Interview with Sloane Virago, Author of Last Temptation

02 Feb 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, Last Temptation?

At its heart, it’s a story of what really makes someone a good person as well as the compromises we all have to take in our normal lives, especially when love is involved. In my book, Daemon has a corrupting influence on the people around him until he meets Esperanza. She makes him rethink everything that he has done, but this influence works both ways.

The story begins with a trio of friends, Jacob, Peter and Esperanza. Daemon initially grows close to Jacob while Peter is trying to make a relationship work with his childhood crush, Esperanza. When things begin to fall apart between them, Esperanza is left alone as a potential target for Daemon. The bad boy is unlike anyone she has ever met, which instantly draws her to him. The ultimate question is how much Esperanza is willing to sacrifice in order to be with Daemon. When her principles are placed on the line, she must decide if she will remain true to herself or give up everything for love.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I think my original inspiration was a poetry contest I won when I was in elementary school. Somehow, the fact that I won made it seem like a writing career was possible to my young mind. While I didn’t become a poet, I did end up discovering my love of fiction writing and began a career as a copywriter as well.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Ever since I was a little girl Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have been two of my favorite books. Another book that shaped my early worldview and understanding of life was Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. If I think of books that had the most profound effect on me, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay has really retained a strong influence on my psyche since I first read it a decade ago.

Finally, the stories and overarching narrative in Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes have always fascinated me. Don Quixote challenges my idea of what is real with his quixotic belief that windmills are giants, and Aldonza is a noble lady. It makes me think about how much the great romances and dreams of our lives are based on our ideas and not reality.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

That’s a really difficult question. I think interviewing an author would completely ruin the ideas I have about a book, so I’m not sure that I’d want to do it. If I interviewed anyone, it would probably be someone like Stieg Larsson. He was famous for writing the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the Millennium series, but he actually died before completing all of the books. Other people have finished his work, but I’d really like to know what his real plans were for the series and if he approved of how everything worked out.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love that I get to live in an entirely different world for a while. After a few hours of writing, it feels like your characters and the imaginary world are more real than your day-to-day life. You have the power to create a new being with the swipe of a pen, and a push of a button can just as easily delete a budding romance.

What is a typical day like for you?

I normally wake up with my son in the morning and drink some tea while he eats breakfast. Since I also work as a copywriter, I generally start working as soon as my husband wakes up. We alternate between who works during the day since we both work remotely. Around lunchtime, we normally go for a walk or to the beach for a while. Afterward, we both work while my son takes a nap. Before the pandemic happened, we used to go to the library or pool in the evenings, but we’ll have to wait on that for a while longer.

What scene from Last Temptation was your favorite to write?

 would like to say the end scene, but then I might accidentally give away some of the information about how it ends. I think my second favorite scene is when Daemon is without Esperanza, and he’s struggling to feel any emotion because his heart is so broken. I originally wrote a variation of that scene 10 years ago when I was in Taiwan. My husband (then boyfriend) and I had broken up so that I could teach in Taiwan and pay off student loans while he finished school in the United States. On one of my first weekends off from work, I just remember wandering alone when the sky opened up, and it started to rain. The soul-crushing feeling of being apart from the one I loved and feeling all alone in a strange, alternative world led me to create that scene with Daemon. On a happier note, I eventually moved back to the United States on Valentine’s Day to surprise my husband, and he proposed as soon as I returned—some stories do get to end happily ever after.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!” – Don Quixote

Sometimes, I think we have to reconsider our lives and decide if our world is really the world we want to live in. It’s easy to get bogged down by day-to-day life, so I use this quote as a reminder that I need to think about my beliefs and actions. Each day, I should be focused on building the kind of world that I would want to live in, even though it is quite likely that those dreams will never come to pass.

Sloane Virago is the author of the new book Last Temptation.

Connect with Sloane Virago
Author Site

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