Thursday, June 30, 2016

Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black Interview & Giveaway

Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place
Vanta M. Black

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Genre-Fiction, New Adult, Horror

Publisher: Black Chateau Publishing

Date of Publication: March 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9964488-2-6
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-1-9
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-0-2

Number of pages: 566
Word Count: 247,912

Cover Artist: Black Chateau Enterprises

Book Description:

Veronica knows the monsters aren’t “just in her head”, but no one listens to the headstrong ten-year-old as they tie her to a hospital bed every night.

Years later, after being dumped by her business-partner/boyfriend, Veronica finds herself on the verge of bankruptcy. Then a late-night call promises the perfect solution — a job opportunity decorating a castle in France.

Will Veronica risk what little she has left to chase a fairytale?

When the shadowy things that once terrorized her come back, Veronica must decide how much she’ll sacrifice for them, for her sanity, and for her life.

This epic book consists of interwoven stories with paranormal twists. A horror-filled historical fiction adventure, it spans nearly two millennia.

You'll be transported to an ancient Pagan ritual, Roman-ruled Gaul, the bloody Inquisition of the Knights Templar, France as it's ravaged by the Black Death, the duplicitous Reformation, the Paris Catacombs, and the gory French Revolution, while you unravel Oubliette’s cryptic layers.

Amazon    BN    Author Website

About the Author:

Vanta M. Black, author of Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place, enjoys uncovering the dark mysteries of our Universe.

In addition to writing,  she enjoys traveling to provocative places and studying all things esoteric.

Black has degrees in English, communication and art. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two pug-mix dogs, and spends her time in support of causes that empower women and advance science and technology.

Where are you from?
Southern California. I live and love in Los Angeles!
Tell us your latest news?
Black Chateau Enterprises is about ready to officially announce the Ohh La La Oubliette Fan Fiction contest and giving away a trip to France!
I traveled to Paris, the Loire Valley, even the Catacombs when researching Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place. The contest is going to give a lucky winner the chance to explore just like I did!
I think this is incredibly exciting. I love Fan Fiction, and if you’re a reader, that means there’s also a writer inside you. This contest gives those who are brave and bold enough to put their ideas into a story, the ultimate opportunity to go on a magical vacation to France.
Here’s the link for more details and the rules:
When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote my first real short story when I was 13. A friend from another school needed an original short story for a class assignment and asked me to write it for her. (Yes, I helped her cheat—bad Vanta, I know!)
I wrote about a chicken hawk that accidently raises a baby chicken. The story was derived from one that my late father had told me.
My friend not only got an “A” on the story, but her English teacher kept urging her to get it published and encouraged her to become a writer.
Though I could never confess to being the author, that teacher who I never met, helped inspire me to be the writer I am today.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I first held Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place in my hands. The years, the tears, the endless hours I put into it all came together in that one moment as I realized I was “officially” a writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The famed “most haunted castle in Ireland”, Leap Castle, served as the inspiration for my fictional castle set in the Loire Valley of France.
You see, I saw a documentary about how they emptied its oubliette and discovered the bones from over 150 individuals. The idea that each of those who died in its depths had a story, there were circumstances that led them to their tragic end, became the motivation to put pen to paper.
Additionally late night visitors called “shadow people” that haunted me as a child also served as the catalyst for the main character’s struggle. As well, each of the intertwining storylines in Oubliette have historical settings that are very authentic. They are based on real events, real people, or documented legends.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I would categorize my style as being raw, real, authentic, and lyrical in some cases, and biting in others.
How did you come up with the title?
An oubliette literally means a forgotten little place. It was a pit, or dungeon, where people were thrown and left to die. There was never any doubt what the title would be, it fit naturally.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Just like the main character, Veronica, we all have a forgotten little place in ourselves. Something we suppress, try to evade and hide from. Something we try to forget.
Whether we admit it or not it follows us forever. In the end we’ll all meet the same fate, joined together in the great unifying equalizer—our mortal deaths.
Before that happens, no one is superior to another. Power is an illusion, fear is temporary, and the only thing we truly can hold onto is our integrity no matter what.
How much of the book is realistic?
Though the all the stories are works of fiction, I did extensive research into the historical settings to ensure their authenticity.
For example, these are the facts that set the stage for The Children’s Story in Oubliette:
On Friday the 13th, 1307, King Philip IV of France ignited the Inquisition by charging the Knights Templar with heresy.
Leaders of the organization were pulled from their castles, keeps, farms, vineyards, and homes. They were accused of worshiping a Pagan god. Some speculated it to be the demon Baphomet, or a Muslim deity which the Templars encountered while in the Holy Land.
The Templars were also accused of keeping a magical “head” that helped them fight the crusades. The mysterious relic was rumored to be the offspring of the copulation between a young warrior and the corpse of his bride-to-be.
In Sebastian’s Story, we are introduced to Empress Helena who was actually the mother of Constantine, the emperor who made Christianity the official religion of Rome. Her pedigree is veiled in mystery and some scholars suspect she had a Pagan upbringing. In her later years she traveled to the Holy Land to seek out relics associated with Jesus Christ.
For Father Michel’s Story, the Plague or Black Death that raged across France in 1348 was blamed on the Jews. It was a time of chaos, suspicion, and the Church actually did turn its back on the devout by refusing to administer last rights and cutting themselves off from the masses.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes, the phenomenon of “shadow people” has been documented throughout time. Legends of the Old Hag, the succubus/incubus, and other late-night visitors who cause sleep paralysis and a sense of mortal terror, are common across many cultures.
As mentioned, I’ve experienced these visitations. My skeptical mind once dismissed them as vivid dreams. They were “just in my head” — they couldn’t be real…right? Then someone once witnessed one preparing to attack me as I slept, and described it to me afterward.
The question that haunts me: how could it be in my head if someone else saw it, too?
What books have most influenced your life most?
In no particular order:
Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Stand by Stephen King
A Room of One’s Own by Virgina Woolf
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Mary Shelley. She was inspired to take the science of the day and turn it into not only the first science fiction novel, but also a story with a moral that transcends time.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. I’m nearly done with Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins as well as The Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo.
I have just begun The Prince of Earth by Mike Robinson, as well as All Light Will Fall by Almney King. Don’t Jump by Vicki Abelson has also just been added to my reading list.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I had the pleasure of being a part of the recent Beach Bound Book Brunch with Lisa Goich, Mike Robinson, Gina Cavalier, Almney King and Valerie Alexander. They all have grasped my interest and I am either reading, or about to read their work.
What are your current projects?
I’m excited about working with Prophecy Girl Films’ Minoti Vaishnav to turn Oubliette into episodic television. Minoti is an amazing writer who is writing the pilot and first episode, as well as outlining the seasons. Fingers crossed we get it picked up!
What would you like my readers to know?

That if they have ever felt something other worldly, or been terrorized by something ominous at night, that they are not alone. And above all else, they are not crazy. While I can’t say for certain what those experiences are, I will say that they are something, and you should never let them hold any power over you.

Tour giveaway

2 $50 Amazon Gift Cards

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