Thursday, January 6, 2011
Interview: Chloe Neill
Today I'm hugely excited to welcome Chloe Neill to the blog! Ms. Neill writes two of my very favorite series, the Chicagoland Vampires and the Dark Elite, and has a snarky sense of humor I can't help but adore. Her characters won me over the moment they opened their little sarcastic mouths, and I always look forward to seeing what snappy one-liners are waiting for me in between the pages. Hope you enjoy the interview!
Both Lily and Merit have very distinct, very snarky voices, have you ever found yourself losing track of them and using Merit’s voice in Lily’s world or vice versa? Or is it easy for you to slip into their heads and stay there?
Not really. Lily and Merit are very different people, and I think I am a "method" writer (like a "method" actor). Instead of trying to "sound like" Lily or Merit, I try to "be" Lily or Merit when I type. Because I have a pretty good sense of who they are, if I try to be them when I'm writing, switching between voices isn't so difficult.
The characters in the Dark Elite novels have unique gifts, do you find it more difficult to come up with the parameters of that particular power or to assign it a name?
Thanks! I actually keep a running list of powers as they occur to me, although it is difficult to sometimes match the right Adept to the right power. I enjoy coming up with names to match the powers, although with so many fantasy and magic based books out there, it can be difficult.
Though I don’t know for sure, the increased role of Sebastian in Hexbound creates the potential for a romantic triangle between him, Lily, and Jason. Why do you think love triangles are so appealing to us as readers?
I think partly we enjoy the idea of our being in the middle of a love triangle–being the object of two men's affection. And, it definitely creates an interesting conflict for readers to delve into and think about.
Your bookshelves – are they organized any particular way (alphabetized, color coordinated, etc.) or are the books just placed wherever there’s room?
Generally, they are placed where there's room, with two exceptions. My cookbooks stay near the kitchen, and my Chicago and paranormal research books stay in my office. Everything else gets lumped together. :)
When writing, how closely do you adhere to your outline? Do you stick to it precisely, or do you find a lot changes once you sit down and start creating?
I previously had a pretty detailed outline, but I found writing felt very administrative when I wrote that way. I now utilize a plot graph similar to that (allegedly) used by J.K. Rowling. You can find a sample of hers here: http://www.slashfilm.com/wp/wp-content/images/jkrowlingpage.jpg
I know when I’m reading, I can do so with the television on but the radio royally distracts me, are you the type of person that can read with a lot of noise or do you need absolute quiet?
It really depends. I used to write with music, but I tend to have the television on now. Usually something I've seen before–marathons are awesome. I'm writing this (and editing HARD BITTEN, the fourth Chicagoland Vampires novel) while watching a CSI marathon.
If you could choose between Merit’s strength and skill with a katana or Lily’s control of Firespell, which would you choose?
Oh, interesting question. I'd probably go with FIRESPELL, because I think it would be fascinating to figure out all the various ways the power could be used.
Were there any alternate titles for either Hexbound or Firespell you can share with us?
Actually, FIRESPELL was the first and only title, which is a miracle! My editor and I tend to go through LOTS of titles before picking a winner. I don't recall the pre-HEXBOUND titles, although I know there were a number.
Do you find subsequent books in a series easier to write because the world is already established, or more difficult because you need to keep readers interested in a world with which they are already familiar?
I think they're much easier to write because you don't have to introduce the main characters to magic. Both Lily and Merit were mostly unaware of their various magical worlds, so FIRESPELL, for example, involved a lot of hinting to Lily that magic existed so she could figure it out later.
Can you give us one trait either Lily or Merit possess that you wish you did? One you’re glad you don’t?
They are both really brave, which I appreciate. I'm not sure I'd have handled their respective situations as well as they did. I'm really glad not to be in high school like Lily. Does that count? :)
Thanks for having me today!
Thanks so much for stopping by Chloe! If you haven't had the chance to read either of these series, drop what you're doing immediately and give them a try, you won't be disappointed! There is a third book in the Dark Elite series under contract, but no release date as of yet. Good news on the Chicagoland Vampire front however, we get not one, but TWO Merit and Ethan books this year. YAY! Hard Bitten releases May 3rd, and Drink Deep releases in November. For more information on Chloe and her books you can find her here:
HEXBOUND (from Goodreads):
Lily Parker is new to St. Sophia’s School for Girls, but she’s already learned that magic can be your best friend…or your worst enemy.
They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turns out, even a little magic can turn you to the dark side. That’s why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolf-y secret, and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago’s nastiest nightlife—including the tainted magic users known as Reapers.
Then Lily’s invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He’s hot, powerful, and offering to help her harness the magic flowing in her veins in a way no one else can. He’s also a Reaper. Lily can’t hide her suspicions. But she’ll soon find out that the line between good and evil isn’t always clear…