Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Is It Possible To Love Someone Evil? Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin.


Today it’s my pleasure to interview Margot Berwin, author of Scent of Darkness, a New Adult/Paranormal.
Publisher: Pantheon
Date of Publication: January 29th 2013
ISBN-10: 030790752X
ISBN-13: 978-0307907523
Number of pages: 240

GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter the rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win 10 audiobook boxed CDs narrated by the author Margot Berwin open to US Shipping and 10 Scent of Darkness candles open to US Shipping.

Book Description

When Evangeline's grandmother dies she leaves behind a ruby-red vial of perfume with the instructions: Don't pull out the stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.

From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck, she becomes the object of intense desire for everyone around her. Soon she's torn between Gabriel, a quiet medical student, and Michael, a beautiful and self-absorbed artist.

Scent of Darkness is about loving someone who is evil, tarot, New Orleans, and of course perfume.

Interview time!

SKY:  What inspired you to write this book?
MARGOT:  I’ve had a long love affair with perfume. When I was a kid I used to mix perfumes in the bathroom like a little four-foot chemist. Much to my mother's dismay I'd pull the stopper out of her Chanel #5 and pour in a little of my dad's Aqua Velva just for good measure.
I became obsessed with books on scent making such as The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr and Perfume by Suskind. I learned all I could about the major perfume houses in the south of France--Guerlain, Hermes, Chanel, Creed, Houbigant, Givenchy and many more. I was spending all of my free time in the perfume section of Sephora or Bergdorf Goodman spraying and waving little white strips of paper in the air.
Eventually I started to make my own scents. I hit upon a combination of essential oils in a base of sunflower oil and people in restaurants and bars would stop me to ask what I was wearing! I briefly thought about marketing the scent but instead I combined my love of perfume with my love of writing and turned them into a novel.

SKY:  How did you come up with the title?
MARGOT:  The original title was AROMATA. But the sales and marketing people at the publishing house didn’t really love that one because it’s a made up word and they were afraid no one would respond to it. Everyone agreed on Scent of Darkness—but I had to sell that one pretty hard too.

SKY:  What made you choose the main setting for your book?
MARGOT:  Writing anything in NYC is a big challenge for me. I need a lot of quiet to create and that can be very hard to come by in Lower Manhattan. Ambulance sirens, music from the bar across the street and people fighting are nightly occurrences outside of my window. I was thinking about going to France to write but I couldn't afford it at the time. Then a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to stay in his apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He’d just joined AA and his sponsor didn’t think NOLA was a good place for him so he handed me the keys and before I knew it I was living on St. Louis Street. I wasn't planning on setting my book there, but I loved it so much that I took my character out of medical school at Columbia, put him into medical school at Tulane, and set the second half of the book in the Quarter.

SKY:  If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
MARGOT:  Well, actually I already have. I had a long, tortured, borderline s/m relationship with a famous artist (who shall remain nameless). He is the character of Michael in the book. I kind of exorcised that particular demon while writing Scent of Darkness. I don’t think I want to spend anymore time with him thank you very much. I wouldn’t mind spending time with Levon though. He’s beautiful and young and mesmerizing and he’s brilliant at reading the tarot cards. I’ll take a week with him!
SKY: Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.
MARGOT:  I think the main conflict in my story is about choice. Should Evangeline choose the guy who’s good for her, the one that’s kind and confident and has a great future. Or the one that she’s physically attracted to in a way that she can’t forget or ignore. In a way it’s a classic story of good and evil. And it poses the question: Is it possible to love someone evil?

SKY:  If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?
MARGOT:  It was a small glass vial shaped like a teardrop filled with a liquid the color of a ruby. A tiny hole at the top of the tear held a crystal stopper, thin as a human hair. A single sheet of paper folded in half had my name, Evangeline, written in Louise’s heavily slanted script. I unfolded the paper and read the note out-loud: Don’t remove the crystal stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.

