TPV: Not my good friends the Andriescus, who are currently teaching at Transylvania University in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky. Well, Marius and Valerius are. Timon’s still refusing to get a job. But two other literary vamps. Damian Le Croix, and his good friend, Morgan D’Arcy join me today.
Damian: Bon Jour, ma lecteurs. And my host Tony-Paul. Bienvenue to this entrevue with my good friend (for an Anglais!) and fellow sansmort, Morgan D’Arcy, Earl of St. Averil. (Gestures and Morgan appears just to his left. He’s tall, devastatingly handsome with long blond hair tied back from his face, and dressed to perfection in a navy Dolce & Gabbana suit with matching shirt and off-white tie, which contrasts greatly with Damian’s black short-sleeved tee and Calvin Klein jeans.)
Morgan: Greetings Tony-Paul. (He extends a pianist’s long-fingered hand) Damian good to see you again.
Damian: So did I get your title correct? You are an Earl? I tell you, mon copain, it’s been so long since I’ve mentioned titles when speaking to anyone that I’ve forgotten.
Morgan: Right you are. I am the once and future Earl of St. Averil. Tony-Paul, you must visit me soon at Royal Oak, my ancestral estate in Devon. I’ll arrange a Black Swan party for your pleasure.
Damian: And please forgive that little English dig. Being Francais, I still can’t resist that, you know. Even after all these centuries.
Morgan: I forgive you for being French.
Damian: Bien! Then let’s get this entrevue on la route! And my first question is… (looks through the index cards in his hand, promptly drops them.) Oops. Pardon, un moment while I find it. (scoops up cards, sorts them.) Here it is. Starting from the top… and let me add now, these questions were sent in by readers of my biography The Night Man Cometh, which may be purchased in paperback, pdf, and Mobi from Class Act Books, http://www.classactbooks.com/The-Night-Man-Cometh-by-Tony-Paul-de-Vissage-Trade_p_305.html
Morgan: A most unsubtle way to get in an ad, my friend. So it’s only fair I counter with… My story hasn’t yet been told but Gemini Rising, another novel by my biographer will be available in the coming year from Double Dragon Publishing. Now, we’re even. And I have a strong supporting role in Cardinal Desires, also from DDP, for release next year.
Damian: Fair enough. First question: How did you become a vampyre, anyway? I’m curious about that, too. You know my reasons for the Great Transformation. I did it to escape the Plague, but you… I’ve never asked. To me, it’s insignificant but many of the ladies are probably curious. As a matter of fact, since they’re females, I’m certain they’re curious! (And you can throw stones at me later, mon femmes, for being a chauvenist!)
(Morgan drifts into a chair by the fire.) Morgan: My fate was sealed by a beautiful woman the year before Charles Stuart was restored to the throne of England. Dominique was known at the French court as the black widow. Several of her lovers died in duals defending her honor, and one committed suicide. She was strong-willed and independent in an age when such qualities were unheard of. My vampire mother lured me away from the King’s men and into her bed to satisfy her lust and bloodlust. I was totally enchanted by my lover, but my transformation hinged on a cruel bet. She dared me to seduce an innocent woman as revenge against the one man who’d rejected her. I succeeded and Dominique gave me eternity in return.
Damian: Have you ever met a vampyre you didn’t like? Other than Lucien, I mean. And frankly, I’m not certain “don’t like” is the correct description to apply to the Dark Prince, anyway. I think he’s just moody. Perhaps a bit bipolar. Remember how depressed he got when we were in that island prison together and he wasn’t allowed to boss everyone around? Wonder how a bit of lithium or valproate would work on an Undead?
(Morgan laughs) Morgan: Well do I remember that gruesome time. One of the many times Lucien caressed my cheek and whispered that I was beautiful, I told him to seek therapy and buy glasses. I don’t think he did either.
Damian: Question #3: Can you tell us about the Les Elus and the Black Swans, or would you have to kill us if you do? Someone has a dark sense of humor.
