The Fox Who? A Night with the Snarky Narrator from Gabriel’s Inferno

Disclaimer: the narrative is pure fiction. The letters that follow are very real and from readers who wanted to express their appreciation for the Snarky Narrator and Sylvain Reynard. My thanks goes out to “both” for indulging my tom foolery or perhaps tolerating is a better word.:)
To learn more about The Snarky Narrator, Sylvain Reyanrd and their latest work, The Raven, .please go here.
http://www.sylvainreynard.com/
Please feel free to scroll down to the good part where SN steals the show. He does not disappoint.
The Fox Who? A Night with the Snarky Narrator
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of interviewing Sylvain Reynard, the author of the Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy. The series is a must-read, by the way. Reynard was delightful and most accommodating. I’m in awe of his word-building expertise. We met for coffee and had a lively discussion about the characters in his novels. Lovely guy, but still all throughout the interview my mind kept wandering to another man deeply rooted in Gabriel’s Inferno saga; a man who knows his way around parenthesis and a turn of phrase; a man so witty, so intriguing that even The Most Interesting Man in the World pales in comparison; a man known only as the Snarky Narrator. I, myself, being a long-time proponent of snark and a lifetime user of parentheses, knew I had to meet him. Could Reynard be my in with Mr. Snarky Pants? Would he introduce a girl to the snark of her dreams? As our interview was coming to an end, I casually dropped the Snarky one’s name in hopes Reynard would take the hint. He merely scoffed it off and excused himself to the men’s room. That was the last I saw of the kind one. He did pay our tab and left a note that read “O’Malley on 53rd Street, at midnight, come alone, wear a beret and ask for Pepé Le Pew” (Mon Dieu!)

Later that night dressed in a hounds tooth sheath, black leather high heels boots and a friggin’ beret (which I hope screamed of understated elegance), I found myself walking down a dark alley in search of O’Malley’s. It was pitch dark, aside from one flickering street lamp. The whole area gave out a creepy, Jack the Ripper vibe. Was this the Reynard’s idea of a joke? To add to my woes, my feet were killing me, and I’d already tripped twice. High heels be damned. I was cursing Reynard, The Snarky Narrator, and his blasted parentheses; mumbling to myself about mysterious authors and their snotty neighbor when I spotted a sign for O’ Malley’s and a tall leggy redhead who looked like she stepped out of Vogue magazine, standing guard at the door. I would like to say I sauntered over to her. But it was more of a step, trip, step. She gave me the once over and clearly found me lacking. In a bored voice she said, “How can I help you?”

Feeling foolish, I mumbled, “I’m here to see Pepé Le Pew.” She laughed, rolled her eyes and told me to follow her. She led me down a long, dark, narrow hallway, and again I found myself questioning just what Reynard had gotten me into. I was so busy imagining my impending doom that I ran slap dab into the back of Red who had come to a stop. Apparently we had reached our destination. Doing my best impression of a Von Trapp singing the Cuckoo Cuckoo song, I looked around her and saw the most gorgeous, hunk of male standing behind the bar. Ladies, I would love to describe him to you, but there are no words to convey the depths of his beauty. I was speechless. He winked at me, asked Red to give us a few, and offered me a drink of my choosing. Of course I said something lame like when choosing my poison, I always opt for Diet Dr. Pepper straight up and on the rocks. He just smiled and poured me a cold one. He said, ‘So Reynard sent you here?” I stammered, “Yes, he said to ask for Pepé Le Pew and wear a beret.” At that, the Adonis threw his head back and laughed and said, “Reynard has a sense of humor after all. Allow me to introduce myself, I’m the Snarky Narrator, but you can call me SN, my dear. I hear you have some questions for me, pull up a bar stool and let’s have a chat, shall we”?

