The Tale of the Bloodline

The Heart Inspired

a novel by Etienne de Mendes

Etienne Answers Your Questions


From what you describe I can only guess that you are a therapist, psychiatrist or social worker. Am I close? It would explain your insight into the character of Erik. When I write these emails I try to picture who it is that I am writing to. The mental image that always comes to mind fits the description of your character, Abraham DeVille. How odd is that? Is my imagination anywhere close to reality?

I've never written novels before. Wrote short stories, lots of articles for a monthly newsletter, and more presentations than I can count. These books are my first venture into the genre of adult thriller and romance. No, I don't look like Abraham DeVille (laughing), though in some aspects I act like him. Never hypnotized anyone, but went through the experience so I could write about it. You're actually the first person / fan to ever ask me this question. There's nothing about me on the books. I wanted my writing to stand on its own merit. Plus, who actually cares about the author? If you really need to picture me, go outside and get a rock. (I happen to love rocks and think of myself as a rock.) Paint a face on it and dub it in the move "Castaway". That way you can address me on the spot.

As you may or may not know, I do follow your blog because I find it interesting and quite thought provoking. I am, however, curious about one thing: what drives a person who doesn't really like all this new technology to actually go to the trouble of blogging? Is it because your agent recommended it as a way to promote sales or is it more the desire to reach out and touch another mind, be heard, make a difference, connect? If I were to guess, I would think it a combination of all of the above. After all, don't we all just long to feel part of something bigger than ourselves?

I write that foolish web journal because the Webmaster nagged me for several years to do so. I don't have an agent to promote my writing. The Webmaster (a very close friend and compatriot) wanted me to share some of the thoughts I share with others in the office or when I teach. As it happens, since the blog is addressed to no one in particular, I find that I can touch some very tender points within myself and share them…for good and bad.

Obviously you could write about anything you wanted. Why the Phantom?

Thank you for blowing the dust off the guestbook and your very kind words! Believe me, your thoughts were well-received encouragement to a fledgling author. When I was a teenager The Phantom of the Opera and The Count of Monte Cristo were my favorite books. You say the Phantom speaks to your soul, so let me encourage the loyalty. There are absolutely hundreds of facets to his character...a virtual wealth of aspects to explore. Thanks again for your kindness, and just to let you know, I do sign books for fans. If you would like that I'll tell you where to send them. Turn around is same day or next day out of Southern California.

Is Erik left-handed?

In my books he’s ambidextrous. Most augmented (acutely sensitive) people are talented in a surprising number of ways. Makes him a tough opponent in a fight.

I agree with your assessment of Erik’s motivations. Some books try to turn him into either a wimp or a teddy bear. Can you add to how you approach him?

I’ve spent a great deal of time getting into Erik's head. The journey to faceless misanthrope has been a dark and troubling one. Confronting physical and psychological needs was primary. (How do you shave the strange rare whiskers that appear on the damaged part of your face? Do you buy your own food or purchase items through an agent? Present the real you to Christine or hold back?) These stories are birthed in my soul, at the very core of me. I can touch down into the scenes, much the way Erik does in the catatonic seizures of The Tale of the Bloodline. Walking away from these stories is like opening the door and breathing in the fresh air – I’m instantly grateful for my whole face and always aware that Erik is trapped in his. There's a hungry, primal male at the top of the website's home page. Click on him if you like - some of the motivations that drive Erik are hidden there.

When you write about Erik do you have Gerald Butler in mind? I’m not a fan of the 2004 movie, but I’m in love with the musical.

No, I don't think Mr. Butler when I need to picture Erik. I use someone more primal; Clive Owen does the trick when the need arises. My own family is French-Portuguese and there are a few tall, anti-societal characters among us. I also worked for a number of years at a hospital on the East Coast where our specialty was re-building the faces of American soldiers who had their faces blown off in combat. I believe I understand something of the traumatized psyche.

Do you like reading other author’s works about the Phantom?

I own several books by other authors and had to pack them up and put them away. I found they clouded my insight into Erik's mentation. He is like a diamond with dozens of facets. A survivor in the terrain of his own troubled mind. I appreciate that others have something to say, but if I'm going to write my own books it’s better to have a clear vision in my head. There is a movie with Julian Sands that has some wonderful scenes, but the Phantom is not destroyed facially - perhaps because the writer is trying to make the point that he is distorted internally. I get it, but a normal-looking Erik is not how I envision him.

