Saturday, August 14, 2010

Getting to Know R. Paul Sardanas


To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?

My novel “The Order of the Golden Rose” came out in July—one of the first three releases for the new m/f branch of MLR, Passion in Print Press. It is the first in the Siobhan Bishop Erotic Underworld Series. I’ve just completed the second book in the series, “The Blood Jaguar”, which is scheduled for a December release.

What makes a book great in your eyes?

A great book must go deep into the emotions of the reader. In some way, when they reach the end and put it down, a great book will have touched something important in them.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I have a strong background in classical poetry and literature, but I also absolutely love “pulp” fiction. My writing hero when I was a young man was the Nobel Prize winning author Yukio Mishima, who in addition to brilliant work that illuminated the human psyche, also wrote (and even acted in) “B” movie detective flicks in Japan.

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

Probably the most surprising fact of my life is that when I was growing up in the 1970’s, my family was homeless. I have only an Eighth Grade formal education, and beyond that am self-taught. Given that some of my writing has appeared in University circles, and my nickname among academic readers is “Professor”…people are often shocked that I walked out of the conventional halls of learning in grade school.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I have lived in vibrant urban areas, like Boston and San Diego, and also very natural, undeveloped forest or ocean locales. I love both, as they excite my mind on the one hand, and my instincts on the other. Right now I am very happy where I live, on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Nature is very powerful here, and art, culture and literature are always thriving in interesting ways.

What authors are on your virtual or literal keeper shelf?

The above mentioned Yukio Mishima of course, as well as William Blake (who my character Richard Blake in “The Order of the Golden Rose” is named after), the poets Charles Baudelaire and T.S. Eliot—writers James Joyce and Kazuo Ishiguro. Living writers I consider my mentors (and who I am honored to consider friends and colleagues), are Bruce Boston and Don McGregor.

If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?

“The Order of the Golden Rose” is a good place to start. It embodies both sides of my writing personality, being both an intense erotic adventure, and an exploration of the history of mysticism—with a great classic lurking in the background, the dangerously sexy nineteenth century opera “Pagliacci”.


If there was a soundtrack to your latest novel, what genre/songs would be included?

It would be a wild balance of classical and modern. Opera music juxtaposed with pounding techno, with rock riffs that seque into Bach, Mozart or Vivaldi.


Which of your characters would you most likely fall for if they were real?

Siobhan Bishop, the sensual, nature-loving, intensely intelligent book expert from the “Erotic Underworld” series. I confess to occasional moments of jealousy when I write scenes of her with her lover, Professor Richard Blake.


Besides the bedroom, what's the sexiest part of your home in your opinion and why?

Any part of the home can be sexy. Passion is enhanced by the qualities of any space created together by a couple.


What are you working on now?

I will soon be working on finish edits for the second book in the “Erotic Underworld” series for PIP Press, “The Blood Jaguar”. I have also begun work on the third in the series, called “The Garden of Lilith”, and also a collaborative erotic novel with Tisha Garcia, called “Torera”, which chronicles the life of a woman bullfighter.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I felt driven to write from an early age. In my last year in formal school, I was doing the assignments for the class so fast that my teacher could barely believe it, and I started writing a novel in class at the same time (I was thirteen). My teacher, who I will always be grateful to, told me to forget the regular assignments and work exclusively on the novel. From that day on, I’ve been a writer.

What inspired you to write your first book?

That first book at age thirteen (which was a mess, I had yet to learn how to plot) was inspired by epics like the Norse Myths. My first book of poetry (one of thirteen now in print), came out of a desire to explore the complexities of mind, heart, soul and society in our modern world. My first serious adult novel was inspired by a wish to attempt to capture transcendent (and even uncontrollable) passions using the medium of words.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have tried to use the techniques of “serious literature” in my “pulp fiction”, with the basic idea that readers are amazingly intelligent, and will appreciate the effort to craft a story that excites them at a primal level, but also stimulates their minds. So my style is a hybrid in that way. Every reader is brilliant, and should be given gifts of writing that celebrate that brilliance.

How did you come up with the title?

“The Order of the Golden Rose” came about because it is a tale centered around a mystical secret society. I used some real history as a template, modeling my fictional Order after the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which boasted literary members like William Butler Yeats.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

No overt message, it is meant to be a fun and stimulating book. But between the lines throughout the story is the message that erotic love is far more than an experience for the body—it can (and should) be a vibrant celebration of the soul as well.

How much of the book is realistic?

I have liberally mixed the real and the created in the book. A key part of the plot involves the Emerald Necklace chain of forested parks around Boston, and they are real. Though the mystical history I’ve layered onto them is my own creation. Most of the occult information I’ve put in the book is rooted in history, from the alchemists on through the mystical societies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. “Pagliacci” is a real opera of course, though I have added some pretty wild elements to its history.

Where can readers find you on the web?

My book is available on www.amazon.com as well as www.passioninprint.com, and my website is www.rpaulsardanas.com
where readers can find excerpts from my novels, as well as poetry and art.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for this opportunity to talk about my writing and creative life. I love contact and feedback from readers. Write to me any time at r.paul@rpaulsardanas.com, and I will happily respond.

*~~*



Here is the blurb for “The Order of the Golden Rose” from PIP Press.