Now folks, I would like to tell you that I wowed the Snarky Narrator with my sassy snark; that he was blown away by my Southern charm and sweet social graces. However, when confronted with Snark excellence, my false bravado went out the window. All I could do was stare like a starry-eyed teenager mooning over her first crush. My inner sassy snark was screaming at me, “Get it together, woman!” But my 16-year-old self was drowning her out with, “He’s so hot!” (Apparently, my 16-year-old self isn’t very articulate). Luckily for me, I had come prepared. I always get by with a little help from my friends. A group of women I like to call Reynard’s Angels had given me notes and questions to ask SN. I passed the notes over and watched and listened in awe as he read and answered the questions. (This is where reality kicks in. The following are actual letters from some of the kindest women on the planet)

__________________________________

“My Dear Sexy SN, thank you for answering some questions for us. You’re so kind.
You have become quite popular with the ladies. How does SR feel about this? Has he said anything about your story? If so, who would narrate it?
Thank you. Some people have trouble sharing the spotlight … I think readers enjoyed my narration and that’s why they’ve responding so well.
If my story were to be told I’d have to narrate it myself. I couldn’t leave a tale like that to SR.

In Chapter 35 in Redemption, the Emersons encountered at the Uffizi a young, fair-haired man with strange gray eyes who spoke to them about the Botticelli’s illustrations with irony. He seemed very mysterious. Gabriel asks Julia to stay away from him… Do you know who this man was? Is he perhaps someone we’ll see in The Raven?
Yes, I know who he is. But I can’t tell you. You’ll have to bribe me

Btw, that chocolate body paint is still waiting.”
This sounds like an excellent tool for bribing. I’m interested …
Yours,
Schedar
______________________________________
Dear SN,
In my opinion, the parentheses on SR books are masterpieces! I think you are genial, intelligent, beautiful, charming and your words are the touch of humor in SR’s books. But you need to know, there are rumors that you are a character from the SR’s books. A privileged character. What you have to say about it?
Thank you Renata. There are lots of “characters” in my apartment building, but trust me, I’m not one of them. I’m the narrator.
You think being a SR’s neighbor may have been a predominant factor for you to work with him in the books? How is work with SR? Have you thought about going solo? Your comic timing is wonderful!
In the beginning I was just trying to help SR out. But now I think it’s clear that I need to tell my own story.

Renata.
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Dear SN,
Thanks so much for answering our questions, while your snarky character is just adored; your kind generosity is also commended.
My questions to you are:
One
The Raven will make the fourth novel by SR you have narrated, for budding storytellers aspiring to the ultimate ‘ Snarky Narrator’ status, do you have any words of wisdom you would like to share?
Never trust a thin chef.
Two
You recently said in a ‘Bookish Temptation’ interview (December 1, 2013) that you were about to become a model for Calvin Klein. As a self confessed Henry Cavill look- a-like, one can only imagine that business must be ’blooming’ I mean ‘booming’. Is this working out for you and has your ‘snarky edge’ been an advantage?
When Henry Cavill and David Gandy weren’t available, I was the obvious choice. (Even though I don’t wear underwear in real life)
The SR twitter account is a delight to visit; the tweets are always charming, positive, supportive & sometimes hilariously funny. The expressed charity and kindness from SR and his readers is inspiring and I love to escape the reality of everyday life to chat with like minded SR readers.
May your next adventure be snarkier then the last!
Best Wishes
Kez
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SN,
” Je vous adore et si un jour vous voulez venir sur la côte d’azur, je me ferais un plaisir de vous faire la visite :),
Oui, Alexandra. Certainement.
How important is the point of view of a writer?
I think it’s very important. The “voice” of a writer is what the reader hears in his or her head and it should be unique and hopefully, pleasant to listen to. I think that’s why I, as the Snarky Narrator, have garnered so many admirers. Readers love to hear me talk.
-Alexandra
___________________________________________
Hello SN! Thank you so much for your time. Perhaps, we can play some video games after you answer my questions… (Grinning & crossing my fingers.)
I think that a man who is intelligent, have a good sense of humor & cooks is extremely sexy. Do you cook? Any signature dish?
When I cook for myself it’s simple comfort food like chili. I’d never serve it to a date, however. For you, I’d make spaghetti and meatballs … and then we can play Grand Theft Auto.
If you were to take me to a date, were would you take me? (Duck my head blushing & smiling.)
I’d take you to a Botanical Garden so we could admire the beauty together.
Love,
BAE xx
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(Cue silly narrative) and then I handed SN one last letter. I watched with nervous anticipation as he began to read.
Dear SN,
I wrote this note just in case the unthinkable happened and I was so overcome by just the snark of you, that I was rendered speechless. I want to thank you for agreeing to this interview and for being the snarkiest of snark. Please give SR my regards, and tell him, Pepé Le Pew and I have a beret full of sugarless gummies with his name on it. If you see the dashing Gabriel, please give him a kiss for me, on the cheek of course, anything else would be unseemly. I do have one question for you. What would you title your memoir?
Snarky: My Years in Captivity.
Stay snarky, hunky and parenthetical.
-Tosha Michelle
Thank you, ladies. It was a pleasure to be with you, SN.

