I have been tagged in The Next Big Thing by the beautiful Adriana Noir. To say that I was honored is really an understatement. Adriana is a fantastic writer and friend whose mind is just as black as mine, if not more so. She really does have a way with words; she writes such beautifully dark horror. I absolutely cannot wait for her book, Requiem: Book of the Fallen, to be released this October.
In this game of “Tag, You’re it” my current Work in Progress gets to be tagged and then I have to tag 5 other writers’ WIPs. Look for the five writers I have tagged at the bottom of this post – their “Next Big Thing” posts, should they choose to accept this mission, will be posted between the 30th of September and the 6th of October.
1. What is the working title of your book?
L’Escalier du Diable
(The Devil’s Stairway)
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
This was actually pretty typical for me at the time …
It all started with a really bad case of writer’s block. I hadn’t written anything significant for a while. I asked a friend of mine for a prompt. He asked me, “Have you ever seen Blade 2?”
I answered in the affirmative.
“You know that scene in the club where the vamps are digging into each other’s flesh just because they can? I bet you could work with that …”
I really needed to find a way to just STFU and write- my mind was always getting in the way. When I am in the midst of a block I usually have to go ‘old school’ and grab my trusty notebook and pen. Even that hadn’t been working. However, the seed had been planted …
So, with a few ideas tumbling around in my blackened mind, I did just that. I grabbed my trusty notebook and pen, went outside, and sat on my porch swing. With my hair swirling around my head in the brisk autumn-like breeze, I closed my eyes, trying to envision a scene as I listened to a little Evanescence. Then BAM! Jenna started telling me her story. I started writing scene after scene; I think I filled eight notebook pages that very night.
Basically, L’Escalier du Diable is the second level of hell masquerading as a BDSM club in Paris, France. Asmodeus is the Demon Prince that punishes humans for the deadly sin of Lust. Because of that, it’s only fitting that he resides over the second level of Hell.
Because of horrifying, recurrent, events that transpired involving a VERY close family member, Jenna Prim (my MC), is a ‘made’ submissive. She’s not only submissive in a BDSM ‘scene’, she’s a ‘rug’ in real life. In other words, she’s very dependent upon others. She’s eager to please because that’s all she’s ever known; all she’s ever done.
After Jenna’s best friend, Veronica Mills (Ronnie), saved her from this horrible situation, the girls ran away and had been living on their own since they were sixteen. I won’t tell you anymore right now … you’ll just have to read on to glean any more information from this writer 😉
3. What genre does your book fall under?
This book would definitely fall under the Horror and Erotica Genre’s.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Yeah, I toiled over this one. But, to be honest, I had the first three characters in mind since I started writing it.
Jenna Prim– Jessica Alba
Jenna is normally very submissive; she’s never truly had an identity of her own. She’d bow down to anyone more dominant than her; which was basically everyone. However, she holds this deep-seated anger and resentment for all the people that have harmed her in the past and in her present situation. In L’Escalier du Diable, Jenna has to wrestle her inner demons to eventually bring her more dominant side to the fore. Jessica Alba definitely has the look, and I just know she could pull off this emotionally complex character.
Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Mills– Scarlett Johansson
Veronica Mills is Jenna’s ever-present best friend; she’s known Jenna since grade school. She’s the platinum blonde barbie-doll type. Ronnie is definitely the resident sex pot. She just exudes sex, and for good reason 😉 She’s been harboring a deep, dark secret from her bestie *gasp*. I think that Scarlett Johansson just might be able to pull off this confident, bitchy, sarcastic, yet somewhat motherly (toward Jenna) character.
Asmodeus– Ian Somerhalder
After watching Ian play the part of Damon in The Vampire Diaries, I just know that he could pull off the character of Asmodeus. In my book, Asmodeus is a demon that covets that which he cannot have. He’s the Prince of the second level of Hell. The second level is an area of Hell set aside for those overcome by lust; for those who let their appetites sway their reason. Asmodeus is an expert at hiding his true feelings. He’s dominant, sexy, and confident. However, he does show us brief glimpses of his softer side when he’s with Jenna. Ian definitely has Asmodeus’ trademark gaze, the body, and I know he can pull off the ‘holier-than-thou’ prince-like attitude. Just picture this stud as a ginger 😉
Lucian/Lucifer– Mark Sheppard
Alright, this man would play the most AMAZING Lucian! Plain and simple, Lucian’s an ass. He’s got an ego that rivals no other. He has this sinister quality about him that will send a shiver up your spine. He has a sadistic streak to match no other. He likes pain, and likes to cause it in whatever way he can. Just picture Mark with penetrating obsidian eyes and slicked-back black hair (it’s really not hard to imagine that with the image I’ve provided above). I caught an episode of The X-Files that Mark Sheppard happened to be in recently, and I was blown away! He’s definitely the perfect ‘Prince of Lies’! 😉
Angel– Danny Pino
Angel is a lower demon who serves Asmodeus as a guard in the second level of Hell. He’s pretty calm (for a demon); he’s actually the voice of reason when it comes to his drama-queen girlfriend, Ronnie. He’s learned a great ‘ability’ that can help Jenna and Ronnie in the long run. Angel is really the strong, silent type. Picture Danny Pino with black shades on at all times to hide his unusual gaze and a silver stud in his ear. Enough to melt butter, isn’t it?
