R.G. Emanuelle

AJ: I was lucky enough to have a conversation with R.G. Emanuelle on Facebook a few weeks ago. During our chat, she mentioned her new book. We agreed to do another interview to tell people about her new release and reveal some more secrets about her. She’s always entertaining, so I hope you’ll enjoy learning a little more about her. Tell us about your new book.

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R.G.:Thanks, AJ. I’d be happy to.

Have a Bite is my new novella (a long one!), and it’s book one in a series called The Vampires of Brooklyn Chronicles. The main character, Delphine Bouchard, is a celebrity chef and owner of a world-renowned restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, where both celebrities and neighborhood denizens enjoy good French fusion cuisine. Del enjoys fame, money, and women, and she lives life by her own rules. She also just happens to be a vampire.

She is being harassed by a food critic, who has a personal vendetta against her and is out to ruin her business, as well as a vampire hunter who appears to be toying with her before making his or her move. Her restaurant is sabotaged, her staff is put at risk, and people she knows are being murdered—vampires and humans. She is also being watched and criticized by a coven of witches, who are the enforcers of behavior for the supernatural set. In the midst of all this turmoil, she meets a woman who she falls hard for, which is something she’s not ready for, or initially enthused about. Her best friend and restaurant manager, Ophelia, provides her—and the story—with lightness, comfort, and humor.

There’s lots of food, an abundance of sexy vampires, and a few unusual circumstances.

 

AJ: What’s something few people know about you?

R.G.: When I was in the third and fourth grades, I was in the glee club. To hear me sing now, you’d be extremely surprised to learn that. But it’s true.

Do we know everything there is to know about you, AJ?

AJ: Not by a long shot. But I will tell you that my deepest, darkest secret is that I don’t like peanut butter and jelly despite the lengthy discussion Ren and Lindy (from my first book, Sunset Island,) had about the merits of making a sandwich from it one way vs. another.

What do you do you relax?

R.G.: I like to dance around with headphones. And on warm days, I like to sit out in my backyard or on my stoop with a drink or a cup of coffee and just enjoy the weather. Lately I’ve been into the whole adult coloring thing. I find it very relaxing and soothing. When you’re focusing on your picture, everything else just goes away. In fact, I recently brought it into my workplace, and people love it.

Have you tried coloring, AJ? It’s quite the “in” thing.

I downloaded an app for my ipad. Perhaps it misses some of the allure of doing it live and in person.

You are stuck in an elevator with a famous person, who would you like it to be?

R.G.: Hillary Clinton. She’s a strong woman with so much insight and experience. I imagine a conversation with her would be not only educational and inspiring, but entertaining as well.

Or Samantha Swords, the longsword champion. (She won the longsword competition a couple of years back at the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament.) Any woman who can joust like that is okay in my book. And let’s not even talk about a woman in knight’s armor. <R.G. fans herself>

 

What are you totally (you just can't help yourself) addicted to?

R.G.: At this stage, I’m completely addicted to Ghiardelli’s dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. I MUST have a piece every night. I also have an unreasonable addiction to mangoes. If I don’t have mangoes several times a week, I feel deprived.


AJ: Hmm, mangoes and chocolate, that’s all? You are obviously easily pleased, LOL.

Tell us about your book covers and how they came about?

I’m very particular about my book covers. I will torture a designer (to the extent I’m allowed and in the nicest way possible!) until I think a cover is right. Covers are so important and I think the lesfic community is finally realizing this, as evidenced by the new cover design category at the Goldies. I try to find a piece of art that is exactly or as close to what I want as possible. Designers have access to more art than most writers do, so if I can’t find exactly what I want, I’ll offer some examples of what I’m looking for.

The cover for Have a Bite was complicated for me because in this instance, I truly didn’t know what would be the best composition for a cover. The book has an unusual combination of themes: vampires, food/chefs, darkness, a little humor, vampire hunting, lots of eating and cooking. It was really difficult trying to figure out what to do for the cover.

The end result was a combined effort between me, Jove Belle (my project manager), and the designer. I think it came out fabulous.

 

AJ: Can you give us an interesting fun fact about one of your books?

R.G.: My novella, Add Spice to Taste, has recipes and photos of the dishes. I think that’s fun.

 

AJ: What do you find your greatest distraction when you write?

R.G.: Food. I love to eat and I do it often. And if I’m hungry—really, truly hungry—move out of the way because I don’t play games when it comes to eating.

 

AJ: Do you have any nicknames?

R.G.: Yes, but I can’t tell you.

AJ: Is it the old, "If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you thing?”

R.G.: Yes, something like that.