This one goes out to the Snarky Narrator.

2CP1328DPEPELEPEWPORTRAIT

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Low on Snark. High on Truths.

0 Random Facts About Me.

1. I’ve made tripping up the stairs and getting lost in my head an art form.

2. I’m an introvert. I’d much rather stay home, nose in a book, than go out to a party.

3. People perceive me as being very open, but in truth, I am very guarded and private.

4. I have a mad crush on Timothy Olyplant. It’s innocent. I just want him to cut my lawn san shirt and feed me chocolates.

5. I have been known to break into song at random and often inappropriate times.

6. London is my favorite city on the planet. I feel such an affinity with England, the whole country. I’d love to live there for a few years.

7. I can be extremely gullible. This trait has caused me some undue pain over the years. However, I am wiser and better for the experiences.

8. Oddly, enough I enjoy cleaning. Clutter and mess freaks me right out. I know, “anal much?”

9. When I am overly tired, I can get extremely silly and chatty.

10. My thoughts are most often random and never ending. My mind refuses to shut up.

11. My favorite book is Wuthering Heights. The moors, Heathcliff, Cathy, the passion, the angst. Talk about your “Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah! Roma-Roma-ma-ah!Caught in a bad romance.”

12. Secretly, longs to be a ninja, but it more like a spaced out, geeky, , retro, southern belle.

13. Injustices fuel my rage and incite me to care and do more.

14. I am socially awkward. I’ve had to work to overcome my shyness.

15. I love to sing and always longed to be on Broadway.

16. One of my favorite movies is ONCE. I have watched it over 50 times now. It never gets old.

17. I can be intense about people, places, and things.

18. I use my sense of humor as a shield at times. I can be very biting and snarky.

19I. I still believe in love, magic, and the rainbow connection.

20. I’m very much a work in progress…always striving…Always becoming.

Interview with Author Ellen Totten

 Ellen Totten in addition to being a lovely human being is also an amazing writer. I just finished her latest work A Scent of Gardenias in one sitting (no less). I was entranced by the story of Sarah Ann Baker, a young woman who’s early beginnings were rooted in happiness and love only to be tainted by tragedy and lost.  As an adult Sarah is faced with even more adversity and heartbreak, but her optimism, force of will, and her never wavering belief in hope serves as a guiding light on the road to happiness, reconciliation and survival. A Scent of Gardenias is not only a love story, but also a mystery with the mystic woven throughout. You see, Sarah has the gift of a sixth sense-  a sense of foreboding and knowledge of bad things to come.There’s enough suspense in A Scent of Gardenias to keep you guessing up until the end. Overall a stellar read. Ellen was gracious enough to consent to an interview. We discuss her life and work.

Hi Ellen, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

First, I want to thank you, Tosha, for the invitation to be interviewed about my new book, “A Scent of Gardenias.” It’s a pleasure to be here.

 I’m a native of Boston. In 1967, I was transferred to Washington, D. C. because of my job, and based at National Airport with Delta Air Lines. It was there I met and married my husband, Jerry, who was with Naval Sea Systems Command. Because of our work, we were able to travel the world and meet some wonderful people who became lifelong friends.

Has writing always been a passion of yours?

1.     After my career of thirty years, we retired to Florida in 1992 where we both took up the game of golf, and I found I had a love for writing. When we moved to The Villages in 2006, I took classes in creative writing at our Life-Long Learning College and joined a writing group. During these sessions with the group, we read chapters and receive feedback from the members, some of whom have backgrounds in journalism and editing.

Describe your writing process?

I do most of my writing in the morning; however there have been times I’ve written late at night because of poor sleeping habits and my mind won’t shut off. I love listening to soft classical music without lyrics when I write.

