Today, we are delighted to present part 1 of our 3-part interview with Rebecca Maizel, author of Infinite Days, our September Book of the Month!
The beginning of each “part” of the book – including the next one, which is previewed at the end of Infinite Days – begins with a quote from Shakespeare. Each quote pertains clearly to the story that follows – but was the use of Shakesepeare for all of them deliberate? Why the Bard?
Well, Infinite Days felt like an epic tale to me. This was the most important moment in Lenah’s life and Shakespeare felt right. I don’t mean to compare Infinite Days to Shakespeare but it certainly has high drama and I think that’s why I chose Shakespeare quotes to off set the two parts of the book. Call it intuition but it felt right to me. I am actually changing the quotes for book 2 – I hope my editor thinks this is ok! 🙂 You’ll have to wait and see what quotes I use.
As for the specific quotes I used: For quote one, “That’s rosemary that’s for rememberance…”
Ophelia’s speech about flowers and medicinal healing would have made sense to Lenah and practiced during Lenah’s existence as a vampire (and as a mortal). Lenah’s affinity for flowers and herbs make this quote appropriate. Ophelia has lost her mind by this point in the play so the quote was doubly appropriate given Lenah’s state of mind at the beginning of book 1. Oh and rosemary is of importance to Lenah as well.
Lenah has a lot of potential love interests throughout the years – some of them overlapping at interesting, sometimes unexpected times: Rhode, Vicken, Tony, Justin. This goes way beyond a love triangle. Explain the complexities of these potential paramours.
Well, I can’t go into too much detail without revealing spoilers but I will discuss Rhode and Justin. Rhode is Lenah’s soul mate and I don’t mean “destined for each other” type of soul mate. I mean that he loves her down to the facets of her inner being. This is a very difficult love for her to lose, even when she meets Justin Enos. Justin provides Lenah with escape. He shows her what it means to live in a very different way than Rhode. She loves Rhode, she loves Justin but the loves can’t be compared. I guess that’s part of the thematic framework for the book. Does this make sense? Maybe I am talking crazy, I am good at that.
The Order of the Garter is an important part of Rhode’s history – and to some degree, Lenah’s history, as well. What drew you to the Order for Infinite Days?
I was fascinated by the era of its inception. I knew Rhode was alive in the 1340s, I also knew I wanted him to be a knight. Of course Rhode is a knight! He’s generous, tough, willing to fight for loyalty. Also, I was fascinated by the use of war swords and the concept of a brotherhood. Lenah makes her own brotherhood once she becomes a vampire, though it’s a completely manipulated concept of the word. Some of the other reasons I chose the Order of the Garter is because it is still in existence today! Also, I wanted Rhode to belong to something important, something that would make him think of his own mortality. Afterall, Rhode, unlike Lenah, seeks out a vampire to turn him. Rhode did not fear death in battle, Rhode feared death by the black plague which ran rampant during the 1340s in England.
Rhode and Lenah both refer to a quote that is taken from the Order – “evil be he who thinketh evil.” Explain how this becomes a sort of overall theme for the book and the various characters.
Well, the specific quote is: “Honi soit qui mal y pense”
Which is “shame be to him who thinks evil of it” – I doctored it for my own creative use, “evil be he who thinketh evil” is what Lenah and Rhode say in the book. The phrase is believed to have stemmed from Edward the III himself.
But for Infinite Days, I though this quote really could be used and manipulated by Lenah. Rhode believes in it’s sentiment in the most pure sense but Lenah, who become a victim of her own vampiric mind, twists the phrase for evil. In Rhode’s eyes, if your intentions are bad, if you walk into a situation choosing to dispel evil, than that’s who you are. It’s one of Rhode’ innermost motivations. Lenah, unlike Rhode, lets her evil define her.
What’s with the 3-Piece? Are they friends or enemies? Frenemies?
You will see….:)
Lenah is really unloveable at the beginning of Infinite DAys. Do you think readers will warm up to her by the end? How does that fit into the other two books in the trilogy?
Hmm. This is a hard question to answer mainly because I don’t think of Lenah as unloveable in the opening of Infinite Days. What we see when the novel opens is a man, Rhode, who loves a woman unconditionally, so much so that he is willing to die for her – and he does. Her actions before the start of the novel, which we learn about as we move farther along into the plot make her past a very frightening thing. That might be hard for people to reconcile as they get to know Lenah better throughout Infinite Days.
I [Steph/clumzbella] still haven’t forgiven you for killing off my favorite character, but it taught Lenah an important lesson. Can you tell us about this (without spoilers!)?
Oh boy. Hm. No, I can’t because the death of this character is something which propels so much of the action for the subsequent books. Nothing set up within Infinite Days goes unfinished in the rest of the series.
Tune in tomorrow for part 2!
Wow! You asked such great, insightful questions! I love it! I’m also really glad to hear that the things set up in book 1 will be further developed later on!