Saturday, January 20, 2018

R.E.Mullins interviews character, Gabe Blautsauger (It's A Wonderful Undead Life) #character interview #RosesofProseBlog #BloodyMary

A Character Interview with Gabe Blautsauger from It's A Wonderful Undead Life by R E Mullins

Act natural, I tell myself as I settle into a chair, and try to quell the butterflies in my stomach. My guest today is Nosferatu vampire, Gabe Blautsauger. He’s sitting on the couch across from me, and I do appreciate the view. It isn’t as if we haven’t met before. We got to know each other quite well while I was writing his story in It’s A Wonderful Undead Life.

Still, there’s something about sitting near all his, ah, gorgeousness, lightly coated with a sheen of danger. It's all enough to make my body parts sit up and sing in three-part harmony. Down girl, I caution myself. He’s taken.

“Thank you, Gabe,” I practically stutter. I have to stop and take a deep breath as he smiles knowingly. “Thank you for joining me today. I’m sorry your beautiful wife, Cailey couldn’t join us.”

That’s a bald-faced lie. I’m thrilled to have Gabe all to myself—even for a platonic few minutes.

“It’s good to see you again, Re.” His low voice holds just a touch of his exotic Russian accent. I feel my face heat. Me, a middle-aged woman that didn’t even know she could still blush. Perhaps, I’m all atwitter at the way he puts my initials together and simply calls me Re instead of R. E. I want to consider it a special nickname between just the two of us.

I swallow. “In your story, I describe your first attempts to get Cailey to drink bagged blood by disguising it as a Bloody Mary. When you first described your method, you mentioned something about the history of the drink. Would you, please, share the complete account with our readers?”

“Of course,” his reply is easy as is his demeanor as he relaxes back into the couch. “Current online encyclopedias say the origin of the Bloody Mary cocktail is unclear, and that there are multiple conflicting claims as to who invented the drink.”

He takes a sip out of the to-go cup that he’d brought into our meeting. I find myself both fascinated and horrified because I know it’s blood. Even after writing about vampires for years, the sight still makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Setting his cup aside, he seems to sense my squeamishness as he smiles sweetly at me without showing a hint of fang. “Humans have tried to take credit. For instance, bartender, Fernand Petiot was the first to claim, what is considered, the classic recipe. He maintains he created the drink, which he called a Red Hammer, in the early 1920’s. Though he admits his part of the recipe was adding seasonings. It was one of his patrons, comedian George Jessel, that often requested a cocktail of half tomato juice and half vodka.”

Gabe paused to wet his throat again, “The name, Bloody Mary, has been attributed to many things such as her Majesty, Queen Mary I of England—who I think gets a bad rap historically. She was always quite kind to me. Others say it was named for the actress Mary Pickford.” He brow furrowed. “I never got that one. Another concerns a waitress named Mary who worked in a Chicago bar called the Bucket of Blood—I got that one off Wikipedia myself,” Gabe sounded amused.

"So who was the original Bloody Mary?"

“Re, your readers might not know that my surname, Blautsauger comes from an old Bavarian word for bloodsucker and my ancestry can be traced back before the common era. We’ve been around a long, long time and have seen how, throughout time, various ‘inventions’ are discovered, lost, and re-discovered. Each time something was, let’s say, re-learned the new finder claims to be the original inventor. Most didn’t even realize the truth and truly believed their discovery to be their own brain child.”

“I wonder if that explains why cars and planes were ‘invented’ here in the States as well as in other countries at practically the same time?” I mused.

Gabe nodded. “Take this for instance, in 1386 Genoese envoys brought the first aqua vitae ("the water of life") to Moscow. Then about twenty years later a Russian monk gets the credit for making the first recipe of vodka in the early 1400’s. My ancestral knowledge goes back before all that. Also as a child, my stepmother, Cassiopeia played around the Egyptian pyramids while they were being built, so she has firsthand knowledge of such things. Ah," he chuckled, "you don’t need to tell her I said that.”