SKY:  Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.
MARGOT:  Gabriel and Evangeline have just moved to New Orleans and they come across Madame Susteen’s scent parlor. I loved writing this scene because Madame Susteen speaks in a southern accent and it was a challenge to write it that way. I also did the voice for the audiobook and I had to learn how to speak with that same accent. Here’s a bit from the scene:
“Hmmm…I like you girl, so I hate to bring you bad news, but the cards don’t lie and I won’t lie for them, not for you, not even for people I like a whole lot more than you. Are you ready to know what they have to say?”
I didn’t want to hear any bad news on my first night in New Orleans but Madame Susteen placed her hands over mine, looked me in the eye, and went right on talking.
 “You were born in the first decan of Scorpio. A fated decan. A poor placement. Trouble, and perhaps even death itself are in your cards. You’re the child of the devil, a temptress and a seductress meant to lose love and hurt the ones who love you. You will bring much pain and possibly even death to others, or even to yourself if you’re not careful.”

SKY:  It’s time to promo. What is your favorite marketing tool?
MARGOT:  I love Twitter—I like how it reaches so many people who I don’t know. Facebook reaches my friends, which is great, but I like the exponential quality of twitter when it comes to promotion. I also love virtual blog tours. These tours put your book in front of readers who may never come across it in any other way. For instance I saw my book as more of a YA or New Adult book, but my publisher didn’t see it that way, so I got it out to the audience I wanted, through the blog tour.
One of my favorite ways to promote is through my new column in the bushwick daily. It’s a sex and dating advice column that comes out once a week. Check it out: just google: Dirty Talk with Margot Berwin.
Thanks for asking such interesting questions--This was a lot of fun!
SKY:  Great interview, Margot! Thanks for joining me today.



My name is Eva from the longer and more beautiful Evangeline. I had something very special once, something that I took for granted and lost. I set out to find it again, and as so often happens, it was right there in front of me. Or should I say it was right there inside of me, running through my veins like a blessing, or a plague.

Jasmine smells like human flesh. Mix it with Cumin, which smells like sweat, and you have the scent of sex. If you spread it on your body, watch out, you’ll have sycophants all over the place-people crawling out of the woodwork to be close to you.

Human beings are defenseless against scent. They can’t hide from it because they can’t see it, or touch it, or hold it. All by itself it crawls into their brains, and by the time they’re in love with it, or the person it’s coming from, it’s too late. They’re tied to it forever, through the long, tight leash of memory.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that a great scent, like a great love, can crash onto the shore of your life like a wave, creating either damage or change, or in my case, both. 
What happened when I came across a scent like that was that I fell in love with two men at the same time, and one was pure evil, and one was good. It was an old-fashioned love triangle. A classic tale that came up roses, and jasmine, and of course, tears. 

So my name is Eva from the longer, and more beautiful Evangeline. And for me, the scent I found held my past, present, and future in its ethereal little hand. 

I don’t mean to be morbid and mostly I’m not, but it is possible to love someone evil. I know that for a fact. I wish I didn’t, but wishing isn’t going to change my story.

It happened during my 18th year when I was too young to know that there are events and relationships that never go away. That you can never take back. That change you in ways over which you have no control.

My grandmother Louise, the person I was closest to in the world, would say that none of that mattered anyway. That who we love isn’t a question of good or evil, but one of scent.

“Scent can do crazy things to the mind,” she said. “It can make us love people we shouldn’t and turn away those we should. It can make us desire the child of a criminal and shun the overtures of a saint. Never open your legs for a man whose mind you love but only for the man whose scent you can’t live without. That’s the one you’ll stay with forever.”

I’d spent every summer of my childhood with Louise but it was the summer of my 18th year that changed everything. That was the beginning of all the danger and the beauty and the blood.

About the Author

Margot Berwin earned her MFA from the New School in 2005. Her stories have appeared on Nerve.com, in the New York Press, and in the anthology The Future of Misbehavior.

Her first novel Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire was published in 2009 by Pantheon. Her new novel, SCENT OF DARKNESS, also by Pantheon is coming out on January 29, 2013.

Margot Lives in New York City.

Twitter: @MargotBerwin
Amazon Author Page

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This sounds like a very interesting concept: loving someone who's evil. I can't wait to see how it all plays out. Thanks!