Kiss & Tell Tour: Barbara Monajem & characters dish about Tastes of Love & Evil
Please help me welcome Barbara Monajem, author of Tastes of Love & Evil, and characters from the book, Constantine, Jack, & Rose!
Barbara was able to set up a meeting so that I could interrog… er, meet… everyone and get some insider info on happenings from the book! We had a blast – hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!
The scene: Rooftop sitting area of Constantine’s building, The Impractical Cat.
In attendance: DaVinciKittie, Barbara, Jack, Rose, & Constantine
<Initially it’s just me and Barbara. Constantine had some underworld business to discuss with Jack and Rose and they’ll be up shortly.>
DaVinciKittie: Thanks for meeting me here today to chat about Tastes of Love & Evil. I’m excited to be relaxing at one of the locations from the book. The view is fantastic, and Ophelia really keeps these flowers looking great!
Barbara: It wasn’t easy getting the OK to bring you up here. Fortunately, I have an ‘in’ with the Bayou Gavotte underworld *laughs*.
DaVinciKittie: Speaking of locations, Bayou Gavotte is a unique sort of town, even for Louisiana. What inspired you when you were creating it?
Barbara: It was a meandering sort of process. It started with the French Quarter in New Orleans, which is such an incredibly funky, fabulous place. I wanted to write about an imaginary location, though, so I could make up the rules about how the town runs. Bayou Gavotte is not far from N.O., and the downtown area looks a lot like the Quarter, but the population and atmosphere are a blend of Deep South and New Orleans, with some kink thrown in.
DaVinciKittie: Bayou Gavotte seems to have a fairly dense vampire population. Is that normal or a product of the fetish clubs? For the new readers out there, tell us more about the clubs and how they got started!
Barbara: I hate to admit this, but I don’t know all that much about the history of Bayou Gavotte. My muse only gives me what I need to write the stories. There was definitely some mob involvement in the clubs at first, and for a while Bayou Gavotte was a dangerous place, but the underworld moved in and cleaned it up, making it safe for both residents and visitors to indulge their personal tastes, whether kinky or not. Because the vampire gene makes it difficult for vamps to fit in most places, they tend to gravitate toward an off-beat environment like Bayou Gavotte.
DaVinciKittie: Tastes of Love & Evil has one of the most unique casts of characters I’ve met in a book. Did you base them on real people that you know or have met?
Barbara: I wish I knew people like my characters!
DaVinciKittie: *ahem* Speaking of Constantine, he is gloriously tortured, misunderstood, and complex. Can we look forward to him having a book of his own?
Barbara: *glances toward the door* Shh! His book is already written, but he doesn’t know how it turns out yet. My editor has it (but don’t tell Constantine, because I want my editor to stay safe!) and hopefully it will be out next year.
*As if summoned, Constantine arrives on the terrace with Jack and Rose. Constantine is carrying two frothy cappuccinos with mint-chocolate swirls, and offers them to DVK and Barbara.*
DaVinciKittie: *swooning* Oh. My. God. <No, I’m not palpitating about the coffee, although that’s fabulous too.>
Barbara: Heh, heh. <She’s seen a lot of Constantine, so she’s pretty good at pretending to be unmoved by his awesomeness.>
DaVinciKittie: *summoning all my interviewer-ly poise* Thank you, Constantine! *sighs deeply* <I can’t help it!> Thank you for allowing us to meet on your terrace for this interview.
Constantine: My pleasure. *sounds like he means it, producing further sighs. He picks up his guitar, props himself against the parapet, and plays softly in the background.*
DaVinciKittie: Jack, Rose, so great to meet you! Jack, I just have to ask — how do you pronounce your first name, Iachimo?
Jack: *sighs* Yakamo. Blame my mother.
DaVinciKittie: You and Constantine traded and taught each other your abilities. We know that Constantine can pseudo-camo and that you can hear his telepathic “knocks”. Did he teach you the intimidating eye thing or is that something you taught yourself?
