Friday, March 07, 2008

Interview with Chris Marie Green, author of the Vampire Babylon series

Congrats to Silverstein, who just won a signed copy of Anton Strout's Dead to Me. Just send your mailing address to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com. Everyone else, console yourself by buying Anton's book. If you do it now, I bet you'll have it before Silverstein gets it in the mail, which should be some small revenge.

Now stand and clap your hands for Chris Marie Green, author of the Vampire Babylon series, which began in 2007 with Night Rising and continued last month with Midnight Reign.

Chris, who also writes for several romance lines as Crystal Green, will be giving away a signed copy of her first vampire book, Twice Bitten, to (as always) one lucky commenter.

I will now let this very cool book trailer tell you about her latest:

Q. NIGHT RISING, MIDNIGHT REIGN, and BREAK OF DAWN (September 2008) form one trilogy in the Vampire Babylon series. You're currently working on the first book in the second trilogy. How is the second trilogy different from the first? A new set of characters? Will Book Six be the ultimate culmination, or could we see Books 7-9 as well? Or can't you tell us without spoilers? ;-)

Chris: Heh, heh, heh. Actually, I can’t tell you too much, but I can say that London comes into play. (I got the chance to take a research trip there this November, and I have pictures on my blog.) And there is a new character who becomes vital to the hunting team. Also, there’s a character we’ve already met—one who we’re introduced to in BREAK OF DAWN—who becomes very important….

The Vampire Babylon series is described as 'noir fantasy-mystery,' which sounds like my cuppa joe. Are you a big fan of the film noir genre? Do you have a favorite?

You know, I can’t say that I’ve avidly sought out noir movies, but I do love them when I find myself watching one. The tone is always so stirring, and I love characters whose “moral compasses” aren’t always set quite right. Movies like Chinatown and Blood Simple have brilliant takes on “noir,” and there’s so much to explore within the genre.

Speaking of films, the series takes place in an underground Hollywood subculture, in which stars become vampires in order to stay young and pretty forever. Which current celebrity would you most like to see 'vamped'?

I’m not sure about current stars, but I sure do wish Harrison Ford in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK could grace us again and again!

From your website, it looks like you've done a lot of traveling. Have any of your experiences inspired a brand-new story or novel you weren't expecting?

Most of the time I have a purpose for my trips. For instance, I did research for an atmospheric thriller called BAITED while I was in Japan, and that led me to Mikimoto’s Pearl Island because my heroine was a pearl diver for an entertainment water park. But I was inspired to write a Blaze called BORN TO BE BAD during a trip to New Orleans years and years ago. I had to write about that city, and I built a story around it. But, basically, my travels center around story ideas that are already in motion.

If you could inhabit the life of any of your characters, enter their world and deal with it as that person, which one would you choose?

A lot of my characters are in deep trouble during their respective stories, so although I admire the courage of characters like Dawn Madison and Camille Howard, I think I’d want to be Kimberly Wight from a vampire Blaze I wrote called THE ULTIMATE BITE. She got into trouble, but it wasn’t too much, and she won the love of a hot vampire. I also very much connect to the “geek vibe” she had going: like Kim, I like to read comics and I’m a pop culture freak. Adding a vampire to the equation would make life extra interesting. :-)

Conversely, which of your characters would you most like to bring to life in our world (maybe as a best friend or much, much more ;-) ?

LOL—it seems most of my heroes have bigger issues than I’m equipped to deal with, so I’d choose Breisi Montoya from NIGHT RISING as a good friend. She’s totally got her stuff together, and she’d be a rock in anyone’s life. She’s also a kick-ass, vamp-slaying genius girl, and I would anticipate some very enthralling conversations during happy hour.

Same two questions, but use examples from another author's work (including television/movies/theatre)?

I sooooo want to be Indiana Jones. He doesn’t have any heavy personal things to drag around, and he’s just…Indiana Jones. I’d love to learn to use a whip like that, too.

As far as bringing a fictional character to life? I’d kind of like to do that to Dr. Sloan on GREY’S ANATOMY, just to give him a hard time. I’d tame that man (without totally taming him, of course).

Which author, living or dead, would you most love to collaborate with?

Larry McMurtry. It’d be awesome to take a master class from him in creating characters who reveal so much without saying a lot—but when they do have something to say, every word counts. And I love how his characters are so quirky yet very real.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the publishing industry, what would it be?

Paying all authors 50% in royalties! LOL.

What's the weirdest tidbit of research you've ever incorporated into a book?

This is gross, but I think the honors would go to “How to Kill a Wild Boar” in BAITED (10/06). There are just things you never anticipate researching, and this was one of them.

What's your earliest memory?

