Wednesday, June 4, 2008
On Kryptonite, Vampires, and True Love... or Meet Chris Green, part 1
For the last eight years, Chris Marie Green has been on fire. Not literally, of course, though she’s probably burned out a few keyboards and hard drives as she’s pounded out nearly thirty books. Yes, that’s right. Close to thirty.
Writing as Crystal Green, she pens wonderful novels for Silhouette Romance, everything from Special Editions to erotic Blaze novels. After falling in love with the paranormal element during the creation of The Huntress, she began writing urban fantasy as Chris Marie Green. Her Vampire Babylon series takes on the seedy, noir underworld of Hollywood with a real kick-ass heroine and her very naughty lover. Very. Naughty.
Chris took time out of her very busy writing schedule to answer a whole bunch of questions for me. Today, we’ll tackle Chris’s craft.
KL: You’re contracted through book six for the Vampire Babylon series. How many books would you like this series to run, or are you willing to leave that open-ended?
CG: I think “open ended” is the best answer at this point.Even though I’ve only written books 1-4 so far, I do know what’s going to happen through book 6 since I need to plan ahead due to how the series uses trilogy arcs (like Star Wars).But I have ideas for books 7-9, if that should ever come to pass. Beyond that? We’ll see what the future holds….
KL: Do you find writing a series challenging? How do you keep up with so many different series and continuity books?
CG: It is challenging, because you have to try very hard not to betray the world and characters you’ve previously fleshed out. And I like that you’ve used these two different terms: “series” and “continuities.” To me, a “continuity” uses stories that are linked by something such as the same town or world, or even a group of friends or brothers. Each continuing installment focuses on new main characters. I’ve written quite a few of these for romance, like Montana Mavericks and The Suds Club. A “series,” in my mind, at least, furthers the adventures of the same main characters book by book, allowing your hero/heroines to grow from one story to another. Thus, I would say that my Vampire Babylon books are a “series.”
With a series, in particular, I use “bibles” to keep track of details—because there are sooooo many. And before I write each new book, I try to go back and read the previous ones so there’s hopefully a flow to the narrative and growth.
KL: You’ve said that your novel The Huntress gave you a taste for writing paranormals. Was your transition from series romance to urban fantasy easy?
CG: I barely noticed a transition, LOL. The Huntress was one of those stories that came easily, thank goodness. I had to write it, and it felt so right that I gravitated toward writing more urban fantasy. Earlier in life, I wrote lots of short horror stories, and it was actually more of a surprise to find myself writing romance than anything! But no matter how dark my published novels have gotten, there’s always going to be a romantic element, because I love reading romance, too.
KL: You are so busy between your Vampire Babylon books and your romance novels. Do you ever just need a vacay to clear your mind?
CG: Yes—and this is such a timely question. I just took some time off after a heavy string of deadlines. I was finally able to sleep through the night without waking up to scribble down an idea for my work in progress. And this is something I need to improve in my life—scheduling. I haven’t been allowing time for sickness and emergencies, and that time doesn’t magically create itself when something happens to throw you off schedule.
KL: What element of the writing process do you consider your kryptonite, and how do you overcome it?
CG: My kryptonite has to be revising after I’ve written the first draft of a chapter. I just get so darn antsy to move on, even though the revising stage is where I add more layers and polish things up. Getting me into a chair to revise is probably like watching Superman squirming around in the face of kryptonite! I overcome it by reminding myself that it’s absolutely necessary and there’s no getting around it and to just suck it up and get it done. (Besides, the sooner it gets done, the sooner I can goof off.)
KL: Do you have designs on other paranormal creatures or worlds, or have you considered writing outside of UF or romance?
CG: I’m actually working on another “world” right now. It’s sort of a gunslinger paranormal that takes place in a desolate future. Also, I’ve been dying to write this atmospheric thriller paranormal that’s a cross between The Shining and Friday the 13th. And then there are more Vampire Babylons, of course!
I’m really looking forward to the futuristic gunslinger – I loved Firefly and Serenity! Tune in tomorrow to hear about Dawn’s kick-assness, beer, Batman, and remote islands with plenty of pre-packaged food. But if you just can't wait to see more of Chris, visit her Crystal Green website or the official Vampire Babylon site.
ETA: Leave a comment, and you'll automagically be entered in a giveaway. Chris has generously offered up a copy of Midnight Reign, the second book in the Vampire Babylon series!