Kyleigh Jane Interviews Sylvain Reynard, Author of The Gabriel Trilogy
Kyleigh Jane is what we in the industry call a Fangirl. She may seem like she’s cool, calm, and collected in this interview with Sylvain Reynard, but really, you should picture her doing a shimmy shake dance party in her living room while she communicated with the author.
If I knew how to make an animated gif, I’d have one here of KJ doing her booty dance. Alas, I do not, so you’ll just have to make her dance in your head.
The Gabriel Trilogy is a must-read series, and if you haven’t yet read it, get sucked heh in with the rest of the SR Fangirls.
Hello, Sylvain! Thank you so very much for talking with me today!
And thank you for inviting me Kyleigh Jane. It’s a pleasure to be with you and your readers.
It is no secret that I am a Gabriel/Sylvain Reynard super-fan.
You know when you see old black-and-white clips of Beatles fans in the 60’s, crying and screaming, and clawing at their own faces in a blind fan fueled hysteria? Yeah. That’s me when it comes to the Gabriel trilogy.
When people tell me they didn’t like the books, I’m like…
I have never really been nervous to interview someone, but when it came to interviewing you I was like, “But it’s Sylvain!”
Held up against your elegance and genius, I feel like a mouth-breather who just learned to walk upright. So going with that, I’ll ask: How do you put a sentence together so that it sounds different from everyone else’s sentences?
It could be the way I use language to try to paint a picture of a scene or to try to draw the reader into the story.
It could be the fact that I’m an auditory writer. I want the sentences to sound interesting.
When you tell a story, it isn’t just about the characters and the plot, it’s about the storytelling. I want to tell a story in such a way that the reader is entertained and amused and challenged and compelled. I try to use language to do that.
I highlighted more in this series, than any other book, ever. Quote, after quote, after quote. It’s like poetry.
I mean. I die. You write like you are bleeding your soul out on paper. Where do you find your inspiration?
As a character, Gabriel was inspired by Dante. His speech patterns are deliberately old-fashioned and Dantean. As a Dante specialist, he spends his life reading and thinking about Dante’s words. I think it’s reasonable to assume that he’d start speaking and thinking like him, as well.
I include themes in my writing that appeal to everyone — love, loss, sex, forgiveness, redemption. When those themes are presented with conviction, I think readers respond to them.
I’ll bring the wine… you bring the blanket.
I am a huge CS Lewis fan, and I also adore romance. I feel like you and this series are the perfect combination of my two great literary loves. What is your favorite thing to read, and what is your favorite thing to write?
I like reading nineteenth century European literature.
I enjoyed writing the argument between Gabriel and Julianne in the Dante seminar in “Gabriel’s Inferno.” They were arguing about Dante and Beatrice on the surface, but underneath they were fighting about something else. I liked the layers of meaning in the dialogue and I had a lot of fun writing it.
My personal faith is a big part of my life, and I really appreciated the spiritual aspect of the books. The faith — or lack of, at times — the human struggle for understanding, I really loved that element. I found myself comparing Gabriel to Jacob wrestling with the angel.
Is faith a big part of your life?
I like the imagery of Gabriel as Jacob. Thank you.
Yes, it is. In my experience, questions about God, good and evil, hope and redemption are asked by everyone at some point. I wanted to present characters that thought about those questions as well. I also wanted to present some of the answers they considered. And I hope that all readers, no matter their beliefs, will find some hope in my writing.
Yes. But love can be personality driven, which means some of us are stealthier as lovers than others … but just as passionate.
Gabriel is complex. Dichotomous. A gentleman savage. Science and mysticism. He is refined, yet an animal. He is cerebral, yet emotive. A civilized intelligent caveman. He is my favorite character ever written. Who is Gabriel? Are you Gabriel? Is Gabriel Emerson, Sylvain in print?
As the author, I am “in” all the characters. I have a special affinity with Gabriel, but I wouldn’t say that I’m him. I hope that I have better control of my temper, for example.
If one were looking to meet a man like the Good Professor, and one had no prior history with apple orchards, where would be the best place to go?
The literature section at Barnes and Noble.
David Gandy is my personal Gabriel. pause for dramatic swoon
Who do you envision as the cast of the series?
I’ve tried to stay away from naming anyone. Readers have very strong feelings about this, so I’ve invited them to choose their favourites and I’ve tried to promote all of them.
“Don’t confuse my restraint with a lack of desire, Julianne. I burn for you.” These books breathe eroticism, without actually being erotica. It isn’t super smutty or filthy, yet somehow it manages to be some of (if not the) sexiest books I’ve ever read. What is the secret to that balance?
Thank you. Especially given the title of your blog, this is a very great compliment.
In The Gabriel Series, the erotic scenes take place within the context of love. This context provides a deeper connection between the characters.
I think love scenes are more sensual and appealing if there is a slow seduction, an exploration of all the senses, and delayed (but assured) satisfaction.
Writing a good scene is like being a good lover. You want your reader to be satisfied.
Tell me your secrets. Tell me everything. Who are you, Sylvain?
It was recently hypothesized that I’m Batman.
I can neither confirm nor deny this.
What does a day in the life of Sylvain Reynard look like?
I write daily. At the moment, I’m finishing the manuscript to my next book, “The Raven.”
I’ve also been writing a series of blog posts that offer suggestions for aspiring writers.
The first in this series can be found here.
Thank you. “The Raven” is the first book in my new series and it features new characters, although The Professor has a cameo. The novel is set in Florence and you can read more about it here.
What would Gabriel say to me if he didn’t like this interview? And if he did like this interview?
If he didn’t like the interview, he’d fabricate an excuse and leave early. I hope he’d be polite but one never knows.
If he liked the interview, he’d probably invite you for lunch.
Are you hungry?
Okay. Rapid Fire Round. READYSETGO!
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
What is the first thing you notice about a woman?
I have to be honest; I notice her physical appearance first. But then I try to hear her voice, see what she thinks, how she acts and treats others, etc.
Bad manners trouble me.
If I tell you, it won’t be hidden…
Artwork and sculpture.
Favorite book? (Other than your own)
I’ve been reading Edgar Allan Poe recently.
Favorite song on your iPod (or most played right now)?
“Guatanamera” performed by Zucchero.
Coffee or tea?
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
Favorite TV show or movie?
I enjoyed this season of “True Detective.”
Can you take a picture of yourself right now and attach it?
You have to remember that you’re speaking with someone who’s technologically challenged.
What do you mean by “attach”? Should I use a paperclip?
Can I have your literary babies?
Let’s start with me taking you to dinner…
Thank you. This was very enjoyable and I really appreciate the invitation to talk to you.
Sylvain, this has been an absolute honor to talk with you. Thank you so very much!
Cheers, Kyleigh Jane. It truly was my pleasure, SR.