Would you classify your books as erotica?

Yes, they fall into the categories of historical fiction, thriller, and erotica. Humans are driven to reproduce through intercourse. Sexual congress is the primal function that put each and every one of us here. The scenes offered up in American pornography often fail to gratify the mind –usually there’s little to no plot, and the storylines don’t convey the deep emotions accompanying the courtship phase, not to mention the vibrant internal sentiments leading to the act of consummation. Self-doubt, a sense of awe, a little nervous hesitation before the actual motion of touching the hand, the cheek, the breast of the one who is longed for and adored are important considerations in the fulfillment of human need. A description that conveys anything less doesn’t keep my interest in the tale, so I figure it must be boring the hell out of anyone else with a functioning brain.

Was it difficult to write about matricide?

Yes. Describing the prelude and the actual act took putting my mind in a gruesome place for the entire phase of writing that flash back. Knowing how Erik reacts in the original classic, I had no choice but to look at what early experiences molded him. Hopefully the result is a fascinating fall from grace; a setup for the origins of his extreme desire to isolate himself right in the middle of an active theater that is bustling with life and entertainment. I am so pleased that the product of my writing had you “engrossed and fascinated”. A good story is one of Life's best pleasures. By the way, Isidore's human experiment will start falling apart in book # 4, hopefully in a surprising way.

What do you think of other Phantom authors I mentioned?

I did go to to look at the covers of the three novels you recommended. I don't own and have not read any of them. However, I make it a principle not to laugh at the sincere creative efforts of other authors or I didn't find the third cover "hilarious". The Phantom doesn't belong to anyone, he's in the public domain; therefore, the author of any novel, skit, play, etc. is entitled to their interpretation. I know this sounds corny, but I respect their freedom to do so. I've worked with too many soldiers who fought and got maimed for other people to have personal freedoms. In my opinion, the internet offers enough anonymity that people fail to bring their good manners up to the web with them. But that's just me, a warrior in sandals, shorts and a black T-shirt. It's summer and very hot here.

Did you know that you are mentioned in an article about Menachem Mendel of Kotzk on Wiikiquotes on the Wikipedia website?

No I did not. To be associated with The Kotsker, even in the most obscure fashion, is a great honor.

Will the fourth book take place in present-day? Thanks for writing such substantial novels. I’ll be sending my three books to the address you provided to be signed, thanks for that too.

The fourth book takes place in modern times. I feel like my second novel is too long – it could easily have been broken into two books. Just didn’t want to make the reader pay double to understand a continuing segment of that part of the history. It remains the longest book so far, hopefully with an interesting twisty plot. The Season of the Witch creates a springboard that allows The Tale of the Bloodline to make a big jump in time - genuine scientific reasons given, but it’s still a big jump.

You really know how to throw out brainteasers. All three plots are so intriguing. What started you writing these books? How did you work up to this project? By the way, I’m very glad you did. Are you planning on any more delightful books? (I certainly hope so.)

As to writing these books, I spent a great deal of time alone as a kid (was raised in large part by my grandparents). I loved libraries and books, watched old movies on Saturdays. One weekend when I was a child, I saw a particularly stirring movie about The Phantom of the Opera with Herbert Lom, (I think it originally came out in the early 1960's.) I cried when the story ended and thought very deeply about it for a number of days. Later on, in the summer I was 13, I read Gaston Leroux's book many times. Something about Leroux’s deformed genius had a tremendous effect upon me. Then, as an adult, when I became very ill and stuck in a bed, I asked myself: “All right, with my medical background in mind, what has to happen for Erik to finally win?" A floodgate opened in my head...ideas were spilling out all over the place. I started writing notes in the computer, originally with no intention of publishing any of it. That part was a surprise sprung on me by a relative.

The next book will pick up six months after this last one ends. It will address those unfinished issues in The Tale of the Bloodline and some still hanging around from the original Leroux novel. Novel number four will be The Disciples of the Night, followed by The Theater of the Lost. I'm still in research and playing around with some ideas.

