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The Curse of Malenfer Manor’s Iain McChesney: Recovering Bagpiper, Duran Duran & The Green Fairy

Author Ian McChesney interviews during his virtual tour for The Curse of Malenfer Manor

The-Curse-of-Malenfer-Manor-BannerHey everyone! I am still playing catch up since the winter storms here in Alaska and this was a post meant for November 18th. I am really excited to have this great interview today, especially when you see the fun recipe! The author does not have a twitter account so we are going to skip that one and go for there! (Psssst there is a GIVEAWAY at the bottom!)

Absinthe spoon by Gufihtar

CG – Introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. (As in tell us something NOT in your bio, give us a dirty little secret not having or having to do with your writing – please take the chance to not take yourself to seriously and enjoy!)

Hi everyone. Thanks for having me on. Something not in my bio you want to know? All right, how about this? I can juggle and I can play the bagpipes. I figure you can tell a lot about a person by how they handle either. As in – “Is this person sane?” Now you have your answer.

CG – Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into? (If you want you can – I would love it if you did – a max flash fiction of no less than a short poem and no more that 500 words with the prompt of “Apple/s” since fall is here (Yes this could work with romance, mystery, humour, textbooks on quantum physics.. own it, title it and GO!) This can even be a Haiku, just have fun!

I’m gunning for the fantasy market. You know the one: every book on the shelf in that particular corner is covered with pictures of people flying on dragons. And I’d do it for one reason only – the names. Frodosophus Trichophyton, Whiskymaam Shotglass, Octopussius Bondwinkler, Washington Furlough III (you would have thought his mother had more sense). What fun to make those things up! Nowhere is it mentioned the peril to public health of those dragon droppings everywhere. I sense a niche. I will draw sword and go forth. Apples.

CG – Dermot falls in love with the youngest of the family of his fallen comrade. How do you feel this changes how he approaches the mystery and ambitious nature of those within the family?

Aha! You’ve read the book, and yes he does, yes he does. Without the romance our hero has little attachment to the Malenfer cause. If he doesn’t fall in love, then he will likely be on the first Greyhound Bus out of town in the morning. Malenfer Manor is an intimidating place. Wouldn’t you be? His presence is the catalyst for all that goes well, and badly, thereafter. He is the spanner in the works, the stick in the wheel, the start of the curse’s unravelling.

CG –If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters? (Some have a huge cast, so say no more than five, I am thinking many would be able to do at least one, you do have one character right? Include photos of choice or I Can find them also – include photo credits or links where they are found)

Goodness me. Okay. Let me give it a thought. I like Gérard Depardieu. Who doesn’t like Gerrard Depardieu? Okay, the French tax authorities don’t like Gérard Depardieu, but we love him. No one else I know represents so well the man of the French soil (and the book is set in France, remember). He’s getting a bit on (sorry, Gérard), so he couldn’t be Arthur the ghost, though he’d be a good one. I’d cast him as the Mayor Crevel instead.

Hepa

Photo: Hepta

“Let me tell you, Robert.” Now Crevel was steaming, his boiler lit and stoked well. “Let me tell you!” he repeated. “If she were half as rich with one third the brain and plain as stone to look at, you would still damn well marry her for what she brings. Do you understand me? Pennies from heaven, Robert, these are pennies from heaven!”

Crevel fought to control himself; he saw Robert was sulking and changed tack to accommodate. “Some things we do from the heart, Robert, and some things we do from the head. In the matter of your engagement, I wish you could satisfy both.”

Robert was quiet. He didn’t argue – he already knew where this was going.

“But if that’s not to be,” Crevel continued, “then don’t be a fool. Do the right thing, Robert, marry the girl, and find your happiness elsewhere.”

CG – Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing (as in what candy / snack food / drink / 80’s hair band you break out in song too when you just cannot figure out the next line to write and that bitch of a muse is off on her own hunt)?

Certainly not. A rye and Tab cola is a gentleman’s drink of choice, and Duran Duran’s Hungry Like the Wolf is a masterpiece of electronic drummery. Their hair was always immaculate. I will hear not a word raised against them.

CG – You won’t hear an argument against them from me! I grew up in the 80’s and I love Duran Duran…. so… are you ready?

CG – What do you do when you’re not writing? (ie: What festive things do you do for fun? What things do you do when you make yourself have fun, and what is on the top of your list to do when you actually take two days for you (and family)

On advice from my councillor (and the neighbours) I finally gave up bagpipes. In lieu of that I play hockey (this is Canada, after all). I have been known to put the occasional hook into the Fraser River, but the salmon defy me for fun. I am very fortunate that our local neighbourhood, and the city in general, has a lot going on. Weekends are never dull. Vancouver is well worth a visit for anyone who has never been.

CG – During the zombie apocalypse, what fictional character would you want watching your back? (I cannot help myself).

You know it is coming. Yes, it is. I would take Lara Croft to watch my back, and in turn I would watch her… back. It is only fair. (I cannot help myself either.) CG – Ian.. buddy, she has the back to watch, oh ya! The only problem is would she stop when she saw a pretty shiny thing only to beobe ate? 

CG – If your book was a meal what would it be? Meat and potatoes? Vegetarian? A light nouveau cuisine? 

