I’m excited to be touring Lucienne Diver and her book Fangtastic.
What do you wear to face down a cadre of killer kids?
Gina Covello would rather be working on her manicure than missions for the Feds’ paranormal unit to which she’s been recruited. That changes when a group of killer kids takes out a family in the sunshine state and disappearances begin to plague the lifestylers who only play at the kind of existence our fanged fashionista leads. She and her crew are sent undercover into the vampire clubs…which turn out to be run by real vampires. While Gina’s BFF Marcy hangs with the steampunk-styled Burgess Brigade that seems to have spawned the killer kids, Gina herself is supposed to get in good with the fanged fiends behind the scenes, even to the point of playing double-agent, offering to hand over her powerful boyfriend Bobby. Her playacting threatens to become a bit too real when she discovers things about her spy handlers that make her wonder whether she’s truly on the right side of the battle between Feds and fangs.
And now for the usual questions:
What inspired the plot for your book?
It’s so hard for me to start here, because it will make Fangtastic sound like a really dark book, and it certainly has dark underpinnings, but much in the way that Legally Blond is about a murder trial or Psych and Monk are about deadly investigations, it’s the lens of the characters that really sets the tone of the novel. My heroine is Gina Covello, a fanged fashionista whose life hasn’t been totally under her own control since she was vamped and conscripted to work for the Feds. The mission in Fangtastic has to do with killer kids, inspired I think by the story of Rod Ferrell, who believed (or at least told people) that he was a 500 year old vampire and led a group of other teens to kill the parents of a former girlfriend. In my story, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It turns out that there are real vampires behind the vampire clubs which spawned the killers, and darker doings than anyone first realizes.
Why did you decide to write in this genre?
I’m a huge fan of the absurdity of life and the juxtaposition of light and dark. That, more than anything, inspires my writing. My characters are young adult in the Vamped series, hence the genre, but I didn’t decide them. They decided to start speaking to me. And Gina, at least, has never shut up. She even has her own blog (http://ginasgems.livejournal.com).
What is your writing process like?
I’m mostly a pantser. I’ll have a general idea of where the novel is going and an overall plot arc in my head, but the details of how I’m going to get there…those come to me as I go along. I generally only truly plot about three chapters ahead, because I find if I plot any further I have to throw out the rest by the time I get there anyway, because my characters have seen fit to take things in another direction. That’s the problem with characters who feel as real to you as your family, they do tend to hijack your story and try to take control. And yes, I know how crazy that sounds.
What are you working on now?
I’ve turned in the fourth novel in the Vamped series, Fangtabulous, which will be out in January 2013. I’m now working on Crazy in the Blood, which is the sequel to Bad Blood, the first novel in my Latter-Day Olympiansurban fantasy series in which Tori Karacis, a private investigator, finds out that her family tales are true and that the Greek gods do still walk the earth (Apollo as a film star, Hephaestus as a special effects artist, etc.). Her family line may even trace back to them. Unlike her gorgon ancestress, she can’t quite turn men to stone, but as for stopping them in their tracks….
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m also a literary agent with The Knight Agency. I’ve been in the business for almost nineteen years now, and I represent over forty authors of fantasy, romance, mystery and young adult fiction, so whenever I’m not writing, I’m reading and critiquing their work, negotiating contracts, chasing down checks…you name it. Oh, and I have something of a life between times with my family in Florida.
Who do you like to read?
All forty+ of my authors! Also, Janet Evanovich, Suzanne Collins, Laurell K. Hamilton, Rick Riordan, J.K. Rowling, Aaron Elkins, Agatha Christie, Joshilyn Jackson….
Lucienne Diver is the author of the popular Vamped series of young adult novels (think Clueless meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer). School Library Journal calls the first book, “a lighthearted, action-packed, vampire romance story following in the vein of Julie Kenner’s “Good Ghouls” (Berkley), Marlene Perez’s “Dead” (Harcourt), and Rachel Caine’s “The Morganville Vampires” (Signet) series.” VOYA has suggested that the books “will attract even reluctant readers.”
Her short stories have been included in the Strip-Mauled and Fangs for the Mammaries anthologies edited by Esther Friesner (Baen Books), and one of her essays appears in the anthology Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperTeen).
Sample praise for the Vamped series:“As ever, Gina’s feisty, funny narration carries the day. Gina never fails to please, as she strides down the runway of afterlife with just the right mix of humor, make-up advice, youthful lust that never crosses the line and a kung-fu style all her own. This one doesn’t miss a beat.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Perfect for teens and adults, this is a book to share, savor and revisit. ReVamped is full of smart, spot-on dialogue, engaging, authentic characters and a plot that’s so much fun it’s impossible not get swept up.” —Examiner.com
“VAMPED is a total delight! Diver delivers a delightful cast of undead characters and a fresh, fast take on the vampire mythos. Next installment, please!” — Rachel Caine, New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series
“Diver uses wit and adventure to hook readers with this teen vampire story.” —VOYA
“Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Cordelia Chase got turned into a vampire? If you have, look no further than Vamped for the answer. It’s like Mean Girls with fangs, with witty dialogue and more pop culture references than you can keep up with.” – Wondrous Reads
“Diver takes vampires to a whole new level.” —I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read