Off the Shelf

INTERVIEW: Paulette Crain

By Marcus Pan

Paulette CrainYou are working on a prequel for Delore's Confession. What centuries in the history of the DeLore and/or Winthrop families are you planning on covering?

As you know from reading a portion of the prequel, I began at the beginning of creation so to speak. I will then solve the mystery of the elusive Jack The Ripper, 1888, then move forward and into the 20th century. You will learn more about Jenny and her interaction with the Winthrops as well as a closer look at Stefan, Christopher, Sophia, Andrew, Nicholas and Louisa.

Is there a name for this next novel and how far along is it to print? Can you provide an estimated time of completion?

My next novel, the one I'm presently working on, is a psychological thriller. I hope to have it out by the first of next year.

By the late 1800s according to the epilogue, Leopold and wife still reside at Nine Thorton Square in London. At the time that DC took place, are they still living there now?

Yes, Leopold and Madeline are most definitely residing at Nine Thornton Square. The Chamber at Nine Thornton Square is far more powerful than DeLore House.

Would you consider Ashley Winthrop a mirror image of yourself or otherwise created from your own character? Ashley, like you, spends time between New Orleans and California. She is also in the antique/restoration business, as you once were. Are these similarities coincidental or something more?

Ashley Winthrop is not a mirror image of myself. I was living in Los Gatos, CA when I wrote DeLore's Confession and had no earthly idea I would EVER be spending my time between New Orleans and Tiburon. However, there are similarities between Ashley's inner being and myself.

The male lineage of the two families, Winthrop and DeLore. Are they truly immortal (assuming they do not stray into love), or does their power eventually wane?

The Evil Legacy is ever powerful and eternal. The only hope for release (death) is by the hand of another of the same ilk or by one's own hand. The ONLY exception is the seed of righteousness as was conveyed in the character of Jenny. Though Jenny lived to be 103, her purity and righteousness released her. She then, through Ashley, was able to release her dearest love, Tryn/Christoper. Jenny was the first Winthrop to have that seed. I will go into that in a more complex way as I progress with the prequel.

Maurice is an interesting character. The only thing we know for sure is that he has been with Mr. DeLore for a long time. In addition, there was a young Maurice that showed up at Nine Thorton Square and who enamored, at least for a time, Leopold Winthrop himself. Is this one and the same person?

Maurice? By all means he is one and the same. I've enjoyed toying with the character of Maurice. There is much that I can do with him.

How did you come about creating the starting lineage of the families with Greco-Roman deities? It was utterly unexpected and I was surprised to find that to be the case.

Greco-Roman. What comes to mind when I think of these deities? Mystical, eternal, powerful, handsome, beautiful, seductive, exotic and erotic. I needed these characteristics in order to produce my family of evils. And Zeus being the God of Gods, he would be the one to create this family. Though it was not his intention to create evil, he was later compelled to do so. As for Atlantis, I have always been intrigued by that mythical (???) place.

The Jaguar walking stick and ring…are there still only two of these originally made by Zeus - one for Trynathian, one for Poseidon? Or were there others made as time wore on? If there are still only two, then Michael Winthrop has the DeLore set…but who has the Winthrop set?

The original Jaguar walking sticks and rings are at Nine Thornton Square. There are many others and all were and still are reproduced at NTS.

If it won't spoil the unexpectedness of the story, can you provide more information on who the woman was who came for Tryn/Christopher? The only thing I could assume is that it was a phantom of Jenny, because she is the only one who nearly brought Christopher through to love…nearly causing his downfall a century ago. If the males are predominant throughout the DeLore and Winthrop families, why a female to come and claim Tryn?

Jenny would never in any form conduct herself as THAT woman did. Oh no, you could never guess who that person really is. At least I hope you couldn't. :=) Don't ever assume that the males are predominant in these two families. They are simply different. Remember, the women do not succumb to love as the men. They simply do not receive love from their men.

Your feelings on comparisons between your Winthrop/DeLore creations and vampires?

Vampires are the undead. They are less realistic than my creation. I feel that my family is much more complex than the vampire. The only similarity is immortality and the baggage that goes along with it.

DeLore's Confession is what most people would consider a medium-sized novel. Why did it take eight years from fruition to completion?

It did not take eight years to write DC. It took six months and many rewrites. The book was so long that my editors had me cut out a large chunk. It was ten years ago that I first set out to write a novel. The past ten years is a book in itself. My first agent was Linda Chester, Wally Lamb's agent. A long story.

Assuming there are future novels inside of you that have yet to come out (disregarding for a moment the previously discussed prequel), are there any other fiction genres you would be interested in writing in?

As I previously said, my next novel is a psychological thriller. Gothic mystery and thrillers are my cup of tea.