Thursday, November 3, 2011

Character Interview: Lord Denbury of Darker Still

I am beyond excited–maybe even bordering on ecstatic–to welcome Jonathon Whitby, also known as Lord Denbury, from Leanna Renee Hieber's paranormal young adult novel Darker Still to the blog today to answer some questions for me. Not only is he incredibly attractive and well-mannered, but he also calls me "Miss Snark" (*giggles*) which makes him completely adorable and a little bit in danger of becoming my next book boyfriend. Lucky him ;-) Darker Still just released this week, so be sure and pick up a copy if you haven't already so you can meet the oh-so charming Denbury!

If you could choose any other painting in which to be trapped, which one would you choose and why?

Oh, dear Lord, Miss Snark, you'd curse me into another one?! Well, let me see. If I had to be trapped, make it something out in the open; one of those glorious classic hunting scenes, so I'd at least be free to run about my estate. While I never liked killing on the hunt- it seemed inhumane- I do miss my hunting dogs. Otherwise, I'd ask to be put into one of Waterhouse's paintings. Miss Stewart looks a good deal like one of those pretty Waterhouse heroines and I'd like to be her knight in shining armor.

Let’s say you had the portrait of yourself commissioned instead of forced upon you; is the study the room you would have chosen as a backdrop or is there somewhere else you think would have been better suited to who you are?

I'd have preferred to be painted in the rooms of the clinic I opened with my student friends in London. I think of myself as a student of medicine more than I think of myself as a Lord.

Natalie is brave and trusting, wanting to help you despite the fact that you are a virtual stranger mixed up in quite unusual circumstances. Would you have been as eager to help her were your roles reversed?

A thousand times yes. You can't imagine how unbearable it's been not to be able to be as brave for Miss Stewart as she's been for me. The peculiarity of our situation meant we met soul-first. We met seeing the best, the most intimate parts, of ourselves first. I know I'd have felt the same way about her no matter what. I'd do anything for the girl and I hope she'll let me prove that to her. I helped her fight against the demons of her own nightmares, and for that, I'm grateful. To have been able to do something was my only solace. I'm a man of action, so being imprisoned while a girl I've grown to adore puts herself in danger has been my own particular version of hell.

What are your thoughts on the fact that women of various ages wind up unconscious before your portrait, having purportedly fainted due to your good looks?

*laughter* If the painter weren't so bloody evil, I'd have commended him for his fine work. I suppose I'll take the compliments. In our London clinic, I thought women swooned around me because they were ill. Perhaps I'm not as good as diagnosing their correct symptoms as I thought...

Natalie wrote every detail of recent events down in her journal, including her reactions to, and her interest in, you. What is the first thought that popped into your mind when she stumbled into your painting?

Miss Snark, I am a gentleman; I cannot possibly tell you the first thought that 'popped into my mind' when I first held Miss Stewart. What I will tell you is that I was relieved beyond all imagining that I was no longer alone, and that the light that shone around Miss Stewart meant she was the girl to help me. More directly, I thought; good God, she's lovely, my day has most certainly improved!

What is your favorite memory of your time with your parents before their unexpected passing?

The day mother gave me my key to the estate library. I was seven. She told me any book was mine for the taking and instituted a weekly allowance for any new books of my choice. We understood something about one another then; that books were the salve for our restless minds and souls. She was always fussing about, active and fastidious, but never was a book far from her reach. I'm very much my mother's son. While father wasn't a reader, he never discouraged her, or me. Having parents who don't deter you from your passions or calling is the greatest gift in the world. I wish they were here so I could tell them that. I can only hope they know.

When you resigned yourself to the fact that you were trapped in the painting, what is the first book you picked up off the shelf in your study and read to pass the time?

Ironically, I turned to works of Edgar Allan Poe, to see how his characters dealt with situations of horror and inexplicable acts. Can't say that was a comfort really. Depressing sot, that Poe. I read "The Oval Portrait" and nearly wept, feeling hopeless about my situation. So instead I read a good adventure novel to put my mind off my dread fate. Nothing like The Three Musketeers to take your mind off evil curses and demons. It also inspired me to practice my fencing with a letter opener. I maintain, I'm rather good with a blade, so I'd be wary of challenging me to a duel...

Do you think you’ll ever look at any painting the same way again?

Dear God, no. If I have art in my future home it will be sculptures. Perhaps some pottery. It's a shame, really, because I adore art. I love what these "impressionists" are doing these days. Fascinating. The less lifelike the better for me. Miss Stewart is going to have to be very persuasive to get me back into her beloved Metropolitan Museum of Art. But the dear girl is nothing if not persuasive, so I'm sure eventually I'll come around.

Thanks so much for stopping by Jonathon! I think I'm going to legally change my name to "Miss Snark" or at the very least demand everyone call me that from now on ;-) For more information on Leanna and her fabulous books, you can find her here:



New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...

Jonathon Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.


  1. Oh, Lord Denbury. What a sweetie! Very interesting questions, "Miss Snark"! Thanks for the interview! :)

  2. Lovely interview. I think I'd choose to be trapped in the Madame X painting by John Singer Sargent. I love the look on the woman's fact and her gorgeous dress. I'd be happy standing in a photo wearing a beautiful gown.

  3. Ok, I've been skipping over this book because I thought it was another angel book. But it's like a twisty Portrait of Dorian Gray! And like Miss Snark, I think I might have developed a slight crush on Lord Denbury. This is another book I have to add to my list! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this one.

