Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

The Mark of Abel, by Viola Ryan

Mark of AbelSo exciting to introduce you to Viola Ryan, an amazing woman in her own right, plus two of her Main Characters who insisted on getting in on the act today to discuss their new book, The Mark of Abel, (details below) the first book in her series. I’ve heard about these MC’s, read some of their words, but this is the first time they’ve been let loose in our blog.

Some teasers before the interview:

Is a frustrated artist Lucifer’s ticket back to heaven or will falling in love with her reawaken the compassion that got him expelled?

Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.

Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.

Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.

Wow! Ready to meet the gang?

Michele: Welcome, Viola! You and I have talked about your artistic and poetic characters, and I know you’ve all had quite a busy month. I’m going to let you play lion-tamer here, and be your spotter during this interview. So, the stage is yours, to mix my metaphors . . .

Viola Ryan:  Thank you for inviting us! Both Lucifer and Janie are anxious to explain why they are each right and the other is . . . not-so-on-track. They promised to behave, mostly, so we’ll see. So, I’d like to welcome Lucifer and Janie, the stars of my debut release The Mark of Abel, to The Poetic Muselings.

Lucifer: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Hell is hot, and so are you.

Janie: Luke! Shame on you. Michele was nice enough to let us be here and Viola took time aside from writing the sequel. (aren’t you dying to find out what she’s going to do to us next?) Poetry is important.

Lucifer: What do you know about poetry? You’re an artist. A picture speaks a thousand words.

Janie: But that’s what a poem does. It isn’t the sum of its words. It paints a picture every bit as much as my paintings do.

Lucifer: So no dirty limericks?

Janie: NO! Viola please continue. 

Viola: Thank you, both. You can see why he’s so much fun to write.

Janie: When he’s not brooding over how God has wronged him.

Lucifer: God wronged you, too. And I don’t brood.

Janie. Sulk? Pout? Whine?

Lucifer: Not funny. 

Janie: Not even a little bit?

Viola: (laughing), more than a little bit. Back to the interview you guys. Geeze, it’s like I’m  writing The Mark of Abel again. You two like to go on your own little paths regardless of what I want you to do. 

Lucifer: And you love every minute of that.

Viola: Maybe.  Back to the interview. Since we are at the Poetic Muselings, I thought we’d talk a bit about Janie’s art and art in general. Janie’s been reincarnated many times, but she’s always an artist of some sort. Why do you think that is?

Janie: Art always speaks to something deep in me. I have to paint or express myself someway or I’ll explode.

Lucifer: You are creative and a priestess. Put those together and you get some type of artist. Poets, too.

Viola: What do you mean a priestess?  You aren’t exactly chummy with God anymore. 

Lucifer: There is a greater truth to this universe that supersedes even God. Janie’s art helps people reach that. That’s what good art does.

Janie: I didn’t know you felt that way. I’ve always believed that. Art is a way to reach a deeper understanding. That’s why I teach art appreciation at Archer College. Art speaks a language that lives deep inside us. A picture does more than speak a thousand words. It speaks things words themselves cannot. It reaches our souls. It feeds our souls, something modern society starves for. That’s why society needs artist of all sorts, including poets.

Viola: You mentioned you’d explode. Can you go into this?

Janie: I have horrible nightmares. If I don’t paint them, they build up inside me. The pressure is intense. For awhile I tried to resist painting them. I want to paint happy paintings, like Renoir. First, my muse fled. She wasn’t going to let me paint anything pretty. Then I felt tingles in my extremities. I was constantly flexing my hands to try and shake this off. It didn’t work. Eventually, I felt like I was having a heart attack, like my heart was actually being crushed. I had to give in. As soon as I started painting my nightmares, the pain went away.

Lucifer: It’s a good thing you kept painting them or we never would have figured things out. They were–

Janie: No spoilers.

Viola: Thank you. Your paintings are one of the most important twists in the book.

Lucifer: Hey, what about me? I’m not the red horned, pitchfork wielding Devil everyone knows and hates.

Viola: I know. I said, ONE of. Of course the reimagining of Judeo-Christian stories is the most important twist and a lot of fun to write.

Lucifer: I like being the first vampire.

Viola: I’m glad. It’s getting to be dinner time here for me, so do either of you have anything else you’d like to say?

Lucifer: Ladies first.

Janie: Isn’t he cute? He really is a gentleman in many respects. What I’d like your reader to do is give him a chance. A lot of what you’ve heard is wrong. He’s no teddy bear, but he’s not a bad guy.

Lucifer: Thanks. I should say something nice here about Janie, but she’s laid her heart out and there is nothing more beautiful than that. Words would just mess things up. I  wish I could write a poem demonstrating how wonderful she is, but I can’t. Maybe your readers can do that.

Viola: Thank you both for coming. Thank you Michele for having us. Feel free to ask us anything in the comments. We’ll be around if you want to chat.

Michele: Thank you, Viola, Lucifer, and Janie. I love the intricacy of your story, the intensity, and creative re-presenting of issues. Things are never what they seem. I know you are all working madly on the next book, and hopefully, working together! We’re so glad you joined us.

Our readers can add their comments to this post, and we’ll make sure you have a chance to respond.

Holy-Hell-Blog-Tour-Mark of Abel

We’re including links to your awesome Book Trailer, (LOVE the soundtrack!) and publishing details. The Mark of Abel is in ebook now, and will be in print in September 2013.

MuseItUp Publishing:


 Trailer Link:

Viola RyanAnd a bit about Viola Ryan:

A very good friend of Viola Ryan in high school said, “You don’t think outside the box. You blow the thing up.” Sometimes boxes need exploding. That’s why she’s here. She has a whole bag of C4 and isn’t afraid to use it. She’s blessed with people who treasure her eccentricities or at least put up with them.

Sometimes the box can be a cozy place. Without some sort of stability, her two daughters’ and her life would be unmanageable. That stability comes from her husband. He’s the rock holding her family together.

On the flip side, his career is anything but stable. He’s a Chief Marine Safety Technician in the US Coast Guard. They’ve lived from Kittery, Maine to Yorktown, Virginia. Fortunately, the moves have all been on the east coast. Then again, the Coast Guard tends to guard the coast.

Her oldest daughter (16) was born on Cape Cod, not far from Plymouth. Massachusetts. Her youngest (12) was born in Yorktown, Virginia, down the road from Williamsburg. Viola jokes they’re doing the colonial America tour.

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6 thoughts on “The Mark of Abel, by Viola Ryan

  1. Viola, your book sounds interesting. The art thing has me kind of hooked. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Wonderful interview. Pleased to meet’cha both.

  3. Thanks, Margaret. I made her an artist to distinguish her from me, since I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, but art has always been important to me. There is a scene where a small child analyzes a painting in a museum in front of strangers. That scene actually happened with me and one of my daughters.

    • Viola, my mother was an artist, and I was always a sucker for art supplies. I got hooked on GIMP about a year ago, and now much time playing with digital artwork. That’s neat about you and your daughter.

      • I love Photoshop Elements. i used to make avatars for contests. I don’t have much time for that anymore, but I designed my website and tour buttons. I’m working on my logo now.

        My mother was an artist when she was younger. She did a lot of crafts when I was a kid. Now she mainly quilts and crochets. I named a sculpture garden after her in the book. It is the Donna Bell Memorial sculpture garden. I didn’t realize until later that in a way I had killed her off, since it is a memorial sculpture garden.

        Both my daughters love to draw.

  4. Nice to meet you, too Widdershins. I love talking with fans and potential fans.

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