Today I had the great pleasure of talking with Professor Gabriel Emerson from “Gabriel’s Inferno.”

Chick Lit & Wine:  Tell us what you and Dante Alighieri have in common.  Is he a hero for you?  Or a figure that haunts you?

The Professor: I find Dante’s character heroic. He lived his life in love with a woman he would never hold in his arms or in his bed.  But instead of growing angry or resentful, he accepted his fate and chose to honour her by writing the most beautiful poetry.

CL&W: What’s your favorite meal to cook for Julia? Details!

The Professor: A few days ago, I surprised her with breakfast in bed. After dessert, we had ham and Emmental crêpes with asparagus, and champagne and orange juice. The meal must have been good because we didn’t leave the bed for the rest of the day.

CL&W: What was the scariest moment of your life?

The Professor: Next question.

CL&W: Alright, we’ll take it a step back. Who are your enemies and rivals, and how did you make them?

The Professor: I’m fortunate in that I have few enemies. I have many rivals, however, most of whom are fellow Dante specialists.  Dante specialists can be assholes, on occasion, and my inability to grovel hasn’t won me many friends. Sometimes it’s our friends who pose more of a threat to us than our enemies.

CL&W: Let’s move on to a more fun topic. What are you getting Julia for Christmas? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell)

The Professor: Let’s just say that the sales clerks at Agent Provocateur in London were very, very helpful.

CL&W: You’re in your ideal wine cellar.  What do you pick out?

The Professor: I’m glad that you asked. I know that we share a passion for fine wine.

When I’m in Tuscany, I drink wines from local vineyards. On this side of the pond,
although I enjoy Chianti Classico, I’ve been drinking wines from Serego Alighieri’s vineyard in Verona. The family is descended from Dante and they make a very fine Amarone and a Valpolicella Classico.

CL&W: What are your plans for 2012?

 The Professor: I’m afraid some of my plans are – ah – of a personal nature.  But I can tell you that I plan to love more and to spend my time with the woman I care about most.

CL&W: If you died right now, what would be the fate of your soul?  Purgatory?  Paradise?  A certain circle in the Inferno?  Why?

The Professor: You flatter me by being interested in the state of my soul, Syrah. Most women are only interested in my body.

CL&W: Fine, if you’re avoiding that question I’ll try another. Do you have any secrets or regrets you’d like to get off your chest?  …Sins to confess?

The Professor: Pride, envy, wrath, lust …I suppose that answers your previous question. But I hope for mercy and forgiveness, just like everyone else.

And now… for our “Gabriel’s Inferno” Contest Winners!
Thank you to everyone who entered our “Gabriel’s Inferno” giveaway! We had five winners this time – we’re giving away two print copies, three ebooks, and one grand prize full of
“Gabriel’s Inferno” schwag!

Check your email and Twitter messages – you’ll receive a special note if you’re a winner!

xx, Syrah