Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Interview: Lara Parker ~ author of Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising

Lara Parker

It’s release day for Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising by Lara Parker and we have an interview with the author.

Wolf Moon Rising is the third book in the Dark Shadows collection which is based up on the TV series of the same name. In addition to writing the books Lara played a major character for the series – Angelique. So we have some questions about her writing, the book, and her acting.

Welcome Lara!  What was it like continuing your series so many years after your first novels were published?

The truth is I never stopped writing. The publishing world moves like a glacier, and it takes a very long time to write a book and get it through the publishing process.

I turned WOLF MOON RISING into my editor at TOR in March, 2012, and it was not released until August 20, 2013. I had worked for over two years writing the book, and before that I spent about a year refining the outline and getting approval from TOR. (I was also teaching Freshman English at Santa Monica College and I couldn’t write the semesters I was teaching. It’s too hard to do both.) The book before WOLF MOON RISING--THE SALEM BRANCH--took three years because I was going to graduate school to get my MFA in Creative Writing and writing the novel as part of my curriculum.

Was it easy for you to get into the groove again? Dark Shadow - Wolf Moon Rising

A novelist creates a world and lives within that world. My world is the world of DARK SHADOWS, and the stories, the characters, and the themes are always evolving n my head. Because I was an actress on the show playing one of the lead characters--the witch, Angelique--I was intimately familiar with the Great House at Collinwood and the family who lived there. And since I was on the sets doing scenes with the other actors, their vocal inflections, their body language, their wardrobe, their subtlest reactions are etched indelibly in my brain.

I was given the opportunity to resume the story of DARK SHADOWS after it went off the air. This is a daunting responsibility and one I do not take lightly. There is a huge contingent of DARK SHADOWS fans--even more now that the Johnny Depp film has been released--and they have stern expectations. They want the show to continue on the page with all the magic and the mystery of the television show they ran home from school to watch.

Therefore, I believe it is my obligation to preserve the tone of supernatural Gothic Romance. DARK SHADOWS is not bloody horror like TRUE BLOOD, although the TV shows of today owe a great deal of gratitude to our first depiction of vampires. It is not (intentionally) campy. The world of DARK SHADOWS is one of restraint, of social graces as if it were in the time of Jane Austin. The well-mannered veneer of gentility must be maintained. But underneath there is a malevolent force at work.

Being faithful to DARK SHADOWS has been my main concern, but for a novelist to envision a narrative that has a strong story with rising action and a dramatic climax, it is necessary to move into unfamiliar territory, weaving new stories into the old and inventing new characters never seen on the show.

Where does this book fit into the time frame of the series?

The first book, ANGELIQUE’S DESCENT takes place just after the show went off the air, and the next two have followed in succession. At the end of the series,

Barnabas had been cured of vampirism by Dr. Julia Hoffman, and so I began to tell my story there. In THE SALEM BRANCH he is struggling with his new life as a human, and in WOLF MOON RISING he is a vampire again.

However, in each novel I go back in time to create the back story of one of the characters. In this way, each novel is a prequel as well as a sequel. ANGELIQUE’S DESCENT told the story of Angelique’s childhood in Martinique and her love affair with Barnabas before he rejected her for her mistress, Josette.

THE SALEM BRANCH went even further back in time to 1692 and the Salem witch trials where Angelique’s earliest incarnation, Miranda du Val, was tried as a witch. WOLF MOON RISING has a sequence in the twenties when Elizabeth Collins, the matriarch at Collinwood, was a charming flapper.

Is this new book taken from part of the story-line from the TV show?

No, none of the plot from this book was ever on the show. It is an entirely new story. However it centers on Quentin and the portrait that not only keeps him young, but also keeps the werewolf curse at bay. Quentin was in possession of an enchanted portrait on the show.

Which did you enjoy the most, acting the part of Angelique or writing the books?

Oh, I don’t think anything could ever replace the fun I had playing Angelique. She was a wonderful character, so vulnerable, and yet so strong. She had many layers, the heart-broken damsel, the vengeful, scorned mistress, and the supernatural witch.

Thank you Lara!

About Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising:    The first all-new Dark Shadows novel in years, written by Lara Parker, one of the stars of the cult classic TV show!

When a portrait is lost that has maintained Quentin Collins’s youthful appearance for over a century—and has also kept his werewolf curse at bay—Quentin begins to dread the full moon.
Meanwhile, David, the sixteen-year-old heir to the Collins fortune, has fallen in love with Jacqueline, a young girl living at the Old House who is the reincarnation of Angelique. David and Jacqueline are swept back in time to the prohibition era of the Twenties, where David uncovers the dark secrets of the Collins family history.

Most threatening of all, Dr. Nathanial Blair, an expert in the paranormal, has come to Collinwood because he suspects they are harboring a vampire. Fortunately, Barnabas Collins has returned to his coffin after a disastrous flirtation with life as a human. Nevertheless, what Blair discovers places the entire Collins family in jeopardy.

Tor Books |8/20/2013 |Trade Paperback |400 pages

LARA PARKER, whose real name is Lamar Rickey Hawkins, played the role of Angelique on Dark Shadows. She grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, attended Vassar College, majored in Drama at the University of Iowa, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University at Los Angeles. She lives in Topanga Canyon, California, with her husband and daughter.  http://laraparkersite.blogspot.com/

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