In a stunning tale set against the rich urban landscape of modern-day Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, occult book authority Siobhan Bishop uncovers a century-old secret society of sexual mystics. A rare edition detailing the dark, sensual practices within the Order of the Golden Rose has surfaced. On her quest for answers, Siobhan encounters charismatic Harvard professor Richard Blake, and passion ignites, plunging Siobhan into Richard's circle of hidden knowledge and transcendent eroticism. But does love stand a chance amidst the twisted obsessions of Richard's scorned lover, Olivia Dorian? Having tasted the sexually charged magic of the Order of the Golden Rose, Olivia will not be satisfied until she possesses all of the perilous knowledge of the erotic mystics--- no matter who is destroyed in the process.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cool, nice getting to know you and your work.

Looks all cool!!

Valerie
valb0302@yahoo.com
in Germany

R. Paul said...

Thanks again for this opportunity! Such interesting questions, which gave me a trip down memory lane as well as the enthusiasms of the present.

Tess MacKall said...

The Order of the Golden Rose really is an incredibly intricate weaving of passion and mystery.

And you, Paul, are a fascinating individual with insights that not everyone has to the way of the world. It's those insights, the things you've experienced that bring so much to your books.

Wonderful interview. Can't wait for the second in the series to be on the shelves.

R. Paul said...

Thank you, Valerie. Nice to get to know you, too (and very cool to think of the book being read in Germany). Drop me a line when you've read it! I would love to hear your thoughts.

R. Paul said...

Thank you Tess. Your support and the vision you brought to the book as its editor mean the world to me.

I do indeed try and put some of my heart and soul into everything I write. I think the readers deserve that.

And I am excited too that we will soon be working on edits for the second book in the series together! The Blood Jaguar was a wild delightful ride to create. Siobhan and Richard definitely run into vampires unlike any seen before...sun-loving, dangerously sexy creatures.

Thanks again, Tess. You are a marvel.

William Maltese said...

Well, hey!

As your fellow PIPP author--of the Seven Continent Series, my Willa Lambert AFRICA: SPICE ISLAND LOVE, one of the lead imprint books, along with yours--I, of course, had to stop by and say what a privilege it is to have joined you in the line-up, and to wish you and your book mucho success and huge sales! William/Willa

Kristaline said...

I just had to stop by quick and tell these people to READ THIS BOOK, it is so awesome there is not even a created genre for it...you will finish wanting the next book to already be in your hands!

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

I enjoyed the interview R. Paul. It was nice to learn more about you and your writing journey. The Order of the Golden Rose sounds wonderful!

SamWB said...

R, your work is simply outstanding. I told you before that I do not care for reading erotica, because there are just not many people who can do it right. The Order Of The Golden Rose is MORE than right, it re-writes the definition of erotica entirely. A story that travels through the heart, soul and physical senses of the reader and leaves a lingering caress every where it touches.

Your talent, sir, is unending.

I can't wait to read the second book R, to ride the beautiful roller coaster once more

Much love

Sam Birch

Anonymous said...

Great interview! You know I'm a big fan of yours - I absolutely loved "The Order of the Golden Rose" and I've loved all your poetry as well. It's nice to hear you talk about your past. I'd forgotten a lot of that - you really have had an interesting and unusual - to say the least - life and I think it informs your work. You are a remarkable person, R. Paul and I wish you every success in the world. Can't wait to see the second book in the series.

Ivy Van de Vende

Laura G. said...

Very nice interview. I really enjoyed the Golden Rose--especially the way you wove the stories together. I'm looking forward to the next book. You're a very talented and gifted writer.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Okay, I hate it when I have to spend money, but after reading about your book, I can see I will have to put out the money, and get this book!!

Great interview and I look forward to reading it.

R. Paul said...

To William/Willa,

Thank you for coming by! The privlege was all mine in having my book appear alongside yours on the PIP shelf. Your achievements in the genre are astonishing, really...and with no end in sight. Success with your Seven Continents books!

R. Paul said...

To Kristaline,

Thank you, dear friend! So many of my old and new friends here are such gifted creators, and you, poet and author, caster of powerful life-spells, are the equal of any. That along with having a heart as big as the world.

Star to star always.

R. Paul said...

To Lisa,

Thank you for coming, Lisa. I have so much enjoyed getting to know you better since we both became part of the PIP family. Your new book, Danielle's Touch, is on my must-read list after I read more about it in your own recent interview. I applaud so much that you have taken challenging emotional and societal issues and woven them into your tale, right alongside the love, and the hope we all share of a HEA.

R. Paul said...

To Sammie,

I can't tell you how many times you have left me speechless...either from your poetry, your visions of life and the world, or the depth of your friendship.

You're right, erotic writing will never be about genre to me, or about anything less than the exaltation of the passionate spirit in all of us.

A writer like you comes along with such rareness in the world. In my comment to William, above, I mentioned privilege...well, what a privilege it is to have your works to read and leave me staggered and transformed...and your friendship to treasure.

Much love back,
R

R. Paul said...

To Ivy,

I know you have been a supporter of my work since the earliest days of my poetry, and that's quite a special journey to have taken together. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Order of the Golden Rose. You too are a writer of special gifts, and have experienced unique turns in your life that you have always surmounted and transcended, much to my admiration. Can't wait for the day your books are on my shelf!

R. Paul said...

To Laura G.,

Even if your name doesn't appear in the credits of The Order of the Golden Rose, Laura, it will always be there in my mind. You brought your discerning eye and articulate mind, along with Tess, to the editing of the book, and I will always be grateful. The two of you raised it to a level beyond expectations and dreams. I look forward so much to joining forces with both of you again for the next book!