I'm pleased to announce that both of my novels have been included in the USA Today's Best-selling Books list of 7 June 2012 (representing combined print and e-book formats). "Gabriel's Inferno" is ranked #108 and "Gabriel's Rapture" is ranked #113. This week, "Gabriel's Rapture" earned the #2 spot on the Brisbane Courier Mail's Best-selling list of e-books, up from #4 last week. Thank you, everyone, for reading and recommending my stories. Thanks to you, I'm receiving messages from people all around the world and I'm very grateful to you all.
I have a favour to ask you, however. If you are on social media, will you join with me in trying to raise awareness about the many charities, causes and organizations around the world that are working tirelessly to make the world a better place? I have a few that I support and I'm sure you do as well. Together, we can spread the news of their good works and their needs to a wider audience. Thank you.
What follows is the next instalment of my interview with Serendipitous, a long time reader. Her remarks are in bold.
Julia is a woman of some contradiction. She has insecurities and low self-esteem, though her innate charity never wavers. And there are times when she stands up to Gabriel, for her own sake as well as his. What are they key qualities you thought were necessary for the woman who would pierce Gabriel’s hard exterior?
I envisioned Julia as having the character qualities that would inspire someone to love her. I pictured her as being gentle and kind, giving and loyal, and having the intestinal fortitude to protect herself.
Gabriel and Julia spend a lot of time in bed together before they become fully intimate. It seems easier for them to speak from the heart when they share a bed innocently, and allows them to have some very necessary conversations as their story progresses. Do you think sex would have ruined their early, fragile relationship - or at least, got in the way?
Gabriel needed to woo Julia, especially after he’d treated her so badly. She didn’t trust him, although she certainly cared for him. If they’d had sex immediately, it would have short-circuited the strides he needed to make in order to repair his relationship with her and she would have assumed he wanted from her what he wanted with all the other women he’d slept with.
He won her love, but winning her trust was a whole different matter. Gabriel seemed to understand that once they grew closer. And he had to work hard at it. I think it was part of his journey.
It must be difficult to maintain a consistent tone when you’re writing a book. Your mood and inspiration can be different each time you resume your work (unless you’re able to write it all in one sitting...). Do you find it challenging to slip back into a particular frame of mind when you write?
It can be challenging, but since the character of the Professor is so strong I find it easy to write him. I can hear his reactions and my head (which is slightly disturbing).
Quite a few readers would gladly take your place if it means having the Professor around all the time!
Can I quote you on that? He’s quite the annoying neighbour and is constantly borrowing milk.
The final chapter, set in Florence, is exquisite. You’ve often said you love the city, and you showed your readers its extraordinary beauty through the couple’s eyes. Are there other reasons you chose this location? It seems significant that Gabriel and Julia became intimate in a place that’s far removed from the highly charged atmosphere of the university.
To me, Florence is the epitome of a beautiful city. There are fantastic restaurants, magnificent vistas and a large treasure trove of Renaissance art.
What would you like your readers to take away from reading “Gabriel’s Inferno?”
The central idea is that redemption is possible even for two broken people.
I'd like to thank Serendipitous once again for interviewing me and agreeing to share our questions and answers with you. I'll be posting the final instalment of our conversation on Tuesday.
All the best and enjoy your weekend,