What inspired you to write a book based around Phantom of the Opera, aside from the musical?
It was kind of a spur of the moment decision to start writing Phantom. I was cleaning my house and listening to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack when I suddenly thought to myself that my gothic friend Justyn, who is an actor, would make a great Phantom. Then I thought, hey, that would make a great book…six months later it was done!
Who is your favourite character in your novel, and why?
Lord Justyn is my favorite character. He is actually based of a very real friend of mine. The real Lord Justyn has the same way of speaking, and is just as talented. He is an actor and a musician, and also just a really sweet guy. The fictional Lord Justyn developed some of his own unique traits as the story progressed, but I still believe I captured the essence of the real Justyn. I will always be grateful to him for inspiring one of my favorite characters and books.
Is there any character in your novel, or in the musical itself, that you relate to the most? Why?
I guess I would relate most to Becca or at least would have back in high school. I went to Catholic school and was very sheltered. A guy like Justyn, even the real one, probably would have intimidated me at first, but his personality would have won me over in the end. I also share Becca’s high strung personality and her love of all things Phantom, but unlike Becca, I belonged in the orchestra with my violin rather than on the stage.
During your high school years, were you ever in a school play? If so, what was it, and what strange things happened to you?
When I was in school, I was in the orchestra playing the violin for the musicals. The four I did were Cinderella, South Pacific, Guys & Dolls, and Bye Bye Birdie. Even though I wasn’t an actor, I watched from the sidelines, and I knew all the lines right along with the cast. Having this musical background definitely helped with the descriptions in Phantom. I also dated two of the stars, at different times, who were the inspiration for Tom. Oh, and Miss King really was the director for a few of those shows. There really weren’t any strange events ,though, unless you count my ex-boyfriend dancing around in a pineapple bra for South Pacific.
Do you think you will go on to write more novels based around musicals? If so, what productions do you think they'll be?
While Phantom started out as a stand alone novel, my publisher and I have decided to make it a series. The next two books in the Dark Musicals Trilogy will be Demon, inspired by Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Hyde, inspired by the musical version of Jekyll and Hyde. Demon is already complete and expected to release in Spring 2013. I am working on Hyde right now, literally, in another screen.
I'm not going to lie - I am so glad that Phantom has turned into a trilogy, and I am even more happy about the fact that the next installment will be based upon Sweeney Todd! If there's one musical that I love just as much as Phantom, if not more, it's Sweeney Todd. I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for this release.
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