Your latest work titled “A Scent of Gardenias” is paranormal romance, which you wrote under the pen name Elena M. Tell us a bit about the novel and why you opted for a pen name?

 I wanted to write a ghost story, however my story evolved into something more along the way. There is always a story in the news, unfortunately, about one child bullying another. And how bullying can be instrumental resulting in a tragedy like Columbine or even suicide.

 I wanted to explore how, with the support of a loving family and, perhaps a friend or two, a child could overcome these threatening roadblocks in life. It’s a story about a woman who finds the power within herself to rise above a lifetime filled with ridicule, loss, abuse, and courage to love again.

I chose to use my real name this time, Elena M (M stand for Marie), because I felt this was the best book I have written so far and wanted to separate it from the others. Although, I was pleased with my second novel, “Lake Charm.” I wrote it under the name of Ellen M. Totten.

In the book the main character, Sarah, endures some horrific abuse at the hands of her husband. What prompted you to focus on the theme of domestic violence?

 Domestic violence is a cancer in our society that continues through generations. The only way it can be broken is if women can find the courage to leave and seek help. Often times, children are born into this despicable environment and later become abusers themselves. A man who truly loves a woman would never subject her to such violence. I wanted my story to be dedicated to these women and inspire them to find their way out and seek help.

On a lighter note, what authors inspire you?

 The author that inspires me like no other is Sylvain Reynard. I have never been addicted to an author’s writing as I am to his. He touches my heart and soul with his brilliant prose and compassionate heart. His characters actually become part of your life, and you never want the stories to end. He not only entertains you with an amazing love story (I refuse to call them erotic because they aren’t), but he educates you in the process. He inspires me to be a better writer.

Is there any book you have read and thought “Darn, I wish I had written this?”

 No. Being a novice writer, I can’t say that I have. I only aspire to improve what I write in the future.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

 I would say to them never be afraid to start. Write for yourself and what is in your heart. If you have a favorite author or genre, read as much as possible to find your style.

Please tell our readers where they can buy your wonderful books.

 My books can be found on Kindle, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and Books-A-Million in paperback for those who prefer to hold a book.

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Interview with Vietnam War Vet and Author of Quadalajara — The Utopia That Once Was.-Jack Tumidajiski

Today, I ‘d like to introduce you to a friend of mine. A friend I have had the pleasure of knowing now for eight years. He truly is one of the kindest, funniest people I’ve ever met.. His tenacity and resilience inspires. My friend’s name is Jack Tumidajiski. He is a Vietnam war vet who managed to get out alive, but only five days backs from the war Jack woke up in a hospital bed paralyzed from the neck down. By 1972, he had moved to a commune of paralyzed veterans in Guadalajara, Mexico, an experience which inspired him, 30 years later, to write a book: Quadalajara — The Utopia That Once Was. Jack’s book chronicles his entire life, including his personal experience with paralysis. But it is, first and foremost, a tribute to the people he met in Guadalajara. It’s a must read, and I promise you will be inspired. Jack was kind enough to consent to an interview.

Jack, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. Let’s start at the beginning. What prompted you to tell your story? Why did you write the book?

I wrote the book to set the record straight and preserve the memories of those who experienced it and that unique place in time that will never be replicated. To give people a better understanding of what people with disabilities–whether spinal cord injured or otherwise–have had to experience and overcome since the first paraplegics and quadriplegics injured during World War II began to survive long enough to actually be discharged from military and veteran’s hospitals into a world not yet ready for them. Long before Christopher Reeve made the terms quadriplegic, paraplegic and spinal cord injury commonplace and helped raise awareness around the world, many unknown and forgotten people worked tirelessly to help one another and make a difference.

Why Guadalajara? What drew you there?
Guadalajara was, as advertised, 365 days of sunshine, reasonable cost of living, famous for its year-round nearly perfect weather, and beautiful senoritas. It was a no-brainer.

