The first time I saw the Lon Chaney silent version of Phantom of the Opera, I was about eleven. I was frightened but equally fascinated by the masked Phantom, the movie’s man/monster whose real name was Erik.
Later I came across the colorful film adaptation starring Claude Rains, and I developed my first crush on a movie character. His voice floating through the mirror enthralled me, and the melancholy melody he played on the violin was unforgettable. I thought him so handsome in the mysterious mask and was captivated by his efforts to win the trust of the young opera singer.
In the early 90’s my husband and I attended an LA based performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical starring Michael Crawford. I shall never forget the first commanding chords played on the organ as the gold and crystal chandelier rose above the audience. When the Phantom first appeared in the mirror I forgot everything else around me; the audience, the auditorium…they all receded into the mist as he beckoned Christine through the glass.
When the 2004 film version was released I was once again swept away by the Phantom. What followed was a burst of creativity as I was compelled to explore the Phantom character through writing poetry and songs, and was inspired to write my own ‘retelling’ of the story that had charmed me as a child. However, writing a novel is not an easy undertaking. There were many stops and starts along the way. Family illnesses, publishing challenges-one obstacle after another threw me off my course. I confess that there were times when I was ready to give up…but I didn’t!
… as they say, ” the difference between success and failure is perseverance!”
I am happy to announce that finally, after nine years of struggling to bring this series to publication, Chanson de l’Ange will have its official release this October in both paperback and eBook!
Thanks to all Chanson readers and fans for hanging in there with me…and stay tuned for purchasing info: Chanson de l’Ange
~ Paisley Swan Stewart
(Bonnie Anne Pinard)