Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Guest: Louise Marley

VampChix welcomes Louise Marley, author of fantasy novels—and a musician as well!  We reviewed Louise's MOZART'S BLOOD here a few weeks ago.  VampChix will give away that review copy to one lucky commenter.  Please stop by Louise's website and take the virtual tour and check out her books, and let us know one interesting thing you learned about this author in the comments to be entered to win!  [Winner announced Friday.]

Eternal life, at a cost

Who wouldn’t want to live nearly forever?  A normal human life is pitifully short, and we seem to spend half of it learning how to do what we want to do.  As a singer, I spent nearly as long learning how to sing as I did performing on the stage.  As a writer, I was fascinated by the idea of an opera singer enjoying multiple careers, becoming more accomplished with each one, aging so slowly it’s all but imperceptible.  I discovered an opera singer, a real historical figure, who was born in Italy in the 18th century and lived to be 106 years old.  She was a natural choice to become the heroine for Mozart’s Blood.  Suppose she didn’t die when she was 106, as everyone thought?  I imagined that she slipped away to hide until everyone who remembered her was gone, then re-emerged, adopted a new name, and began a new career with all the knowledge and skill she had gained in the last one.

Every form of magic has a cost, however.  For my character, Teresa, to live an unnaturally long life, she had to be transformed into something not quite human.  The “undead” nature of vampires doesn’t have as much appeal for me.  I prefer to think of a vampire as something more than human, an enhanced and transformed creature.  Teresa didn’t choose to be transformed, but once changed, she couldn’t go back.  She doesn’t like to have to feed on innocent blood, but the compulsion is stronger than she is–and she’s very strong indeed.  This is a high price to pay in itself, but there’s more.  When she does feed, she absorbs the memories of every one of her victims, and this burden is nearly unendurable burden.  Teresa is strong enough to carry it.  Mozart is not.

In Mozart’s Blood the word vampire is never mentioned except once, and that time in Italian–vampira.  Teresa’s friend and ally, the mysterious Ugo, is a lupo mannaro–in the Italian tradition, the seventh son, born after six sisters, who is changed by the full moon.  Their kind doesn’t dare to have friends, and this may be the highest cost of all. When the vampira and the lupo mannaro find each other, their friendship assuages the awful loneliness that comes with their unique natures.  When they lose each other, the pain is too great to bear, and that is the heart of Mozart’s Blood.

There’s more background information on Mozart’s Blood on my website,  There’s an excerpt from the novel, some links to sites where you can hear Mozart’s music, some reviews, and a “virtual tour” of some of the places and people that appear in the book.  I hope readers will come and visit! There’s also a discussion guide and a book club party kit.

My fan page on Facebook 
Find me on Twitter
I regularly blog about writing at Red Room
I’m currently at work on another paranormal historical novel, The Brahms Deception.


tina werner said...

had a peek at your website... the virtual tour for mozart's blood was really neat and the music playing in the background was very moving! love it! this book sounds really interesting... thanks for the chance to win!

stampitchick at yahoo dot ca


Cynnara Tregarth said...

I love Mozart and I do enjoy opera, so I have to admit, when Michele Hauf tweeted about this blog, I had to come read. This looks fascinating! I can't wait to read it.

Slytherinette said...

I love the way the virtual tour is set up. The pictures and the music are very lovely! My mother has recommended some of her books to me, but I haven't gotten around to reading (or buying) them. Perhaps I should make some time!

SandyG265 said...

Sounds like an interesting idea but I don't think I'd want to live forever looking like she must have at 106.

Joanna Terrero said...

Ladies, this is an awesome book! I love it, and I’m pleased to know that VampChix wants a sequel too.

Elise said...

I looked through the website. The virtual tour was awesome, it's great that we get to visually see whats to come in Mozart's Blood, it gives me a nice picture of the setting and time. The pic of the opera houses and Sicily were my favorite. I loved the opera music playing on the virtual tour. I learned that she has many other books, one of which was The Glass Harmonica, which shared the 2001 Endeavour Award with The Telling, by Ursula K. Le Guin. I really hope to win this book, it looks and sounds amazing. I love historical fiction and with a paranormal flavor mixed it, this book sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the giveaway!

caliblue7 at gmail dot com

Elise said...

BTW, I just signed up for Louise Marley's newsletter at her Red Room Blog. So excited about this book! Thanks again!
caliblue7 at gmail dot com

Louise Marley said...

Thanks for the kind remarks, everyone! I'm glad you had fun on the website, and good luck in the drawing.

And by the way, Octavia does NOT look like she's 106! Sandy's right, it would be no fun to look that way forever! :-) In my mind, she looks very much like the gorgeous woman on the cover.


Julianne said...

I have heard about this book before today but today I learned that Louise Marley is a former professional opera singer. I think this is great because this will add a polished depth to her novel Mozart's Blood since she actually had a career as an opera singer. I read the excerpt and was blown away. Definitely a book I have to read. I watched the virtual tour, which was nice too. Are we allowed to ask Louise a question? If so here is my question: I noticed that most of your previous novels were science fiction or fantasy based, but Mozart's Blood is more historical fiction. What inspired this change in your writing? Your book sounds great!

lovelyserenity21 at gmail dot com

Kirsten said...

Checked out her website which is awesome and read a bit on Louise's blog. She likes These old Shades by Georgette Heyer, one I also loved. I've never read a book by Louise Marley but she's written a whole bunch. This one, Mozart's Blood speaks to me the most and I would love to read it. The cover looks good too.

Dakota said...

The virtual tour was a nice introduction to the book. I learned that she once had a pseudonym Toby Bishop, which I thought was interesting.
dakotasky55 at gmail dot com

Tammy said...

I think this book has an interesting premise. Louise's website has lots to look at. What I found most helpful was that she has a link for writers, where she gives music lessons or tips if they want to write about music or musicians. Some of the covers to her other books look so magical. I also loved the music playing during the virtual tour!

heatwave16 said...

I loved the review. I have to say I don't know much about the opera, but this would give me a chance to find out. I have to say - being forced to absorb people's memories would be tough. I can imagine the issues when yours and theirs start to mingle.


Louise Marley said...

Hi, everyone! I wanted to reply to Julianne's question about why I turned to historical fiction for this book. It's actually my second foray into the genre, as my novel THE GLASS HARMONICA is also historical. I think one of the reasons I write in different genres is because I read in them, too--everything from literary novels to urban fantasy, historical to science fiction. There's a problem with that, of course, as not all readers are willing to follow an author if she writes in different styles.

Thanks for the kind remarks, and I hope to hear from some of you after you've had a chance to read the book!