Out on the Internet there is so much hatred and back stabbing that it blows my mind. Everyone is either focused on themselves to the exclusion of all other concerns, or ready to lash out at any honest effort an author puts forward. It’s enough to make people want to pour themselves a good stiff drink. Geez, how do you cope with it?

I don’t read them. They are petty sour people, bitter souls wailing in the night that will soak the creativity right out of artists and writers if they can.

Where will you take the next book? I’m so curious. I want to tell you how excited I got when I reached the part where Erik and Christine were having the telepathic conversation. When you described where Erik was taking Christine (even though they weren't actually there), all I kept thinking was: Opera House Lake - Opera House Lake - Opera House Lake!

For a time I was confronted with a puzzlement: Where should the story unfold after the Epilogue in The Tale of the Bloodline? The problem with the next segment of the saga is the underlying themes. I had to wait for some current dilemma to fire up my imagination to the point that I wanted to begin expounding upon it. Perhaps I was in overload for a bit, there is so much news in the world. I’ve pushed the initial ideas floating around in my head out into the notes for book # 5: The Theater of the Lost. I believe that was most appropriate since my fingers started to itch about how much Erik truly loves Christine and aches for her. Hope that makes some sort of sense, and if you have any thoughts on the matter, please share them with me. I’ll listen.

Why do you visit the subject of rape and male dominance so often?

According to the U.S. Dept of Justice a rape occurs in America every two minutes. We are in an epidemic of rape and it’s a very old problem. (This statistic does not include prison rapes or the rape of males, as those go largely unreported.) In my professional experience the women who manage to overcome the trauma of such an assault are very brave. I want to mention that these acts of violence take place in my novels only to move the plot forward, to show why a woman is reacting the way that she is, and how observing the aftermath affects Erik’s psyche.

Really enjoyed the gruesome scene where the vamp-like Kathryn gets her skull smashed in by a Harley. It appears that John escaped with just a gunshot grazing. Hmm...shall we say...revenge, maybe?

Oh yes, we gotta’ have some payback.

So many sections of this book astonished me. Did Erik have to leave? I was rattled by his exit.

There was no way Erik could sort out his complicated life at the chateau. Not to worry, Christine is very important to him and will remain so. Glad I can rattle someone with my stories.

Are you a tolerant person?

I certainly try. Tolerance is such a precious commodity. The intolerant seem to condone only what fits into their pre-set molds. Everything that falls outside of them is of no value, or worse, a detriment to be stamped out. Xenophobia is trying and taxing, and has cost the human race a great deal of pain and suffering. Everything I wrote about in this last novel has happened or is close to happening. Seriously. Clones have no legal rights, as they are not "individuals". I have a brother who is very prejudiced, he literally hates any belief system that's differs from his own. I told him once that I could not agree, I hadn't received the heavenly memo making me the judge of everyone else. He thinks I'm a pacifist. I'm not, I'm willing to die for my country, and I know there are times when we have to stand up for ourselves. (As a side note, I'm glad God enjoys a challenge, because He / She has got one with my brother.) Let’s be noble and promote tolerance.

I really enjoyed reading that panty raid...just pure fun. I just finished the chapter where Christine is longing for Erik but only has Torossian. I'm glad he can still feel despite the looking "different" and all. I'm glad they didn't have sex because I wanted it to be Erik. You've been so teasing with them, it was honestly frustrating. I was so ready for some real home-cooked loving!! Will Torossian ever find a love of his own?

Yes, a relationship with a very smart woman named Anne develops through the fourth and firth books.

I have a feeling that Isidore is going to die soon, he seems to be deteriorating badly, despite the remission. Will Erik or Nyah find a definitive cure?

Isidore’s demise will be addressed in the fourth book. He will not succumb to cancer.

I'm enjoying The Tale of the Bloodline very much. I really worried when the trio left and there was no sign of them anywhere. I thought, “They should never have left!” And when you killed off the character of Kathryn with a Harley…ewwwow, gruesome. I really didn’t know how to feel. She was kind of annoying to be honest, vamp-like and trying to get with Erik, despite already being with someone. I’m wondering if the Life Liberationists are doing to show up in the fourth book, and if Kathryn will be mentioned…despite dying?