Leviathan– Djimon Hounsou
Asmodeus’ ‘brother’, and the Demon Prince of the 7th level of Hell in my world. This sinister masked demon will certainly send a chill up your spine. There is a reason I chose the image above. As I’ve already stated, Leviathan wears a mask. While his mask is enough to draw your eye, his large muscular build is what holds your attention. Because Leviathan is a Sea Monster in the bible, I equated his presence to a smell; a putrid, swamp-like smell. He’s a very violent and sadistic soul. He does not forget a thing, and will make you pay for your sins against him!
The Archangel Raphael– Jared Leto
One of the seven Archangel’s, Raphael helps in all manner of healing. He is the celestial being that banishes Asmodeus from Egypt and from walking in the light for coveting the one thing he cannot have in my book. Picture Jared Leto with shoulder-length flaxen hair, and keep those penetrating blue eyes. The Raphael in my head, is quite confident, condescending, and rude. Raphael only makes a brief appearance in this book, but who is to say that he won’t make another in the future …
Tlaloc/Lox– Cillian Murphy
This character will become more prominent later 😉 He helps Jenna at the end of my novel. He is a serpentine creature that masquerades in human form. He definitely has his own agenda …
5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Normally submissive, Jenna Prim must fight her own demons to bring her more dominant side to the forefront to survive after she walks the Devil’s stair.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I really don’t know yet as I’m just finishing up with the first rounds of edits/revisions. This is my first novel and I really don’t know what route to go. However, I do plan to send my finished manuscript to various publishing companies and see what comes of it 😉
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
L’Escalier du Diable actually started as a short story that I wrote for a contest that Adriana Noir was running on Writing.com in August of 2011. After all was said and done, I found that my main character, Jenna Prim, was still whispering in my ear; she obviously really wanted her stor+y to be told. How could I refuse her call? I’ve written on it on and off since. I just finished it a couple weeks ago.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I really don’t know of anything in my genre that compares. Some would try to compare this novel with Fifty Shades of Grey. But, I assure you that these two novels are nothing alike. The ONLY thing that they have in common is a little BDSM 😉
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been interested in reading and writing in the genres of paranormal romance, horror, and erotica. As I said above (reference question #2 and #7), I started writing L’Escalier du Diable as a short story for a contest after a friend brought up the club scene in Blade 2.
I’ve dabbled in writing about vampires and other supernatural creatures. I’d also written my share of straight erotica (no horror involved. Unless you’re like a friend of mine who thinks that a little light BDSM involving clothespins is horror). I’d never really written about Angels or Demons, and I was interested in doing so. I researched a bit and found Dante Alighieri’s version of Hell quite interesting. I took bits and pieces from everything I’d read and researched to create my world.
Music helped to conjure the amazing imagery in my mind. It also helped me to keep a typing cadence. I listened to whatever fit the mood for the portion of the book I was writing. Really, I listened to all types of music; from Nox Arcana to Red. But I have to say the most predominant genres of music on my L’Escalier playlist were techno and trance.
All in all, I really just wanted to combine the two genres in my own way. I gotta say, I’ve really enjoyed writing L’Escalier. I mean, what better way is there to combine the horror and erotica genres than to write about sex demons (Succubus/Incubus) and the second level of Hell?
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
~I think that every single one of us has had problems figuring out who we truly are; especially when we’ve been forced to lose ourselves in someone else’s life or in the day to day responsibilities of our own lives. Many of us are lucky enough to figure out just who we really are at an early age; but, some of us lose ourselves along the way. Some of us have even been affected by a past abuse. Whether it be emotional, physical, or sexual, we will never be the same. But that doesn’t mean that we are completely broken. Sometimes it’s just really hard to pick up the pieces and move on- but, it can be done. I’m a strong believer in the phrase, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” This is Jenna’s journey. I think that many people will be able to identify. I just happened to throw in some supernatural appeal and hot demon sex along the way. That, in my opinion, will also pique my reader’s interest.
~There is a little of everything in this novel. Mystery, drama, suspense, violence, romance, etc … did I mention that there is SEX in this novel? I don’t know about you, but I love to read a story that keeps your mind working. I’m not a huge fan of backstory- just get to the nuts n’ bolts and keep goin’!
~My character’s; you either love ’em or hate ’em. Or … love to hate ’em.
~I have done my research and did dive into Asmodeus’ past. For those of you that are history buffs, this might interest you.
~ Have I mentioned the hot demon sex? *giggles*
Hmm … who shall I tag? Oh! Oh! I know!
Alright, that’s all I have to give, for now …. I can’t wait for you to read it! I’ll keep you posted! Thanks for reading 🙂