I remember putting on this ALICE IN WONDERLAND record—it was red vinyl—on a turntable. Then I would go to the center of the room and spin around and around while I listened to music. I was a weird child.

Do you have any phobias?

I’d say the most noteworthy phobia I have is making sure the covers are around my neck when I go to sleep at night. I got that from watching IN SEARCH OF… when I was little. There was a clip of NOSFERATU because they were highlighting vampires, and that gave me a freaky fear of being ambushed by Max Schreck.

My husband hates when people use the word 'barometer' to mean 'measure.' Which word usage faux pas drives you berserkest?

When “travesty” is used instead of “tragedy.” Nggggghhh.

Let's say there's a TV show, movie, or recording artist that has a cult of one, i.e., you. Which is it? (i.e., what do you like that no one else you know likes)?

So embarrassing, but I love the movie STARSHIP TROOPERS. I know. It just has this hold on me every time it plays on TBS. Many, many people mock that movie, but I think the whole propaganda angle is awesome. And I kind of like the bugs that toot at the spaceships in order to defend their planet. Where else are you going to see that?

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Wow, I don’t even know. I think I would read all day, taking breaks only to watch new episodes of LOST (which would exist because I willed them to). While I watched TV, I would eat Chinese food, then a stuffed crust pizza, then chocolate mousse.

If you could write in a totally different genre than your current one, which would you choose?

I’d love to write a superhero comic! I guess that’s more a different medium than genre though. Still, give me SUPERGIRL or BATGIRL and I’d be ecstatic.

What are you working on now, and what new releases can we expect to see from you down the road?

I’m finishing up that fourth Vampire Babylon book and then polishing a vampire story for Blaze, which will be released in October. There’ll be lots more Vampire Babylon from me—I’m contracted for six books—and I’m hoping to write an atmospheric thriller in the near future. It’s a cross between Agatha Christie and THE SHINING.

If you could tell a perfect stranger just one thing about the VAMPIRE BABYLON series (other than what it's about--no cheating by quoting synopses or back cover blurbs), what would it be?

That it’s, at the core, about a girl who isn’t fighting to “save the world” as much as she’s fighting to save her own world. Also, it’s about feeling like a nobody in a society that asks everyone to be a somebody. And it’s about kicking vamp ass.

UPDATE: The winner of Chris Marie Green's prize, a signed copy of Twice Bitten, is...flip! Congrats! If you're watching, please send your mailing address to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com, and I'll pass it on to Chris.


Give Chris a comment or a question, or tell us which celebrity you'd most like to see 'vamped' and preserved forever as they are, down there in the comments before 5 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 12. I'll draw a name and announce the winner next Friday morning.

If you don't have a Blogger account, don't panic! Just sign in as anonymous and leave your name at the bottom of your comment so I can identify you.

***No need to put your e-mail in the comment--I will find you.***

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Great interview, Jeri, and good to see someone else who enjoys comics! (;

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/07/2008 9:56 AM

Great interview Jeri :)

If I could pick a celebrity to turn into a vampire so that they could live forever, it would definitely be Sean Connery. No question. I'm in love with that man, and he only gets better with age. But I guess I don't want him to age too much haha!

Posted by: Blogger Brooke Reviews at 3/07/2008 10:02 AM

I will have to add the Vampire Babylon series to my "to read" list!

Love the interview!

Posted by: Blogger Katie at 3/07/2008 10:15 AM

Hugh Jackman in his Wolverine character would be my choice. I just have to say...Yum!

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 3/07/2008 10:25 AM

I don't have a celebrity I'd want to turn into a vampire, but there are an awful lot of writers I'd like to do it to! You know, the ones I've been reading since high school and whom I still enjoy (Elizabeth Peters, Charles de Lint, Diana Wynne Jones, I'm looking at you!); I'm always worried they will stop writing (or worse!) before I want to stop reading them!
That was an awesome interview! The Vampire Babylon books sound great!

Posted by: Blogger Kimberly B. at 3/07/2008 10:52 AM

Kimberly B. I love the concept of giving our favorite writers eternal life as a vamp. I am also an Elizabeth Peters fan, but I would put Roberta Gellis and Joss Whedon on my list of undead writers.

My celebrity undead pick would be Joe Montana...Maybe he could start a night only professional football league. Instead of going on Dancing with the Stars, our favorite football players could play on the all vamp league.

Posted by: Blogger flip at 3/07/2008 10:57 AM

Johnny Depp. I could look at him for several hundred years for dang sure. Or Ewan McGregor. Yum.

From Crystal

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/07/2008 12:17 PM

Hi, all!
Thank you so much for all your kind comments! I'm telling you--Jeri provides an amazing interview. Answering her questions was a lot of fun!

