A top secret mission
The Sly Fox Return
Welcome to Kez’s Bookshelf.
Today we are undercover for a top secret mission. We are joined by a small security team covertly located in a cosy little conference room within the Louvre museum, Paris. Anxiously, we await the arrival of a very important dignitary, a mysterious individual whose identity must be kept anonymous.
Mounted on the surrounding walls are security surveillance monitors that cover the entire museum. Through speakers mounted from the ceiling Nina Simone’s Sinnerman begins to play…
Speaking into his headpiece, the head of security suddenly springs to life. He turns to face me and speaks the eagerly awaited code words… “The eagle has landed!!” This is our signal that our VIP is now in the building.
We have been instructed to intently watch the surveillance monitors and be on the lookout for a tall individual dressed in a black suit and not to be mistaken for the well dressed individual with the bowler hat from The Thomas Crown affair.
After several minutes and no sign of our mysterious guest, I turn to address the head of security. Suddenly, upon the monitors appear not one, not two, but many tall individuals all impeccably dressed in the same black suit and wearing shiny black oxford lace up shoes. Each striding quickly and with purpose in many different directions, the question is, which one is our mystery guest?
As Nina Simone’s Sinnerman comes to an end, there is a systematic wrap on the conference room door – tap, tap, tap…pause…tap, tap,…pause…tap, tap, tap!!
With his ear to the door, the head of security whispers “Who goes there?”
A smooth timbered voice responds softly from the other side“The Sly Fox has returned!”…..
As the door opened to reveal our mystery guest, the lights of the conference room dimmed to protect our VIP’s identity. But as he took his seat at the head of the table, a hint of his argyle socks peeped from under his trouser leg and I knew we had our man!!
With a very proud smile I extend my hand to greet our mysterious guest…
“Hello Sylvain Reynard. Thank you so much for returning to Kez’s bookshelf, it is such an honour to have you with us today”
Thank you Kez. It’s a pleasure to be with you. (shakes hands)
A round of espresso is served while I take the very large plate of assorted doughnuts from the middle of the table and pass the plate in the direction of our guest…
Yes, please. (takes a doughnut)
Satisfied our special guest is comfortable and feeling at home, I sit back and begin today’s interview:-
Congratulations SR on the recent release of your new suspense/romance novel The Man in the Black Suit. The response from readers shows that this stand alone story has been very well received with many five star reviews. What inspired you to tell the story that is Nicholas Cassirer’s and Acacia Santos’?
There’s a connection between Nicholas and Gabriel Emerson. I don’t want to spoil the story, but that connection was something I wanted to explore. I also wanted to tell a story against the backdrop of Paris, which is an incredible city.
It is very easy for your readers to quickly bond with the hero and heroine of The Man in the Black Suit. How do you determine what characteristics each main character will posses?
Some of this is immediate and some of this takes time. But as I get to know a character, his or her personality and characteristics emerge.
What I especially liked about the new read SR, is that Acacia sees past Nicholas’ imperfections and falls in love with the man he is. In my view, this makes for a wonderful romance tale. Why do you write your main characters with their own unique flaws, whether it be physical, emotional or both?
I want to emphasize human imperfection while celebrating love and redemption. Also, I try to focus on the character qualities of the subjects and not solely on their physical appearance.
Acacia Santos migrated to France to excel her career as a concierge. Like many immigrants to a foreign country she experiences personal challenges. What was your reasoning for including these challenges and other political issues in your storyline?
Part of this was inspired by conversations with Brazilian readers who no longer live in Brazil and what their experience was like. Part of this was inspired by current events and how immigrants are viewed in France and western Europe, etc.
Set in Paris The Man in the Black Suit features a visit to the Louvre. What is your favourite piece of artwork housed at this magnificent museum?
The Louvre is incredible and has a massive collection. The Mona Lisa is a favourite, as well as Antonio Canova’s sculpture of Cupid and Psyche.
The recently released The Man in the Black Suit made its way to readers hot little hands on December 19th, 2017. Being so close to Christmas, I like to think of it as your little gift to readers. With the holiday seasons now over and the New Year upon us, what are you thankful for from 2017 and what great things will you be striving for in 2018?
I’m grateful for my readers. Because of their support, I can continue to write. And I’m so grateful that readers enjoyed “The Man in the Black Suit.” As you know, I took a lot of risks with this novel and so I’ve been blessed that the book continues to be well-received.
Staying on the theme of the festive season, do you have any yearly traditions you’d like to share with readers?
Christmas involves putting up a tree and spending time with friends and family. Mulled wine. Culinary delights. Cookies made from my grandmothers’ recipes. Even though they’ve been gone a very long time, their love lives on in the traditions and recipes.
Since the release of the New York Times Bestseller Gabriel’s Inferno series support for your stories have grown. This has led to a very active group of readers who enthusiastically support you and your stories on social media and beyond. Readers often comment how your stories changed their lives, what invaluable lessons or insight have you gained from your readers?
I was chatting with a reader the other day who was telling me that she was going through a very difficult time. And in the midst of it she was re-reading The Gabriel Series. It comforted her, she said. I think the idea of taking comfort in beloved characters is an important insight. There’s a reason we re-read certain stories and view certain characters as old friends. If my writing can offer comfort and friendship in a difficult time, I’m truly honoured. That’s what the books are for.
Do you have a particular routine to your writing, a certain time of the day that your muses speak to you? Or do they speak to you at anytime? Have your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
I write every day and tend to do best in the morning. But yes, I’ve had middle of the night Muse visitations and written in the wee hours. I don’t think I’ve ever dreamed of my characters, at least, not yet.
There is a buzz in the twitterverse and beyond that a certain beloved Dante specialist and his wonderful family shall be coming back to readers with a fourth instalment of the Gabriel’s Inferno series in the form of a novella. This is wonderful news indeed. Please let the professor know we miss him and we’re very excited for his return. What if anything, can you tell us about this new chapter for the Emerson’s?
I’m writing the fourth volume in the Gabriel Series. At the moment, it’s a novella and I hope it will be released in 2018. It picks up where “Gabriel’s Redemption” left off, so I’ve been encouraging readers to read (or re-read) that book in preparation …
One of my favourite scenes in Gabriel’s Redemption is with Julia and Richard on the back porch and Julia asking Richard to stay at the house in Selinsgrove. Richard always gives kind, caring and wise advice on that back porch and we look forward to reading more papa Richard advise in the new novella. If we were to sit down with papa Richard today what advice would he give us about love and life?
Richard understands that life is short and that our family and friends are very important. So we should say what we need to say, let those we love know that we love, and be sure to spend quality time with them. He’d probably suggest we watch less television and spend less time on our electronic devices …
Like all good things, they must come to an end…
Unfortunately our time together has drawn to a close today but I’d like to sincerely thank you SR for your precious time today. It is always a pleasure to sit down with such a kind, considerate and intellectual individual who is passionate about doing good, not only in your own neighbourhood but throughout the world. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. May 2018 bring you much success and happiness.
Thank you so much Kez for inviting me to be with you and your readers. I really appriecate it.
Please Sir, before you leave take another doughnut or two for the road…
Yes, please. (places them in a handkerchief, and discreetly slips them in a pocket)
If you haven’t yet read The Man in the Black Suit you can purchase your copy here:-
For those of you who are yet to experience Sylvain Reynard’s impeccable writing you can explore all his creations from his own Amazon page or even Goodreads:-
Want to join Sylvain Reynard and his readers for all sorts of shenanigans? You can find fun and tomfoolery here:-
Thank you all for joining me today I hope you enjoyed this surprised visit from the wonderful Sylvain Reynard.
Until next time