Morgan: I’ll probably get my hand slapped for breaking the masquerade anyway. Yes, then, Les Elus is the ruling council of the Vampyre. Thirteen spooks dictate our population and the Cheval de Bataille, an elite force of assassins, enforces the few but stringent rules. I can’t divulge the members, but the Chief Councilor’s name begins with a Lucien.
Black Swans are mortals who willingly submit to our kiss to experience the ecstasy and sexual satisfaction that only a vampire can give. We have lavish parties for Black Swans. Usually during sex, we bite our lovers, feasting on their blood. One of Les Elus’ rules is that a Black Swan may never be killed. Some of us allow the Black Swan to drink our blood, a hallucinogenic to mortals. If you’d like to know more about our relationship with these special people, Linda has written a story entitled Black Swan.
Damian: We vampires don’t have many weaknesses but we have a few. Tell me, mon amie, what’s your greatest temptation? What are your preferences in: 1) women, 2) clothes, 3) cars, 4) pianos?
(Morgan grins, showing delicate fangs) Morgan: Ah, temptation, I have far too many, but I like this question. My beautiful Isabeau, who refuses to speak to me at the moment is my ideal woman. She is intelligent—a geneticist—and her purple eyes enchant with a glance. I want her to be my wife, but mating between the species is strictly forbidden.
Clothes. I’m afraid I’m rather boring on that front. I like classic suits, regimental ties. Don’t often wear denim but have developed a fondness for tight jeans. My profession demands a tux, and I’m quite comfortable in formal attire.
Cars. Since my 1966 candy apple red E-type and I took an impromptu swim in the Cooper River, I drive a black-on-black Vanquish S. For those who aren’t car enthusiasts, the E-type is a Jaguar roadster, the Vanquish an Aston Martin convertible.
Pianos. My favorite subject. I prefer the Bosendorffer, but in Charleston I was introduced to the Mason & Hamlin, an American piano, with a rich, round tone.
Damian: Here’s a two-parter. Do you have a daily…uh…nightly routine, and how long has Avery been with you? For those of you who don’t know, Avery is Morgan’s valet, major domo, amanuensis, and general all-around assistant.
Morgan: I create each night as the sun goes down. Actually, I’m a bit impulsive.
Avery has been with me thirty years. I stole him from another member of the peerage. He is a treasure. The man guards my days and encourages my nocturnal habits. He is fully aware of what I am and is totally devoted to me. To slow his aging, I allow him to feed on my blood.
Damian: You’re a concert pianist, who’s your favorite composer, and favorite piece of music?
Liszt though I like to play Chopin. Shortly before I left for America, I recorded Ravel’s solo piano works. My favorite music. Difficult question. I love the William Tell Overture transcription by Rossini. The piece is written for four-hand, but being a vampire I can play it without another pianist.
Damian: Too bad we don’t have audio. I’d ask you to play the Second Movement of the Moonlight Sonata. I think your playing that piece is mentioned in my biography.
Morgan: Another of my favorites, Damian. If we had a piano—and sound—I’d be delighted to entertain our guests.
Damian: Question #6: What’s next on the agenda? Got another concert scheduled, or another romantic dalliance, or exactly what? (If you can tell my audience, that is, and it isn’t some secret vampyre business.)
Morgan: No romantic dalliances for me. I am totally devoted to Isabeau. I have a concert scheduled at the Royal Albert. I’m performing Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto #3 with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Damian: I see by the old hourglass on the wall it’s time to bring this to a close. Merci, mon amie de nuit, for allowing our readers to get a glimpse into your life, and may I say, I hope your story, Sinner’s Opera, written by Mademoiselle Linda, will soon be featured at a neighborhood bookstore. Also merci to Tony-Paul for allowing me to take over his blog for this event. By the way, nice photo of you and Isabeau.
Morgan: Thanks, Tony-Paul. Damian, shall we go out for a drink? We haven’t hunted together in literally ages.