Vanta M. Black
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Genre-Fiction, New Adult, Horror
Publisher: Black Chateau Publishing
Date of Publication: March 2016
Number of pages: 566
Word Count: 247,912
Cover Artist: Black Chateau Enterprises
Veronica knows the monsters aren’t “just in her head”, but no one listens to the headstrong ten-year-old as they tie her to a hospital bed every night.
Years later, after being dumped by her business-partner/boyfriend, Veronica finds herself on the verge of bankruptcy. Then a late-night call promises the perfect solution — a job opportunity decorating a castle in France.
Will Veronica risk what little she has left to chase a fairytale?
When the shadowy things that once terrorized her come back, Veronica must decide how much she’ll sacrifice for them, for her sanity, and for her life.
This epic book consists of interwoven stories with paranormal twists. A horror-filled historical fiction adventure, it spans nearly two millennia.
You'll be transported to an ancient Pagan ritual, Roman-ruled Gaul, the bloody Inquisition of the Knights Templar, France as it's ravaged by the Black Death, the duplicitous Reformation, the Paris Catacombs, and the gory French Revolution, while you unravel Oubliette’s cryptic layers.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/y0NMLzBnxKg
Amazon BN Author Website
Vanta M. Black, author of Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place, enjoys uncovering the dark mysteries of our Universe.
In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling to provocative places and studying all things esoteric.
Black has degrees in English, communication and art. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two pug-mix dogs, and spends her time in support of causes that empower women and advance science and technology.
Oubliette – A Forgotten Little Place consists of several intertwining storylines set around the oubliette in a French castle. The ideas for each came from different eras in history, myths, and real happenings. It’s a work of historical fiction, really, with lots of paranormal twists and thrilling adventure. Drawing from actual events and people in history served as the catalyst for many of the storylines.
For example, Father Michel’s Story is set during the time of the Black Death—the plague—and during that period in French history there really were fanatics called “Flagellents” who paraded across the countryside, flogging themselves along the way. That morsel of history is so freaking creepy! It helped create the perfect backdrop for Father Michel’s Story in Oubliette.
According to history books, Helena was the mother of Constantine. It’s documented that she went to the Holy Land and discovered relics like shards of the cross Jesus died on and the Spear of Longinus that pierced His side. And just like in the book, no one knows her true past and her real connection to a Paganism. Reading about her gave me the idea to write Sebastian’s Story.
Now take the main storyline—Veronica’s Story—that one hits closer to home. My real experiences from my youth with late-night visitors called “shadow people” was the inspiration there. Reading about them and researching the myths surrounding entities like the succubus and the “Old Hag” helped me develop the main thrust of Oubliette.
2. Do you have a dream cast for your book?
Haha, I’d never let Oubliette – A Forgotten Little Place be turned into a movie. This story is a book, and that’s what it needs to be before any other medium. It’s far too intricate and complex for cinema. Now episodic television—a platform that gives the stories and the characters the opportunity to be fleshed out; to live and breathe—now that makes perfect sense.
I get what you’re asking, though, so I’ll take a moment to imagine an Oubliette dream cast with you!
Ok, let’s aim high and cast Johnny Depp as Sebastian—as long as he’s not busy shooting another Tim Burton movie, that is. Or wait, better yet, I think Benedict Cumberbatch would be the prefect Sebastian. That character needs a just-right combination of dark, quirky and sexy.
I see Jack Black as the ideal Ralph. A smart-ass with a slightly feminine gait that can’t keep his smarmy comments to himself.
Main character, Veronica, would be done justice with Scarlet Johanson. For her sister, Nikki, let’s go big and cast Jennifer Lawrence. That cocky, sassy attitude fits impeccably.
I’d love to see Helena Bohnam Cater as Josette-Camile. Now I’m really stealing all of Tim Burton’s actors, aren’t I? Maybe I can ask him to direct it, too, huh? Why not, I’m quite sure Oubliette would probably do a heck of a lot better than Alice through the Looking Glass, at the box office!
For Dorotheé’s husband, I pick Sean Bean, the actor who played Ned Stark in Game of Thrones. When I first saw him in that role I could have sworn I was looking at my Andre-Benoit!
Mother Helena, Constantine’s mother from Sebastian’s Story, must be Meryl Streep. Seriously. If I can’t get her, then we’re not making this movie.
Now, if I were casting it, for episodic television, I’d pick new talent for many of the roles. I see fresh, interesting faces—actors who are talented and need a break. I love the idea of uplifting others, and if they actually make my book into a television show (And just so you know, I have been contacted by someone in Hollywood interested in pitching it for episodic television—fingers crossed!) then I’d hope it would make household names out of new, aspiring actors.
3. How do you handle writer’s block?
Just write. Write what comes to mind. Disjointed, unimaginative, droll sentences can become the foundation for the most elegant prose. Sit down and bang your fingers on the keys randomly if you must. The words, the sentences, the structure, the story—I promise it will come.
4. What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration for Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place is Leap Castle, the alleged “most haunted castle in Ireland”. Now the actual setting for the book is a castle in the Loire Valley of France. A fictional place called Le Château du Feu Ardent—which translates into “castle of blazing fire”.
Here’s how the inspiration happened. Many years ago I saw a documentary about Leap Castle and how the bones of over 150 individuals were emptied from its oubliette in the late 1800s. The thought that all those people—a variety of souls from different times in history spanning millennia—sharing one grisly grave, gave me chills. I was struck by the notion that they all had a unique story behind how they met their demise. Some were surely there because of war, some were likely criminals being punished, and some had to be innocents.
That gave me the idea to write several short ghost stories about people who perished in a fictional oubliette. Instead of Ireland I set my book in France. I drew from actual historical settings for each narrative. As I wrote I began connecting the stories. Soon they magically wove around the main, modern day storyline of two sisters who are drawn to the castle to decorate it. The whole process just fell into place exquisitely! It wasn’t like I was telling the stories, it was more like they were telling me what to write. I was just a conduit.
Here’s a little bit about each storyline in Oubliette:
There’s The Children’s Story which starts off on Friday the 13th, 1307, the day that the Knight Templar were eradicated due to charges of heresy. We join Louis and Isabelle as they flee from Château du Feu Ardent and the Inquisitors who are charged with capturing them.
Sebastian’s Story takes place during the time Rome occupied parts of Gaul. Beguiling and crafty, he weasels his way into the good graces of the governor in an attempt to disrupt the Empire’s hold over his homeland.
Father Michel races across plague-ravished France to rescue the woman he loves. Along the way his faith is challenged and tested in the most horrific ways.
During the French Revolution, as the aristocracy is threatened by uprisings, a pregnant Josette-Camile is given daily doses of a hallucinogenic elixir, and sequestered to the darkest part of the castle keep for her own good.
During the Reformation, while her husband is battling the Huguenots, Dorotheé becomes a bit too curious about the prisoner locked away in the tower room—the same room where she saw a hideous beast lurk in the shadows.
The Pagan’s Story goes the farthest back. It is based on actual myth about a young knight who visits his bride-to-be’s tomb and commits an act so heinous, it unleashes something beyond evil into the world.
5.What’s the hardest part of being an author?
I don’t focus on what’s hard. I am rewarded every time someone tells me how Oubliette has touched them; every time I hear about someone else’s personal paranormal experiences. It’s that connection—the realization and understanding that others have gone through it, too—which makes the hard stuff irrelevant. Oubliette is a book that needed to be written, and I am more than happy to be the slave to the pen that wrote it.