Ask Sharon E. Cathcart discussion

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message 1: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 58 comments Mod
Hi, everyone. The Q&A period is open until August 16, so please feel free to post your questions here.

In The Eye of The Beholder A Novel of The Phantom of the Opera by Sharon E. Cathcart


message 2: by DoS (new)

DoS | 2 comments I was wondering what has inspired you to write your own story about Erik?

Also, how did Claire came to your mind as your main female character?

Thanks in advance for your answers! :O)


message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 58 comments Mod
Ophelia wrote: "I was wondering what has inspired you to write your own story about Erik?

Also, how did Claire came to your mind as your main female character?

Thanks in advance for your answers! :O)"


Thanks, Ophelia, for asking!

I have been a Phantom fan for 25+ years, going back to when I first read Leroux. Erik has always been a sympathetic character to me, despite his all-too-unpleasant qualities. But POTO is not a new story at all -- it has its roots in the Greco-Roman myth of Cupid and Psyche. Erik also has elements of Jung's Wounded Healer archetype; I think those are things that resonate with all of us.

So ... what happened was that I saw the 2004 POTO film twice. The first time I thought it was beautiful, and the second time it really struck me on a far more emotional level. I was, fortunately, in a situation where not wanting to speak to anyone for a few days while I processed those emotions was acceptable -- because that's just what happened.

I had been a writer in the past, and hadn't started a story at all in years. But somehow I felt compelled to write again after I saw the film a second time. And that's how Claire was eventually born.

I chose to make her an equestrian because of the old adage "write what you know." I was studying dressage at the time I started writing the book, and felt strongly that I wanted to include those elements as well.

At the same time, I didn't want to have a formulaic romance novel -- which is why Claire is a little bit older than the norm, and has seen some of life. I just couldn't see some silly young girl being able to deal with Erik, to be perfectly honest!

Thanks for your question; I hope you are enjoying the book!




message 4: by DoS (new)

DoS | 2 comments Hi Sharon!

I have finished reading your book last night - I was happy to receive it on Monday night.

I must say I am very happy you decided to have Claire in her 30's rather than a younger woman. Erik is not an easy man, he can be a bit selfish and not always nice but these traits, in my opinion, can be forgiven due to his past. He has a lot to learn and an older woman can be good for him rather than a young one.

I have noticed you describe outfits and costumes quite accurately in your story, are you interested in the costume/clothing history as well? Or was it just the result of research?

How did the name Veronique came to you? Who inspired you for Gilbert and Olympia?

I have enjoyed reading your story, it kept me on my toes. It was fast paced and the way you have described Erik suits him. He's passionate, yet very generous but he does not like to be crossed/betrayed. And Pierre sounds like an adorable kitty - he reminds me of a kitty from the shelter where I volunteer. :O)

Sorry for rambling on!
Have a lovely day

p.s. I have enjoyed your interview on All Things Phantom :O)


message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 58 comments Mod
Ophelia wrote: "Hi Sharon!

I have finished reading your book last night - I was happy to receive it on Monday night.

I must say I am very happy you decided to have Claire in her 30's rather than a younger wo..."


Hello, Ophelia, and thank you for your questions!

First, I am glad you enjoyed the book and my interview. :-) I had a lot of fun talking with Vicki and Teresa on the air.

I just couldn't see some innocent young virgin being able to deal with Erik's psychosis, to be honest. That Claire had seen some of life was vital to me because she had to have a skill set that would enable her to handle Erik.

The clothing of the period is something I know very well; I have been a first-personal cultural interpreter/historical reenactor for 21 years now. Knowing how the clothes are constructed and from what they are made is crucial to making the correct impression on visitors to an event. I was fortunate to be able to use the knowledge I've acquired via my hobby to add some detail to the book.

Gilbert and Olympia are made up out of whole cloth. Gilbert initially started as a very minor character, as I mentioned in the interview, but he eventually showed me that he was going to be more important than I had imagined. As for Veronique's name, I must confess that it came from me trying various French female names with LeMaitre to see how they sounded. Nothing particularly profound in my decision; I just liked the resonance of Veronique LeMaitre when I said it aloud. :-)

Pierre's personality and appearance were based on our cat Paddy, who is a very friendly little fellow full of personality. :-)

Again, thank you so much for reading my book and for your questions. I would be delighted if you would post a review here on GoodReads.

Best wishes,
Sharon




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