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March 13, 2013 / minusbar

Author Interview: Rod Rees (The Demi-Monde: Winter) + Extract from the book!

Alright, so a little while back I did a giveaway for a very intriguing book called “The Demi-Monde:Winter.” So I went exploring and found the author himself to come talk about it with me. This is a fascinating book that I would recommend people checkout, but don’t take my word for it! Hear from the author below, then please help yourself to reading a little from the book to whet your appetite!

I’m very pleased to have gotten to talk with Rod, he’s a terribly interesting guy. So without further ado, lets jump into the interview!


Bold Text: Roger (A Daily Dose of R&R)

Answers: Rod Rees (Author of the Demi-Monde books and more)

Everyone always asks the boring “Tell me a bit about yourself.” So instead, please tell me a story about yourself that the masses don’t know.

Back in the early 90’s when things were pretty wild in the USSR I was booked to fly from Samara to Moscow (I had a date with my future wife Nelli so no way was I not going to make it!) but as per usual with Aeroflot the ’plane was overbooked. I ‘bought’ the stewardess’s jump seat from her and made the flight serving tea to the other passengers.


So, to the best of my knowledge, all of the titles of the Demi-Monde book series correlate with a season, why is that?

Well, it must beat using those old faithfuls I, II, III and IV! Truth is I was stuck and as I’d set the first book during winter, using the seasons as titles seemed the obvious solution. Anyway, the use of ‘Fall’ for the last volume is suitably ambiguous.


Did you find it difficult writing such atrocious historical figures for your books?

Not at all. The Demi-Monde is a dystopia and my view is that a true ‘dystopia’ is one where everyone stops thinking, when the Orwellian condition of thought-crime prevails and it is deemed unacceptable to be critical of the politico-religious orthodoxy. This is what I had the most fun exploring in the DM, the way people can be coerced into believing nonsense and the convolutions the powers-that-be will undertake and the lies they will tell to make the ridiculous convincing. My villains – characters like Heydrich, Robespierre and Pobedonostsev – are the bastards responsible for making the unbelievable (and the shouldn’t-be-believable), believable.


When I ask people about your book, the thing that always seems to come up is the breakneck pacing. As a novice writer, I know how difficult this can be. How do you manage to keep up such a swift pace while still adequately developing characters?

Plot/People/Pace. I write each chapter as though it’s a short story, with a beginning, a purpose and a denouement … as though it’s a scene in a film. Doing that gives me the book I wanted to write, then (see answer to Question 5 below) I edit it so it becomes the book I needed to write.


What, if anything, was something that was in the original story that you ended up having to remove or edit out from an earlier draft?

Editing is the most horrible part of writing and one of the most important. I edit for pace, taking out anything that slows the action down or which is there simply as embellishment. I always over-write. ‘Winter’ was originally submitted as a 190,000 word manuscript and the book finally weighed in at 150,000 … and believe me I shed tears over every word/scene I deleted.


What’s a historical figure you’ve yet to include in this series that you would like to have?

All the books are written (I’m doing the final edit of ‘Fall’ as I write this) so my cast is complete. I’ve managed to seed in a few of heroes of mine (notably Nicolai Kondratieff, the Russian economist; Samuel Goldwyn, the famous Hollywood producer; and, my especial favourite, Josephine Baker, jazz singer and dancer) and a few villains (the Marquis de Sade; Lucrezia Borgia; and Konstantin Pobedonostsev, the Russian reactionary and anti-Semite). The character I’d have liked to have used was Richard Burton, the Victorian explorer, but Philip Jose Farmer had first dibs on him.


In 50 words or less, sell us on why “Demi-Monde: Winter” is a must-read!

I say: ‘It’s a rumbustious SF/Fantasy thriller that examines the duality of human existence … and has fun while it’s doing it.’

Booklist says: It’s ‘elegantly constructed, skillfully written, and absolutely impossible to stop reading. It ends with a beauty of a cliffhanger too …’

Now, to end on a silly note… If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be?



Alright, now for that extract from the book I promised…  Excited? Me too! But before we can start, time for a little disclaimer.

The following excerpt does contain a curse word or two, so if that’s something you’re opposed to seeing now is the time to look away. Ye be warned! (But honestly, there is not much at all) 

Mmk, that’s about all. Please enjoy!


PG1 PG2 PG3 PG4 PG5 PG6____________________________________________________________________________

Did you love it?!

If so, you can purchase this fine book over at Amazon USUK.


A huge thank you to Rod Rees and Nicola Budd from Jo Fletcher Books for being kind enough to make this post possible!

And of course, thanks to my readers and followers for checking it out.

Thank You,

Roger Bellini


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