Our guest today is a lady who, for many, will need little or no introduction. Her work, as an author and illustrator, has appeared in The Lightning Journal, GUD Magazine, Doorways Magazine, The Open Vein, Darkened Horizons, Ladies of Horror and The Bloodied Quill.
Since 2007 she has worked as a freelance entertainment journalist and critic in the horror industry covering the latest film and novel releases, as well as major festivals such as FantasticFest and South by Southwest Film Festival for the publications Fear Zone, Blaster, SCI FI Wire, Girls & Corpses and Fatally Yours.
In October of 2008, after the release of the first Eternal Vigilance vampire novel to rave reviews, she was made the Guest of Honor at the “Queen of the Damned” Vampire Ball in New Orleans. In 2009 she was afforded the honor of returning as a Special Guest, alongside author Charlaine Harris, for the Endless Night Festival and was dubbed “New Orleans Vampire Royalty” at the Tru Blood & Gold vampire ball. She returned in 2010 to the Memnoch: The Resurrection vampire ball and Endless Night festival, as well as the New Orleans UnDeadCon, as one of the selected Special Author Guests.
She was the primary graphic designer on the organizational committee for the 2011World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas and in March of 2011she was awarded the prestigious Texas Social Media Award.
She is currently celebrating the release of her latest novel Revenge from Barking Rain Press, penned with co-author Solomon Schneider, as well as working on three new novel concepts and her first solo music project as a singer-songwriter.
Of her work it has been said:
“This is undoubtedly one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read.”
The Vampire Chronicles Magazine
“Eternal Vigilance is the main artery leading to the heart of all vampire stories. Not since Interview With a Vampire has there been a greater tale of the undead. My mouth became dry reading it. My pulse quickened. This book makes you thirsty for bloodlust.”
Eric Enck, Author of Ghost of a Chance & The Reckoning
“Vampires are comfortable in their familiarity, in their Gothic surroundings as ornate as their inner contortions. [She] pulls vampires out of their well-worn trappings and puts them in the realm of the desolate. Deal with it.”
Michael Marano, Bram Stoker Award Winning Author of Dawn Song
Real Vampire News is proud to present ~ Chatting with Gabrielle Faust
RVN: Good afternoon and thank you for being with us. It is a great pleasure to be able to spend some time with you.
Gabrielle: The pleasure is all mine! I am delighted that you have extended this gracious invitation for an interview on your site to me.
RVN: Okay, to break the ice, and because we are dying to know, do you identify as a real, modern vampire? And, just in case you would rather plead the fifth on that one, who’s your favourite vampire?
Gabrielle: I do identify myself as a modern vampire in the cultural and spiritual sense and am part of the Sabertooth clan founded by Father Sebastiaan. To clarify, I am not a psy or sanguine vampire. A vampire is a person with a deep connection to the night, an intense understanding of their own sexuality, and a passion for the sophistication, intelligence, passion and elegance that defines the vampire culture. As for who my favourite vampire is (and I assume you are speaking of fiction now), excluding my own characters, it would have to be a tie between Lestat and Eric Northman, the ultimate bad boys of undead royalty.
RVN: May we ask a little something about your background and your interest in vampires?
Gabrielle: I have had an intense connection to vampires and the world of the undead since I was a small child. My mother raised me on a diet of horror films so I was introduced to movies such as “Dracula”, “Fright Night” and “Near Dark” by the time I was old enough to speak. There was something that resonated with me about the creatures—I never found them terrifying as most people might, but simply intriguing. The lore was very seductive and by the time I could read I was actively going to the library down the street from where I lived and checking out anything with a bat on the cover of it. When I was eleven my mother gave me Interview With the Vampire to read. That signed and sealed my obsession. A few years later in high school my best friend introduced me to a friend of her family’s, Guvudin Elisson, a Norweigan professor of vampirology at the University of Texas. We would sit around the living room at her house engrossed in his tales told in his thick native accent. He even kindly gave us all of the course materials for his class, which included everything from the psychology, sociology and mythology behind the genre and the culture. Now, the vampire is as much a part of me as the color of my eyes.
