Blood Ties Theme ( "Live Forever" by Tamara Rhodes) w/ show intro.

A Fang-Phile Fille, Tweets!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Interview with Skyler White author of "and Falling, Fly".

Just in time to coincide with St. Patrick's Day today VampirePhile has the pleasure of an interview with Skyler White, author of the provocative debut novel and Falling, Fly (which is set predominantly in Ireland).

VampirePhile: Hello Skyler, welcome. First off I must give kudos on a great read. As I mentioned in my review, I found your writing to be very lyrical, insightful and thought provoking. 

So my first question is then, for those reading who may not yet know about you, tell us a bit about yourself: such as how you got started? How long you've been writing?

Skyler White: I’ve used writing as a problem-solving tool for as long as I can remember. Somehow, I think more clearly when I’m writing than I do otherwise. But I’ve only been writing for publication for about five years, and this is my first published book. Before that, I’d been a ballet dancer and a stage director. I worked in advertising for a while and I had an Internet start-up venture, back in the day when those were fashionable. I had developed a line of dogma-free prayer candles, but I hated the production part of it. I felt really good about the way they looked and how every part of them was ethically and environmentally sourced, but I hated making and boxing and building them. The more I sold, the more I had to do that, so I was in the stupid place of being disappointed when new orders came in.

I kept trying to develop new products instead of selling the ideas I’d already had, and finally my husband and my best friend (both of whom I’d roped in to helping me with design and marketing) sat me down and pointed out that what I really loved was the thinking and the writing, and maybe I should find a different pursuit that allowed me to concentrate on those aspects more. It wasn’t easy to hear, but I’m so glad they helped me see it, because I’m much happier now.

VP: So you mentioned (re: and Falling, Fly) in your bio on your website, that: “I wrote it because I needed to meet Olivia. Because I was interested in the difference between wanting and being wanted.”
Were you able to reconcile these differences and how?

Skyler White: You’re the first person to ask me that. It’s a hard question. But yes, I think I did find reconciliation between the two impulses, although it’s something I have to remember. I revert back to old patterns very easily.

For me, it was about getting in touch with the un-lady-like hungers, with being able to say “I want” rather than “He wants me.” I still like feeling desirable, and a lot of times, my awareness of being attracted to someone shows up first in the thought “he likes me!” or “is she coming on to me?” But I’m learning to turn my attention from looking for clues about how the other person feels to looking at my own feelings. I try to focus directly on my wanting. Which is hard. Because wanting is a kind of pain. It’s an awareness of lack. You want what you don’t have.

Once you have something you wanted, you feel appreciation or enjoyment or boredom, but not wanting anymore. Not desire. That implies lack. And I find myself quick to transfer my longing towards things I can gratify. I’ll have a snack or go shopping rather than simply experience the feeling of wanting. But I’m trying to learn to be OK with just the wanting. It’s not something I’m good at yet.

VP: I love the new type of language you use, for example “psycast”, what method (if any) did you employ for creating your unique words? And what made you decide to use the word “quills” rather than “fangs”?

Skyler White: Thank you! I had tremendous amount of fun playing with language while writing.

Psycasting came out of “broadcasting” or “telecasting” put together with the character Psyche from Greek mythology, who is a close relative to the sisters.

I really didn’t want to use the word “fangs” at all because they have an animal connotation that I didn’t want to invoke. My vampires aren’t animalistic at all. They’re barely even humanistic. “Quill” comes out of animal terminology too, but it implies feathers, (or porcupines!) and wings. And because they’re angels and have (or had) wings, a feather-vocabulary seemed more appropriate. The fact that writers used quills was kind of a fun bonus, too!

VP: What do you find attractive about the world of the Paranormal?

Skyler White: Its readership! There are simply no more generous, open-minded readers out there. As a writer, if you want to experiment with genre, with form, with language, with worlds or ideas, there really is no other space you can mix and match with so much freedom.
VPand Falling, Fly is a beautiful title, especially for the image it evokes. How did you come to choose it? And what does it mean to you?
Skyler White: Thanks! It ended up giving me fits, what with the lower case “a” and the comma, but it really did mean a lot to me, so I’m glad we stuck with it. There are a couple of levels to the title for me. The first is the simple idea of commitment. It’s the “you can’t learn to dive in the shallow end” lesson of courage and reward. If you want to fall in love – hell, if you want to write a book – you have to hurl yourself off the parapet not just once, but every day. You have to take risks.
But it’s also a metaphysical thing. When we fall from grace, when we toss ourselves out of heaven, out of safety and supplied answers, only then to we have the possibility of reaching a paradise of our own creation under our own strength. Only once you’ve had your heart broken can you love. It takes experience, good and bad, to grow into our full selves.
VP: and Falling, Fly touches on a few particular, poignant issues, especially as it relates to women: desire (being desired) and love. Do you feel that as women today (esp. in this media driven time), that we have it harder, than say our fore-mothers?