  4. Well Miss Snark, you have done it again. Lord Danbury is amazing and your interview was superb at bring him to life for me. Now I must hurry out and snap this one up and read about him myself.

  5. LOL! Miss Snark & Lord Denbury -- that makes me smile! x)

    This is why I love character interviews -- they always make me want to read a book even more, because it makes me want to meet the characters and know their stories! Don't worry, Lord Denbury -- I thought Poe was depressing too. But hey, his works are still pretty cool! ;)

    Awesome interview!

  6. I can't wait to read Darker Still!! I never had the gusto to read Poe... It all flew right over my head!! Although I did like how dark it was! Lol

  7. Great questions!
    He's awesome--thanks for having him :)

  8. I loved this post! I'm curious about the book now.

  9. Lauren - Hahaha thank you:) And yes, please refer to me as Miss Snark from now on ;-)

    Alison - I wouldn't mind being in a painting with a beautiful gown either. Also, please paint a super attractive gentleman in their with me:)

    Jennifer - He's quite easy to crush on isn't he? No angels involved in this one, it's definitely a Dorian Gray type story:)

    Jan - Thank you! I like that this Miss Snark thing is catching on ;-) Hope you enjoy this one Jan, I thought it was great:)

    Mimi - We sound good together right? We should have our own story I think...

    Ashley - I've only read "The Tell Tale Heart" and that about scarred me for life, so as brilliant as he is, I pass on his stuff:)

    Brandi - I agree, I find him quite enjoyable:)

    Mrs Q - Yay! It's a really unique book, I recommend it:)

  10. Awesome interview, Miss Snark! I am so excited to read this book already. Lord Denbury sounds yummy! I'm hoping to get started on this soon! Thanks for the great interview, it made me smile!

  11. I'm reading this book right now! EEPPPPP! LOL, love this interview.

  12. I love character interviews--they make the book even more appealing.

    I like Poe but he is rather dark and depressing. Alos, he can scare the pants off you!

  13. Hey Miss Snark! Great interview. I've been seeing mixed reviews on this though... still not sure where I stand. But I love the cover!!

  14. OMG! This is hilariously brilliant, Miss Snark. I was SO excited about this book and after reading this interview, I am even more so. I love that he's turned to of my favorites!

  15. I don't really think it's a coincidence that girls swoon beneath his portrait. In fact, I feeling a bit swoony myself sitting comfortably in front of my computer. Please to meet you, Lord Denbury. *Does a small curtsey*

  16. Great Interview! Can't wait to read my copy of this novel! You do such great character interviews!


  17. Christy - Thank you, glad you enjoyed it:) Lord Denbury definitely is yummy:)

    Savy - Can't wait to see what you think!

    Felicia - I agree, they're always something I look forward to reading. Any extra info I get to read about book characters always makes me happy:)

    Hafsah - Everyone is calling me Miss Snark now. Win. I love this cover too and I really enjoyed the story overall:)

    Christina - Thank you! Jonathon is quite fun to interview. I think maybe we need to do another one in the future:)

    Rummanah - Right? I would most definitely be one of those girls flat on my face in a puddle of drool. I'm kind of unbearably sexy like that:)

    Heather - Thanks! It will be fun to compare notes with you, I have my review going up next week:)

  18. Haha! What a clever young man, that Mr. Denbury. I'm absolutely positive I would have swooned over his portrait because of his dashing good looks. And you have to admire a man who would pick up POE to read despite circumstances!

  19. Oh Denbury you had me at Waterhouse :)

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  21. LOL- I loved that interview, Im totally calling you Mrs. Snark from now on.....:D

    PS- that cover is gorgeous!! Im getting that dress and wearing it grocery shopping...

  22. Fab interview! Love how he calls you Miss Snark! It's interesting about his referral to Poe. Can't wait to read this one!

  23. Heehee "Miss Snark"! That's awesome. What a gentleman. Love his voice -- I think I'll definitely have to pick this one up. :)

  24. Oh I want to read this one! And I think I'd be caught in The Scream, the dogs playing poker or in a velvet clown painting. *shiver* If I got stuck in a Picasso... it might show my best side (or all of them!) LOL

  25. Lord have mercy, Lord Denbury!! I want this book so badly... Why can't I read my other books faster?

  26. Very fun interview and it makes me want to read the book even more.

  27. What a fun character interview! I saw a less-than-stellar review of this one today, but this interview is swaying me towards still reading it :)

  28. Amazing and fun questions, Jenny--they make me want to read this book even more! Loved. :)

  29. In all honesty, I had no idea this was what the book was about. LOL! I guess I should pay closer attention. o_o I love the idea! I don't think I could ever handle being trapped in a portrait. It would be so hard to be stuck in one spot. Although, a library would be kind of cool. As long as there were giant windows with lots of sunlight steaming in. Oh, and a door to go outside. :D I don't like being cooped up for too long, even with thousands of books. Or maybe it's being forced to be cooped up that drives me nuts. *grrr* I really want to read this book now. :D

  30. Lord Denbury sounds like a perfect gentleman. There need to be more guys like him in the YA genre. Great interview, Miss Snark :P

  31. Oh EFF.

    I was more or less resigned to the fact that I was going to love AT LEAST one thing about this book. Looks like I'm going to LOVE THE WHOLE DAMN THING.

    Oh, *sigh* I thought I had enough book boyfriends to last me a few minutes. More already?

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  32. Loved the interview. Lord Denbury is such a sweetheart so swoon worthy. I already wanted to read this book but now its a definite must read.