Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guest Blogger: Mia Darien - "My Love Affair with the Beast"

Me Want Food is proud to present guest blogger, romance author Mia Darien.

Mia Darien has lived in New England all of her life and knows that no matter where she goes from here, New England is always going to live in her. Presently, she still lives in the land of snow and fast talkers, with her husband, her son and her pets. She writes a bit of everything genre fiction (horror, romance, mystery, fantasy and science fiction) and thinks it sounds like an odd joke: a unicorn, a space monster, and a pair of zombie lovers walk into a murder investigation…

Her latest release is Deeper Than Skin.

I first read about the Beast of Gévaudan when I was a teenager, paranormal geek that I was, and read "The Werewolf Encyclopedia." Out of all the crazy, cool creatures in that book, I can't actually say why I found this particular beast as fascinating as I did, but I did.

The entry told of a terrible beast that terrorized the province of Gévaudan, France from 1764 to 1767. It didn't act like a "normal" wild animal and it was a nasty piece of work, and in the Encyclopedia, there were accounts of it sometimes walking on two feet and sometimes on four. (Later research didn't pan this out, but it was perhaps what caught my attention at first.)

First, I wrote it as The Villain in my first Preternatural, Unlimited novel, from the now defunct series that ultimately gave birth to Adelheid. (The Beast makes no appearances in current Adelheid novels, sorry to say.) What's funny is that while writing that early book, I rented a French movie called "Les Pacte des Loups" because I read a good review of it. I discovered that, low and behold, it was about the Beast of Gévaudan!

It was fate! It was kismet!

It wasn't really meant to be. That book went the way of the Dodo, but the movie (in English known as "The Brotherhood of the Wolf") became a favorite of mine and still is.

Years later, I decided to write this romance about a pair of wounded souls, a monster and a forest. Later, I decided to revisit my old flame of the Beast. I will admit that the movie inspired me as well and I used it for further inspiration in terms of ambience and fashion, but I did my research outside of that.

Researching was fun, however, because as you would imagine, information about a Beast that terrorized a French province is in French. I don't happen to actually speak French, so this led to an on-again-off-again romance with BabelFish and some incredibly entertaining translations. Fortunately, the featurette on the movie with a man known for his research on the Beast had English subtitles!

In the end, I persevered. I picked and chose my historical tidbits, mixed in with my dashes of inspiration, and wove together with my own creative ideas to bring about a romance in the time of the Beast.

Fortunately for my readers, it's not a romance actually with the Beast. 'Cause that would just be gross.

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