The Cain Letters
Urban fantasy novelist Pierre Roustan, author of the debut novel THE CAIN LETTERS is our guest for today. We have conducted an interview with him.
What is “The Cain Letters,” book 1 of THE DIVINE COVENANT series, about?
This isn’t your typical vampire novel. There are no overly romantic debutantes and European sentimentalities here, nor is there an over-abundance of blood and guts, ravenous revenants and heinous hellish harlots screeching to rip spines in the middle of a Texas or New Mexico desert. THE CAIN LETTERS takes the horror to a deeply spiritual level, balancing the scale of what we love in vampire literature, detailing the saga of a vampire hunter hailing from a long line of warriors dating back to the times of the book of Genesis. Her name is Alexandra Glade, the leader of a chapter of qualified and experienced hunters for the ‘Berith Lochem’, which is Hebrew for “Divine Covenant.”
“The Cain Letters” are actually a collection of letters written by the biblical Cain, the same brother who murdered Abel. Now this manuscript of letters is important to many of the Vampire Nation, particularly two: one Nickolas Stahl of a Russian Council for the Vampire Nation, and a mild rogue living in Los Angeles, Mason Richter. Alexandra’s charged with having to locate those two and uncover the reason why they’re trying to find this manuscript, only to find out the reason is so devastating a reason that it could unimaginably affect all of mankind.
I can’t go into much more detail than that, though – or else I’ll reveal the entire story. We don’t want that, do we?
Who inspires you in crafting this character “Alexandra Glade”?
The story behind the creation of this novel’s pretty unique, actually. It was a spark. A mere thought. I, myself, a lover of horror as well as a born-again Christian, thrill at the prospect of a mythology, the “what if”; but even more so, I do enjoy a great action thriller a la “The Matrix” or Dan Brown’s THE DA VINCI CODE, with the hair-raising, impending doom and mystery of a cleverly written and thought-out concept.
Given my love for everything action, everything martial arts, the intrigue and espionage even, Alexandra Glade was inspired by the likes of the Van Helsings of old, Bram Stoker style, along with many modern mainstream personalities we’ve come to know and love, like Marvel’s Blade, Selene from “Underworld,” even the die-hard mentalities of Ellen Ripley from Ridley Scott’s iconic “Alien” films and Sarah Connor from “The Terminator” movies. Alexandra Glade is a beautiful, yet deadly, young lady with a propensity for blades, blood, and an iron will capable of cutting a dozen vampires down without flinching.
I liked the idea of a character who could hang with the surliest of heroes while still looking sexy and not trying to gather the affections of a man. She breaks the mold of what we see as femininity, very much like how the Sarah Connors and Ellen Ripleys did – but this time, as a wicked assassin, born to do what she does. Hunt the undead without remorse.
Is any part of her personality or personal experiences similar to some of yourself or someone close to you?
Interestingly enough, I would say there’s a healthy portion of her personality resembling my own. No, I’m not a martial artist, nor have I ever trained with a special ops group with the government. I’m not a certain someone with a ‘particular set of skills’ or anything! However, the evolving story Alexandra Glade goes through is an interesting one, facing moral quandaries and a terrible foil that nearly destroys her from the ground up. And that’s something I can relate to deeply. Many can, in fact.
This is a woman who’s seen the worst of horrors, lived through all of them, and yet will face even worse than that. I’d say that’s one major difference with this heroine and many we’ve come to know and love in cinema and literature. Alexandra Glade hasn’t had to rise up and get the courage to fight in this story. She’s already had that courage – only to have it ripped away from her, leaving her with nothing but this raw beast inside her aching to come out and not only lay waste to the world, but annihilate any semblance of humanity she has left, effectively turning her into the monster not unlike the monsters she hunts and kills. So her major conflict is facing her own demons and struggling to come out of the darkness and into the light. Something we often don’t see out of heroines.
We often see these heroines have to evolve into the champions they are. Alexandra Glade is a champion stripped to the bone, forced to rise up as ‘something else’, which that thought – that concept – is scary enough.
Do you write the stories based on comments after reading feedback from fans of your book(s)?
Not necessarily. I’ll let you in on a little secret: THE DIVINE COVENANT series is a book series already written. Well, at least books 1, 2 and 3 have been written – and only a handful has read them unpublished. I’ll be concluding the book series with book 4 very soon once that manuscript faces publication, and perhaps the comments of many fans of the first three books may lead me to influence how the saga comes to an end.
Book 1, “The Cain Letters,” will debut on 12/18/15 (only a few days left!). So it’s coming up. In fact, I’ll be setting up a waiting list on the blog at http://pierreroustan.blogspot.com for those who might want to get a copy before the official debut at a great discount (only 49 cents!), but that waiting list will be for only 20 lucky readers. Perhaps you’ll want to get a head start on Alexandra Glade and her journey….
Which is the most thrilling vampire scene you will highlight, and which actor or actress would you choose to bring out the best in the scene if it will be made into a film?
Wow, I love that question…. So many great scenes, to be honest. I’ve had reviewers describe the work as a fast-paced action thriller, like reading a movie, so I’m astonished you ask me this question.
I’m going to try and not reveal too much, but there will be quite the vicious and wicked fight scene that’ll make anyone cringe, a scene with our Alexandra Glade that probably can ONLY be done well with the likes of former MMA champion and star Gina Carano, an actress who can hold her own with fight scenes while looking as sweet and hot as ever. The lady can break your fingers with just a mere look, feral and ferocious. Even her demeanor and physical characteristics really match Alexandra Glade. In fact, if the movie rights ever were acquired, I’d probably want Gina Carano on that! Or even better, if Ronda Rousey would agree to dying her hair dark, she’d pass for the role as well, because Rousey’s a vicious minx herself!
What do we expect to read in the next following book in the series?
That, my friend, is something I can’t go into TOO much detail on. But I will say this: “The Cain Letters” opens up Pandora’s box, and it won’t be pretty. But the second book will see what was in the box spread all over the world like decay. It will be disturbing. Alexandra Glade will face something even Hell itself can’t describe. And she will be tested in the most horrible way.
I won’t reveal the title of book 2. Yet. But soon. I want my readers to experience the “Letters,” absorb the words of darkness and sit in the mind of madness. The hope is they all won’t fall in TOO deep. But just deep enough that they realize we do live in a world filled with frailty, waiting shadows, and a sin that can only be described as original. Raw. Real. And undying.
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