The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Sebastiana Randone

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Sebastiana Randone


Summary: Jill thought that The House by Sebastiana Randone was genre busting and she had quite a few questions for the author when she popped into Bookbag Towers.
Date: 10 November 2013
Interviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy

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Jill thought that The House by Sebastiana Randone was genre busting and she had quite a few questions for the author when she popped into Bookbag Towers.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Sebastiana Randone: I see someone with a copy of Mysteries of Udolpho or Jane Eyre by their bedside; and a lover of theatrical characters, and 19th century aesthetics. I see a reader who loves to linger, often wishing that they could stay a little longer and who is most content, when in the company of unmet words, locales and eccentricity.

  • BB: What was the inspiration behind The House?

SR: Having always been an avid reader, with a particular penchant for novels written in the 19th century, it naturally followed that I would set my first book in the Regency era. When devising the narrative, I drew on my fascination for the archetypal nature of fairy tales, mysticism, reincarnation, past life love and soul mates. In essence, I was inspired to write a book that I would love to read.

  • BB: Your book takes in many genres - paranormal, historical, mystery suspense. How would you personally categorise it?

SR: I would categorise it as an adult fairy tale. For, as in fairy tales, there is a heroine, a mysterious setting, magic portals that transport to other times and places, encounters with a panoply of odd characters, a misadventure that sets the tone for the narrative, and a parable, here being; a lost soul’s journey to (re)connect with a kindred spirit.

  • BB: Which aspect of the book was the most challenging to write - style, time and place, or plot?

SR: The language was the most challenging aspect to crafting this story. I was plagued by indecision as to whether I should tell this story with a contemporary, thus economical voice (which I am still pondering!), or to write with Regency era vocabulary/syntax.

I settled on the latter, largely because Adeline (a writer character in the story), actually penned the novel. So, in order to maintain a certain level of integrity to this construct, I attempted to channel a writer living and creating in the early 19th century. The few clunky moments, could then be viewed as Adeline’s idiosyncratic approach to writing. I jest of course.

  • BB: Can true love really transcend time and place?

SR: Most certainly, this is why we are still moved and will continue to be (I hope) by stories like Romeo and Juliet, Lady of the Camillias, Ana Karenina, Madame Bovary, Wuthering Heights. Where the expression of love and desire is so palpable, the pages quiver.

The heroine in my book, prior to this adventure, was filled with intractable loathing for the period she was born into, resulting in alienation and unswerving disconsolation. Why this dissatisfaction with the time she inhabited? I wondered if it had to do with unfinished business in a past life.

Having an interest in mysticism (for artistic procurement only), and the notion of past lives, I found myself questioning whether this individual’s incurable sadness could in fact be due to a love match cut short in another time. That perhaps in the dark of night, the subconscious through dreams/nightmares was met with a lover from another incarnation, thus a journey through shapeless time ensued. This was the foundation to The House, the path one takes to meet with eternal love. By housing this romance in a book, this love will indeed last forever.

  • BB: When, how and where do you write?

SR: Generally mornings are good for invention, due to a freshness of mind. The afternoon is for editing and going over grammar. Presently, I write about 2 – 3 hours a day. Although I use the computer to write, I construct plots and character descriptions/outlines with paper and pen, and have a notebook with me, for those occasions when ideas appear suddenly.

  • BB: What would be your desert island book?

SR: Either Remembrance of things past by Marcel Proust or Middlemarch by George Eliot.

  • BB: Which author do you most admire?

SR: There are many, and they are all dead. But difficult as this is, I would say George Eliot.

  • BB: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to an aspiring writer?

SR: Being a novice, it would be a little too presumptuous to offer advice on literary or creative matters. However, this is advice I wish I had received, as I glance back at becoming (self) published. The online world is awash with a multitude of options for authors wishing to publish. Daunting as this may seem, due largely, to the high volume of companies offering author services, scrutinise it thoroughly. Then seek an editor, proof reader and finally (most importantly) align with a publisher who has a good promotion platform that does not cost the earth.

  • BB: What's next for Sebastiana Randone?

SR: Presently writing a novel set in New York late 80’s, a paranormal romance mystery.

Here is an outline to the story;

A wall street ‘Ponzi’ scheme trader meets and falls for a contemporary dancer one night in peculiar circumstances. Meanwhile his destiny is being manipulated by the vengeful ghost of his dead wife. The dancer has her own trials, perpetrated by the ghost of her embittered showgirl mother, who in pursuit, is also hell bent on causing problems. His past catches up with him (largely orchestrated by the wife), and drives a wedge between the lovers. Realizing that her daughter’s happiness is being sabotaged by this meddlesome ghostly wife, the dancer’s mother rueing her own part, sets out to make amends, so then, akin to a game of chess, she endeavours to circumvent the dead wife’s vindictive schemes.

  • BB: That sounds exciting, Sebastiana! Thanks for chatting to us.

You can read more about Sebastiana Randone here.

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