Sunday, February 10, 2013

Photographic Evil: An interview with paranormal novelist Christopher Savio

1) Please tell us about your book. 

The Daguerreotypist is a book that is much more than your typical paranormal romance. Don’t get me wrong, it has its fare share of romance and has the ability to scare the pants off most any reader. Mostly the book is about what happens when people don’t realize the wonderful things they have in life. Too many times we all wish we had something or someone else. Often we think that our lives are much too boring. After reading The Daguerreotypist, you will be grateful for what you have and hug and kiss your significant other.

2) Please tell us a bit about your main characters.

The antagonist, Isaiah Whitfield, is a loner who wants to change the world by eliminating its sins. He believes that in so doing he can and will bring about the Second Coming. In the 19th century, he bounced around from one job to the next before finding himself in business as a daguerreotypist (photographer). Taking pictures of the rich or other people he loathes drives him wild with frustration. They don’t listen to him and continue their sinning. Due to his anger and failed attempts to get people to change, he devises a crusade to kill the sinners and scare people into changing their lives. His favorite hangout or place to go and people watch is a coffee house around the corner from his 1842 New York City apartment. Here in an attempt at human contact and to spread his message of eradicating sin, he often gets into political and religious debates. To everyone but him, it is blatantly obvious why he has few people who can tolerate his presence.

The protagonist, Rachel, is a beautiful photojournalist who lives in Isaiah’s apartment in the year 2012 with her fiancée Brian. Rachel is outwardly brave, successful and happy. On the inside, she yearns for something else. She needs something a bit more exciting than her safe and loving life with Brian. Once she finds Isaiah’s Daguerreotype in her wall, she finds herself obsessed with him, despite his horrific history. It turns out to be an obsession that may ruin much more than her safe and loving life she has found with Brian.

Brian, Rachel’s fiancée, is a high school history teacher who recently has mustered up the guts to move into New York City with Rachel. He is Rachel’s safety net and rock. Brian is loyal and devoted and is the kind of guy who will stick by here through thick or thin. Given this is partially because he believes himself to be out of her league and endures much more than most men will to stay with his true love.

The Devil, for the most part is only visible or seen by Isaiah. Once he is revealed for what he really is, he appears sporadically through the book to antagonize Isaiah and drive him even madder. The Devil pushes Isaiah to do his bidding, which appears to be solely for his own amusement. As the story unfolds, amusement may not be his sole motive. The reader may have to read the sequel to find out the true evil of the Devil’s true motives.

3) You have a background in, among other things, teaching criminology. How did that inform some of your character development in this novel?

In teaching criminology I have learned much about serial killers and their behavior. (It makes watching shows like Criminal Minds much more interesting.) I have blended that into my character Isaiah Whitfield. The dementia of a serial killer can be seen when the reader is shown his inner most thoughts. The reader will see him acting erratically and desperately. He clearly displays the actions of a paranoid disorganized killer who is fighting for his survival with the Devil biting at his heels. I believe it only adds to frightening and disturbing actions of my antagonist. It may also lend itself to the reader almost feeling sorry for him. Well, maybe for a moment until the reader continues on with the novel.

4) Why do you center certain elements of the plot around an daguerreotype? Have you always had an interest in the history of photography?

One of my favorite scenes in movie history comes from The Dead Poet’s society. When Robin Williams asks his students to listen to the pictures on the wall in order to hear what they are saying. Well, my imagination did not hear “seize the day” it heard something far more sinister or downright odd. It wondered what could happen if the people could come out of their pictures and time travel back and forth between our world and theirs. What would they do? Would we want them here? Those thoughts are what eventually gave me the idea to write The Daguerreotypist.
I have always loved history and looking at old pictures. I often thought of what if the people in them could come out of them. (A vivid imagination I know, but to be a writer you have to be a bit different.) Although, I am not really into photography, I have always been captivated by daguerreotypes and the story of the people in them.

5) Books featuring serial killers, paranormal or otherwise, continue to draw in readers. Why do you think people are so interested in engaging with some of the darkest creatures that can still be called human?

It is a basic human instinct. People say they hate the sight of blood or horrific scenes, yet they slow down at every accident on the highway to get a good look. Although many love to think of sunny days or utopian existences, people can’t get away from their own dark sides. Reading books about it is a safe way to feed that part of themselves,

6) Do you any links to any excerpts you'd like to share?

I would love to do so. My website is currently on the fritz. I will post them as soon as I can get word press to get me up and running again. Please stay tuned.

7) Please tell us briefly about your other works.

I currently have one other book, The Beckoning, out on the market. That book is about a young girl of fifteen finding her inner strength and coming of age. Rest assured however that this is not your typical coming of age story. Forced to relocate to a rural Virginia plantation house, my main character Marissa soon finds herself haunted by a demon who is trying to kill her family. All alone, except for her dog Max, Marissa almost falls victim to despair. That is until the ghost of the fifteen-year-old boy who used to inhabit her very room over a hundred years befriends her. Not only does he hold the key to getting rid of the demon, but he also leads her down a path to understanding her family’s mesmerizing yet eerie past that she never knew. Falling in love with the ghost, Zachary, Marissa not only learns about true loves powers, but gains bewildering powers of her own. Can she use these powers to free her family and the souls of her long lost relatives from the demon who is desperately trying to kill her?

I am currently working two other books, the prequel to The Beckoning and another involving vampires and Billy the Kid. I hope to have these two works hitting the market during 2013.

The Daguerreotypist is available for sale at Amazon.


Burt Morgret said...

Thank you for hosting today:)

J.A. Beard said...

My pleasure.

Rebecca Graf said...

Good luck on the tour.

Dee said...

Wow, sounds like an intense book! And what a great interview! I look forward to reading more on tour.
Pit Crew

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan said...

Great interview!



Chris Savio said...

Thank you everyone for the great comments. If you would like to contact me, I can be reached at, on Facebook at Scaryreads or @scaryreads on twitter.
Again thank you very much,

Christopher Savio