Thanks for joining us today on Night Owl Romance.
Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out? Jennifer Linforth: The Phantom of the Opera is a timeless classic, one with many more questions than answers. My three book series, called The Madrigals, expand's Leroux's original story. MADRIGAL: A novel of Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera released in October of 2008 by Highland Press Publishing. The second in the series, ABENDLIED, has just been launched and is available for purchase now. Though a series, they can be read seperately and there is no need to read Leroux's Phantom first. Enough backstory is placed into this series to assist the reader.
Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself? Jennifer Linforth: As it says on my website I was told in kindergarten I could not color the sky red because it was in reality blue. I replied saying I could paint the sky red if desired because fire engines were red and red was pretty. If the sky was pretty as well, which it was, then why couldn't it be red? I find the passion to find the unusual and queried my first publisher at age twelve, in pink ink, (something I do not recommend) and began from that day on to aspire to publication. My passion lies in crafting stories from forgotten pieces of history and setting them in locations just outside the expected. I focus on unusual themes and locations, all in the backdrop of the intrigue of the 19th century. It was my love of research and classic literature that brought me to expanding Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. I can't pronounce pistachio, I hate lollipops with gooey centers, and I dearly love to laugh. This is my inspiration for writing: Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It's too high! COME TO THE EDGE! And they came, and he pushed, and they flew. ~ Christopher Logue Croyez
Tammie King of NOR: If you could be one of the characters from this book - Who would you be? And why? Jennifer Linforth: ABENDLIED is the second in my series expanding Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. The first book MADRIGAL released in October of 2008 (Both books are 5/5 Reviewer Top Picks). While many may think I desire to be the heroine or the alluring and mysterious Phantom, I would love to crawl into the life of Philippe de Chagny. To be a nobleman of in this era was to have a fascinating view of life. Privileged for sure, but what pressures were upon you as well, especially for this character chasing the stigma of The Phantom of the Opera against his family name? Leroux wrote that he had an "excellent heart and irreproachable conscience" a statement that almost did not fit in with the stereotype so many see of the aristocracy of time 19th century. He is a character worth exploring.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book? Jennifer Linforth: Here is the blurb and official excerpt: BLURB: Desiring normalcy is difficult enough with a price on his head, but when Erik is falsely accused of killing Philippe de Chagny, brother of his nemesis Raoul, he is launched toward madness. Anna is an unlikely companion, sharing Erik's heart and the bounty on his head. As the manhunt heats, Erik's mysterious relationship with Philippe spurs the campaign against them and exposes her darkest secret: defending her honor ended in murder. Plagued by his past as The Phantom of the Opera, Erik's memories enslave his heart to Raoul?s wife Christine, whose shocking confession brings a ruthless bounty hunter into the fray and blackmail to the Chagny bloodline. Blackmail from a hunter who cares little about the Phantom or Philippe and everything about the one he has lusted for: Anna. With the past weeping like an open wound, can love endure or will it take the memories of one unlikely man to heal them all? Memories of Philippe Georges Marie, Comte de Chagny... EXCERPT: He thought to lean to one side and be done with it. The exhaustion over fighting his desires for Christine, the constant tug of war with madness coupled with fearing he would destroy the one woman who made him feel alive, was unbearable punishment. "I never believed in Your sincerity of bringing Anna to me. Shocked are we? Surprised for a brief moment I believed?" Erik rolled his head toward the side and pressed his cheek to the stone. His accusatory eyes could have shattered the pinpricks of light across the heavens. "Congratulations, Oh Merciful God, You failed again. Anna can have You and Your Son." He yanked himself upright, his body going rigid with his anger. "I am pleased Philippe is dead!" Spittle flew from sob soaked lips. His mouth spread upward. He may be alone for now, but not forever. There was to be an heir to his kingdom, a child with his mind and his madness. Erik spoke to the shattered stone below with an unblinking stare. "I will have my child, in all his hideous imperfections. I will need no one but him and my music. I will need only his love. As for Christine?" Erik leapt to his feet. The wind flapped his cloak behind him. He leaned into the gust and taunted the streets below like a great yellow-eyed bird ready to swoop on unsuspecting prey. "Our character becomes our destiny. Music, like life, is inexpressible silence without its instrument. Am I not its master? I hold the baton. I will conduct what I want. I will have what I want. What is Erik without Christine?" Leaping back to the roof he retrieved his mask and turned to the opera house, his boots drumming a cadence so the ferryman could dutifully follow. A haunting whisper carried his sadness forward on the wind. "What is Erik without the Phantom?"
