Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's modern classic, Hotel Transylvania, introduced the Count Saint-Germain and his beloved, Madelaine de Montalia. The Count is one of the most critically acclaimed vampire characters ever created, with dedicated fans who have followed his adventures through more than twenty novels, dozens of short stories, and thousands of years of human history. But of all the women the Count has loved, the most popular is the beautiful, ever-youthful Madelaine.
In Commedia della Morte, Saint-Germain learns that Madelaine—now a vampire—has been arrested by France's Revolutionary Tribunal and is soon to lose her head. Desperate to rescue her, the Count sneaks into France with a troupe of actors led by the glamorous Photine, who soon becomes Saint-Germain's mistress. Photine's teenage son, driven by jealousy and revolutionary fervor, betrays the Count. Now Saint-Germain's life, as well as Madelaine's, hangs in the balance, in this darkly romantic historical vampire novel.
by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
About once a year someone will ask me at a convention or a signing why I dedicated a specific book the way I did; I’ve also been asked at seminars about the rules of dedications. I’m not speaking for any other writer than myself, but I’ll try to sort some of it out.
Going in reverse order of the above paragraph: so far as I know, there are no official rules governing dedications. It is considered good-mannered, if a bit traditional, to dedicate a first book to one’s family and/or parents, but it is certainly not required. Other possible first-book dedicatees are other close relatives such as spouses, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and children; agents or someone else involved in the sale of the book; editors; significant English or literature teachers; and authors whose work were inspirational to the creation of the first (sold) book.
Whenever possible, I describe the book to the potential dedicatee/s and ask she/he/they if he/she/they would mind the dedication; out of the over eighty books I have published, a dozen potential dedicatees have declined the offer, and I have selected other dedicatee/s for those books. I’ve been asked several times if I ever dedicated a book to my mother, and the answer is no, for although she was pleased to have a writer in the family, she usually hated my work and had no wish to be directly associated with it. On the other hand, when my father remarried after my mother’s death, I dedicated a book to the two of them without any objection on their parts.
Twice in my career, I’ve had someone ask me to dedicate a book to him/her, a notion that still flabbergasts me. In one instance I reluctantly complied, in the other I refused, and was treated to a year of high dudgeon for such refusal. I’m sorry the person was offended, but it seemed to me then and still does now, that such a request is at the very least inappropriate.
A few dedications in my early works now seem a bit puzzling to me in retrospect — not that I would alter them in any way, but I do find it reminiscent of that wonderful answer that Robert Browning gave Elizabeth Barrett early in the acquaintance when she asked him about the meaning of a passage in one of his poems. His answer was that when he wrote that only God and Robert Browning knew what it meant: now only God knows. I know the feeling well.
About Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Yarbro is best known as the creator of the heroic vampire, the Count Saint-Germain. With her creation of Saint-Germain in HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (St. Martin's Press, 1978), she delved into history and vampiric literature and subverted the standard myth to invent the first vampire who was more honorable, humane, and heroic than most of the humans around him. The 25th volume of the Saint-Germain Cycle, COMMEDIA DELLA MORTE, will be published by Tor in March 2012. The first three books, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, THE PALACE and BLOOD GAMES, are all available as e-books from E-Reads.com.
A professional writer since 1968, Yarbro has worked in a wide variety of genres, from science fiction to westerns, from young adult adventure to historical horror.
For more information on Yarbro’s many books and interests, check out her website at www.chelseaquinnyarbro.net.