RVN: What made you originally decide to write about horror and vampires?
Gabrielle: Well, it seemed only natural that I write about the creature I was so obsessed with. Also, after reading so many vampire stories, I wanted to create my own mythos—I wanted to write the vampire tale I had never heard before, something wholly unique that vampires and vampire enthusiasts would find intriguing and compelling.
RVN: As your biography tells, you have been to a number of “vampire events” how do you perceive “vampires” in the world today? And what was the thing that struck you most about the events you’ve been to?
Gabrielle: Yes, I have been privileged with the opportunity to attend many fabulous vampire events across the country. Largely, what I have found is that the vampires of the modern world are a truly diverse cross-section that embraces everyone from Catholic priests to the most extreme BDS&M mistress. The vampires I have met are truly passionate and vivacious individuals. While there is always drama in any society, the proud sense of family amongst those that identify with the vampire world is one that is profoundly moving. As for the events themselves, they are always decadent, joyous times brimming with music, drink and the most exquisite costuming. I look forward to them every single year!
RVN: In your research for your writing, how important was the history, myth and folklore about vampires?
Gabrielle: Extremely important. The vampire is the ultimate historian, an immortal creature who has seen humanity’s many apexes and devastations. Each character must have their own individual history outlined in great detail for each of the events in his or her life will impact the vampire they are at the time of the tale. A vampire who witnessed gladiators fight in Rome would have a different perspective from one that fought in the American Revolution, etc. Myth and folklore are also extremely important. Each author creates their own mythos. Some remain quite true to the standard definitions of the strengths and weaknesses the undead possess while others branch out, such as I, and incorporate other details. However, there must be a believable explanation for each and a in-depth history with a origin and spirituality incorporated to give the vampire a solid foundation for evolution.
RVN: Did you have the opportunity to obtain factual information from modern real vampires for your writing, and did you have occasion to work with any members of the culture?
Gabrielle: Well, as a member of the culture myself, I have had crossed paths with a wide variety of modern vampires from those like myself who are vampires by culture and spirituality to those who do believe in the power of being psy or sanguine. My connection, both internally and externally, to this world has given me an interesting insight that many authors of the genre would not otherwise have. I am quite blessed.
RVN: In approaching the subject of your works what was the basic definition of “vampire” that was uppermost in your mind?
Gabrielle: In my series ETERNAL VIGILANCE I have made the vampire a combination of mythological result of a god (in this case the Vicinus which is the vampiric god of chaos) mating with a human, very much like the old Greek tales of Zeus’ philandering with mortals, and an evolution of humanity’s untapped potential. As aforementioned, for me the vampire is the ultimate historian, but for me the vampire is also a poignant dichotomy of both the epitome of elegance, grace, sexual prowess and power while also being the ultimate predator, a perfect blend of beast and beauty. However, when the seemingly pristine, exquisite exterior is stripped away the centuries of tragedy that often haunts them from having lived multiple mortal lifetimes is beyond heartbreaking. When I think of all that I have been through in the few years I’ve been on this earth and then think about even tripling that (if I’m lucky) I can’t imagine what my mental and spiritual state would be if multiplied exponentially. I’m beginning to ramble… But essentially, from a literary standpoint, this is my representation of the vampire.
RVN: Have you had the opportunity, or occasion, to read any of the non-fiction material that deals with modern, real vampire culture?
Gabrielle: Absolutely. As I mentioned earlier about my interaction with the Professor of Vampirology, my research on the sociological, psychological and historical accounts of vampires has been an ongoing exploration for me since a young age.
RVN: Please tell us a little about your own latest project/s? (Just a teaser)
Gabrielle: I have several new projects on the horizon. I am currently working on a new stand-alone vampire novel entitled THE LINEAGE, which is a new spin on the Dr. Faust mythos. Also in the works is the fourth novel in the ETERNAL VIGILANCE series. In addition I am coordinating and editing a vampire anthology for Evil Jester Press entitled HIGH STAKES. I’m really excited about this anthology and have some outstanding award-winning authors submitting for this one. Dacre Stoker, the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, will be writing the foreword and Father Sebastiaan, founder of the Sabertooth clan, Sabertooth Fangs and Endless Night will be contributing the afterword, while Bram Stoker Award-winning poet Linda Addison will be contributing a unique vampire poem for the intro. Last, but certainly not least, I have humbly accepted the invitation to write Father Sebastiaan’s memoirs, or I should say the first instalment in his memoirs as he’s far from retiring anytime soon. This project is underway and will be kicked into high gear in a month or so.
