The Vampire Vignettes
Vampire authoress G.L. Giles takes some time out of her busy schedule traipsing across the US of A promoting her latest novel, V3: The Vampire Vignettes ReVamped, to chat to Voltcase. For more on The Vampire Vignettes check out the official site here.
VOLTCASE G.L. GILES INTERVIEW:
Hello, and Welcome to Voltcase - how are things?
"Fangtastic" of course...I'm never above some campiness:-) Things are going great; thanks for asking! After five years of nonstop marketing as a self-published author, lots of big things are happening for me and my books. I was recently interviewed by the legendary Joe Franklin for his Bloomberg Radio show, so that was amazing considering I'm nontraditionally published. I think that "Indie Authors," much like "Indie Musicians" are getting a lot more respect these days for having an originality that was perhaps lost in some more traditional outlets. My books are seen as more cutting-edge to some because I didn't have any editors' or editorial censorship. My last two books, V3: The Vampire Vignettes ReVamped and V2:B4 (The Vampire Vignettes Prequel), have been selling well, so my publisher, Xlibris (www.xlibris.com), and myself are both elated about that!! In fact, V3: The Vampire Vignettes ReVamped (which is a reworked version of my first two books) has been a Top Royalty Earner several times since its July 2007 release. Aside from what's happening in my world with my own books, I've taken reviewing other authors' works to a new level recently. I took a column at Psychic Times reviewing mostly new releases that I was drawn to for one reason or another. It's called "The G.L. Giles Files" and you can view it at http://www.voicesfrombeyond7.com/PsychicTimesWelcome.html ; it's a free download. In addition, I recently started interviewing authors I've admired. My interview with Raven Digitalis, author of Goth Craft, can be viewed in the spring 2008 issue of MetaCreative Magazine at www.metacreativemagazine.com ; it's a free download.
So, how would you describe yourself to a stranger in three words?
"Ex-Jagerette Indie Author"
Now, the reason we're featuring you Voltcase is to talk about your latest novel, "V3: The Vampire Vignettes ReVamped", can you tell us a bit about it?
Sure...I'd love to tell you a bit(e) about my latest release, V3: The Vampire Vignettes ReVamped. I should probably start by saying that I've written a nontraditional vampire/vampyre series. It's nontraditionally published and it's also nontraditional in that one book doesn't follow another chronologically in the series. I'd written a novella published in 2004 entitled The Vampire Vignettes; it still has its own cult-like following even though it went out-of-print about two years ago. I wrote V2:B4 (The Vampire Vignettes Prequel), as the subtitle suggests, as a prequel to The Vampire Vignettes. When The Vampire Vignettes went out-of-print, I decided to revamp it because I had a lot of people asking about it at my book signing events. What I quickly discovered was that in reworking The Vampire Vignettes, I really had to rework its prequel V2:B4 as well. So, the result is V3: The Vampire Vignettes ReVamped. Yet, I also added new characters like my Water Vampires to V3 while leaving out some of the characters from The Vampire Vignettes and V2:B4, so it really took on a unique storyline in many ways. So, readers should really start with V3: The Vampire Vignettes ReVamped as it's a stand-alone book. Many readers choose to read V2: B4 later because the illustrations are different as are some of the vignettes (narratives). I set my books in Charleston, South Carolina and upstate New York. Most of my storyline is set in present day and last decade. In my mythology, there are many different kinds of vampyres/vampires. For example, I have water vamps which are the product of my vampyres breeding with sirens (in my mythology, the sirens are specifically half raven and half woman) And, I also include vampyres (emerged as what humans would consider undead...they're really just vibrating at a different frequency), vampires (made by vampyres or other vampires), and human vamps.
Vampires seem to a constant them with in your work. How much have the 'masters', as it were, of the Vampire novels, such as Bram Stoker and Anne Rice, influenced you?
I believe that Anne Rice has influenced me more than Bram Stoker, but I try to be as hopefully original as I possibly can be, so coming up with my own mythology was important to me while honoring those that have gone before as well. Furthermore, I like adding new twists. For example, my dark heroine Augusta Lee Legare Middleton has a falling out with her elitist vampyre family; they nickname her Vladina in derision after Vlad the Impaler. It's derisive because her true neck-gripping blood-sucking vampyre family doesn't consider Vlad the Impaler a true vampyre. And, historically, he wasn't.
So, what attracted you to Vampires in the first place? And do you believe in any of the old folk tales that Vampires did (do?) exist?
I might have been subconsciously, at first, drawn to vampires/vampyres when I was diagnosed with my first case of skin cancer at 23 years old. I suppose I started sympathizing with those who couldn't go out in the sun for long periods of time. Later, I wrote my 73-page Bachelor's Essay, as part of the Honors in English program at the College of Charleston, on Nathaniel Hawthorne. I also studied other "Romantic/Gothic" 19th century writers at length in college.
You've traveled quite a bit promoting the book, how has it all gone? And any plans of promoting it further afield - such as the UK, for example!
For the last year and a half I've been signing at various Borders, Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks stores in the Southeast and Midwest U.S.A.; I think that part of being an "Indie Author" is you have to work harder at getting the word out there because you don't have all the channels already available to you that traditionally published authors oftentimes have. So, I've had about 120 book signing events in a little over eighteen months to get the word out. I've loved it though...loved meeting my fans and I consider myself lucky to have even gained entrance into major and independent bookstores alike, especially being self-published. By contrast, I think many traditionally published authors maybe tour for 1-3 months. I'd love to sign in the U.K., so please hold that vision; I look forward to meeting the Voltcase crew in person!!
Would you describe all of your work as pure fiction, or are there elements and ideas of non-fiction in there as well?
Though my books are billed as speculative fiction/dark fantasy perhaps most accurately, there is an element of "real" life in them. I include sanguine and psychic vampires in my latest release, V3: The Vampire Vignettes ReVamped, so one aspect of reality is presented, though somewhat exaggerated. I've often said that to write good fantasy, there must be a willing suspension of disbelief/belief, so I try to make my stories as realistic as possible before throwing in the supernatural. Moreover, I technically write a uchronie (utopian chronology): my historical time line is "real" but then I add fantasy.
If you were interviewing yourself, what question would you ask yourself? And what would the answer be?
I would ask myself what you already had the presence of mind to ask me in question #5:-))
So, what next for G.L. Giles - are there more books on the way?
One of my short stories, "Nine Strippers," is appearing in an upcoming horror fiction anthology, and I'm currently writing my 4th and final book in my vampyre/vampire series.
And finally, the question that we ask everyone that appears in Voltcase - what does the word 'Voltcase' mean to you?
I always figured that VOLTCASE was an acronym for Vampyres Owning Living and Truthfully Causing Awareness of Secret Expressions...could it be anything else?!!