You are absolutely right; if the “trio” were truly loyal they should never have just up and left. Yes, unfortunately the character Kathryn Arlington had a gruesome death. Befits a newer recruit into the Life Liberationists. She really couldn't shoot a rifle very well either. In the book Kathryn's ideation is evolving, she’s being influenced in several directions. When I write the fourth book she will definitely be'll see.

I’m on page 140 of The Tale of the Bloodline and having some trouble sorting out just who this young Erik is…please help.

If you are currently at the beginning of chapter 13, you are very close to uncovering some key pieces of information. The reasons for Erik existing here in this time frame had to be firmly established. As with most things human there is some messiness and confusion along the way. The young man is only 15 and trying to cope with a number of adolescent issues, not to mention the added stressors of identifying who the heck he is, and in this case was. Hopefully, all your questions will be answered as you progress through the pages. If the upset you’re experiencing is the result of not understanding the full picture just yet, hand on. Successfully creating a gut-tension in the reader is a very useful tool for an author. But not to worry…worlds are about to collide. Buckle up and enjoy the ride, my friend.

I absolutely love your work. The pages are things to savor. You must be a kind and understanding person to give the gift of so much love to the world. Any thoughts?

Love is not a constant emotion. It swells and recedes with circumstance and various pressures. Our lives are pretty much continual periods of re-defining basic considerations, putting varying degrees of importance on situations presented to us. Learning to be flexible (an art beautifully practiced by the Buddhists) is very helpful. One of my roommates in college taught me to eat cereal from a mug (saving us the expense of bowls we could not afford after paying for tuition and books). I am eternally grateful for this simple lesson. Erik learns how to improvise, how to survive in order to sustain a relationship with his anchor, his Christine.

I really enjoyed the symbiotic relationships you describe in this third novel! And I absolutely love Torossian, so beautiful and so weird. I could get inside his skeletal rib brace and just eat my way out. What you are doing for your fans is deeply appreciated. You peel back the layers covering hideously deformed human beings and reveal a true depth of beauty. This must be a difficult process, right?

Thank you. I hate giving my books to strangers. It’s like giving a precious piece of my soul to avowed pragmatists who think all the fragile living-beauty around them is a colossal accident of chemistry and physics. And since it is just an accident...deserves no respect.

Every time Torossian does something, anything, I laugh hysterically. Can’t help myself. Was he intended as an image of tragic comic relief?

I am so glad that you like him! Life is so very far from perfect, so it’s nice to have a little entertainment and a laugh along the way. (Smiles and offers “parade” wave at monitor.) It’s interesting that Erik (in the original novel) took up residence underground in a cellar five stories down. The building goes so deep that the water table birthed a spontaneous lake. (By the way, Erik worked on constructing the building and is credited with coming up with a plan to control the water. Apparently the Paris Opera House is huge, takes up over a city block. Has many of its own amenities, like a full stable, apartments, cooks, carpenters, sceneshifters, electricians, etc. But I digress.) Here in this third novel, Torossian is the reflection Erik saw in the waters of the underground lake. The “other” self that silently feeds and nurtures our souls.

Please post the announcement you emailed for The Tail of the Bloodline. It was so cool! Thanks.

Close to the edge of the forest, a wolf hunkered down behind the bushes. So close to the base of a pine tree he felt the rough bark rub against his coat. He sniffed the cold air. Investigating. The thrill of risk hastened him. Rising up off the snow, the air’s icy tendrils hit his nose, sharpened his scent. The Inn stood only thirty yards away. The people in the building were obsessed with mythical gargoyles. There were statues of the immobile creatures, set on short pedestals, to guard the corners of the dwelling. He’d been over to them in the night to raise his leg and mark the pillars of stone as his territory. These chunks of granite protected nothing. Better to have a great wolf, one whose fierceness frightens away intruders and petty thieves. He loved the chase. Setting the book he held in his teeth down on the snow, he licked his chops and waited. The sun was rising and with its warmth a faint mist started gathering, enveloping him in further cover. Patient and determined, he felt impervious inside his thick coat of gray and tan fur. These humans had a reason to reject him. He ate their chickens whenever he could. Why waste an opportunity when it presented itself? The taste of blood and feathers was still on his tongue. The birds had become his favorite meal. The first of the sun’s muted rays caught the glistening fangs of ice displayed on the edges of the roof. Teeth of water, similar to his own, like some giant alpha male had bit the Inn and hesitated to lower its jaw and consume the structure for its first meal of the day. Lifting his head, he saw the woman appear on the kitchen stoop. She paused, intuitively sensing trouble. The wolf rose, exposing his head and front to her. She did not scream, did not move a muscle. Patient. Cagey. Lifting his nose to re-imprint her scent, the wolf scampered off, swiftly fading into the abyss of forest. His errand finished. The woman would either find The Tale of the Bloodline, or she wouldn’t. Regardless, it was now available for purchase at and would soon be put on line at other retailers. (The picture of a wolf surrounded by snow-covered trees followed.)

