Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux & Wendi Zwaduk

Please welcome Gaston Leroux and Wendi Zwaduk authors of Phantom of the Opera.

Wendi will be awarding a gift basket to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Please leave a comment.

Wendi Zwaduk


1.What or who inspired you to start writing?

I read a Harlequin book and I didn’t like the ending so I decided to write my own with endings I likeduntil I realized the characters made the endings, but still. That was my spark.

2.How did you come up with ideas for your books?
Depends. Sometimes I’m listening to a song and a line inspires me. Other times the characters step up and insist they have their story told. If they want to talk, I’m there to listen.

3.What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
In the case of Phantom, I wasn’t sure if I was qualified. I’m not known for historical and I don’t write in that time period, so I wasn’t sure if the idea would even fly. But I did so much research and immersed myself in other works of the time period to get the feel for the time. Then I read though Phantom at least ten times to make sure I had a feel for those characters. I wanted my part of the story to sound credible and organic to the story. I’m hoping that happened.

4.What expertise did you bring to your writing?

I’m the author of more than 30 short stories and novellas, along with four full length novels. I spent my college years writing lesson plans. I wrote more than a few term papers and a masters thesis. I’ve been reading as long as I can remember and love to tell romance stories so putting them onto paper for others to read seemed like the next logical step.

5.What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?

I have blue hair. Yep. I like to dance to the beat of my own drummer and having blue hair is one of those ways I dance.

6.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?

I’ve always got a couple of stories in the works. I’ve always got characters chattering to me. I’d like to get going on my next installment of my Crawford Boys series with Summer and Andrew. Unless someone else shows up and wants me to write their story next.

7.What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

Best Advice – never stop writing. Why? Because the more you practice, the better you get.

Worst Advice – I had a crit partner tell me a story I wasn’t sure was ready for submission was so ready. I followed the advice instead of following my gut. Story was rejected and I’m pretty sure the editor was in fits of laughter. I would’ve been. The story had a HUGE plot hole in it and a disappearing character. Yeah, not good.

8.What is your favorite reality show?

I don’t watch reality TV, unless you count Ghost Adventures. I’m a sucker for Aaron, Zac and Nick. I love watching them having their adventures and dispelling the ‘sightings’.

9.If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?

In the movie version of Phantom, Gerard played the Phantom. I’d keep himmostly because I just love him. He played crazy scary sexy so well. But for Raoul and Christine? I’d keep Emmy Rossum as Christine as well, but I’d make her a blonde. Raoul is so hard to cast because he’s so...naive and so emotional. Maybe Ryan Reynolds. I’m not sure.  Patrick Wilson was great, but not my flavor. Hmm.

10.         Anything else you might want to add?

I realize that playing with a classic book is like paying the firing squad in person. The book is a classic for a reason. But I’m the type of person who wanted to know exactly what happened between Phantom and Christine when he abducts her. I wanted to know if she and Raoul took things to the next level. What if Leroux wanted them to, but never got the chance because of the time period he lived in? I worked had to make the love scenes come into the story in a very organic way and hope the readers see that as well. I hope they all enjoy my version of Phantom with heat. Besides, every time I read through the manuscript, I see Gerard Butler and that’s not a bad visual at all.

The Classics Exposed…

A chance sighting at the Opera, fated love, and three lives in turmoil.
One man pledges to own her, while another wants her heart. The Opera sets the stage for romance and intrigue. In the catacombs below the building lives a man rife with sorrow and passion. The Phantom. But he’s not content to live alone. He wants to possess the one woman who can set him free.
His Christine.
Viscount Raoul de Chagny doesn’t believe the rumours of a Ghost living below the Opera. He only has eyes for Christine, his childhood friend and first love. Together they embark on a sensual journey of discovery and fiery desire.
But she can only have one man. Will love raise her up or tear their world apart?


“Fate links thee to me forever and a day!”

The strains went through Raoul’s heart. Struggling against the charm that seemed to deprive him of all his will and all his energy and of almost all his lucidity at the moment when he needed them most, he succeeded in drawing back the curtain that hid him and he walked to where Christine stood. She herself was moving to the back of the room, the whole wall of which was occupied by a great mirror that reflected her image, but not his, for he was just behind her and entirely covered by her.

“Fate links thee to me forever and a day!” She removed her gown and yanked her camisole over her head. She tugged at the laces of her corset. The boned garment slid down her slender body and stood at her feet.

“Fate links thee to me forever and a day!” She shrugged out of her chemise. “To thee!”

Christine walked towards her image in the glass and the image came towards her. The two Christines—the real one and the reflection—ended by touching, and Raoul put out his arms to clasp the two in one embrace. But by a sort of dazzling miracle that sent him staggering, Raoul was suddenly flung back, while an icy blast swept over his face. He saw, not two, but four, eight, twenty Christines spinning round him, laughing at him and fleeing so swiftly that he could not touch one of them. At last, everything stood still again, and he saw himself in the glass. But Christine had disappeared.

“What are you asking of me?”

“Your submission. Allow me to direct you as if I were the composer of one of your songs. Do you trust me?”


I always dreamt of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I earned a BA in education at Kent State University and currently hold a Masters in Education with Nova Southeastern University.   
I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals.  I also write under the pen name of Megan Slayer. I’m published with Total-E-Bound, Changeling Press, Liquid Silver Books, Turquoise Morning Press and The Wild Rose Press. Come join me for this fantastic journey!  
If you like my work, tell your friends and email me. I love hearing from readers!


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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today

Nickie Fleming said...

tsWendi, I'm a total fan of Phantom! I read the original book by Gaston Leroux, also Phantom of Manhattan by Forsythe, and I've been to the musicals x-times. I was present at 25 years of Phantom in the Royal Albert Hall, although it cost me some bucks!
I'm curious to read what you have done to this story. I've always had a liking for Eric, and thought Christine was a fool to pick that boring Raoul... Which girl in her right mind would not go for a sexy phantom???

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Hi Christine,

Thanks for hosting me today. Great interview. Made me think. :-) Also a lot of fun.


I'm glad you're a fan of Phantom. So am I. The one sticking point with the book is that I didn't change Leroux's text. His words are all still there, but there is heat added. So the outcome from the Leroux book doesn't change. But yeah, a slightly unhinged Phantom, especially one that looks like Gerard Butler is definitely the one I'd pick. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

Christine Young said...

Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.

MomJane said...

This story sounds fascinating.

Wendi Zwaduk said...

I did have fun Christine. :-)

And thanks Mom Jane. I hope it is a fascinating read for you.