Denise K. Rago – Immortal Obsession

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Immortal Obsession traces vampire Christian Du Mauré, who as a young man in eighteenth century France impulsively follows his best friend, Michel Baptiste, into the seductive and violent world of the Parisian vampires. Against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Christian has a passionate yet doomed love affair with a mortal aristocrat. He promises to watch over her daughter, only to learn he fathered the child. Presently Christian and Michel live in Manhattan. Only two descendants of his union remain and he still watches over them without interfering in their mortal lives; until an unanticipated danger arrives, forcing Christian to disregard his principals and confront ancient enemies who threaten those he holds dear.

Tell us something about yourself.

I grew up in New Jersey, not far from Manhattan. I have always loved books, art museums and vampires. I attended college in New Jersey and Europe and received my Masters Degree in Museum Professions. Loving the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, I interned there as a part of my masters program. My career has revolved around working as a Business Assistant in schools, both for profit and non-profit. It has been very rewarding work for me.

What inspired you to write this book?

In October of 2005, I went into Manhattan with my husband to attend a concert. We decided to get dinner at a local diner before the show. The diner was relatively quiet for a Monday night. As dinner was winding down I noticed a tall, blond haired man pass by and sit down in the booth behind us. Any city is a place to see all kinds of people, but even by New York standards he stood out.

He was dressed entirely in black with blond hair that fell to his waist, flowing over a long, dark coat. He looked young, maybe in his twenties and I assumed he was probably a student and definitely going to the concert.

He ordered vegetable soup and then proceeded to grill the waiter on the contents of the broth, concerned that the broth was made with meat. We could not help overhearing and when my curiously got the best of me, impulsively, I turned around. Time stopped as I fell into a pair of penetrating, dark eyes.

He said hello it a voice that made me blush. I said hi and quickly turned back around. My husband said ‘you’re blushing’ and I was, feeling too old for such flirtations! I felt a sense of recognition. I thought that I might know him though I could not place him. [As you get older you have to dig deeper to retrieve that kind of information] and not being the greatest with names, I scrambled to come up with where I might I have met him. I was even tempted to ask him ‘do I know you?’ but I did not and we left for the concert.

That weekend I began my novel. Though the title came much later, I knew that the man in the diner was my vampire, Christian Du Mauré, complete with his long black coat, waist- length blond hair and penetrating dark eyes. His personality came to me effortlessly; his hopes and dreams, sorrows and losses. He came alive on the page – a character based on a man I had fleeting contact with but whose beauty and presence compelled me.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I spent about a year querying agents with little result before I realized that as a new author, I had little chance of acquiring one, especially in the changing economic climate, so I decided to self-publish my novel through a company called Createspace.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

As a kid I always wrote poetry and plays. I have kept journals since high school. I love to read and have always had the goal of writing novels someday.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I have always loved vampires and vampire novels. I also love thrillers and horror. Some of my favorite authors are Anne Rice, Stephen King, John Connelly and Laurell Hamilton. I love any author who can give me something to think about or change my point of view, especially regarding archetypes. Anne Rice did it in Interview with the Vampire. I read it when it was first published and realized she had changed the genre forever with her very thinking, feeling, and mortal vampires. I love characters that are grey rather than black and white. I feel they are more realistic this way. I am always intrigued by and drawn to the conflict inherent in the thinking, feeling monster, one who tries to harness their powers and instinct to destroy.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I am presently writing book II in my Enchanted Bloodline Series, of which, Immortal Obsession is the first book. Christian returns to Paris alone, which is his home, though he has not been back since 1790. There he learns much more about his past than he bargained for, and of course, his best laid plans go awry as other forces are at work to change his destiny.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Believe in yourself and your work. Develop a marketing plan yet be willing to modify it at a moment’s notice. Surround yourself with service providers who have like values. Pay them what they are worth and listen to their advice. Be patient, flexible and very open-minded; and to quote Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.”

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Women of all ages.

Where can readers learn more about your book?