AJ: You are a veteran author, with many books out. Were you as excited when you received the proof of the second book as you were when you got your first book in the mail?

R.G.: It’s always exciting to get the proofs of a new book. But every book is a unique experience, and the excitement might come with different underlying emotions. My first novel, Twice Bitten, came with the anxiety of letting your first child go off to school or live on their own. My second book, my novella Add Spice to Taste, came with concern about being an indie author, but also joy to be doing the kind of project that it was. Co-editing the two food anthologies, All You Can Eat and Order Up, came with the thrill of gathering so many great writers in one place and knowing that it was going to satisfy many people’s appetites. Have a Bite is accompanied by the uncertainty you feel when trying something you haven’t done before and not being sure that you’re doing it right (this is my first series).

 

AJ: If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

R.G.: Oh, there are so many places I’d like to go. Can I say a world tour? I know, that’s taking the easy way out, but it’s hard choosing one place. I want to see the pyramids of Egypt, ride an elephant, somewhere in Africa, sleep in a beach-side hut on Bora Bora, shop at the spice markets in Marrakesh…

NOT a fair question, AJ.

But I love talking about travel, so where would YOU go?

AJ: I have seen much of the USA and visited Canada many times. I’ve also been to Scotland, England and Wales. I don’t much travel anymore, due to advancing age, fear of flight without feathers, bum knees, and aching bones. I pretty much stick to home and spend much of the summer in Ocean City, NJ. Obviously I have less exotic tastes than you do, (grin.)

What other jobs have you held growing up?

R.G.: I was a cashier in a supermarket (not an easy job, so be nice to them!). While I was in college, I worked at a marketing research firm, where I had to call business owners to conduct surveys. They didn’t always like it. I learned more about sheet vinyl flooring than I ever really wanted to know. I absolutely hated it. Then I went into publishing.

I probably have you beat for an unusual job. When I was in college, I made detonator caps in a bomb factory and lived to tell about it. By the way, my mom, who had many jobs during her 99 years, worked as a cashier for Food Fair, many years ago.

Do you collect things, pens, plates, artwork, dead bodies?

R.G.: I’ve collected all sorts of things over the course of my life, but the one collection that I still have is my elephant collection.

And if I do collect dead bodies, why would I admit it?

Why, do you collect dead bodies? If so, email me privately. We have a few things to discuss.

AJ: No, just curious, LOL. But, well, you do write about vampires…

If you could choose two people to go on a road trip with who would you want them to be? Criteria: One fictional character    from one of your books and one fictional character from any other book.

From my own books, I would definitely go with Del from Have a Bite. She exudes excitement and draws it to her. Also, because she’s a vampire, I know I could rely on her to defend me if we ran into trouble. I wouldn’t have to worry about fighting. LOL Plus, she’s hot.

From someone else’s book…hmm, that’s a harder decision. There are many characters I like. One possibility (and maybe because the story is fresh in my mind) is Torri from Andi Marquette’s Far Seek Chronicles. The reason for this is because she’s an adventurer by nature. She lives her life “on the road” (which is actually deep space), as a trader, so she’s a natural choice for a road trip companion. She knows how to have fun, but is disciplined and careful when necessary. And she knows how to fight (see paragraph above).

 

AJ: Can you describe the feeling of holding the first copy of your book in your hands after all you hard work?

R.G.: I guess it comes close to holding a child after you’ve given birth. I won’t say that it’s exactly the same because I’m sure that nothing can compare to that, and not having had any children, I can’t even really say that. But it’s something like it, I think. You’ve worked hard and gone through hell creating this entity, and here it is, finally in your hand. You did this. You made this thing. It came from your mind, if not your body (although, in some ways, it did that, too). It’s a proud moment. And a scary one, because you don’t know what lies ahead, and you fear for its survival. Geez, I guess it’s like being out in the wild, isn’t it?

 

AJ: Yes…sort of like the reality tv program, Naked and Afraid.

If you were a ghost for a day and could see/do anything undetected, what would it be?

R.G.:Wow, what a question. I would probably travel around the globe and see all the places I want to see. As a woman, it’s hard to travel to certain places in the world, and it would be great to be able to go to those places unhindered and unmolested by creepy men and other assholes. And stupid rules.

Thanks for having me back, AJ. Your interviews are always fun. I hope I didn’t scare you away from having me back again sometime.

AJ: You are welcome any time. Re: the question, I think I stole it from my friends at Lesbian Books, Writers and Readers over on Facebook. They do great weekends there and ask authors some very interesting questions.

 

This interview was a pleasure. Good luck with your new book.

You can contact R. G. here:

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© JEN 2014