And I do love my comics. : ) The darker the better.

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/07/2008 12:33 PM

Whoops--"anonymous" is me, Chris Green. : )

Posted by: Blogger Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green at 3/07/2008 12:35 PM

I would choose Orlando Bloom. So handsome.

Posted by: Blogger CrystalGB at 3/07/2008 12:40 PM

Yippee! Now I have another author's series to read. Chris' books sound fun. I love finding new authors. And, Jeri, I want to learn interview technique from you; I mostly stand around saying "um" and "duh". Your blog interviews are terrific. And can we get Cary Grant back?

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/07/2008 1:04 PM

HI Jeri and Chris!
I am a huge fan of vamps so this is such an easy question for me... JOHNNY DEPP! He would be a vamp that I would hunt and make my own... Ok I'll stop right there LOL!!
Great interview ladies!

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/07/2008 4:47 PM

Glad to see you here today, my pick would be Ryan Gossling from the movie The Notebook. The one I wish I could truly pick is Heath Ledger but I guess it's to late for him.

Posted by: Blogger tetewa at 3/07/2008 6:42 PM

Another great interview Jeri!

This is tough, I can't think of a celeb I'd like to see vamped. If I broaden it out a little, I wouldn't mind seeing WWE wrestler John Cena vamped. He's cute :)

Posted by: Blogger Lis at 3/07/2008 6:43 PM

I love the sound of this series. Love the premise. I think it is a lot of fun to read the different types of vampire stories. :-)

Posted by: Blogger lrhubble at 3/07/2008 6:53 PM

Spooky - I have a pal named Kimberley Wight. Spells her name 'ey', but still...

Have a lovely day! :-)

Posted by: Blogger Tez Miller at 3/07/2008 8:50 PM

gerald butler,

johnny depp,

i cant remeber his name, il be back with it, if can find it, but the cute guy on the 13th warrior, taht always called antonia ,litle brother, he has a good laugh

im been dying to read your series

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 3/07/2008 9:40 PM

Hey, guys!
Thanks again! There's more to the vamping than meets the eye in Vampire Babylon, so if you read it, you'll have a whole different outlook about your choices by the time you get to the end of NIGHT RISING....

(I'm a tease.)

Anyway, Tez, how odd about having a friend with the name Kimberly Wight! And that's one name I never thought would be duplicated in real life. Just goes to show you that you can't pick a name that doesn't already belong to someone.

Good luck to you guys, and have a great weekend!

Posted by: Blogger Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green at 3/07/2008 9:50 PM

If we could call someone back to vamp, I'd go for River Phoenix in a second. Other than that, how about James Marsters? He turned up in an episode of Torchwood recently (any other UK readers here) and it was fabulous.

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/08/2008 8:20 AM

Love the interview! I haven't started Chris's series yet, but I have the first book in my "To Read" pile. The celebrity I would choose to be a vamp would be Tim Curry because he has the best villainous laugh I've ever heard.

Andrea K.

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/08/2008 5:37 PM

More thanks! You guys are so sweet.
: )

The drawing should be happening soon, so may the luckiest vamp lover win....

Posted by: Blogger Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green at 3/09/2008 6:59 PM

I enjoyed the interview!

A celebrity I would like to see "vamped" is Steve Carell. Quirky, huh?

Posted by: Blogger ChristyJan at 3/10/2008 4:37 PM

Hey Jerri! Loved the interview and i just picked up her first book, looking forward to reading it!
Comics are getting to be popular with the women now and the comic stores are like we are being invaded by women!
The celebrity I pick is Henry from Blood Ties. Kyle S.)
Have a Great week!

(Chris from myspace)

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/11/2008 12:33 PM

A celebrity I'd like to see vamped is...Angelina Jolie. Smexy :P


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 3/12/2008 12:57 PM

OMG, Steve Carell is quirky! But I love him, too. Is it wrong that I found him so appealing in THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN?

LOL about the comic stores. When I go into mine, the dealer always looks at me as if I'm a strange, strange creature....

Posted by: Blogger Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green at 3/13/2008 12:20 PM

I forgot to thank Chris for picking up NIGHT RISING! I appreciate it. :)

Posted by: Blogger Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green at 3/13/2008 12:22 PM

Has to be Viggo Mortensen....*sigh*

Posted by: Blogger Jeanette J at 3/13/2008 11:39 PM

The winner of a signed copy of Twice Bitten, is...flip! Congrats! Flip, please send your mailing address to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com, and I'll pass it on to Chris.

For those who haven't seen it yet, the new interview is with debut urban fantasy author Adrian Phoenix, who's giving a way a signed copy of A RUSH OF WINGS. So stop on by and say hi!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 3/15/2008 10:51 PM

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