Skyler White: I don’t know. I think it’s hard to be a woman today, but it’s a different kind of hard than it was a hundred years ago, but I’m not sure which is harder. I know I wouldn’t switch places with my foremothers if for no other reason than the child-mortality numbers, but I don’t think we’re living in the golden age of freedom that the revolutionaries in the sixties were hoping to create for us.

VP: Who are some (other) women you may admire, be they authors or not, and why?

Skyler White: What a cool question! I’m going to restrict myself to public women, although I’m lucky to know many really admirable women personally. Marion Zimmmer Bradley: for her (early) sexual and religious boldness and for her (early) fandom. Margaret Atwood: for (later) embracing of genre fiction, her feminism, consummate craftsmanship, and politics. Antonia Fraser: for her scholarship, feminism and marriage. Barbara Kingsolver: for her honesty, skill, diversity, and the way she talks about parenting. Wow. There are so many more before I even branch out from writers, but they were the first four who came to mind.

VPand Falling, Fly and your other upcoming release In Dreams Begin both feature Ireland. Why Ireland? And could you divulge a bit more about In Dreams Begin?

Skyler White: “Why Ireland” actually has a lot to do with the story of In Dreams Begin. Ireland is where I’m from genetically, but because I was adopted at birth in the late 60’s, that’s about all I know about my biological history. When I wanted a “back home” for Olivia, Ireland seemed resonate on a personal level, appropriate on a story level, and since I’d been in 2005, I’d already done the research!

In Dreams Begin (and the title is the first piece of Yeats’ quote “in dreams begin responsibilities”) is the story of a contemporary graphic artist who falls asleep on her wedding night and wakes up in the body of Maud Gonne, a famously beautiful, six-foot tall, red-headed Irish revolutionary who may have been part faerie. The amateur occultist who channeled Laura into Maud then introduces her to WB Yeats, and the two – Victorian romantic poet and time-shifted, modern cynic – fall rather helplessly in love.

It was a very research-intensive project, but real history was remarkably cooperative. Yeats was heavily involved in the occult, and experimented with all kinds of things including astral projection and a “spiritual marriage” with Maud who, traveling the Irish countryside, was widely referred to as the “lady of the Sidhe,” a kind of faerie famous for the theft of brides.

VP: A just for fun question to finish - With the current “undead” trend in film and TV being ever so popular with True BloodTwilightVampire Diaries etc – seems like the fans want more fangs! What are some vampiric works you’d like to see adapted for the big or small screen? And, if you haven’t already, would you try your hand at penning a script?
Skyler White: I haven’t tried screenwriting. I’d like to, and I’m curious, but I feel like I’d need to learn a lot before I gave it a shot. It’s very different from writing a novel.

I think Julie Kenner’s “Good Ghouls” vampires are ripe for TV or film, though.

VP: Well thank you very much Skyler for stopping by and giving VampirePhile and its readers the opportunity to discover this world of yours. We would like to wish you continued success with the new release. It’s been a pleasure having here and definitely looking forward to more from you in the future.

Skyler White: Thank you so much for inviting me, and for such really difficult, interesting questions.

Skyler White is author of dark fantasy novels ‘and Falling, Fly’ (Berkley, March 2010) and ‘In Dreams Begin’ (Berkley, March 2010). She lives in Austin, TX. Read more about Skyler on her website:

and Falling, Fly is now available at: Amazon.comBarnes & NobleBordersPowell's / IndieBound .

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review of author Skyler White's "and Falling, Fly"

The angel of desire is damned . . .

Olivia is a vampire bored with modernity. Tattooist,
boyfriend, black-metal singer: everyone you don’t love
tastes the same. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered
for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O’Shaughnessy is a
neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions.
When his research and her despair collide in Ireland’s L’Otel
Mathillide – a subterranean hell of beauty, demons and
dreams – rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and
damnation that threatens to destroy them both.


VampirePhiles review of and Falling, Fly

I had the pleasure of reading Skyler White’s and Falling, Fly on an uninterrupted 10 hour train ride (5 hrs in each direction), and I was very glad I had had that time to delve into her world. And what an intriguing world it was.

Honestly and Falling, Fly is unlike any other vampire based genre novel I have read. A captivating concept of a world in which: “Every vampire is a fallen angel of desire, and we nourish our deathless beauty on what we fleeting inspire in mortals who live, but briefly.” (p.16).

A place where science, mythology and magic meet and create an interesting, thought provoking meld.

Skyler weaves a world that is, at the same time beautiful yet gritty, beginning in the first few chapters in America, then continuing across the Atlantic to Ireland in the hell that is L’Otel Mathillide.

Centering on the two complex protagonists, Olivia (the fallen angel of desire) and Dominic (the self medicating neuroscientist), and each ones quest for understanding, acceptance and freedom.

