The interview is located online in their Happily Ever After book section.
Below is a reprint of the interview.
Interview: Sylvain Reynard, author of ‘Gabriel’s Inferno’
By Justine Ashley Costanza, USA TODAY
Last week, news broke that Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel’s Inferno and its follow-up, Gabriel’s Rapture, have been picked up by Penguin’s Berkley imprint. Originally distributed by Omnific Publishing, the smoldering tales of forbidden love have acquired a devoted fan base, and have steadily climbed the best-seller lists, since their 2011 releases. Like Fifty Shades of Grey, the books started out as Twilight fan fiction before being reworked.
Gabriel’s Inferno tells the story of an enigmatic professor who falls in love with his new graduate student, Julia. Their passionate courtship is beautifully conveyed through poignant allegories and alluring imagery. Its gripping sequel, Gabriel’s Rapture,
focuses on the repercussions of their student/teacher affair. Higher education has never been so understatedly sexy!
Both stories are filled with allusions to classical literature, art, and music — making them compelling and thoughtful reads.
Happy Ever After had the chance to ask Reynard about the new book deal, a possible film version of the story and the likelihood that Gabriel and Julia’s story will become a trilogy.
Justine: Describe your journey from first coming up with the concept for Gabriel’s Inferno and now having a major deal with Berkley.
Sylvain: When I began writing, I was trying to explore the themes of redemption and love with respect to two flawed people — the professor and his graduate student. As time went by, I began to hear from readers about what they enjoyed in the novel. Although I began writing for myself, now my writing is primarily for my readers. I’m even more conscious of the importance of reader support as my books are published by Berkley.
Justine: Both Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture have an immensely supportive fan base. Do you think that’s why a major publishing house has decided to take them on?
Sylvain: Certainly that’s part of it. My editor at Berkley, Cindy Hwang, is very supportive of my writing and she believed in these novels. Similarly, my publicist, Enn Bocci, has worked tirelessly to put the books in the hands of people around the world who would read them and enjoy them. When you add this support to the support of my readers, it’s clear that I didn’t accomplish anything alone.
Justine: I have no doubt that if fans of the Gabriel’s Inferno rallied, there would be a film version in the works in no time. Would you
Sylvain: I think that my readers could do just about anything. From what I’ve observed, their enthusiasm is infectious. It’s been great to hear reactions from readers on different continents on what they enjoyed about the novels.
Justine: Both books are immeasurably sensual but lack graphic sex scenes. How did you create such seductive moments while leaving so much to the imagination?
Sylvain: I think that leaving things to the imagination is what creates seduction. Sometimes one can have too much of a good thing. Part of the thrill of sex is the anticipation, so as a writer I’m conscious of that fact. In my view, sex is a mystery. If one focuses on the mechanics of sex or the awkwardness of two human beings communing physically, it takes away from the mysterious and sometimes transcendent aspects of it.
Justine: You’ve hinted that Gabriel and Julia’s story could be a trilogy. For all of the fans out there yearning for a follow-up: Are there any details that you can share?
Sylvain: Due to the response of readers, I’ve been thinking about penning a third book in the series. So I’d like readers to know that I’ve read their messages and that I’m listening.
As a book, film and pop culture journalist, Justine Ashley Costanza has interviewed celebrities such as Steve Carell and Meryl Streep. She’s also an avid reader of romance novels. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter (@Justine__Ashley).
I love reading that SR is listening to his readers as far as the possibility of a third novel with Gabriel and Julia. If this is something you’d love to see happen, but haven’t made your feelings known to him yet, I’d encourage you to voice your opinion via twitter or by leaving a comment on SR’s website.
The thought of a movie with the Professor just makes me giddy. I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed for that to happen too 🙂
If it were to become a reality who do YOU see as the best person to portray Gabriel Emerson? Julia Mitchell? I’d love to hear your thoughts.