Jack: It started out with me trying to copy him, but his intimidation is based largely on telepathy, which I don’t do. I had to use old fashioned eye-contact, but it works surprisingly well.
DaVinciKittie: What’s the most creative way you’ve ever used your camo?
<Jack and Rose exchange a glance, and Rose laughs.>
Jack: *clears throat, grins* The second most creative way was when I rescued a little boy from his abusive stepfather. I camoed with the kid under my arm, and the stepfather was so confused at seeing the boy flying through the room and out the door that he didn’t even try to stop us.
DaVinciKittie: Wow. Go, Jack! Constantine, it’s obvious that music is in your blood and really seems to center and calm you. What styles of music do you play? Which do you enjoy most?
Constantine: *stilling the strings* I grew up in New Orleans, so I’m a jazz and blues man at heart, but that doesn’t stop me from playing a lot of rock and a ballad now and then. *plays a gentle riff* I’ve even been known to jam some classical guitar with my friend Jack.
DaVinciKittie: Tell us one true fact that would surprise or shock your fans to know.
Constantine: I’m totally screwed-up. *grins, and it’s a stunner* No, that’s no surprise. I would admit to killing people, but that might get me in trouble with the law, which would be inconvenient for me and a major hassle for the cops. But I didn’t kill my wife. *launches into some old-fashioned blues*
DaVinciKittie: Rose, I’m so glad you and Jack worked out things between you. I think you’re perfectly matched. What’s your favorite thing about him?
Rose: He asks my advice about safe houses for his rescues. He discusses plays and costumes with me. I even like watching football with him. And what’s best of all – none of these activities have anything to do with sex!
DaVinciKittie: Um…I thought vampires liked sex.
Rose: *big grin* Sure, but Jack is the first guy I’ve been with who doesn’t want me *only* for sex. He’s a lover *and* a friend. <she’s absolutely glowing now> For a vampire, that’s really hard to find.
DaVinciKittie: That’s wonderful, Rose. I imagine your dress-making business is going to be booming now that you’re in a town full of vamps who love to dress in style. Do you have any notable jobs coming up?
Rose: I’m swamped with work, and I love it! Right now I’m making costumes for productions of Rashomon and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the local theater – two entirely different kinds of costumes, which keeps me on my toes. Also, I have orders for three ball gowns for next Mardi Gras. My clients want them made of unique homemade fabric – my specialty – so they’ll stand out even in a crowd of vamps.
DaVinciKittie: Constantine, being such a successful rock star, I guess money isn’t much of an issue for you. Money can’t buy everything though, so if you could have any one thing in the world, what would it be?
Constantine: <doesn’t have to think about this one> A brother. But I have good friends – my drummer, Lep, and Jack, to name a few, so I’m cool.
DaVinciKittie: Jack, tell us something about Rose that she wouldn’t normally admit to. *grin*
Jack: *looks blank…looks at Rose…shrugs* You’ve got me there. She’s a mighty up-front sort of girl. The vampire temper may have something to do with it — she just lets it all out. She’s taught me a lot about not hiding my feelings.
DaVinciKittie: Rose, now that you’re getting to spend time with your new vampire “family”, what are they helping you learn and what are you most looking forward to?
Rose: Help and advice when it comes to bringing up my children, especially if they have the vampire gene. If I can accomplish one thing – bringing up healthy, confident vampires – I’ll be satisfied.
DaVinciKittie: Thanks so much to Barbara, Rose, Jack, and Constantine for allowing me this little peek into your lives today! <3
Would you like to win a copy of Tastes of Love & Evil?
Leave a comment in the Comments section at the bottom of this post for Barbara or one of the gang, then fill out the Rafflecopter below. We’ll choose a random winner on Thursday evening, to give you guys plenty of time to chat it up. =) (Note: if you are viewing this from The Feed, you need to click the title of the post to open it in its own page in order to view Comments)
Also, starting today, Barbara is giving away a $25 gift card and a copy of one of her novellas, AND you can be entered to win a Kindle Fire! Go here for more details!
Click below to see more of the GraveTells-hosted Kiss & Tell Tour stops!