Okay, now I’m going to spill some dirt. I don’t think there is a thing eaten or drunk in the whole book that was originally written into it. Historical fiction has a sub cult that is little known or understood outside of its members, an Assassin’s Guild of sorts. They operate in the shadows of ill-educated writers and dart out at the call of the editor to cut pieces of flesh from under you. They are the fact-checkers. The historical accuracy brigade. I was meat on their table. A carcass to be carved. I bled. Let it be known that tea was not drunk at Malenfer Manor, nor peanut butter sandwiches sliced, nor good old KD microwaved. Pumpkin pie was not on for dessert and no trick or treatin’ took place. If my book were a meal, it would be a hearty rustic stew of root vegetables and perhaps a leg of mutton. It would be washed down with a bottle of good red wine (private reserve). Watch out for the arsenic.

Absinthe spoon by Gufihtar

Let’s make this a real Cabin Goddess “Interview and a recipe”

CG – Create a drink (with or without booze) representing your book in name and ingredients 

Goodness me. The things you ask! Okay, okay, I’ll do it. Let’s call the drink a Malenfer Curse, and what else could it be but absinthe?

Malenfer Curse

The Curse of Malenfer Manor's Iain McChesney: Recovering Bagpiper, Duran Duran & The Green Fairy

Absinthe by Queenlynx

There is really nothing to it. The preparation is all. The drink is a ritual, and like everything it gets easier with practice. So practice lots.

First you need..

  • One bottle of absinthe. The real stuff. Strongly alcoholic. Anise flavoured. The suggestion of psychoactive properties is attributed to the wormwood content.
  • One flat perforated spoon. Get a good one, pleasant to the eye; silver is traditional. In its absence a fork should do.
  • An appealing glass. Not a wine glass. Not plastic – have some taste.
  • Iced water in a pitcher. Very cold.
  • Cubed sugar.

The Method…

  • Amass an interesting crowd of appropriate comrades in the den of iniquity of your choice.
  • Impress and amaze as you present the ingredients on a polished silver tray.
  • Pour an ounce to an ounce and a half of absinthe into the waiting glass.
  • Cover with spoon.
  • Place sugar on spoon.
  • Pour the freezing water over the sugar slowly and do not spill. Roughly 4 parts water for 1 part absinthe, depending on your tastes.

The next bit’s the tricky part…

  • The idea is that the sugar is completely dissolved only with the last of the water. Pour slowly.
  • Watch the swirl. It is called the louche effect.
  • Give the glass a stir with the spoon if the sugar is not completely dissolved.
  • Is your mouth wet yet? Mine is. If you see the Green Fairy, say “hello,” though science will tell you it is unlikely.

Green Fairy by ~avisnocturna on deviantART

CGFAST and FURIOUS – Don’t pause just answer what comes first to mind

  • Beer, Wine, Shot Glass and a bottle or perhaps blood?I can tell it’s going to be a long night.
  •  Coke or Pepsi?Zero.
  • Hell in a Hand basket or by the summoning of Demons? Drawing pentacles can be such fun.
  • Helmet, Baseball Hat or Scalp? Last of the Mohicans. I don’t know. First thing that entered my head.
  • Killer clown or Clown killer? Both need serious help.
  • Spirits, Demons or Killer Clowns ?(so I am a little obsessed). I could go with either of the former.
  • Working stiff of a Demon, Succubus, or Angel? I’ll take door number two for that. Call me old-fashioned.
  • Duct tape or Zip Ties?Nail gun.
  • Chainsaw arm or shotgun leg (gotta throw a zombie apocalypse related question in here! |:))?Why does it have to be one?
  • Exorcism or Summoning?Summoning, surely. A stranger is just a friend you haven’t yet got to know.

CGAnything you would like to add… appearances, upcoming releases, where I can find someone to adjust the algorithms for my time machine?

Yes. This must rank as the strangest interview I have ever done. I must now retire to the bar to recover. You can join me if you like and continue the conversation. I’ll be the guy lying on the carpet clutching the silver spoon.

CG – Not a problem, Ian! I try to make things as interesting as possible. Hey, quit bogarting the spoon! Some of us are not finished here, I still need to ask the fairy how to twirk!

Absinthe spoon by Gufihtar

Iain is a writer of gothic mysteries.

Iain-McChesney

He was born and raised in Scotland. He studied History and Geography at the University of Glasgow.

The World Wars left Iain’s family with generations of widows. As a result, Iain has always been interested in the tangible effects of history on family dynamics and in the power of narrative to awaken those long dead. For the characters in The Curse of Malenfer Manor, he drew on childhood reminiscences and verbal family history—though he hastens to add that his family had barely a penny, far less a manor, and any ghosts dwell only in memory.

He lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his wife and two children.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

Absinthe spoon by Gufihtar

The Curse of Malenfer Manor (Book One)


the-curse-of-malenfer-manoThose in line to the Malenfer estate are succumbing to terrible ends –is a supernatural legacy at work, or something entirely more human?

Young Irish mercenary Dermot Ward retreats to Paris at the close of World War I where he drinks to forget his experiences, especially the death of his comrade, Arthur Malenfer. But Arthur has not forgotten Dermot. Dead but not departed, Arthur has unfinished business and needs the help of the living.

Upon his arrival at Malenfer Manor, Dermot finds himself embroiled in a mystery of murder, succession, and ambition. Dermot falls in love with the youngest Malenfer, the beautiful fey Simonne, but in his way are Simonne’s mismatched fiancé, her own connections to the spirit world, Dermot’s guilt over the circumstances of Arthur’s death… and the curse.

Genre: historical mystery / paranormal
Publisher: Wayzgoose Press
Date of Publication:  October 1
Number of pages: 228
Cover Artist: DJ Rogers

Amazon ~ Goodreads

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The Curse of Malenfer Manor's Iain McChesney: Recovering Bagpiper, Duran Duran & The Green Fairy

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