Thursday, October 20, 2011

Alma Katsu

Alma Katsu is the author of The Taker, a gothic tale of desire, obsession and the need within us all for redemption.

The Taker has been described as "an epic supernatural love story" and compared to The Historian," Interview with the Vampire, and Twilight even though it doesn't have one vampire in it.

From her Q & A with novelist Todd Ritter:

Q. Tell us about your book and what inspired you to write it.

The TAKER is slightly indescribable. On one level, it’s about a young woman who falls in love with a young man that she cannot have. She’s loved him at her own peril and she is about to pay for it, when she falls in with a seductive, mysterious man who offers her the power to win her lover and bind him to her forever. She accepts this offer and then finds out she has made a terrible bargain and she has to figure out how to save her lover and herself from damnation. Love is at the heart of the book, but it’s an exploration of how little we really know about what drives us to love someone, how we are capable of selfishness, and how hard it is to really change. On one hand it’s very much like a fairy tale, and on the other hand, it’svery dark. If you like stories that sweep you away, you’ll like it. If you like stories where the hero and heroine wait until the very end of the book to have their first chaste kiss, you’ll probably hate it.

The other thing is that while it’s very gothic and compared to INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE a lot, there are no vampires in it, and that has disappointed some readers.

Q. Did you need to do any special research for the book? If so, what’s one of the most interesting facts you discovered?

There are, basically, two worlds in the book: one is New England in a funny period — post-Revolutionary War era — and the other is medieval central Europe, including attitudes toward religion, magic and alchemy. The book isn’t intended to be a historical with a capital H; I’m not a historian. Even though I grew up in a historical area of Massachusetts, I ended up doing a lot of research on the colonial American side of things, along the lines of “What did they eat for breakfast?” and “When did they start using the St. John waterway to float logs for the timber industry?” You know, questions that everyone wants to know the answer to. Oddly, I had a good working knowledge of...[read on]
Writers Read: Alma Katsu.

The Page 69 Test: The Taker.

--Marshal Zeringue