Even Vampires Can Be Great Lovers
Written by Rob Smittix on September 3, 2020
Celeste Plowden has such a way about her writing style that you are often left wondering if she herself actually had experienced what she writes about; even if it defies what we assume to be impossible.
RRX: Many may know you as an artist and I know you can sing too but today we are talking to Celeste the author. For those that do not know can you give us just a little background on yourself?
CP: I started out in New York, where I studied textile design at Parsons, and lived there for many years, until I moved upstate with my husband in the 1990s. Prior to that, I received a BFA in Art History with a minor in English literature, which studies have greatly influenced my writing style. In my lifetime I have been a fabric designer, real estate title examiner, fine artist, showroom model, singer, and fiction writer. Currently, I sell my paintings on a home decor site, search a few titles for local clients, write fiction, and sing a few blues tunes at local jams.
RRX: Your most recent release is Mirth and Other Dark Tales of Love. This is a collection of short stories, a couple of previews of upcoming works and of course the title story “Mirth”. “Mirth” takes place in our local area which I think is so cool. What was it about Hudson, NY that compelled you to write?
CP: I think Warren Street in Hudson is one of the great gems in our area. Just peeking into all of the shops of fantastic furniture and art objects takes me back in time, and I see many of the items as tidbits of history that add color to my story settings. I like the way that street goes on for such a long stretch of blocks, so many shops to explore within the older brick buildings. I thought of the story “Mirth”, as I was rambling around there early one evening last summer as the sun was just beginning to set.
RRX: “Mirth” takes place in modern times but I know that you are very inspired by the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and I also know many of your stories take place in the past. I imagine there is a great deal of research that comes with writing alongside history. How do you pull all of your research together and maintain accuracy when you write about the past?
CP: The historical settings I use in my stories are periods of history that I have read about over the years, and am already very familiar with, especially in terms of period costumes, furniture, art, music, and many customs. But of course, I have reference books at home, to refresh my knowledge, and I also use the internet to look up old drawings or photos. I only write about places I have been to, for instance, Coney Island, but of course since I wasn’t there in the 1920s, seeing old photographs from then, really helps me to get a better sense of place, making the story more interesting. Being an artist, I like a very visual setting for my stories.
RRX: So I have viewed a lot of your artwork, paintings etc. and I haven’t found these works to be on the darker side of things. What is it about when you write that brings the darkness out?
CP: I search titles and create decorative paintings for a living, and while I have always enjoyed doing both of those jobs, I am doing what the client has commissioned me to do. But when I write, it is strictly because of my love of classic fiction. I write about things that I’m interested in, and some of it is pretty dark, like ghosts and vampires. I like using those supernatural beings to describe deep, emotional longings, and mysteries within ourselves that some of us feel a need to figure out. Many parts of my stories come from things I have experienced, or people that I have known, but I like to ratchet up some of the romance by using characters who fall in love with a creature who is dangerous, or unattainable, or lives on forever. Never let the passion end!
RRX: So the word is, you have a novel coming out in the very near future, without revealing too much; what are we to expect?
CP: The Harpsichordist should be out sometime in July on Amazon (Kindle and paperback). It’s a vampire novel that takes the reader on a trip through nearly three centuries in London, New York, and Paris, with a man who was once a noteworthy builder of harpsichords. This vampire’s quest for a mate, and his love of music are the main themes of the story. Vampires don’t have to be that gory to be interesting, and Miles Beaumont flourishes in each age of history that he has existed in, including, the French Revolution, the Belle Epoch, the Roaring Twenties, contemporary times, and more.
RRX: Please let our audience know where we can find you online to keep up with what you are doing.
CP: Thanks, Rob. You can find my book, Mirth, (an Amazon best seller) available on Amazon, and The Harpsichordist, there as well, in a few weeks. I have an author’s page on Facebook, and also on Goodreads. You can check out my artwork on Chairish.com, under the shop name of Cleo Plowden.