How did Guadalajara become “Quadalajara”
While many spinal cord injured veterans lived out their final years wasting away in a VA hospitals, afraid to face the outside world, a number of ‘The Men’ decided to explore the exotic notion of visiting this place in Mexico that a number of their hospital buddies spoke so highly of. By the mid-1950’s, there were reports of and by paraplegic veterans exploring and visiting places in Mexico. Although most of these initial stories appeared in articles in PVA’s Paraplegia News, word of mouth spread in VA hospitals and civilian care centers from New England to New York to Chicago and on to Southern California where a steady pipeline of wheelchair users–both veteran and non-veteran, men and some women–continued to swell the ranks of those desperate and/or adventurous enough to gamble their future happiness–or lack thereof–on this intriguing ‘South of the Border’ option.

What been the response of fellow vets to your book?
A collective-yawn (wink)? Actually expected to hear from more Vets–but everyone has their story to tell. My target audience seems to be female baby boomers who lived through the Vietnam era.

What sets “Quadalajara — The Utopia That Once Was.” Apart from other books?

It’s a unique book both inspirational and historical. The appendix of the book alone contains almost every article, document or story a researcher of the Guadalajara Era could hope to find. Included are hundreds of bios of many of the original explorers and pioneers who first venture south of the border looking for freedom, independence and a second chance in life

What books do you read?

I used to read on a semi-regular basis but since I wrote Quadalajara I have not read another book. Favorite author: David Horowitz, among other biographers.

Any advice for aspiring writers?
If you’re planning on writing a book, find out everything you can before you begin–including marketing, promoting and new technologies that make books more accessible. Don’t be left with boxes of hardcover books in your living room!
Jack, thank you so much for taking the time to discuss the book and your life.

You’re welcome, T. Now where are my cookies? 

To purchase the book and find out more about this amazing man, please go to

http://www.quadmexico.com/index.html

Kicking Pollyanna to the curb.

Removing my rose colored glasses.

Stepping down from my Ivory Tower.

Into a broken world.

Kicking Pollyanna to the curb.

Yesterday everything was disposable.

Self pity was my guide.

Always crying wolf.

For the suffering I had known.

Today the bubble burst.

Choking on my own callous disregard.

Slapping me out of my apathetic slumber.

To hell with selfishness and pride.

Eyes wide open. The blinders off

My heart cries..my soul aches

For the child who’s never known love.

Only abuse and neglect.

For man in need of a home.

Making a bed out of concrete and stone.

For the drug addict who fallen through the cracks.

Who can’t find her way back.

For empty bellies and a cruel world.

The sex slave being pimped on the street.

Only 15 years old her body bought and sold.

For war torn countries, surrounded by senseless death.

Genocide, mutilated figures, horrific acts..all in the name of hate.

Smashing my rose colored glasses against the wall of apathy.

Tearing down the Ivory Tower.

I live n the light of grace

Vowing to be a voice for change.

To take a stand, to never lie down in complacency again.

My shield hope. My sword compassion.

Eyes wide open in clarity and love.

-Tosha Michelle

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Mr. Elite

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Mr. Elite

By Tosha Michelle

Mr. Elite with a rose in his lapel,

Wearing a condescending smile,.

A mask of civility and refinement,

Underneath he is repelled.

A girl in a vintage dress, demure and shy,

Humble visage, wanting only to impress.

A heartfelt smile, a beguiling  sigh.

She briefly catches his eye.

Her apprehended affections,

Cast aside like bad tasting wine.

 Mr. Elite with the rose in his lapel.

Slowly watched as the flower fell.

And upon descending left a black spot

a permanent mark.

The proud flower,

in all its bold and illustrious wonder.

The sheen of propriety.  Gone.

Tarnish by a callous disregard.

Mr. Elite for a second wavered in his shallow ways.

But for  the girl the rose had lost it luster.

Stay

Stay with me
And sit awhile
On the porch
In the swing
And sway
With me

Stay with me
Hold my hand.
Sing to me
Tell me stories.

Of magic and pixie dust,
Of wrestling with dragons,
Riding unicorns,
Of a valiant prince, and
The damsel he so loved.
Of Narnia and Elysium,
Far beyond, the looking glass.

Before the Pied Piper plays his tune.

Before the clock strikes midnight,
Before the wolf bares his teeth,
Before the hourglass runs out,
While there’s still time,
To wish upon a star,

Stay with me
And sit awhile.

On the porch

In the swing
And sway.

While upon a time once,
Slowly fades away…

-Tosha Michelle

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