5 Minutes with Tony Paul de Vissage

Dark God Descending by Tony-Paul de Vissage {Sam’s Dot Publishing}
James Tucker Upchurch is a graduate student, studying the past but living very much in the present. Semris is a demon, the son of a god, and his life has been the same for millennia.
For five thousand years, the displaced Dark Lords of Hell have maintained a peaceful and bloodless reign over the Mayan city of Nikte-Uaxac. In the outside world, while civilizations rise and fall, the winged demons and their subjects remain untouched, until Twenty-first Century strangers appear and steal their most precious possession–the Emperor himself.
Tuck never expected to lose his girl to a demon or get near-immortality in exchange and Semris never thought he’d experience mortal love, but when the two meet, not only their own lives but those of their friends and families will also be changed, as well as the world in which Semris dwells.
“…a new source for vampire lore which previously has been untapped. The story of a demon’s introduction to the Modern World and his evolution is entertaining as well as thought-provoking…and demands a sequel.”
Linda Nightingale, author of Black Swan

Rayna: What project are you currently working on? (C’mon, give us a hint!)

I recently signed a contract with Red Rose Press for a vampire series called The Second Species. It concerns a people who are another branch of Man’s evolutionary tree and because of their differences, which can now be explained away in scientific and medical terms, they became the basis of the vampire legend.  I’m working on the third book in the series at present, in which I bring my family of vampires from London to the Big Easy, my spiritual home.

Rayna: What is your favorite snack?

Anything edible!  Being a Southerner, I’d have to say fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy and biscuits—something I eat only occasionally else I’d looked like a walking tub.  I’m not a tall person.  I’d like to be about five inches taller!  I also like ice cream with fresh peaches and that Southern delicacy—boiled peanuts. (Do I hear groans from the readers?)

Rayna: I have heard from numerous authors that chocolate is the staple of their diet. Is it in yours?

I used to eat Snickers bars as if I owned stock in the company!  Unfortunately, I now have to limit my intake of chocolate, also coffee, and tea because I have a caffeine intolerance.  I found that out the hard way—I used to drink a pot of coffee a day while writing, and once stayed awake for three days.  I use that in the Second Species, though in a different way.  Caffeine acts as an aphrodesiac on my vampires!

Rayna: Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?

I hope not but I expect so.  I use a PDA for reading when I have to go somewhat and expect to have a long wait, or when I’m flying (by plane, I mean.)  But there’s something about holding a real book that just can’t be beat.

Rayna: Who or what influences you when you write?

Anything and everything can be an influence on a story—an off-hand remark, something I’ve seen, something I’ve read, a dream (Oui, I wrote a novel from a dream once)…it all goes in the manuscript.

Rayna: When you have writer’s block how do you break free?

I have had a form of writer’s block for over three years now and still haven’t broken completely free so I have no answer. It followed a personal tragedy which I won’t go into.  Before then, I couldn’t wait to get to the keyboard, but now, I will find any and every excuse I can not to sit down and type.  It’s an effort just to complete this interview. Je fais des excuses—I apologise.

Rayna: Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?

I have an idea for a fictional biography of Vlad Tepes, the original Dracula.  As far as I know, there have been few stories written about him which don’t end with him turning into a vampire, even the so-called historical ones do that.  I hope to one day write about his real life, his defense of Transylvania and how he’s considered a national hero in Romania.  Absolutely no vampires involved or mentioned.

Rayna: What kind of research do you do for your books?  Do you enjoy the research process?

I’ve an extensive library, and access to the Internet.  I like to read, so research isn’t a problem.  I try to be as thorough as possible when I do research, however.

Rayna: What is your favorite movie of all time?  The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?

I’d have to say Gone with the Wind. I come from an old Southern family and believe it or not, I can see my aunts, uncles, and cousins depicted in that film, as well as some of the customs which were still present in the South when I was growing up.  I also personally knew Susan Myrick, the lady who was the dialogue coach for the movie who was from my home town.

Rayna: What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

I laugh at this question and you will laugh at my answer:  I read a book!

Rayna: What is your perfect pizza?

One with everything but beef.  I don’t eat beef because of Le Mad Cow Disease. I’ve been told there is no cause to worry here in the US, but I do worry, that if there’s one loose prion out there, it’s just waiting in get into my brain!

Rayna: Do you have a celebrity crush?

Mais non. I’ve often fantasized about meeting a celebrity and, other than blathering on about how much I liked their latest movie and thinking they’d probably be bored to death from hearing that, I realized I’d have nothing to say.

Rayna: If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

When I was  at university, people would call me “Tony Savage” for some odd reason.  If I were to change mon nom, I’d change it to “Tony Savage,”since some still insist to this day on calling me that.

Rayna: Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one?  If not, then which one is closest to your heart.

At present, I have only one book in print, though I just signed a contract for a series, as mentioned above.  And the third book in the series, tentatively titled Shadow Passion, is my favorite, especially how it relates to Marek’s misadaventures in love..

Rayna: What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?

I’m afraid I’d have to say Semris in Dark God Descending.  Semris is a babe in the woods where the mortal word is concerned and he has to rely on humans to help him.  I’ve been forced many times in my life to rely on others because of my own inadequacies. Or illnesses  He’s curious, somewhat naïve, but has a great sense of honor, duty, and integrity..  Unfortunately, so do I,.  I say “unfortunately” because sometimes my sense of what’s right and wrong has caused me to lose things I wanted, but I did it because it was the right thing to do.  And I’ve never regretted that.

Rayna: How much does reader response mean to you over your books?

I personally like to hear from a reader, both pros and cons.  I want to know if they like a character or are interested enough in them to want a sequel.  If I don’t know what they like and dislike, how am I going to write something they want?

Rayna: What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?

Some kind of emotional reaction:  “Wow, what a ride!  or “I’m so glad it turned out like it did.,” or even “I hated it because I didn’t want so-and-so to do what he did.”

Rayna: If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast at the h/h?

I would have to choose Shadow Lord, and I’d have Tom Welling as Marek.  He’s a little bit young for the part now but by the time they got through with the script, I imagine he’d have aged into the part.

Rayna: Who is your favorite author?

A toss-up between JD Robb and Jim Butcher.  They both write stories which are hard-hitting and gritty, each in their own way.

Rayna: What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

Someone wrote me recently that she had to make herself put it down so she could get some sleep.  I would rather she had said she put it down and then couldn’t get to sleep, however!

Rayna: What is your favorite color besides YELLOW?

A rich, dark crimson burgundy.

Rayna: Boxers or briefs?


Rayna: Red Pill or Blue Pill?

Who takes pills?

May I thank you for allowing me this time to express my thoughts.  I hope they haven’t been too outré or conversely, too mondain.


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