I really liked Kathryn’s character. Is she a tool to help propel the story line?

Yes. I pictured Kathryn as a rather sassy individual, but one very loyal to her beliefs (even if those beliefs are still developing as the action unfolds). She wants to help Erik and relieve the predicament he finds himself in, but knows she will ultimately act against Isidore. When I initially mapped out the book, the French world was defined as basically an arena of men. Nyah is there, most certainly, but she is aged and already genetically altered. Time had to be devoted to carefully laying the foundation for what happens in the second half of this novel. Isidore is controlling, Nyah sympathetic, Erik fifteen and just beginning to understand who and what he is... Complex issues. Not to even mention our beautiful-weird Torossian. Kathryn needs to be there, an integral component to open the door for Christine. I am so glad you like the tale thus far, and that you think I have the ability to write! Please jot down any typos you find and send them to me. It’s very important and I thank you.

I could almost smell the lavender surrounding the deep purple color of this book’s jacket coat. If hydrangeas could be so rich in color as The Tale of the Bloodline, I would feel I was holding the deepest warmest colors that could ever be. The jacket is magnificent. I just stared at it for quite some time, trying to drink in the color and feel something of what the tale inside this book is going to say. Erik is perfect as all your Erik’s are. Gazing at him on the cover does, I must admit, stir something deep inside, possibly sexual. Were you trying to portray that these feelings might come through to the reader when looking at the cover?
The picture on the back of the jacket does not relate anything to me right now...perhaps as I read more this will have more meaning for the reader. She is breathtaking!

How a viewer perceives the covers of my books is left to their individual interpretation. I was only trying to show that Erik is a young man who loves black clothes and is held somewhat prisoner in a not too unpleasant setting. The vine represents the protective Torossian, always standing closeby. The girl on the back cover is a character in the book. You’ll meet her as you read the story.

I love your books, even the covers speak of tight knit secrecy, pictures in frames holding secrets. But why wouldn't Erik mess up his bed when he came in from sleeping in the Vrika?

Thanks for the compliment. Erik wanted to raise the level of fear about himself. A rising level of anxiety increased his power and served as a warning for most people to leave him alone.

Where is Khusrowshah's treasure?


How does Torossian make himself invisible or like a pool of liquid?

It's got to do with the skeletal bodice he's wearing, I'll discuss the process in the next book if we ever have a fourth novel.

What is the significance of the Daroga giving Erik Turkish coins along with a chest of Persian gold?

Money he could use within the realm was beneficial, but money he could use in an escape, say through Turkish soil, without drawing undue attention to the transaction would be priceless.

Why do all your titles have five words?

A tribute to The Phantom of the Opera.

Born of Nyah without legal papers? Why?

To be kept hidden in the lab and chateau for private testing and observation by mutual agreement of the scientists.

On page 33 does hard stem refer to a male attribute?


After Fatima's death, did Erik stay in the room to listen to Khusrowshah speak with his friends? If so, where was Erik hiding?

What a great topic for a short story in the writer's forum. I invite you to describe where he might have hid himself. My sense of things is that Erik knew everything that happened after he planted the corpse.

Does the pen and ink picture on the title page say R O C in Erik's hair?


On page 87, who is in the shadows moving like liquid and talking telepathically with Erik?


Years later, after he'd left Persia and lived in secret in the Opera House, did the memory of the eery chants of the religious criers coming off the minarets teach Erik a technique for unnerving Christine with his voice?

Most definitely. He embedded the lonely addiction of his voice down into her soul.

