Posted on December 23, 2010 by Flames
GABRIELLE FAUST has pursued an eclectic career as an illustrator, technohorror writer, and leading industry entertainment critic. She is also currently the Chair of the Texas Chapter for Horror Writers of America.
In 2005 her poetry collection, Before Icarus, After Achilles, was published. Faust then partnered with Immanion Press in August of 2007 for her cross-genre technohorror trilogy Eternal Vigilance, a post-apocalyptic vampire saga of epic proportions. The first novel of this series, From Deep Within the Earth, was released in April, 2008. The second installment, The Death of Illusions was released in March of 2009 and the third, Bound in Blood was released in September of 2010.
In 2009 Ms. Faust’s second collection of poetry entitled Crossroads was published by Seraphemera Books. In addition to the release of the third Eternal Vigilance novel, Faust released a new novella entitled Regret with Dark Regions Press toward the end of this year.
Flames Rising is pleased to present an interview with Gabrielle Faust conducted by author Kenneth Mark Hoover.
Sparkly vampires, emo vampires, vampires full of angst…will vampires ever be evil again, or is that hoping for too much?
Oh, vampires will definitely always be evil in the eyes of many. In opposition to the domestication of the vampire I have noticed quite a few film makers and authors taking the genre in a very brutal, hardcore direction that strips every ounce of glamour from the mainstream’s version of the creature.
Do you like that change of direction?
For me, vampires will always be the natural predators of humanity. No matter how beautiful or seductive they might appear, like Lestat or Dracula, they will still kill you in the end.
What are you working on now?
Currently I am working on a few new projects including the fourth installment of the ETERNAL VIGILANCE vampire series, a new collection of poetry and the sequel to my novella REGRET. I’m also working on several new product additions to my cosmetics line “Gabrielle Faust by Overall Beauty”.
Given all that, what themes most often appear in your work about supernatural creatures?
Societal revolution, the rise and fall of civilizations, and humanity’s struggle to not repeat the mistakes of its ancestors are all themes I find myself wrestling with time and time again. I love working with the concepts of damnation and salvation and the definition or redefinition of what “sin” is as we evolve culturally as a society.
Could you name any specific examples where those themes appear in your writing?
The ETERNAL VIGILANCE vampire series works within all of those themes from a reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of a societal revolution against an oppressive force to a philosophical, and rather existential view, on the repetitive nature of humanity’s errors, especially with regards to the construction of empires. Every great empire rises and eventually falls once they reach the apex of their power, but why? What is it about those empires that seemed infallible at one point and then suddenly crumble either from within or without? As for the concepts of salvation and damnation, my new novella REGRET is a metaphysical, philosophical examination of the rather antiquated mortal concept of “sin” and its relevancy in a world that has evolved beyond the limited parameters of planes such as Heaven and Hell.
I must say I really like how you have coupled historical and philosophical elements with genre.
In a world of gray is there really a black and white definition of good and evil anymore?
If you don’t mind, let’s continue this a little further. Do you draw upon historical examples when you work and develop these themes, or do you try and come up with something new?
For anything dealing with themes of societal structure and civilizations one must always reflect back and draw from the past in order to contemplate the future. However, it is always nice to write something purely hypothetical such as was the case of REGRET and the upcoming sequel REVENGE, which I am co-authoring with philosopher Solomon Schneider.
This is what I like most, hearing writers expound upon the artistic and philosophical points of their stories. In that same vein, what do you feel are your definite strengths as a writer?
I think my strengths are definitely my capacity for creating poetic and vivid visual descriptions and solid, accessible characters for the worlds I envision. I always strive for the most original tale I can tell which I feel will make the reader look at the world, and themselves, in a way they never thought to do so before.
Gabrielle, writers today have to do a lot of self-marketing. It’s the nature of the beast, like it or not. I know you are actively engaged in doing this yourself and quite successful at it. What are some of the things you do to get your name out that you can share with readers?
Self-marketing is a crucial part of being an author these days!
