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Interview: Lev Raphael, Author of Rosedale the Vampyre

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The author of 24 books, Lev Raphaelin writes in a wide range of genres from memoir to mystery to Jane Austen mashup. He has had a passion for storytelling since second grade and has been a reader of catholic tastes since he discovered his first public library.

Mr. Raphaelin has published traditionally with both large and small houses, and recently gone indie because it appears to be the wave of the future. His latest fiction, Rosedale the Vampyre, grows out of his love of The Gilded Age.

Lev Raphaelin has worked in several areas including jobs as a newspaper columnist, a radio talk show host, a DJ and even an academic. He currently writes and reviews full-time and is working on three different book projects.

Readers can learn more about Lev Raphaelin and his works by visiting the following links:

Blog ~ Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon

Could you please tell us a bit about your book? The story? The characters?

Riffing off Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, I’ve hijacked one of her characters into the outside world and the world of the supernatural. Simon Rosedale’s a banker grieving the loss of his wife and infant child, drowning his sorrows in bordellos; then one night he’s attacked by a vampyre [sic] on the streets of 1907 New York and everything changes. The book mixes the stunning realities of the Gilded Age with the supernatural, and it’s written in a period style.

How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?

The title is a nod to the famed Victorian novel Varney the Vampyre and I kept the older spelling, even though my book takes place later, as a way of heightening the period feel.

This is actually the second cover. I found art I liked and had the cover designed, but when it was done, decided it wasn’t evocative enough. Discovering the art that’s now on the cover, I had one of those “I want it!” moments and the designer made the change. I’m glad, because people really like this cover.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?

This is a transition from Rosedale’s work day to his night crawling before he becomes a vampyre:

“In the evening, Rosedale dismissed his valet and dressed himself with dispatch for the opera, though intent on a different kind of spectacle. He eschewed his shiny new brougham with the sable lap robes and even his newer motor-car. Rather than let his liveried driver know what he intended, Rosedale hailed a hansom on Seventy-Second Street outside The Dakota where he lived in spacious apartments across from Central Park. Asking the driver to proceed without dawdling to West Thirty-Ninth Street, he closed his eyes and lolled back against the worn cushions, withdrawing from the city’s nocturnal clamor, anticipating the pleasures ahead downtown. He was abroad in the dark marketplace that was nighttime New York where nothing could be easier to procure than oblivion.”

What are some of your favorite ways to promote your work?

I love it all, but doing reading is the best. I’ve published 24 books and have done hundreds of invited readings on three different continents—and with one memoir when I appeared in Germany, I even read the German translation. That was wild! I have a background in theater, radio, and teaching–so I approach every reading as a performance. It helps that I’m an extrovert, too.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

They’re all different because I can be working on a novel, a blog, and a review at the same time. It all depends on deadlines, and it also depends on what’s going on in my non-writing life. If one of my Westies is sick, then a vet visit and caring for him takes precedence. But I’m always writing something in my head anyway. Doing this interview, at the back of my mind is the next part of a chapter in a suspense novel I’m two-thirds of the way through.

What are some ways that you like to relax?

Working out, walking the dogs, listening to music, reading, watching movies, cooking, travel, planning trips, hanging out with friends, sitting in my hot tub, and an all-time favorite: napping.

What author/s do you think are overlooked in the writing/reading world today?

I love the mysteries of Michigan writer Loren D. Estleman. He’s written sixty books, won tons of prizes, but doesn’t have the national name he deserves.

What author would you most like to meet and why?

I had my own radio interview show for a few years on a local college station and interviewed authors of all kinds. The show was pre-recorded and the interviews were by phone, and I often spent time chatting with the author before and after the actual interview. I’d like to meet Salman Rushdie face-to-face, because he was so deeply intelligent and warm over the phone, and profoundly human.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with readers?

My newest book is Writers Block is Bunk, advice for writers of all kinds from wannabes to newbies to veterans. I don’t think anybody truly prepares you for the realities of publishing, not agents, not editors, and not even other writers—and certainly not writing teachers.

What is something about yourself that would come as a surprise to many people?

English was not my first language.

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