Vampires and vampire slayers are something that will, thanks to Joss Whedon and a few others, have a special place in people's hearts. Unlike Buffy, the popular blonde cheerleader who had no clue she was born a vampire slayer until her watcher found her and was killed by vampires in front of her. It is only then, when she moves from LA to Sunnydale, that the rumors about her burning down her school and all that surface causing her to downfall from the popular group to weird chick. Unlike Buffy, Claire of Morganville is already deeply sunk into the weird chick status, considering how she is in college at the young age of 16 (almost 17), basically a brain.
Claire's young age and physical build make her an easy target for Monica and her, "clan." Even though people feel sorry for Claire, they don't feel sorry enough to go against Monica, or want to incur Monica's wrath, so Claire is pretty much on her own. Battered and bruised from being shoved down the stairs by Monica and lucky she didn't break her neck, Claire heads off campus to live. Claire knows that if she stays in her dorm any longer, she won't have any clothes left because Monica will probably burn what little bit she hadn't thrown into the garbage and that Monica will eventually kill her, especially since Claire had hit Monica in her beloved face. No one hits Monica and lives.
Buffy had her own Scooby gang, so why shouldn't Claire? Well, she does get her own form of the Scooby gang when she moves into the Glass House. She chooses Glass House because it's off campus and nowhere near Monica and it was affordable enough. It's here she meets Michael, Eve and Shane.
Want to know more?
Ha, you'll have to read the books! (Yes, I'm evil that way, I know!)
Now let's get to our interview with Rachel Caine:
Let’s start with some trivia about you:
ME: Do you have a movie that you must watch every Halloween? What's your favorite scary movie? Do you have a favorite scary character or character type?
RACHEL: Hmmm, probably my favorite scary movie of all time is "The Ring." Or, if I'm in the mood for more of a classic, "The Haunting of Hill House." As far as favorite scary characters, actually not so much, although Pinhead comes close ...
ME: Do you have any Halloween traditions like decorating your house, having house parties, wearing costumes, etc.?
RACHEL: To be honest, I'm usually VERY busy at Halloween doing signings, lectures, travel, etc., so I don't get much of a chance to decorate my home, which is too bad because I love it. But I do love to do the costume thing!
ME: If you do you dress up for Halloween, what will you be dressed up as this year? What was your all-time most favorite costume that you ever wore? Why?
RACHEL: I think I'll probably be doing steampunk this year, since I have some faboo shoes and a new fancy hat. But I think my all-time favorite was when I went to a geeky classical musician party (which was AWESOME) and everyone dressed as their favorite classical composition. I was one of the three Fountains of Rome. I had a gigantic molded fountain on my head, spilling out silver and blue shiny tinsel. It was GREAT! (Our three dates came as the three Pines of Rome. Hee.)
ME: Are you superstitious? Do you find yourself knocking on wood or throwing salt over your shoulder? If not one of these two, what is your superstition?
RACHEL: I'm not at all superstitious. Never have been, weirdly enough.
ME: Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you ever had a ghostly encounter and tell us about it?
RACHEL: Not actually sure I believe in ghosts, but I do believe that there are senses we don't understand. My personal story is fairly standard -- I decided, without any particular reason, to pick up and drive from Dallas to El Paso for Thanksgiving one year, because I had a bad feeling. It's an extremely long drive, and I started after work, so I drove all through the night. Around 6 am I suddenly felt a relief of pressure, and this sense that it was all going to be okay, and I should just stop, pull over, and sleep for a while. So I did. I got into town to discover that my father -- whom I didn't know was ill -- had passed away around the same time that I felt I could stop and sleep.
It was like he was telling me, "Don't rush, everything's fine, be safe."
ME: Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Halloweens.
RACHEL: A friend came to pick me up for a party once. I was standing in the doorway talking to my roommate, with my back to the parking lot; he reached in and grabbed me to scare me.
I slammed the door on his arms. That was funny in retrospect, not so much when he was screaming in pain. But hey, I have good reflexes!
Second one probably would be turning a corner while at a downtown party and finding my ex-fiance on a date with someone else.
Third -- hmm, probably sitting in the airport on a layover from Europe, jet-lagged, and realizing that the reason people looked so strange was that it was Halloween, and all the flight attendants were wearing their costumes. It actually took me a while to figure it out!
ME: If you could be any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?
RACHEL: I'd definitely be a Djinn (genie). It's sort of like being an angel, with a wicked sense of humor and a grudge.
Now, let’s get to your writing:
ME: Why the paranormal genre? What was the draw for you?
RACHEL: I like to write about things that interest me personally, and the paranormal has always seemed to work its way into my fiction. I've only done one or two stories in my entire life that didn't have SOME paranormal component. Even the Harlequin books I did (for Bombshell and Athena Force) contained some paranormal elements. I think writing the real world is interesting, but complicating it with the paranormal is extra fascinating.
ME: If you could describe your paranormal writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and look beyond words like vampire, werewolf, etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
RACHEL: I have to break it into two categories:
For the YA books: Peer pressure sucks ... and so do vampires.
For the Weather Warden/Outcast Season books: You'll never watch the Weather Channel the same way again (thanks, Jim Butcher!)
ME: Do you prefer playing tricks on people or bestowing treats? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
RACHEL: I like treats, personally. But I think I'm all about the tricks in my writing -- lots of puzzles, challenges, unexpected twists.
ME: Who decides what creatures you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one stirring the cauldron?
RACHEL: I'm the one in the driver's seat (or at least my subconscious is) but my muse throws in the twists and complications.
ME: What was the creature that you had the most fun creating and why?
RACHEL: I think "creature" may be too unkind a term, but it was probably the (vampire) character of Myrnin in the Morganville Vampires series.
ME: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
RACHEL: Hmmm, I think I'd like to meet David from my Weather Warden series. Because ... yeah. He's very, very shiny. And actually kind of a good guy, for a Djinn.
Never under any circumstances: probably the odious Yvette from the Weather Warden novels (Kevin's stepmonster). She was pretty awful.
A few bullet points about the series:
· We recently signed a deal for three more Morganville Vampires novels, which means there will be a total of 12 in the series
· Recent foreign publication sales (translations) to Poland, Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, Spain, UK, Italy, Turkey, Czech Republic
· Also available on Kindle and in ebook formats
· Also available as audiobooks, read by Cynthia Holloway
· New York Times and USA Today bestsellers
Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again...
Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger-and way more dangerous-than anyone suspected.
WELCOME TO MORGANVILLE. YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO LEAVE..
So, you’re new to Morganville. Welcome, new resident! There are only a few important rules you need to know to feel comfortable in our quiet little town:
· obey the speed limits,
· don’t litter,
· whatever you do, don’t get on the bad side of the vampires.
Yeah, we said vampires. Deal with it.
As a human newcomer, you’ll need to find yourself a vampire Protector—someone willing to sign a contract to keep you and yours from harm (especially from the other vampires). In return, you’ll pay taxes . . . just like in any other town. Of course, in most other towns, those taxes don’t get collected by the bloodmobile.
Oh, and if you decide not to get a Protector, you can do that, too . . . but you’d better learn how to run fast, stay out of the shadows, and build a network of friends who can help you. Try contacting the residents of the Glass House—Michael, Eve, Shane, and Claire. They know their way around, even if they always end up in the middle of the trouble somehow.
Welcome to Morganville. You’ll never want to leave.
And even if you do . . . well, you can’t.
Sorry about that.
Rachel Caine - a perfect end to a lovely Paranormal October!
Be sure to keep your eye out for the first omnibus for the Morganville Vampires containing Glass Houses and Dead Girls' Dance. It has a really neat cover: