Welcome to BRB, Colette. It's great to have you here today. First, I have to say, I love the cover for Pulse And Prejudice, very creepy, and very well done. And I love vampires, so I think you've got a winning combination. Anyway, I'm not going to yack, instead I'm going to let you tell us about yourself and your novel.
Where to begin? I have lived in South Louisiana most of my life, and I make my home there with my dear husband and our two dogs (empty-nest – yea!). Like a lot of people, I have a rather stressful day job; so most evenings I relax with wine, cheese, and a good book.
I have a tendency to become too obsessive in the writing of my novels, immersing myself in research and becoming almost fanatical about historical accuracy. The character of Mr. Darcy reads a book with two volumes, so I had to find a two-volume book available in 1813 that made sense for him to be reading. Not only did I find one – I bought it! So now I am the proud owner of a 200 year old edition of Southey’s Life of Nelson.
I love to travel, so I am thrilled writing has given me plenty of reasons! I cannot remember a time when reading and writing were not a part of my life. That thousands of people now read what I have written still blows my mind.
Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
I have taken inspiration from dreams, songs, and even jokes. Recently I came up with an idea for a story from an eerie photograph.
For Pulse and Prejudice, the inspiration came from both Jane Austen and the other Austenesque-inspired literature out there. Other authors had written adaptations of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view or paranormal variations, and that spurred me to blend those into a retelling from Darcy’s perspective as a vampire.
My daughter often inspires me as well. She insisted that I write a sequel, which is my current work-in-progress Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth. It was through talking with her that I came up with the idea for All My Tomorrows as well.
What made you choose to write erotic literature in particular? And, is there any other genre you’d like to write? And, if so, why?
Writing projects tend to choose me rather than the reverse! I had no intention of writing All My Tomorrows; but once the idea grabbed me, it wouldn’t let me go until I had it written. When I began, I did not envision including any love scenes – it didn’t feel right as I began – but the characters had a different idea! So it developed organically.
As for in Pulse and Prejudice, I am certainly not alone in wanting a love scene between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, especially as Miss Austen could not even allow them to kiss in the strictures of her time. As Martin Amis said in The Atlantic, “I wouldn’t have minded a rather more detailed conclusion (to Pride and Prejudice) — say, a twenty-page sex scene featuring the two principals, with Mr. Darcy, furthermore, acquitting himself uncommonly well.”
Before beginning Pulse and Prejudice, I had been writing a contemporary novel – definitely not a traditional romance novel but with plenty of steamy scenes. I hope to return to that project after I finish writing Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth, and I also plan to adapt All My Tomorrows into a screenplay. Plus, I have an idea for a parody of Wuthering Heights. I am probably not helping myself, but I just can’t tie myself down to one genre!
Which appears first when contemplating a new project: a character, the plot or the title?
Plots and characters. (I am terrible at coming up with titles – my daughter came up with “Pulse and Prejudice,” and I still don’t have a title for my contemporary project!) As an adaptation, the plot of Pulse and Prejudice was already provided, but Mr. Darcy begged for a vampire characterization – just as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights seems ripe for parody. For Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth and that unnamed contemporary novel, the plots came to me almost fully formed.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: beginning, middle or end? Why?
Usually the bits in the middle – avoiding the second-act slump or just getting the characters from Point A to Point B – but with Pulse and Prejudice, I found the opening chapters particularly trying because I was tied to the source material. I had to make the assumption that most readers had either not read Pride and Prejudice or had read it so long ago they might not remember important plot points and character development. I had to find the appropriate balance of Austen so anyone could read it on its own with no prior knowledge of the original.
Has your own life influenced your novels? If so, how?
I can’t imagine any author hasn’t had their writing influenced by their own lives in some way. In All My Tomorrows, Alice shares my love of wine and figs, and her visit to New Orleans is reminiscent of many a night I had there. The main part of my own life to seep into Pulse and Prejudice, though, is the dog Amadeus. He is the only character I have had drawn from someone in my real life.
Writing sex/romantic scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult? If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
So far, I have been fortunate that the romantic scenes have developed easily for me. Many authors talk about being plotters or pants-ers (going by the seat of their pants rather than writing out a plot). I am more of a “planter.” I have the seeds of the plot all written out in a detailed outline, but then I meditate on the individual scenes and let the characters show me how they wish to proceed.
Do you use a certain formula to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
My approach is to meditate about what is happening for the characters until I see it play out in my head just like a movie then convert what I see into written words. I am too shy to be too bold. Although my sensual scenes might be considered explicit, they are not graphic. I prefer to write with euphemisms or implied language. Now reading! That’s another story...
Who is your favourite character, which you’ve created? And, why?
I do like my version of Mr. Darcy. Miss Austen provided just enough information about this enigmatic character for me to expand into the vampire motif.
Of original characters, though, I like Alice from All My Tomorrows. I didn’t really know what she would be like when I began writing, but then she developed into this fully-formed person whom I felt I almost knew in real life.
Tell us about your newest release.
Pulse and Prejudice and All My Tomorrows were released right about the same time. The former, of course, is a paranormal adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic love story from the point of view of Mr. Darcy as a vampire. All My Tomorrows is a contemporary romance on the set of a soap opera, but it also includes full chapters of a novel that the heroine Alice is reading; so it has a book-within-the-book.
Just for fun–
What is your favourite colour?
Black and gold.
Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain?
I think I prefer a bad boy turned hero.
What is your favourite movie? And why?
Moulin Rouge!. Such a wonderful blend of pop culture, La Boheme, and La Traviata. Plus Baz Luhrmann’s attention to detail created a stunning visual materpiece.
If you could be anyone in the world who would it be? And why?
I think myself – I wouldn’t want to give up my husband, my daughters, or my dogs – but with a LOT more money so I could write full time. And perhaps not have such a filthy house!
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
I hope in the next five to ten years I can be a writer full-time instead of having to work a day-job as well. Perhaps if I visualize it, it will come true.
Website Link: www.colettesaucier.com
Pulse and Prejudice
In this thrilling and sensual adaptation of the classic love story, Elizabeth Bennet and the citizens of Hertfordshire know Fitzwilliam Darcy to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man, but they never suspect the dark secret of his true nature. He is not a man at all – but a vampire.
When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.
Set against the vivid backdrop of historical Regency England, this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice follows the cursed Mr. Darcy as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. This imaginative variation adheres to the original plot and style of the Jane Austen classic but is told primarily from Darcy’s point of view as he descends into the seedier side of London and introduces Elizabeth to a world of passion and the paranormal she never knew existed.
Darcy leaned in with his hands on either side of the doorframe and let his forehead fall against the door. He closed his eyes and imagined her lying on the bed, her hair splayed out on the pillow, the eyes that had challenged him so brightly just that evening now closed in repose. What little effort, how few steps it would take, for him to be upon her, taking what he needed, sating his thirst.
He pushed himself away from the door and leaned back against the wall beside, despair filling him. He had stood watch over Elizabeth and her sister for two nights and had come back to do so again, to protect them from the very thing he now ached to do himself. The irony sickened him but did not staunch his desire. Gathering all the resolve he knew it would require to return to his room, he stepped away from the wall.
Darcy turned just as the door opened and Elizabeth appeared. They cried out in surprise simultaneously.
“Eliz –a – Miss Bennet!”
She was dressed in her night rail and wrapper; and, though more modest than even her day dresses, the sight set his nerves on edge. Her hair hung down as he had imagined. She held one hand to her heart as the other gripped a candlestick.
“Mr. Darcy, you frightened me! What do you mean by all this skulking about in the dark? How can you even see where you are going?”
He steadied himself before speaking. “I seem to have mislaid my book. I was unable to sleep and thought to read.”
“The Lord Nelson? I believe I saw it in the library on the sideboard.”
He nodded. “That would be a good place for it.”
She smiled. “Indeed. Although if you are looking for the second volume, you may have to wrest it away from Miss Bingley,” she said with a glint in her eye. He smiled at that; but then they both became sensible to the impropriety of their current circumstance and their close proximity. “I was on my way to check on Jane.”
He knew he should step aside, but he did not. He knew he should look away, but he did not. He held her eyes in his stare, his resistance faltering. Another moment and he might have moved towards her, reached his hand to hold the nape of her neck, pierced her flesh with his aching teeth, pressed his mouth upon her lips; but the light from her candle illuminated his face, and he saw his wan reflection in her eyes. As with all those with his curse, he could not bear the sight of his own reflection, a vision of death itself. Her candle flickered out in an instant, and she gasped and broke her gaze.
Purchase Link: Where to find Pulse andPrejudice
Publisher Link: secretcravingspublishing.com
All My Tomorrows is losing the ratings war.
For headwriter Alice McGillicutty, the past year has had enough drama. Her mother passed away, her last relationship ended in disaster, and now poor ratings are catapulting her long-running soap opera toward cancellation. For comfort and creative inspiration, she begins reading The Edge of Darkness, an old melodramatic paperback she found among her mother’s belongings.
When scandal rips Hollywood bad boy Peter Walsingham off the tabloids and into her studio, Alice doubts the small screen is big enough for his ego – or his entourage. In their battle of pride and prejudice, will Peter’s vanity and arrogance compel Alice to write him out of her script, or can she find a role for him in All My Tomorrows?
“Alice,” Peter called out from his make-up chair. She stopped and faced him but didn’t approach. She refused to be summoned to join the bevy of females floating around him. As soon as he seemed to realize that, he stood and walked to her with script in hand.
“Is there something you can do for me, Mr. Walsingham?”
“Uh…yes. I wanted to discuss this scene I have with my sister.”
She released an aggravated sigh. Now what?
“Could we speak somewhere more private?” he asked. “Your office perhaps?”
She shrugged and led the way, and he closed her office door behind them. She faced him with her arms folded across her chest.
“So what’s the problem now? The plot? The dialog?”
“No, I’ve given up on that. I was just thinking that this is momentous information Tristan is sharing with Clarissa. I don’t think he would discuss it with her in a hospital cafeteria.”
“We’ve had too many scenes in her living room already. She’s a brain surgeon; she has to spend some time in the hospital.”
“But even to discuss the script, I asked if we could speak in private. She is a neurosurgeon. She should have her own office at the hospital.”
He did have a point. “We do have a doctor’s office around here somewhere. This is really going to piss off all the extras in that scene.”
“Maybe we could start in the cafeteria and move to her office. Here, let me show you.” He opened the script and handed it to her and then, coming behind her to read over her shoulder, pointed out the section. “We could go ahead and keep all this.”
He spoke low, his breath against her ear, and his nearness disconcerted here. Her already-tiny office continued to shrink around them. Is he sniffing my hair?
Focus! “And, uh, right here she could say something like, ‘We should discuss this in private. Let’s go to my office.’” He smelled good. Under the aromas of make-up and hairspray and soundstage, she could detect a spiciness that reminded her of pumpkin pie and yet somehow masculine. Warm and familiar, like holidays at home.
“Yes, exactly,” he said softly against her neck.
She flinched then turned around to face him and took a step back. She waited for her heart to start beating again before speaking. “I…um…I like it.”
Thank you for the awesome interview, and a glimpse into Pulse And Prejudice, Colette! I wish you the best! ~ Blak Rayne