Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrating Vicki Hopkins' New Phantom Story, THE PHANTOM OF VALLETTA

Today we're celebrating the release of Vicki Hopkins' THE PHANTOM OF VALLETTA.

Vicki is a paralegal by day and author/blogger by evening and weekends. She possesses an insatiable desire to write and holds a fierce determination to succeed as a self-published author.

She made her writing debut on the Internet through the medium of blogging in January of 2008, after taking an interest in The Phantom of the Opera. Her blog entitled LESSONS FROM THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA examined the characters, emotions, symbolism, and events in the story.

Since her first post in January of 2008, her blog has received over 50,000 hits from 106 countries worldwide. It's become a favorite in the Phantom community. At the request of many of her readers, she published her blog into book form in May of 2009. It has received acclaim from fans, journalists, and university professors for taking a unique approach to studying the timeless story.



Another chapter in the life of the infamous Phantom of the Opera continues, as he leaves Paris and moves to Malta in search of a new beginning. Clothed in secrecy, he purchases The Royal Opera House in Valletta, which has been destroyed by a devastating fire. In an attempt to bury the pain of his past, the burned out shell becomes his new obsession. He is determined to resurrect the structure from ashes and return it to glory.

To raise funds for his task, he holds a masquerade and encounters a strange woman who prophesies his destiny of undoing and death. Her words haunt the Opera Ghost, but he continues on his path of restoration. After years of hard work, the gala reopening occurs. The Phantom is convinced he has reached the pinnacle of success in his life. He rests in peace over his accomplishments.

For sheer amusement, he takes on a new student, which leads him down a path of romance, mystery, and danger. His fortune unfolds before him, and he discovers he cannot hide from those who seek retribution for his former sins. He is forced to reap the consequences and comes face-to-face with his darkest demons and fears. In the end, his insatiable hunger for beauty is challenged to the core. Will he survive the obstacles he encounters or will this finally be his undoing and death?


WIN - Leave Vicki a comment or question today at her Cyber Launch Party and your name goes in the hat for an autographed copy of her new book!!! Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are today's winner.


  1. Super congrats on the new release Vicki! I know this book was many years in the making, begining with you nonfiction work and your research on The Phantom of the Opera.

    Tell us alittle bit about how the idea for this novel came to be and if you see yourself writing more books about Erik and his world.

    Hope the new book is a HUGE seller for you!

  2. At first I never considered writing a fiction work about The Phantom of the Opera, mainly because there are so many versions on the market already. One night I asked myself the question if I ever did, how could I make it different? What challenges could I give the Opera Ghost he's never faced before in other published works? The idea was born, and the next step was research.

    One of the main ideas of the book was to take him far from Paris and give him a project to rebuild an opera house and make it his own. I was searching the Internet for opera houses that were destroyed during the 19th century, and The Royal Opera House in Valletta came up in the search results. It was a perfect place with a fascinating history.

    The opera house suffered a devastating fire in 1873 in which the interior was destroyed, but the structure remained intact. It was finally reopened four years later after restoration. However, I gave the Opera Ghost the task of rebuilding it for a new obsession.

    Because Andrew Lloyd Webber's work is copyright, I relied heavily upon Leroux's characters. The Phantom, Madame Giry, Darius (the Persian's servant), and Richard (the original manager). There are two other characters - one fictional and the other, whose name is deeply buried in Leroux and probably read over and never thought about. I took one simple fact and wove a back story that is quite shocking and filled with suspense and revenge. Of course, I've given the Opera Ghost romance too and a happy ending.

    I had a wonderful time writing it and received extremely positive feedback. However, what has surprised me the most is the stir it's causing on the isle of Malta. The Malta Times, the largest publication on the isle, contacted me to do a possible interview. I literally sent the Phantom, via my book, to Malta. It's actually in Valletta now being read by one of the staff of the newspaper. I've had quite a few people from Malta contact me too. I wasn't aware how passionate the history of The Royal Opera House is with the Maltese nation, and bringing the Opera Ghost to the isle has really piqued their interest.

    I do not plan to write a sequel to this work. It stands complete as it is. Thank you for your congrats and well wishes! I'm here all day to answer questions.


  3. Dear Ms.Hopkins, when you wrote the book, what was the most difficult thing or experience that you encountered?

  4. Vicki, you just might have to head to Malta to do a book tour - what fun that would be!! :-)

  5. So excited for you, Vicki. Have enjoyed "watching" your progress on FaceBook and appreciate your putting up with the silly questions I often fire your way. I'm a fan. Can't wait to read it.

  6. Research is always critical, Samantha. I found it difficult to find interior descriptions of the opera house itself, except for a few interior pictures of the destruction and spotty information about the interior beforehand. Research was limited to the Internet. There is always a risk, I think, taking a historical place to write about where you've never been or had the opportunity to see for yourself.

    I did not want to write anything offensive regarding the location, culture, or history on the isle of Malta, because I did think it probably would be read by some residents. Weaving the historical facts into the story is always a challenge, such as attitudes of the day, culture, language, etc. What I could not find in way of "facts" I did have to fictionalize, of course. I did not use the original names of anyone on the isle, including the government officials. They are fictitious as well. The only name I did mention, was the original architect of the structure.

    In the end, I only hope I respectfully portrayed the times, history, and culture as accurately as possible.

  7. Thanks Ms.Hopkins for answering my question. History is always a difficult subject to deal with, much more then some people believe it to be. There are different perceptions, values and emotions attached to it and while some of us might like one aspect, others might disagree with out views.

    I'm sure that you did a great job though, and as long as its set in Malta, we Maltese will like it. A lot of people forget about our existence, so when a relative new author like yourself decides to set her book here, its always a pleasant surprise. Underlying that its Fiction, also helps not to disappoint any 'historian' who might want to search for history in a story that's not mean to be as such.

    Thanks once more :)

  8. Hi Vicki,
    The Phantom of Valletta has a beautiful cover on it! If I saw that in a store I would definitely have to pick it up to see what it's about.

  9. Thank you! I credit that cover to Robin Ludwig Design. We found a very plain photograph with the violin and the hands upon it from Shutterstock, and she tweaked it with the design, roses, and antique appearance. Roses are a huge theme in the book. Her work is outstanding. She subsequently made bookmarks for me out of the same picture - absolutely stunning. Below is a link to her business. I highly recommend her to any other author. Very reasonably priced too.

  10. For more information about the book or the setting, please feel free to visit my special website at:

    Thanks everyone.

  11. I put this book on my reading list ages ago. It looks amazing. I can't wait to read more.

  12. Love the background on the book and find the cover very refreshing and intriguing.

    Congrats on the release.

    kolists a/t gmail d\t com