I personally have a main website (gabriellefaust.com), a Facebook page, Facebook fan page, fan pages and groups for the ETERNAL VIGILANCE series, Twitter account, MySpace and a ReverbNation page, though I’m still trying to figure out how to best utilize that one.
I have a monthly newsletter and host two giveaways per month to encourage people to help me spread the word about my work. I also attend as many conventions as I can per year and travel extensively doing book signings. It’s all about establishing a solid, consistent and respected image in the public eye to show the world that you are dead serious about being completely committed to your craft. The world moves a million miles a nansecond these days, and if you don’t continually put yourself out there it’s extremely easy to vanish in the sea of writers.
You mentioned SF and fantasy cons. What do you bring back from these cons that help you as a writer?
For me cons are a chance to connect with fellow writers and hear all about their latest projects. It’s inspiring and hugely motivational to see their passion and commitment to their craft. It is also a wonderful chance to have face-to-face interaction with my readers and introduce my work to an audience who might otherwise have never heard of me. When you can establish that human connection it really does make the experience of selling or purchasing a book more profound and memorable.
All that does sound like it takes a lot of time out of the day. Don’t you have time for any personal hobbies?
I do make time for hobbies despite how busy I am. Everyone needs a timeout to keep them sane and I’m no exception. I play guitar and paint, two pastimes that I find are blissfully relaxing.
You mentioned you play the guitar. What kind of music and style do you play?
It’s hard to put my style into a single category. I play a lot of Patty Griffin, Kathleen Edwards, Shawn Mullins, Bob Dylan-eqsue tunes. I was in a punk band at one point in high school and then fronted a blues band for a while later on. However, I do always come back to the simpler tunes since
they just feel good to play.
Does this personal music relate to your fiction?
Okay, then. When you’re not writing, what genres, authors do you like to read most?
I typically read a lot of science fiction and horror, though I’m often prone to read whatever snares my attention. Generally anything from the Beat generation is golden as well such as Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs, Cohen or Ferlinghetti. I love nonfiction works on philosophy, metaphysics or Scottish history. Currently I’m completely obsessed with the science fiction novels of Dan Simmons.
Have you had any personal influences that shaped your growth as a writer?
This is a pretty broad question. Honestly, there are so many different experiences and influences that have touched me throughout my life and influenced my writing it’s hard to name just a few. When I’m crafting a character, or the story as a whole, I draw on my life experiences from the joyful to the downright horrific in order to make the tale as tangible and believable as humanly possible.
I am always interested in process and beginning points with writers and I think readers are, too. What influenced your desire to become a writer?
From an extremely early age I developed a passionate love affair with the art of storytelling. Writers, artists and musicians run rampant in my family so I was constantly surrounded by the craft. My grandparents on my father’s side were both poets and playwrights as were my aunts, great grand parents, etc. They encouraged me from the moment they noticed my interest in writing and urged me to work on skills. From elementary school through high school my friends and I would work together to craft collaborative novels in spiral notebooks, some of which were hundreds of handwritten pages long. I guess you could say it’s in my blood.
It certainly sounds so! What goals have you set for yourself as a writer? Are you meeting them?
So far I have met all of the goals I have set for myself as a writer, where the writing itself is concerned, believe it or not! My current goals are to produce at least one to two books a year. I think it’s most authors’ desire to eventually become so widely read that they are referred to as a “household name”. This is definitely something I will always strive for.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It’s also a goal of mine to reach as many people around the globe with my work as possible. (Pauses) Nothing thrills me more than getting emails from places like Romania or New Zealand and realizing that there are people throughout the globe reading my work.
Gabrielle Faust – 2010
About the Interviewer:
Kenneth Mark Hoover is a professional SF and fantasy writer who has sold over 50 short stories and articles. He is a member of SFWA and HWA. His first novel, Fevreblau, was published by Five Star Press in 2005. Mr. Hoover currently lives in Dallas, TX. You can read more about him and his work, or contact him, at his website: kennethmarkhoover.com.