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Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin
Margot Berwin earned her MFA from the New School in 2005. Her stories have appeared on Nerve.com, in the New York Press, and in the anthology The Future of Misbehavior.
Her first novel Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire was published in 2009 by Pantheon. Her new novel, SCENT OF DARKNESS, also by Pantheon is coming out on January 29, 2013.
Margot Lives in New York City.
Amazon Author Page
From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck, she becomes the object of intense desire for everyone around her. Soon she's torn between Gabriel, a quiet medical student, and Michael, a beautiful and self-absorbed artist.
Scent of Darkness is about loving someone who is evil, tarot, New Orleans, and of course perfume.
Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I’ve had a long love affair with perfume. When I was a kid I would mix perfumes in the bathroom like a little four-foot chemist. Much to my mom’s dismay I would pull out the stopper to her chanel #5 and pour in a bit of my dad’s aqua velva just to see what it would smell like.
When I was older I became obsessed with books about scent. I love The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr as well as Perfume by Suskind. I learned all I could about the major perfume houses in the South of France—Hermes, Guerlain, Chanel, Houbigant, Givenchy and many more.
Eventually I started making my own scents. I hit upon a combination of oils so good that people would stop me in restaurants and bars to ask what I was wearing. I briefly thought about marketing the scent but instead I combined my love of writing with my love of perfume and came up with Scent of Darkness.
Q) How long did it take you to write?
The first draft took me about six months. I might not have taken so long if I wasn’t living in New Orleans at the time, going out every night listening to music, eating great food, and getting inspired by the French Quarter.
Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Getting into the flow. I just love the feeling when everything is going really well, the writing is effortless, the hours go by like minutes and I don’t want to go to sleep. Once, during Scent of Darkness I looked up and 10 hours had passed by in sheer pleasure. 10 hours!
Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Sometimes, in a long piece like a novel, one of the characters may not be as developed as the rest. And no matter how hard I go back and re-write, that character is just never as quite as I would like him or her to be. It’s kind of like in real life—there are always going to some people whom we understand better than others. Another thing I don’t like about writing is when a book is finished. It’s like, okay, what do I do now?
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I think I’d like to be Ryan Gosling. Because then, for just one day, I could live in that beautiful body!
Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
I’m getting up right now to check. Okay…I don’t have a lot in my fridge but right now I’d say the oldest thing is a packet of Smucker’s breakfast syrup I must have brought home from I-Hop, or maybe it was Denny’s…a long time ago. Thanks for asking that question. I am now very intrigued with all the little things I never noticed in my fridge and cabinets.
Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
My next book is going to be about babies. Having them, not having them, who we chose to have them with….Or maybe gemstones.
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