a very nice fellow.  I’d known him via e-mail after he published one of my short stories in his magazine Sounds of the Night.  We later met at  OsFest, a convention in Omaha.  I got an e-mail from him on Thursday saying he’d see me there and I had to scramble around and make reservations for that Saturday because I had no idea there was a Con going on.  It was my first convention and I felt like a minor celebrity when he introduced me and had me sign my books as they sold.

Natasha: Can you tell us a little about Dark God Descending? How long did it take you to write the story?

Tony-Paul: The story actually got its start from a visual description Michael Moorcock gave in the first volume of his series on Elric of Melnibone.  This is a very famous fantasy series which I had never read until about 2005.  Elric is an albino and there’s a scene describing him sitting on his throne, this imposing man with alabaster skin, long silver hair and glowing crimson eyes.  That was vividly stuck in my brain, and I kept thinking about it.  I knew I could never write a fantasy but I combined the picture with my interest in vampires and Mayan legends and eventually evolved Semris, a demon godling, and set my story in the Yucatan.  It took about three weeks to write.

The premise is that about 1500 years ago, an ancient volcano erupted, sucking a group of demons out of the Mayan Hell.  With them came the God of Death’s twin sons.  The demons conquer the surviving Maya in the area and become their rulers, managing to continue to exist when all the other Maya disappear.  When the story opens, Semris has been ruler for a little over a hundred years.  He’s still a child really, curious about the outside world, not understanding why he and his people have to remain hidden, and wondering about this emotion he’s heard his human servants speak of—Love.  It’s his curiosity which gets him into trouble when a group of scientists come to the jungle to prove that a figure incised on an ancient necklet actually existed.  The next thing Semris knows, he’s drugged, caged, and in an airplane being transported to the States for study by an unscrupulous man who’ll stop at nothing to secure fame and fortune for himself.  Luckily, the demon Emperor finds a friend to help him escape and the adventure begins…

Natasha: What was your favourite scene to write? What was your least favourite scene?

Tony-Paul: There were a lot of scenes I enjoyed.  I liked describing the splendor of Semris’ court and how irreverent he was to the customs and laws he was beginning to question.  He’s kind of like a smart-mouth teenager at that point.   Many of the scenes showing his interaction between the people he meets after his escape were fun to write because he’s such a fish-out-of-water in the civilized world.  For a demon, he’s really an innocent.  The funniest scene is when someone comments on the way he smells--demon scent is like vanilla—and he thinks he’s offensive so he asks to be allowed to shower.  After a brief lesson in how to operate the shower controls, he turned on the water and gets smacked by a torrent of hot water which activates his wings.  They open to full unfurl and he’s trapped in the shower, wings scraping the ceiling and water spraying everywhere.  It takes three people to get him out of the shower stall!

The most difficult scene to write was when Semris is forced to choose between the human woman he’s come to love and the welfare of his people who are suffering from a disease his captor brought with them to the city.  If he stays with Shannon, his people will die and he knows they would never be happy with that on their consciences, but he loves her and knows if he leaves, he’ll never see her again because he’ll never come back to the Outside World.

Natasha: Do you have any other publications you would like to talk about?

Tony-Paul: I’ve got a new short story out this past February in Sounds of the Night magazine:  “Blood will Freeze.”  It’s my take on the 2012/Armageddon/asteroid hits Earth scenario.  It includes vampires, of course.  There’s also a video on it on Youtube.

I also just signed a contract with Red Rose Publications for a vampire series, The Second Species.  The first volume is The Shadow Lord, which spans from 1794 to 1810.  It’s about a group of people who aren’t really vampires but were the basis of the vampire legend because they share so many characteristics with the Undead (except that they’re living people).  It follows one young man on his quest for vengeance against his father’s murderer, which takes him from Transylvania to the Hellfire Clubs of Vienna to the bedchamber of a French marquise and eventually to Hell itself.  Plenty of those things which make life worth living—namely, sex and violence. A release date hasn’t been set yet because editing hasn’t begun.  My editor is currently in Europe and we have to wait for him to re-enter the country.

Natasha: Do you have any advice for beginning writers who are trying to get published?

Tony-Paul: Just keep trying, and listen to any advice you’re given.  You don’t necessarily have to follow it but at least give it some thought before you brush it aside.

Natasha: What is the best way for readers to contact you? (e-mail, facebook, twitter, etc)
Tony-Paul: I’m scattered all over the Internet, on myspace, facebook, Youtube, and I also have a Comment Form on my website: I can also be reached at:

1 comment:

Phylis said...

Great interview Tony! The book sounds really interesting.