Published on August 2nd, 2012 | by BookCrack5
What We’re Reading # 1.5: Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
Good news just keeps rolling in for our favorite authors this week! Yesterday, longtime indie BC fave, Sylvain Reynard, landed what Publisher’s Weekly is calling a “substantial seven figure deal” with Berkley/Penguin for the wildly popular Twilight flashback inducing books Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture. Those of you on Goodreads might recognize Gabriel’s Inferno as a 2011 semi-finalist for Best Romance. Several of the BookJunkies at BC (myself among them) have been raving about the Gabriel books f-o-r-e-v-e-r. But we love all things dark, gothic and smexy. Especially when the hero is cultured, intelligent and self tormented and believes he is beyond redemption. Not to mention one who is a young, gorgeous, brooding, sexy professor by day and a man who spends his nights devoted to trying to repress the darkness through sating his forbidden lusty desires. These books have left me…verklempt.
Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide. An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, Gabriel’s Inferno is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man’s escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible…forgiveness and love.
This is a series that, did we forget to mention, began as Twilight fan fiction?
Now before you spout your feelings on the decidedly YA Twilight series or the current Robstein crisis or whatever the fans call that hot mess of a couple, hear us out. We can tell you are about to look down your nose and snort at us. Calling Mature YA/New Adult Gabriel’s Inferno like Twilight is akin to comparing Deborah Harkness‘ brilliant Discovery of Witches trilogy or her current Shadow of Night to Twilight. Tsk. Tsk. If you’ve read them, you’ve now snarfed your beverage for sure. Same genre maybe, totally different ballpark. Dark, slightly douchey and brooding Professor Gabriel Emerson and overwhelmed graduate student Julia Mitchell are adults after all. And in the romance world that makes a world of difference.
This series is like a best of both worlds for me. It has the literary wit, depth and richness of a Deborah Harkness novel but with an overall aura of sensuality and raw emotion. It’s intensely romantically smexy without hitting the erotic zone and just the tone of these books is wrought with sexual tension and darkness without being overbearing. Hence the Twilight with adults references. If you liked Twilight…we think you’ll LOVE Gabriel’s Inferno.
Once upon a time the words former “Twilight Fan Fic” made my wallet and my Amazon account go into hiding, even though author-ly logic and experience told me it shouldn’t. Look at the monumental success of Cassandra Clare, of Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices fame for starters. Or how about another little series that started out as Twi-fan-fic? It’s a fairy tale about an insanely gorgeous, rich boy who’s into kinky F*%kery and an insanely
lucky innocent, beguiling girl that flirt with having a D/s relationship. It sure didn’t feel like Twilight to me. Perhaps you have heard of it? The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy is currently earning its author a reportedly tidy some of oh-somewhere-around 1.4 million a week. We love that. What’s not to love about the fact that they are now featured in towering stacks at our local BJ’s/Costco? That’s every author’s dream. Soon Reynard’s books will join them. And Fifty fans? Listen up. Let us be among the first of many who will point you in the Professor’s direction. His baggage, smexyness and need for redemption far outweighs Christian Grey’s.
Now you may snort. If you must.
According to Galley Cat, This book was born as a serialized Twilight fan fiction story called The University of Edward Masen (abbreviated as UOEM by readers) and written under the pen name Sebastien Robichaud. The original manuscript has been removed and the site for Robichaud has been deleted. But Robichaud/Reynard did consider the readers and at their urging the online version was completed as it was being rewritten for publication and it wasn’t removed until after it was completed.
To publish or not to publish…ah, hello? SEVEN FIGURE DEAL…and the books are SO good, people! GAH!!
Surprisingly enough when Reynard took the risk and submitted Gabriel’s Inferno for publication there was a bit of backlash at the publication’s announcement. In a letter obtained by GalleyCat Reynard said to fans two years ago when the books were pulled for self publication,
Yes, I changed my mind. It was with much affection and gratitude to my readers that I wrote and completed the story, and it was the affection and encouragement that was given to me by you, the readers, that led me to the is decision. While I hope to retain and enjoy the support of a community that I esteem, it seems that some have found this decision to be unforgivable. For that I am and will always be saddened. I wrote a story about forgiveness, love and redemption for you, the readers, and I hope that since the words spoke to so may of you, others will enjoy it as well.
Reynard went above and beyond publishing the ending for all in fan-fictiondom to see, read, and enjoy. FOR FREE. Even though the books were already then intended for future self publication. I’d say Reynard was rather gracious and that publishing the finale was rather honorable. Still many fans got their feathers ruffled at what they saw as the ultimate sell-out. Self publishing your book in 2010 was selling out? Huh. Go figure. You only need to go on Goodreads or Twitter to see how Reynard continues to be beyond humble, thankful, gracious and philanthropic with Gabriel’s Inferno‘s profits.
Fast forward to 2012 and a seven figure deal should have a way of soothing the sting of fan disloyalty/outrage. And hopefully, bring legions of new ones. Welcome to the #professerpossie, ladies.