We would like to thank Cornelia Grey for stopping buy today to talk about her paranormal novella, Devil at the Crossroads. Check out Marc’s review here.
Hi everyone! Thank you so much for having me here today at Prism Book Alliance 🙂
I’d like to chat a little about my paranormal novella, Devil at the Crossroads, and its upcoming sequels (two of them!). Also, at the end of the post there’s a little contest waiting for you!
My inspiration for Devil at the Crossroads came from the story of Robert Johnson, a great blues musician mostly active in the Thirties. According to the legend, one night he went at a crossroads and waited for the devil to come. The devil appeared, tuned Robert’s guitar and played it for a bit; when he gave it back, Robert Johnson became the greatest bluesman of all times but, of course, his soul was forfeit…
The theme of musicians selling their soul in exchange for supernatural talent, however, has deeper roots, that go all the way to classical musicians such as Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini. His exceptional talent and frenzied compositions gave rise to all sorts of crazy urban legends: one rumor maintained that he’d sold his soul to Satan, another that he practiced at night in cemeteries, over the tombs, and yet another that the strings of his violins were made with the bowels of a Pope!
Another famous example of deal with the devil is the story of Dr. Faust, which became a popular literary theme, with different interpretations. Mostly they agree that Faust’s intent in selling his soul was not to achieve any specific talent, but to live in debauchery until the end of the deal.
In all these legends, the moral is quite clear: nothing good ever comes from a deal with the devil, because devils are evil, untrustworthy creatures, and you’ll just end up dying a horrible death and regretting your foolishness forever in the depths of Hell. This attitude has been often portrayed in works of popular culture, such as for example in the movie The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus or in the television series Supernatural.
I, however, prefer a slightly different interpretation. I loved movies such as 1986’s Crossroads and Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny because of their different approach to it. I’m very fond of works that portray devils in a more unusual light, taking a new approach to this very well-known theme. What happens if devils are silly creatures instead, foolish and vain, easy to trick? What happens if we sprinkle some humor on the situation? What if the devils, instead, where closer to humans, and wanted to teach lessons to arrogants rather than kill them in a horrible way? What if devils weren’t necessarily happy about their role, but were more melancholic creatures, capable of empathy?
The devil starring in Devil at the Crossroads, named Farfarello, while having the powers of a traditional devil, is closer to the character of the trickster in his attitude and goals. The trickster is a common element in the mythologies of different cultures: the most famous are probably the Japanese fox spirit, African Anansi the spider and Loki from Norse legends. Tricksters like to mock arrogant, prideful humans, playing tricks on them to teach them lessons of humility – or simply to make fun of them and put them back in their place. Often they are very detached and self-centered: while the traditional devils are actively trying to ruin men, tricksters just toy with them for a moment before moving on to the next thing that strikes their fancy. Tricksters can be incredibly cunning and smart, or incredibly foolish and comical. Occasionally, even the devil has been depicted as a trickster rather than a creature of pure evil, so I can’t take credit for that – but it’s certainly an interpretation that struck a chord with me :).
The trickster, however, can also have another role: that of the teacher. These ‘noble tricksters’ use their skills and tricks to teach humans valuable lessons, then let them carry on with their lives with a little more wisdom and a little less arrogance. I have read lots of Italian literature where devils are portrayed as eminently human, capable of understanding the contradictions and hardships of walking the Earth (such as in the works by Stefano Benni), with a touch of irony and ridicule. This was my inspiration for Farfarello’s character in Devil at the Crossroads, which is why some might find him an odd character. I hope you will let me know whether he’s your kind of devil ;)!
I’ve got an easy question, whose answer can be found reading Devil at the Crossroads! Keep an eye out for it as you read the story, then email me the answer at corneliagrey [at] yahoo [dot] com.
I will randomly select a winner among those who email me, who will receive a free ebook of their choice from my backlist!
The deadline for the contest is January the 20th..The winner will be picked the next day, and announced officially on my blog, http://corneliagrey.livejournal.com (as well as emailed!).
And the question is…
Farfarello has a spider tattoo, that appears in three different places during the story. Where are the tattoos?
Thank you so much for stopping by, and good luck with the contest!
The devil covets more than his soul …
Six years ago, Logan Hart sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest bluesman of all time—and now the devil has come to collect.
The irony is that Logan squandered his gift. High on fame, money, and drugs, he ignored his muse and neglected his music. And despite escaping showbiz in a moment of clarity, it’s too late to redeem himself. All that’s left is to try to go out with some dignity. Alas, the prospect of an eternity in Hell isn’t helping much with that goal.
But Farfarello, the devil who bought Logan’s soul, isn’t ready to drag him down to Hell quite yet. He’s just spent six years working his ass off to whip a bluesman into shape, and he refuses to let that—or the opportunity for more sinful pleasures with Logan—go to waste.
About the Author
Cornelia Grey is a creative writing student fresh out of university, with a penchant for fine arts and the blues. Born and raised in the hills of Northern Italy, where she collected her share of poetry and narrative prizes, Cornelia moved to London to pursue her studies.
After graduating with top grades, she is now busy with internships: literary agencies, publishing houses, and creative departments handling book series, among others. She also works as a freelance translator.
She likes cats, knitting, performing in theatre, going to museums, collecting mugs, and hanging out with her grandma. When writing, she favors curious, surreal stories, steampunk, and mixed-genre fiction. Her heroes are always underdogs, and she loves them for it.
Connect with Cornelia:
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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