Author interview – Blessed by a Curse, a fiction novel created by Gabriel Daray follows the life of a young vampyre as she struggles to find her path, fights inner demons and learns the secrets to her dark secretive heritage.
Nadine: Gabriel. You are set to be published early in 2013. Who is your publisher?
Gabriel: Well the thing is, I’m not at liberty to release that info just yet. But you will be the first to know.
Nadine: Tell us a bit more about your journey. There are many authors out there that have tried to get published for years to no avail. How did you reach your goal?
Gabriel: I think the goal lies in the path you take. I mean, I struggled so long, and gave up a couple times. But at the end of the day we reap our own rewards. What you put into it, you’ll get out of it in the end. I kept trying, and after a year I stumbled onto this company that was immediately interested in publishing me.
Nadine: So you write about vamps? What makes your novel different from the rest of the vampire novels that have flooded the market?
Gabriel: I knew you were gonna ask this question, and been trying to puzzle out an answer that makes sense to the normal people out there, but in the end, puzzling some fancy answer would be BS exactly. Truth is, I’ve been working on this book since I was 14. My passion for fantasy has always been fuelled by a very active imagination, but the last year the book changed so much. The story line is NOT about the mythical vamps, and neither the modern day romanticised type which looks like they surely molested the glitter jar. No I didn’t dream this storyline up, and I didn’t suck it out of my thumb either. Well, not all of it. This book is based on the real live vampirism condition, wrapped in the cover of “Fiction”. People like fiction. They wanna read fiction because somehow fiction is easier to believe then the truth. There are some elements of the storyline that is surely fiction, but most of it is drawn from the real live vampyre, as well as paganism.”
Nadine: You also happen to be a self-proclaimed vampire. How has general society accepted your proclamation?
Gabriel: Well, Nadine, it’s not the easiest thing to do. Stepping out of the so called “closet” and screaming “I’m a vampyre” causes waves. If you shake the tree, some form of crap is bound to fall from it. You always get one of two responses when claiming you are a vampyre. Number one, they laugh and call u a pretender. Because according to them you want attention.
And number two, they run away yelling “SATAN” and tell u you’re going to hell, and that Jesus will scold you, and crap like that… I’m no Christian, but I’m not the devils child either. I also have to say that here are a lot of posers out there. People so intrigued and obsessed with the mythical and modern romanticised vamp that they create this fantasy for themselves to live in. Like one of my editors calls it “The Lestat Delution”. But most real live Vampyres will honestly tell u that the hate it and would never choose it for themselves.
Nadine: I’m not a vamp myself but from research I have gotten to understand that your kind classifies themselves in different types. Which of these do you fall under?
Gabriel: Actually im not a fan of labels at all. But in this case I’m a Hybrid vampyre. Meaning I can sustain on either blood or psychic energy.
Nadine: How did you know that you are a vampyre?
Gabriel: Nadine this is such a difficult question to answer because there’s no right or wrong question. I guess there are some common symptoms among vampyres like permanent fatigue, mood swings, being needy and clingy, and generally coming from a very chaotic background. And of course the craving for raw meats and such. Most vampyres say that they use to eat raw boerewors before they awoken. But I think instinct plays the most important role. It’s like you instinctively know what to do to sustain yourself.
Nadine: How did you feel once you discovered the SA VC?
I actually didn’t. I started chatting to this weirdo chick online, who actually became one of my dearest friends and Lalae. She told me about the VC and I started in the VC as a vampyre sympathetic. I wanted to donate blood to some vamps. And a couple of months later, I started to awaken. It’s funny how things get brought onto our path for a reason. But anyway, I think the vc in South Africa is totally amazing. Like a haven to us who are actually not socially accepted in South Africa yet. But one of my biggest goals is to raise vampyre awareness and educate people on what the vampyre condition is, and that we are not evil!!!!
Nadine: Do you make use of donors?
Gabriel: Well no… I don’t. Not anymore. I use to have a donor. But haven’t had one in about 6 months. Thanx to being a hybrid. Honestly, vampyres who can’t feed phsycicly have it hard. Donors are not easy to find in South-Africa.
Nadine: “Blessed by a Curse” is your novels name. Tell our readers a bit more about it?
Gabriel: The title of the book is actually a reference to my own inner demons. The “curse” of being a vampyre, but in the end finding the blessing within it.
Nadine: Which genre are you targeting?
Gabriel: That’s a tough one because I don’t have a specific target. Id say the target audience would be anyone who has a love for vampyre novels, and especially those open to a new concept, the one about real vampyres may be standing behind them at the grocery store.
Nadine: What type of relationship have you established between Andrea and Corbin?
Gabriel: This is actually funny. Andrea and Corbin are both based upon me and my Lalae, the weirdo chick I spoke about earlier. She is Andrea, and I am Corbin, and we love each other to death but have our own inner demons, which sometimes collides with one another. They are best friends.
Nadine: Tell us a bit more about your main character?
Gabriel: Andrea… Dear Andrea… well, she’s a bitch. NO other way to say it. She’s a vampyre with so many issues it’s not even funny. Possible drug addiction, possible mental condition, and to top it all off she’s struggling with all these secrets of her heritage. But at the end of the day she’s just a person. Someone who is trying to cope with life and everything in her past. I’m not gonna give away what’s gonna happen, but I can say that Andrea will lose her cool, scream, yell, bleed but also cry, love, and someday maybe even be content with herself.
Nadine: How have you found the editing process? Have you been assigned an editor or have you invested in your own?
Gabriel: Neither actually. My editors are people close to me. People who knows me. I need this book to have the feel of truth and honesty, and not stiffed up by an outsider
Nadine: How do you approach your writing? A lot of writers build their story. They first develop their characters, then develop their plot and then start writing. Others just jump into it from the word go.
Honestly Nadine, I’ve tried planning it out. But my storyline always change as I go. I’m a very messy writer when it comes to that
Nadine: How do you treat sequel writing? As an author, I had written my 1st novel, and whilst I was going through the editing process I started work on its sequel. I found that as my story progressed there was some stuff that came up that I wanted to add into the first novel which I thought would tie them together. Do you experience similar? If you did how do you deal with it?”
Gabriel: Well I don’t know about that, I planned from the beginning to have a trilogy, and at the moment have enough writing material for at least 3 books. So the rest is to come
Nadine: How have the likes of Edward Cullen, Dracula and modern movies and series influenced your writing?
Gabriel: I’ve always been a fan of vampyre myths as well as modern day publications as long as I can remember. I have to say that the modern day feel of the romanticised vampire has influenced people so much, and once again created more of that “Lestat Delusion” I spoke about earlier. People like the idea of an overly romantic vampyre who sweeps a mortal off her feet and loves her immortally. But that is fiction and its then when people struggle to separate fantasy from life.”
Nadine: How does religion influence your writing?
Gabriel: I think my religion inspires me more than influence me. You can clearly detect the pagan feel to the book.
Nadine: Have you got any inspirational words for authors out there that haven’t reached the level of getting published?”
Gabriel: Yeah I do… “SUCK IT UP” Because that’s the only way u gonna get it. I’m not a pop star who has all these inspirational words about how anybody can do it. I just think you should never give up, I did and it sucked! And never let someone tell u that your writing concept is stupid!
Nadine: A final question – Where can people keep track of your work?
Gabriel: I recently got Facebook. Under my name. Blessed by a Curse has its own page now so simply search for it. I’m not big on social networking, but maybe in the future there will be some MySpace or Twitter to come.
Thanks so much for granting us your first interview. I wish you well in your future endeavours.