Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Phantom Questions Answered...and the Winner!

I'm back! Some great questions popped up in my previous entry about my forthcoming Phantom book, and so I thought I'd post the latest that I didn't answer herewith, answer them, and then get to what you're really wanting to know: who won the bloody copy of the book! we go:

Robyn asks: I'd love to see the movie The Phantom. With your book, who did the cover art and chose the title of the book? Thanks.

My publisher's art department did the cover design. Originally, we thought there might be that signature mask on it that's so familiar to Phantom fans, but they came up with this design and I love it!
As for the title...I had always wanted to title it Christine & Erik: The True Story of the Phantom of the Opera because I felt certain that Phantom fans would know immediately who that was, and what it was about, but my editor didn't like the idea of names in the title, and so then we had to think of something else. That was about a month-long process of emails back and forth between my editor and myself.

We just could not come up with a title that we liked, that we felt worked. We wanted to make sure that people knew it was an erotic novel--so they were prepared for the very explicit sex in the book....and so the official title is actually: Unmasqued: An Erotic Novel of the Phantom of the Opera.

tetewa said... I am so looking forward to the release of this book. I took my mom to see the play for Christmas. She'd never even saw the movie and didn't know what to expect. She loved it, so my question for you is what is your favorite song from the play?
First, you should know that I have the double CD version of the original London cast, and I know every single note, breath, and word of them. Love it!

I love all the songs, really...but some of my favorites are "Music of the Night," "The Point of No Return," and I can never remember the name of it, but it's the song Christine sings when she's walking through the graveyard, thinking about her father. (Incidentally, there is no graveyard scene in my book. Just FYI.)

Caffey said... Oh I'm so excited about this release! Can't wait to read it! With Phantom being one of your favorites, is there another legend, or history related story you'd like to write like you did with Phantom?
Funny you should ask! I'm currently at work on a very erotic version of The Count of Monte Cristo, which should be released next August ('08). It's going really well, and I'm loving it. I have a few other ideas that I'd like to write about too, so we'll see if my publisher goes for it!

Caffey said... Another quick question :) If you had a reader who is new to Phantom, what sites would you recommend for them becoming familiar with it? Delete
I think there's a site called that is just chockfull of Phantom info. But the best thing to do, in my opinion, to get a feel for the reason I wanted to write this story is to rent the movie version that came out in 2004. That was the reason I wanted to write this book....because I hated the way it ended!

julietwoods said... Hey Colette! Wow, people have really asked some good questions. This book looks sooo good. I really can't wait to read it. I've always loved the story and always wished it had a different ending. Plus, the story is so dark, sexy and romantic--the perfect tortured hero romance.

A quick question: Did you write this book while you were writing the historical romances you were contracted for, or in between books?
They have asked good questions!! And you're right about the story--and why I felt like I really wanted to write it: so dark, so sexy, and romantic. And, boy, is Erik tortured! :-)

Anyway, on to your question: I actually wrote this book for myself, just for fun, during the time my agent was getting ready to submit my first book that actually sold. I had nothing to work on (because I didn't know if I was going to want/need to write a sequel), and I had no other ideas...but I knew I had been wanting to write about what really happened during The Music of the Night scene, and why Christine did leave Erik at the end of the movie...and so I just started writing it for fun.

I finished a shorter version of it, and mentioned it to my agent, figuring she wouldn't be interested in repping it and that I would submit it to an epublisher...and lo and behold, my agent took it to my editor and my editor was very excited about it and immediately bought it.

However, since I had written it mostly for myself, it was shorter on plot than the final version, and I had to write another hundred pages to flesh it out (no pun intended) and to wrap some things up. But other than that, it's the same book.

Paola said: Did you take into account other elements fron different retellings of the story (such us Susan Kay's Phantom) to write your story or draw your characters?
Actually, I've never read the Susan Kay book (although I'm familiar with it), and the only book I took into account or drew from was the original Gaston Leroux book. In fact, I took great care to make sure that, while I had the "feel" of the Webber musical/movie in my mind as I wrote (meaning the heavily erotic, passionate relationship between Christine & Erik, and the lush sense of the movie/play), all of the events, the characters, the whole story is really derived from Leroux's book. Not from any other source.

I wanted to be careful not to "borrow" anything from Webber that he hadn't already borrowed from Leroux, because of course the original book is in the public domain...but the Webber version is not. :-)
Okay, so here we are! The winner of the ARC of Unmasqued is:

Rhonda Stapleton!

Email me at colette at colettegale dot com and I'll get your info and get that baby out to you!

Congratulations and thanks to all for playing!


Rhonda Stapleton said...


I just emailed you...thank you SO much!

Rhonda, a dedicated reader of this blog

Kathryn S said...

Colette, I love that graveyard song too. I think it's "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again."