Tammie King of NOR: Please tell us what you have planned next? Jennifer Linforth: I am currently working on the edits for book three in The Madrigals, working title of ELEGY. Taking place seven years after the events in ABENDLIED, this book gives readers a chance to explore the sordid affair of Phantom of the Opera through the eyes of the next generation introduced in ABENDLIED. How does the manhunt affect them? How does it end? And what of that character introduced at the end of ABENDLIED.?
Tammie King of NOR: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process? Jennifer Linforth: A great deal went into researching Leroux's original novel for ABENDLIED. It did as well for MADRIGAL but I pushed myself to read between the lines in certain elements of Leroux's book to pick up on a "plot hole" he created to use to my advantage in crafting Philippe de Chagny. I loved the process. I also spoke with bounty hunters, studied the effects of absinthe, and foolishly endured natural childbirth so to get those scenes just right. That. was dumb.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you? Jennifer Linforth: I have a team of critique partners I work with and do not use a group. Groups are excellent ways to get your story read, especially to see what works and does not work. However, I find they hinder. It is best to find a writer whose style and ideas are similar to yours and who you can work with professionally at all times to use as an individual critique partner. It is a business deal and arrangement and should be treated as such. Nine times out of ten they also end up cheering you all the way to the RITA's.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books? Beyond The Madrigals I write historical fiction. There are several excerpts to works in progress on my website. http://www.jenniferlinforth.com I am also in the midst of co-authoring a book with an award winning multi published author of erotica. That will be a challenge to think outside my genre.
Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group? Jennifer Linforth: I am an active presence on the net and can be reached via http://www.jenniferlinforth.com http://www.facebook.com/comtessdechagny http://www.myspace.com/jenniferlinforthauthor http://jenniferlinforth.blogspot.com Or via Facebook's group for this series http://www.facebook.com/comtessdechagny#/group.php?gid=6967225898
Tammie King of NOR: When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step? Jennifer Linforth: I elected to seek representation for this series in 2005 and was contracted by 2007. Publishing takes guts. It takes patience and a lot of time spent understanding the building blocks of fiction, the industry itself and the rejection that comes along with it. My husband encouraged me to take the leap and publish. I became a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Romance Writers of America. Through these organizations I learned what it takes to compete in a very difficult business.
Tammie King of NOR: What is the best and worst advice you have ever received? Jennifer Linforth: I had the pleasure of speaking with a CEO of a major NYC publishing house and he lit the fire under my butt to begin marketing myself as an author even though I was unpublished. Show the world my drive and determination and eventually the publishing world will fall into place for me. That was the best advice I received. In addition protecting yourself as a published author. Protecting your rights, words, and properties begins from the start. The worst advice was to send your book out to any and everyone and in the process to ignore guidelines and rules. Editors, agents, interview sites, and reviewers all have guidelines for a reason. They should be respected. I never took this advice and know authors who have done this-and landed in the slush pile. Publishing is a delicate art. It is competitive. Those determined to compete with their end goals always in sight need not leap over guidelines and rules. Their professionalism and writing will knock down walls for them. Jennifer Linforth author, historical fiction and romance Characters as unique as history itself http://www.jenniferlinforth.com
Thank you for this opportunity to get to know you and your books!