Dominic seeking to understand himself “mentally”: Is he crazy? Why does he have so many memories of lives previously lived? Can he erase these memories with the skills of science?

Olivia, is seeking to be understood “physically”, and once seen for what she really is (a fallen angel, now vampire) through eyes that are not blinded by her beauty, she can thereby gain her freedom from the trap of unfeeling mortal flesh.

I found that, and Falling, Fly put to question the notion of the superficiality of desire. Are we only considered desirable, if we meet the requirements of what is dictated or expected? And if one does not fit into it, are we thus damned, undesirable and unworthy?

Furthermore the language in which Skyler writes evokes a wonderful sense of lyric and poetry (that was not lost on this fellow poet). Her use of metaphor helps to drive the story along in the minds eye, conjuring images that add to the uniqueness of the novel. For example: “Tonight, I will hunt with Adam’s rage on ruined shoes, and I will feed full-tooth. Desire denied consumes.” (p.22)

As well, personally, I like Skyler’s approach with the points of view in the novel. Using the “I” point of view for the strong female persona of Olivia, yet not over shadowing (and giving equally to) the voice of the male protagonist Dominic.

To quote Julie Kenner (USA Today bestselling author): “Skyler White’s and Falling, Fly puts a unique and intelligent spin on the vampire legend… will have readers turning pages… and thinking about the book long after they’ve reached the end.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Skyler White's and Falling, Fly makes for a provocative and intriguing debut, that takes you on an intellectual ride, that's well worth reading!


Be sure to join VampirePhile later on this week, when author Skyler White will be stopping by for an interview.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Of Death & Dying (Corey Haim)... Angels... & Bite Bits!

Of Death and Dying

"Death by Stereo!"

This past Wednesday 10th of March 2010, we vampire fans, and more over Lost Boys lovers were hit with the news of the passing of actor Corey Haim.
Genre bloggers across the bloggersphere expressed sentiment and sorrow at this news. From Marta Acosta on Vampire Wire  to Nicole Hadaway on All things Smart and Scary, who credits the movie's influence on the writing of some of her characters.   
It was a tragic end to one of the better known icons of the 80's.

I'm an almost '80's baby, thus I was only about seven years old when the Lost Boys first came out, and Corey would have been about what, fourteen? I know I must have been still way too young when I finally saw the movie (as I do recall seeing it before I had ever even read Anne Rice or Dracula and I was initiated to those authors between the ages of 11 and 13).
But that's what you get, I guess when you grow up in a cinephile family.

I can't tell you how many times I've watched the Lost Boys. Every time it comes on television I watch it, and mind you, I already own the special edition DVD. I've watched it so many times that I know practically every line of dialogue by heart!

And although Corey was not "my crush" (neither Corey was for that matter... I was always a Jason Patric girl, even though he was waaay older, like 13 yrs older!), I still enjoyed the chemistry between the cast, esp. the two Corey's.

With Corey's passing and given what we have heard about the demons (in the form of drugs) which had possessed him over the years, one can only hope that this former Lost Boy, has now found peace in Angels arms.


And Angels

And speaking of Angels, just some three months ago I speculated in a blog post that Angels may be the new Vampires, after reading all the hype surrounding Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush, and seems perhaps I was on the right "wing" of thought.
There has been a heavenly reign of releases recently (and blog posts to match).

- Over at VampChix there's a post on Dark Angels: the Fallen and the Nephilim , as they celebrate(d) Angel Week.

- Fang-tastic Books has an Angelology Excerpt and Giveaway.

- While the VampBoyz featured Paul Bettany in Legion as their Boy of the week!

- A little before that (a few weeks ago) author Nicole Hadaway wrote a review of Anne Rice's Angel Time, which Anne also mentioned about on her FaceBook page.

- And soon (next week), yours truly will have a review of author Skyler White's provocative new novel of fallen angels, now vampires in, and Falling,Fly. As well as an interview with the author.


Bite Bits

 And speaking of vampires (don't you just love a good segue? :). Aforementioned author Nicole Hadaway is having a Giveaway Contest to win season 1 DVD of Blood Ties. The contest runs 'til next Friday 19th and is open to US & CND residents.

Also, a reminder (for all of us North of the American border) Canada's Space Channel still airs /re-airs episodes of Blood Ties, Fridays at 10am and Saturdays at 11am.
As well they (said Space channel) will be premiering season 1 of True Blood this Sunday 14th March @ 10pm.
I already saw and own the S1 DVD, but I'm such a "sucker" for the show (and vamps in general...but ex-nay on the "ilight Tway") that I'll most be watching it all again.

And info to the end - I just learned from self same Canada's Space Channel, that they will be airing The Lost Boys on Sunday 14th.


And in memory of dear Corey, here is the music video of G Tom Mac's  Cry Little Sister