Please say something about your writing style.

All three books deal with adult issues. In many ways, the Phantom is a predator and a recluse trying to feel something other than dead inside. That fact in itself can make the experience of writing a novel about him a freaky roller coaster ride. I know that my scenes are graphic, mostly because of my medical background. Working with soldiers who’d had their faces blow off allowed me to learn something of the psyche of a person who suffers such an injury. It took work to feel like a lonely gifted maestro, but I got there. Writing about Erik is in my bones now. In these novels, he faces a myriad of situations – some pleasant, some not so pleasant. I’ve also attempted to open the door on some issues people want swept under the rug. (For example: Cutting is becoming a more prevalent problem among young disillusioned teens lately. Competitive parental drive seems to be a reoccurring causative.) Have you ever read the original 1911 book by Leroux? I find it, and all that he leaves unanswered, absolutely fascinating. To my knowledge, no author until The Season of the Witch had the Opera Ghost and Leroux actually meeting. What a trip it was writing those chapters. Mahvahless! Everyone who writes about Erik is certainly entitled to their individual interpretation, these stories represent how I view him.

How should I address you? De Mendes is too formal, and maybe not even correct, and Etienne does not give you the total respect you deserve. Thank you for corresponding to me.

Etienne is fine, and I’m the one who should be thanking you and the other fans of my work. Thanks for your comments; they are really a morale boost to a new author. At least my stories aren’t boring you to death.

Any thoughts before this third book comes out of production?

Back before recorded history there were storytellers among the clans and tribes. They were valued members who related tribal history, which fostered cohesive pride and stability among the group. Their tales also had the added benefit of providing entertainment and developing ritual around the campfires. My first thought is that maybe in a past life I was one of them. It’s easy to picture myself scratching pictures into the dirt as the stories unfolded. Second, I really enjoyed writing this book. It came easier than the first two. Because of practice? I wonder, or maybe I’ve just been itching to get into this leg of the saga. Third, it’s surprising, but there always seems to be some degree of irony with writing and publishing a novel. As example, I still don’t know the Persian word for those curly-toed shoes they used to wear. I’ll probably stumble across it once the book is out in the public…that seems to be the way of it in life. I did find the Hindi name for the shoes all over the place. And finally, this novel may not be the end of the Phantom’s adventures. Hopefully, The Tale of the Bloodline will open all kinds of doors for Erik.

Would you like to live back in the time frame of the 1800’s?

Very interesting period of human history, a modern writer could become really inspired. If I went for a short visit, say a day or two, might be a great outing! Have to remember that we take a great deal for granted. They didn’t have antibiotics and there were so many ways to die…no electricity…no in-house hot running water. Yikes! I doubt I could tolerate starched collars.

Any recommendations about getting married?

I can share some thoughts about the state of lasting relationships and what I've observed in the most successful marriages I've come across. In those relationships there exists: humor, honest affection, and a genuine desire to see the other partner happy. (Similar backgrounds and interests also seem a helpful recurring theme.) Don't worry about whether you will adjust for your partner. When love strikes, you will not hesitate to do it. Certainly there will be give and take, but the degrees you will sacrifice will only come back to bless you in a thousand ways. You’ll still be you, only with a partner, hopefully one with morals.

Why isn’t there anything about you on your books? Fans want to know everything they can about Tiger Woods and the stars of the Twilight series.

Please don’t think that this fledgling author does not appreciate your cyberspace friendship and encouragement. I do, and I don't forget fans. Trust me, the group is small enough that forgetting would be rather difficult, not to mention inappropriate. I am not that kind of person anyway...made of different stuff. In my opinion, the most important thing is that the work flows smoothly and is well done. I don’t want to step out in public and wouldn’t appreciate being swept out into the muck. In my opinion, the public does not have a right to any artist’s or athlete’s private life, just the creative effort they put forth. Why are Americans so voyeuristic with our heroes and heroines? They are people who eat and drink, sleep, have relationships. Our freedoms end where theirs begin.

What books have you recently read?