Knowing Cassiopeia as we do, we're in little doubt that she'd appreciate us mentioning her age. This has us grinning a little guiltily at each other.

“So, when Greeks were first fermenting their grapes, the Chinese were experimenting with rice, and a vampire living in what would be Poland was making her own alcohol of burned grains in water for human medicinal use.”

“Vampires made medicine for humans?”

“Naturally.” Gabe seemed a little bemused by my surprise. “Vampires have always had a vested interest in keeping humans healthy. Remember, they were our only food source. That is until recently when Michaela finished her blood formula and freed us from that bondage.”

I blinked. The fact vampires would consider their dependence on human blood as a type of bondage had never occurred to me. My only thought had been about the way they fed off humans.

"What about the name? Bloody Mary?" I had to ask. "Does it refer to the vampire's bloody fangs or the wounds left on the human's neck?"

He grinned fully this time and, for an instant, I caught sight of the pointed tips of his gleaming fangs. “It was named after Marysia Blautsauger. (I wish the reader could hear how Gabe pronounces her name. The syllables roll lyrically over his tongue, Mar ish ah Blôt sang er. Talk about sexy sounding.) “She was an ancestor of mine that was feared and yet greatly revered by both peasant and royalty alike. She was the first to ferment burnt grains and water together. Then she mashed those globose yellow Mandrake fruits into the weak alcoholic mix. It made the remedy even more beneficial as Mandrake fruits, or love apples as they were known, have cleansing and sedating qualities.”

“Aren’t love apples part of the potentially deadly nightshade plants?”

“Yes,” Gabe confirmed with another easy smile. “Even vampires had to handled them skillfully. Mandrake fruit, did you know, were often confused with tomatoes and this confusion had people afraid to eat tomatoes for centuries. So—,” he beat a tiny drumroll on his knee, “—Bloody came from our last name of Blautsauger and Mary was corrupted over time from Marysia to Maria to Mary.”

“So that’s how it all came about!” I lifted the Highball glass holding the Bloody Mary cocktail I’d planned to drink during the interview. My gaze caught and lingered on the deep red color of the drink and set it aside.

And Gabe's laughter filled the room.

The Basic Bloody Mary Recipe: Start here and then make the cocktail your own by toying with the seasonings and garnishes.

· 1 1/2 ounces vodka

· 1/2 cup tomato juice or V8

· 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon or lime juice

· 1-3 dashes Tobasco or pepper sauce

· 4-6 dashes Worcestershire or Soy sauce

· pinch of salt and pepper

· 1 tsp celery salt or skip this and add a bit of Horseradish sauce

· Garnish as desired with celery stick, lemon or lime wedge, or stuffed green olives.

What happens when you pray for an angel and get a vampire instead? Start with Gabe and Cailey's story in It's a Wonderful Undead Life and read the entire series. Laugh out loud, gasp in surprise, and let your heartstrings be tugged.

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Jannine Gallant said...

Entertaining interview, Robin. I don't think I've ever drank a Bloody Mary. I may have to give it a try!

Rolynn Anderson said...

How fun...and I love Bloody Mary's! Thanks for the recipe...hadn't thought about horseradish! Yes, Gabe is intriguing...glad you got the chance to sit down with him!

Leah St. James said...

Great interview, so fun! I love the line where you and Gabe are sharing a guilty grin. :-)

Vonnie Davis said...

I laughed out loud at the line...I never got that one. Great interview, hon.

remullins said...

You guys :)

Alicia Dean said...

Enjoyed the interview. Sounds like a character I'd like to know better! Now I'm in the mood for Bloody Mary! :D

Brenda Whiteside said...

Great fun! Glad the Bloody Mary is the mortal version.

Diane Burton said...

I love Bloody Marys with V-8 juice instead of plain old tomato juice. Interesting origin. Loved the repartee between you two.