Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Interview with Chloe Neill + Giveaway

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Last week, Colette from A Buckeye Girl Reads and I had a smack-down with Mandi from Smexy Books over who the best hero from Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series is (naturally I won ;). Today, Colette and I are interviewing Chloe for our book club, Romance Readers Anonymous.

twice bitten cover

The Chicagoland Vampires series centers around Merit, a grad student who is turned into a vampire without her consent after a vicious attack. So far there are two books in the series, Some Girls Bite and Friday Night Bites. Twice Bitten, the third book in the series, will be released in July.

Colette's Questions:

1. What made you decide to have the series set in Chicago?

I wanted to set the series in a city that was generally familiar to people, but which hadn't been overly done before in the vampire genre. And you can't beat the food and politics in Chicago!

2. Did you have to do any research for the books? If so, what kind of research did you have to do?

LOTS of research. I research a little bit of everything along the way, from information about Chicago (food, geography, architecture, politics, neighborhoods), to magic, to feudal customs, to the French Revolution. I try to infuse the books with factual details to give them context.

3. Do you follow any kind of writing schedule? Do you watch any tv or listen to music to help you write?

I have a day job, so I usually have a minimum per-day word count unless I'm on an editing deadline. Usually the television is on something like Discovery or the Travel Channel while I write.

4. How did you come up with the idea of vampires being in different houses?

I wanted allegiances and alliances to be a crucial element in the story, so I used the House ideas to give the vampires something to root for (their own House) and "enemies" to root against (the other Houses). Humans have baseball and football, so I figured vampires needed teams of their own.

5. I loved how you mention Eureka and Gilmore Girls in the same sentence in Friday Night Bites! Are you a TV science fiction and Gilmore Girls fan? (Am I wrong to think that I see a little Lorelai Gilmore in Merit?)

Thanks! I watch a lot of sci fi (including Eureka), and I LOVED Gilmore Girls. I think Merit has a little Lorelai and Rory in her. Especially the snark.

6. Will Ethan and Morgan have competition for Merit in the third book?

Sorry--can't answer that one. You'll have to wait until July!

Tasha's Questions:

1. Merit's favorite story is that of Tristan and Isolde. Is that a foreshadowing as to how her own story will wind up?

Sorry--that one's a spoiler, too! I will say that I include very few random red herrings in the novels, so if something's in there, there's usually some reason.

2. Is Merit related to the shifters somehow?

Not that I'm aware of.

3. I was a little unclear about the status of the vampire in Merit at the end of Friday Night Bites--is it normal for the vampires to feel separate from their vampire natures like that?

It is very unusual for a vampire not to feel fully and completely connected to their vampire. Merit only knows that it feels "wrong," which is why she's so hesitant about raising the issue to her friends and colleagues.

4. Do vampires have pets?

Absolutely. I think Merit would enjoy having a dog. Problem is, there's no one to take it out if it needed to go out during the day.

6. What is your favorite pizza place in Chicago?

I recently had pizza from CRUST in Wicker Park, and it was fabulous! Four stars.

7. I love the inspiration boards on your website! Do you have one for Friday Night Bites that you're planning on posting?

Thanks! The SOME GIRLS BITE board was actually prepared by Anne Sage of design blog The City Sage. I haven't had time to prepare any inspiration boards beyond the smaller FIRESPELL board, and I didn't even keep a file of materials for Friday Night Bites. I do have some images for TWICE BITTEN, but since the vampires are pretty consistently living in the same House and wearing the same outfits (ditto for FIRESPELL), I only really need one inspiration board per series. :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Chloe! Plus, Chloe is generously offering a signed copy of Firespell, the first book in her new YA series, to a lucky commentor on this post! I will chose a random winner later this week. CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

*Please note that the links to books on this post are Amazon Associate links.

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