Please join us in welcoming author Varian Krylov today, kicking off the pre-release tour of her new novel, The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord. Varian talks a bit about the Barcelona setting and how music plays its role in the story, and she’s also giving one lucky reader the chance to win an e-copy of the book, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
Good luck! And now, here’s Varian.
I’m excited to be back chatting with everyone here at The Novel Approach—thanks for inviting me again, Lisa!
So, Lisa asked me to talk a bit about how the budding relationship between Derek and Ángel ties in with the worlds of filmmaking and jazz music in The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord. Pretty much a perfect question! I actually toyed with the idea of titling the novel simply, Fugue, Concord, because the double-entendre seemed to perfectly pull all those threads together. Fugue and concord are both jazz terms*, but they also have significance to the narrator’s character arc, and to the central love story. In the narrator’s eyes, the beautiful Spaniard Ángel is the god of jazz, and music plays a big part in the novel. Personally, hitting the jazz clubs is one of my favorite things to do when I go out on the town, so I set quite a few scenes in some of my favorite jazz spots here in Barcelona so if you read the book, you’ll get a virtual tour of the local jazz scene.
Fugue and concord also have significance to the central love story. At the start of the novel, Derek is in a kind of fugue state; he’s just dealt with the loss of the two things that were most important to him, and which were the anchors of his identity: his partner, and his chance to finally direct his first feature film. Later, when Derek seizes an unexpected chance to get his film made after all, and he leaves Los Angeles and heads to Barcelona, he starts piecing himself, his career, and his life back together again. But when he meets Ángel, Derek’s tempted to take flight again. Still wounded and unsteady after losing the man he’d loved for five years, he doesn’t know how to trust that a man like Ángel could really care for him. So, at its core, The God of Jazz is about someone learning to love and trust again after he was hurt and betrayed by the person he’d counted on most in the world. The concord comes little by little as Derek regains trust in himself, and slowly learns to love again.
Lisa also said she was curious about the way the city and setting are romantic backdrops themselves, playing up the sensuality of the story. Another great question! Barcelona is an absolutely fabulous city, from its stunning architecture, to its bustling beaches, to the labyrinthine, narrow streets of the historic Barrio Gótico. I fell madly in love with the city the first time I came for a holiday about five years ago (partly, I’m sure, because it felt so much like home, it reminded me so much like southern California). And it’s undeniably and irresistibly a sensual, romantic city. There’s just something about feeling the sun on your skin as a cool breeze sweeps in from the sea, about strolling among the neogothic cathedrals and Roman walls. You’re constantly surrounded by history and beauty, but there’s also a charming liveliness to Barcelona—the plazas are always bustling, and on any given day there are a million things going on, from impromptu musical performances in the streets, to gallery openings, to one of the city’s seemingly endless celebrations and festivals. There’s also a seductive openness to the culture here; couples are way more prone to a little more (or a lot more) PDA than in the U.S., so if you go to a bar or a restaurant, or even just walk down the street, you’re bound to see some lingering, intimate kissing, if not a bit more. And then there are the beaches. It was a lot of fun letting Derek and Ángel frolic naked in the sea, as many people do, here. Their connection blossoms and ripens in the sunny warmth of the beach and in the sultry dark of the jazz clubs that are at the core of what I love about Barcelona.
*Fugue: a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts.
*Concord: harmony in music.
About the Book
After years struggling to realize his dream of directing a feature film, on the final night of his fundraising campaign Godard is on the cusp of having everything he ever wanted. The man he loves is upstairs waiting for him, and he’s just a few dollars short of his GoFundYourself goal.
Then everything falls apart.
His personal and professional life in ruins, when his old nemesis from film school offers to fund his dream project if he’s willing to shoot it in Spain, Godard knows it’s a deal with the devil. But he also has nothing left to lose.
Among the labyrinthine streets of Barcelona’s Barrio Góthico, the city’s vibrant music scene, and the sun-gilt beaches of the Costa Brava, Godard begins making shooting his dream project and putting his life back together, largely under the domineering gaze and deft touch of Ángel, the god of jazz.
But Ángel is keeping a secret, and a deal with the devil always comes at a price.
About the Author
Growing up near Los Angeles, I spent much of my time frolicking in the Pacific and penning angst-twisted poetry. Now I’m living in sunny Spain writing pathos-riddled fiction. Ironically, two of my favorite things are traveling, and swimming in the ocean, despite increasingly intense phobias of sharks and flying.
I’ve always loved the music and substance of words, always loved writing in well-worn notebooks by hand, tapping at the keys of the computer, and, of course, conjuring up stories.
When I’m not writing, I’m probably messing around with my camera, either having fun making cover images with the sexy models of Barcelona, or just wandering the streets, snapping the wildly varied architecture and amusing humans. Or I might be riding my bike, going on a hike somewhere in the local mountain ranges, or working on my PhD thesis.