Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Interview with Luanne G. Smith for The Glamourist

The Glamourist (The Vine Witch Series #2)

by Luanne G. Smith
Publisher: 47North
Release Date: June 9th 2020
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
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A spellbinding novel of bloodlines, self-discovery, and redemption by the author of the Washington Post bestseller The Vine Witch.

Abandoned as a child in turn-of-the-century Paris, Yvette Lenoir has longed to uncover the secrets of her magical heritage and tap her suppressed powers. But what brave and resourceful Yvette has done to survive the streets has made her a fugitive. With a price on her head, she clings to a memento from her past—what she believes to be a grimoire inherited from the mother she never knew. To unlock the secrets of her past, Yvette trusts in one woman to help solve the arcane riddles among its charmed pages.

Elena Boureanu is the vine witch of Château Renard, noted for its renowned wines. Even as she struggles with her own bloodline—and its poisonous threat to her future—Elena can’t ignore a friend on the run. Joined by a cunning thief, the proprietor of an enchanted-curio shop, and a bewitching black cat, Elena and Yvette are determined to decode Yvette’s mysterious keepsake. But what restless magic will be unleashed? And what are Yvette and Elena willing to risk to become the witches they were destined to be?

Can you briefly describe THE VINE WITCH SERIES, its characters and what’s happening in THE GLAMOURIST?

The series is about the sisterhood of magic formed between three women who meet in a witch's prison. All have their own unique form of magic that they wield, and in THE GLAMOURIST we learn about Yvette who was abandoned as a child and left in the care of a cabaret owner in Belle Époque Paris. After stealing a wish, her dream of learning who and what she is begins to spin its energy into the world. Naturally, Elena and Sidra are there to help her sort out the trouble that follows. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

I do love them all in their own way, but Yvette with her foul mouth and joie de vivre spirit makes her irresistible to me. Which is probably why her story was a fairly easy one to write.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

A lot of people wondered what happened to Sidra and Yvette at the end of The Vine Witch, and so I knew I had to follow that trail in book two. The idea for the story came from looking at paintings by Gustav Klimpt. While he wasn't a French painter, I stole inspiration from some of his most famous paintings to craft Yvette's backstory: The Kiss, Golden Tears, and the Three Ages of Woman. I also like to interweave elements of folklore and Shakespeare into my novels, and THE GLAMOURIST was no different. Without being too spoilery, this second novel is a little more obvious about which Shakespeare play it pays homage to. 

If you could choose one song to describe each of your books, which ones would it be?

The Vine Witch had me listening to all the witchy stuff, especially Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks, so it's a toss-up between Waking the Witch and Rhiannon. But Yvette's story is a little different. She's a little different. From a certain character's perspective Just Like Heaven by The Cure fits the story pretty well, I think. And, since I'm done with book three, I'll throw in Desert Rose by Sting for THE CONJURER. Yes, I come from the eighties. :)

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

This is always such a tough question! For Elena, perhaps Marion Cotillard (Inception/Macbeth 2015). Bonus that she's French, too. A good choice for Yvette, who is lithe and pixie-like with a streak of mischief ten feet wide, might be the mercurial Julia Garner (The Americans/Ozark). And for Sidra, Zoe Kravitz might make a good choice. Her eyes have that depth like how I imagine for a jinni who is so good at prognostication. 

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

A glass of pinot noir was an obvious choice for The Vine Witch, but for The Glamourist I think a suitable drink might be the infamous absinthe of the Belle Époque period, sipped at a table inside a dubious cabaret in the Montmartre district. Those who over imbibed were said to be "chasing the green fairy". 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish THE GLAMOURIST?

I'm reading The Raven Lady, an ARC by Sharon Lynn Fisher. This is the second in the series. I haven't read the first one titled The Absinthe Earl yet, but this one is great fun with a worthy romance in it. Out soon. 

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

While it is a dream to be able to write novels and live in one's imagination, there is also a level of tedium involved. What I mean by that, is when you're being paid to write you must consistently dedicate time to the project whether you feel like putting words on the page or not. I'm a slow writer by most standards, averaging 500 words a day, so for me to meet a six-month deadline, I have to write every single day, inspired or not. Aside from that, coming up with a "stick the landing" kind of ending is always a challenge. 

What’s next for you?

I'm writing a novel about a pair of sisters in Victorian-era London (I think, though this is still in flux) who have some unusual shapeshifting abilities. They get swept up in a murder investigation after they scavenge something off the bank of the Thames they really shouldn't have touched.

Luanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, THE GLAMOURIST. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

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