JMW: Hello, this is Jean Marie Ward for BuzzyMag.com. With me today is Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, a true living legend and national treasure. She is a living legend according to the International Horror Guild. She’s also a winner of the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award and she’s probably the woman responsible for giving us the vampires we have today. Welcome, Quinn. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: Thank you, thank you.
JMW: Okay. I have to ask, first off, your current book for Saint-Germain, “An Embarrassment of Riches”, is set in Bohemia in roughly 1269 through 1272. What was so compelling about 13th century Bohemia that you had to have an adventure there?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: Well, it’s more of a question of – it’s been referenced in other books. So, occasionally I like to catch up with what I’ve referenced. That period in the high medieval culture, of course, was very different in Eastern Europe than it was in Western Europe and most people are only familiar with Western Europe, if they’re even familiar with it at all. The other factor was that for a long time, the economic system was based on exchange of service, or occasionally trading in goods. But since the Roman Empire collapsed, they hadn’t been doing much of money.
But Bohemia had an awful lot of gold and silver, which they began to mine industriously and brought money back into the whole equation. From that point on, the turn back toward a money-based economy was underway and continued right up to the present day.
JMW: Ah, so possibly they reinfluenced Western Europe, when the Crusades sent people to and from Bohemia through the [inaudible 00:02:14].
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: Oh, yeah. It was good to be on the route and be able to collect money from it. But the other thing that it was really nice to do, was it meant that you were the ones that set the monetary standards. Their only competition was the Venetian Ducat.
JMW: So, that could be very important in – where there is money there is greed…
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: Oh, yes.
JMW: …conflict and adventure. That’s certainly true. You have written 25 books in recounting the life, or un-life, of Saint-Germain. How do you keep the timeline straight?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: I have about a 20-page chronology on him, and I go in and revise it constantly because things keep happening. There are references, or I work on another book and I have to fit it in and make sure that I don’t do anything that contradicts what I’ve said up to that point, and at the same time doesn’t contradict any of the other information that’s happened in the stories.
JMW: Yeah. It must be very big. I bet the type of 20 pages is really, really small.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: 11 point.
JMW: Ah, yes. 11 point Courier or 11 point Times Roman?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: I can’t stand Times Roman. It’s 11 point Garamond.
JMW: Ah, yes. Okay. When you started to write about Saint-Germain, did you realize you would be embarking on an epic history of Western civilization or that you would be rewriting it from a feminist bend?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: Well, the feminist bend was my original intention. I had planned five books, the first five, “Hotel Trans”, “The Palace”, “Blood Games”, “Path of the Eclipse”, and “Tempting Fate”. That was taken through a full cycle of various sorts of relationships with women, including of course a kid. As a result, when I got to the end of all that and my editor had left, it sort of fell away. When I came back to it, it was a matter of taking a look at everything that he had said in those books, and going, looking for spots to start relocating him.
Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.