Hard to believe anyone would care, but I just finished Wuthering Heights. I know it's supposed to be a serious love story but there are whole sections where I actually laughed. Lots of fighting and fussing. The main characters are like a bunch of really spoiled unhappy kids! Yelling, screaming, constantly judging, even slapping each other! What a hoot. The story must have taken place back in the day when women never talked about getting pregnant, because Catherine Earnshaw has a baby that pops out of nowhere. I swear...I was paying attention and the author never mentioned Heathcliff getting to her and she was estranged from her husband at the time. She dies a few hours after the birth. I may have to re-read the book just to make sense of it all. Granted, the archaic English is a little tough. Not sure I know exactly what happened in the ending. So if any of you know, please tell me. Either Heathcliff actually made contact with the dead Cathy or he hallucinated from electrolyte imbalance caused by voluntary starvation. Also just finished reading a classic about the tension between political classes and the human need for sexual intimacy that was published in the 1920's. Can any of you guess the name of the book? When it was originally published it was immediately banned in both Britain and the U.S. We’ve come a ways since then, because it's not banned now. By today’s standards it's tame. Both books prove that money and power cannot buy happiness.

What is your favorite movie, actor, actress, etc?

Eddie Izzard is my favorite comedian. He made me laugh during this last serious illness. I can’t thank him, but truly wish he could know what he’s given to his fans. At the moment, my favorite TV series is Lie to Me with Tim Roth as the main actor. I enjoy the plots! Kyra Sedgewick in The Closer would be my favorite actress, and any of the Alien movies are still high up on my list as favorites. I’ll watch them any time of the day or night. Anyone got the popcorn? All time consummate best book on the planet…The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Yah, baby! Rock my world!

In the third book will we meet “the Lonely Heir” addressed in the Prologue of The Season of the Witch?
Yes, and I hope he tickles your fancy.

Where are you with the writing of this book and the continuing story of the Phantom? Please, stay well and keep the 'Bloodline' flowing! I’d walk on hot sand to get my hands on this book. How, do you do it? I just don't understand how you find so much to write about, and as a reader I truly enjoy it! I can't wait. Come on, bring on the transfusion! Please...write more and more...I love reading about Erik. I don’t care if I need a cart to roll this Phantom series around. I’m surprised they’re not charging double for the shipping and handling. Just kidding. Please consider doing a vampire book, and that’s all I’ll say on that subject. I’ll leave you with one thought...and I want you to think long and hard about it...what if the Phantom turned into a vampire and lived forever?

The plan is still to have The Tale of the Bloodline published by late fall 2009. If Erik was a vampire he would probably come and bite me in the neck. Good thing I’m very fond of garlic. Let me assure you that the office is a bloody mess.

Can you put me on your list to notify when your third book is out? I've been checking Amazon every week to see if it is listed.

Yes, putting you on my list to notify for the publication of The Tale of the Bloodline is now done. It's a pretty private list, as I'm a new author and don't advertise. I don't even have an agent, but please feel free to roam around the website, and if you want to jump in with a contribution to anything don't hesitate.

Is the choice of the year 2012 a deliberate choice? And can you tell us what the book is about?

Yes, it’s deliberate. There are several ominous predictions about that particular year. I thought I’d have some fun with the doom and gloom prognostications. Right now the third book is all about Erik.

Will The Tale of the Bloodline continue the story about Claude, Sarah and Michael?

They are not in The Tale of the Bloodline, other than to mention them in passing. Let me invite you to write an expanded scene in The Fifth Cellar if you’d like to continue with their history. The third book deals with Erik in current times, and there is a very logical reason for him to be vibrantly alive and here. Sorry that I can't just snap my fingers and give you the plot to the third book. You’ll have to wait to be bloodied…such delicious torment! Get ready, a close friend says that Erik will be an intelligent unpredictable surprise a minute.

Did Michael marry Katie Edwards or Lucretia?

Michael never married anyone.

Wow, I can't believe it, a third book? How in the world were you so inspired to write this trilogy?

I don't know. The plots for the three books came to me almost simultaneously. In my mind's eye I just saw them. True.



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The Phantom of the Opera

The Opera Ghost Returns

The Paris Opera House

The Return of the Phantom

The Season of the Witch

The Tale of the Bloodline

Etienne de Mendes

The Phantom

Christine Daae

Madame Giry

"Feast your eyes, glut your soul on my cursed ugliness!"

Gaston Leroux