RVN: And, where can our readers go to find out more about you and your work?
Gabrielle: For more information about the ETERNAL VIGILANCE series visit www.gabriellefaust.com/about-the-book. For sample chapters from my most recent novel REVENGE visit http://www.barkingrainpress.org/revenge-preview/. I also have an experimental beatnik vampire short story I am giving away for free. You can download that at http://www.gabriellefaust.com/downloads/TheBeat.pdf.
RVN: Are there any plans afoot to take your creations to the screen?
Gabrielle: I certainly hope so! Right now the indie filmmaker Mario DeAngelis is working on an adaptation of my short story “Apartment J”. I’m hoping to start shopping around the ETERNAL VIGILANCE screenplay soon, as well as adapting the REVENGE novel into a screenplay. My fans are constantly asking me when the film is going to come out. Here’s to keeping my fingers crossed!
RVN: Has your mindset changed from the basic premise of vampires that you set out with in approaching your writing?
Gabrielle: No, though my characters have definitely evolved over time. But that is natural. When you are working with characters over multiple novels they evolve as you do. It is only natural. However, lately I have started branching out and challenging myself within the genre itself. My work has always been very cross-genre cyberpunk-horror or dark fantasy-horror. Someone challenged me that I couldn’t write a through and through horror novel. I love it when someone says things like that because then I’m driven to prove them wrong. Hence the novel THE LINEAGE. They want a true horror novel? Then they are in for a real ride.
RVN: Who do you feel is your target audience with your work?
Gabrielle: I love it when people ask me this question because I’m still trying to figure out that demographic. I have readers between the age of 11 and 80 from every walk of life. The thing is that I never set out to hit a certain demographic. I set out to write the story that was in my heart, as I do with every novel. I’m a storyteller. It’s my purpose on Earth. Those stories will find the people they’re supposed to reach. I can’t control that, but I’m delighted when they do!
RVN: Do you have any general comments that you would like to make about the subject of vampires, especially the existence of real living modern self-identified vampires?
Gabrielle: This is a pretty vast question to answer in just a few sentences. From a fictional standpoint I am looking forward to seeing how the genre continues to evolve as new voices contribute to it both in the literary and cinematic worlds. From the aspect of the self-identified real vampires, we have a duty to represent our world in the most elegant of lights by staying true to our inherent natures while setting an example for future generations. For too many years our world has been one that has been unfortunately clouded by intense drama and misconceptions. Our world is one of the most artistically exquisite, emotionally empowering and spiritually grounded ones I’ve encountered. It is our responsibility to uphold this and further its evolution.
RVN: Thank you very much indeed for your time today; we are honoured and most grateful to have been able to spend this time with you.
Gabrielle: Thank you so much for this opportunity. It has been lovely speaking with you and I hope your audience finds my answers to your questions interesting and insightful. If they are interested in finding out more about myself or my work they can find me at www.gabriellefaust.com, www.facebook.com/AuthorGabrielleFaust (my personal page is maxed out at 5K so I have set up a new page) or www.twitter.com/Gabrielle_Faust.
There can be no doubt that the literary vampire is undergoing a metamorphosis just as the popular vampire in the movies has in recent times. The genre, once cut-and-dried, is becoming a playground of new explorations and new interpretations and it is the imagination of modern authors and screenwriters that is shaping the concept and image of the vampire for modern and future generations. Perhaps now is the time to take the opportunity to further introduce the real, modern, vampire through talented authors, such as Gabrielle, and show the real face of today’s vampire.
© RVN & Gabrielle Faust 2012 (except where noted.)
1. Gabrielle Faust 2012 Press Kit ~ INFO@GABRIELLEFAUST.COM
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