Please welcome paranormal, new adult novelist Chris Marie Green! She's here to talk about the newest book in her Dawn Madison Vampire Babylon Series, In Bad Spirits and she's giving away a signed copy of book one in her Vampire Babylon series, NIGHT RISING to one lucky winner from those who leave a comment below! So, check out the blurb and excerpt from In Bad Spirits and check out her interview too and get to know Chris. And be sure and leave a comment!
IN BAD SPIRITS
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—the holiday season. But when a mysterious entity stalks one of the monster hunters on Dawn Madison’s team, she learns that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...
(First published in the In Bad Spirits anthology)
Buy from Amazon
Dark, Not Dawn
It felt good to be free for the first time in months.
Nearly bursting with the joy of seeing Jonah again, the woman had only wished to surprise him, to go outside and peek into the family room window of the snow-feathered colonial-style brick house, seeing what he was doing before she revealed that she was out early.
Oh, she could just picture the look on his face when she said it. He would smile at her, making her feel as if she were the only woman in the world. He would forget about all else but her until it was time for her to go away once again.
Perhaps, this time, he would even ask her to stay. Would he be ready to give over all of his heart to her, the woman who loved him more than anyone else ever could?
She trembled with anticipation as snowflakes drifted round her. She moved even closer to the window as she watched the man she adored, with his dark hair that curled up at the ends near his sweater collar, his devil-may-care blue eyes, the slight, ruddy patches of color that flushed his cheeks, the rakish smile that never failed to thrill her.
Despite the biting, winter night sky that surrounded her, she didn’t feel anything but him.
The want of him. The need of him.
Yet, bit by bit, more details inside the family room eventually came into fuzzy focus: him sitting by a flame-warmed fireplace and a Christmas tree, banked by other people, including two elderly folk she didn’t know and two younger ones she did, though she didn’t care to look too hard at the latter. Then there were the spirits who were also no doubt present, knowing the monster-fighting company Jonah kept—Costin and Breisi.
Still, the only person the woman truly saw was Jonah. And as she pressed herself to a corner of the glass, she could hear, so very faintly, the holiday tale he was telling in a loud, boisterous voice that made the group laugh.
As far as she could gather, it was a scary story, and a vague memory of people in Victorian England who told ghost tales on Christmas Eve came to her. It used to be a most frightening night, this one. Were Jonah and his friends reviving that tradition?
It would bloody well suit a group of monster hunters.
When everyone applauded at the end of Jonah’s story, he glanced round, his gaze lingering on one member of the group in particular, as if to see if she was pleased, as well.
The woman who loved him bristled at the sight of him gazing longingly at Dawn Madison.
When Dawn didn’t return his attention, he looked at the floor, his jaw tightening as she obliviously got out of her chair, smiling and collecting the mugs from the elderly couple sitting next to her, then left the room.
Dawn, the hunter. Dawn, the object of Jonah’s misguided fascination.
The woman had known he had false feelings for Dawn. But she had believed with all her heart that they would fade over time....
Chris Marie Green Interview
You write in more than one subgenre. What are the drawbacks/benefits of that?
I’m a very eclectic reader, so it makes sense to me that I write everything from urban fantasy and new adult (under my Chris Marie Green name) to pure romance (as Crystal Green). Drawbacks include using more than one pen name—that’s rough because I have to maintain more than one web site and more than one “brand.” As far as benefits go, I find it refreshing to change subgenres. I have a pretty developed dark side, so I get to exercise that in my Vampire Babylon stories and the Ghost for Hire series that will be coming out early next year. And who doesn’t need a happy ending? I get those with my Crystal Green romances.
What is the appeal of writing urban fantasy? New adult? Romance?
When I was little, I wrote about Superman and Indiana Jones—a lot of action adventure with paranormal elements. I also watched a lot of good old fashion scary movies. I get all of that, plus dark romance, with urban fantasy. And I’m really loving new adult books because they deal with the heightened emotions of first love. But the new adult I have out there right now, THE SHE CODE, is humorous as well as angsty (I call it “new adult chick lit” or “geek lit” because of the subject matter, which deals with a girl who wants to be a comic book penciler.), so it’s a little different from a straight new adult romance. As for adult romance, I get just as swept away writing them as I do reading them. I was the girl in middle school who would read Stephen King in class one day and Johanna Lindsey another!
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m dipping my toes into indie and self-publishing, but I’m still writing for “legacy” publishers, too. With self-pubbing, I recently released two novellas that continue my Vampire Babylon series (although these deal more with revenants and ghosts since Dawn Madison brought down those pesky vampire undergrounds during the print series!). With indie publishing, I have THE SHE CODE and a couple of few novellas. In February, my new urban fantasy series for Roc, Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire, hits the shelves with ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG, so I’m very excited about that. My ghost is from the 80s, and there are a lot of slasher movie homages in the story because that’s basically how Jensen died—as the victim of a serial killer.
THE SHE CODE, a novel, uses sketches and comic book panels to tell a subplot. How did that come about?
Since the main character, Mandy, is a wannabe comic book penciler who is braving life after college, it seemed natural that some of her story would materialize as artwork that features her comic book heroine. That heroine, Luka, is going through the same kind of dating and relationship struggles Mandy is experiencing, so Luka mirrors Mandy’s life. Without the artwork, I felt like there was a huge hole at the heart of the story.
You’ve started to self-publish. What’s your experience been with that so far?
It’s both exhilarating and scary, a definite roller coaster. I love to write the things I want to write, but the trick is to be discovered. The competition is fierce!
What’s your plotting process?
If I’m selling on proposal to a print house, I fully plot a book before writing it. The editors need to see the story, so I do Goal, Motivation, and Conflict charts (Thanks, Deb Dixon!), character interviews, and the hero’s journey. Then I write a synopsis and sample chapters. For self/indie-pubbing and blind books that are a part of a contract, I do everything but the full synopsis. I’m more of a pantser in this situation, and I use the “sticky method,” which means that I write each scene I’ll need on a sticky and slap it on my closet door. I arrange the scenes as needed and flesh them out as I go.
Have you noticed that you return to certain themes in your books?
Oddly, a lot of my books are about outsiders who’re trying to find their way “in.” Also, I write a lot about a literal search for identity, whether that involves amnesia or a young heroine who uses her comic book art to find out who she is.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King. In romance, Maggie Osborne. Donna Tartt, because THE SECRET HISTORY is amazing. An author who is quickly becoming a favorite is Gillian Flynn. When I read GONE GIRL and DARK PLACES, she immersed me in her creepy worlds with her imagery and phrasing. She’s not afraid to write about unlikable characters, either; I want to dislike them but they’re so fascinating!
Are there any movies or TV series that inspire you?
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. It’s so honest. I’m not a big crier, but I can’t tell you how many times I sobbed during that show. And the great thing is that I never felt manipulated. I was deeply invested in so many characters, and although they were never perfect, I always got the sense that they ached to always do the right thing. I aspire to have characters feel that real and to never treat them like plot devices. There are shows that force their characters to do things just for the sake of getting from point A to point B in a story, and I feel like FNL mostly avoided that except for one storyline (and if you watched the show, you know what I’m talking about! I won’t spoil it for anyone who wants to marathon this great series on Netflix).
If you could have a dinner with any three of your characters, who would they be and how would they get along?
Okay, first, I would make sure that this dinner was being held in a place that could withstand some action. It would have to be in a house that was scheduled to be demolished or something! I would invite Dawn Madison from my Vampire Babylon series because she is a seasoned monster hunter. Also, I would want Jensen Murphy from my Ghost for Hire books, because she’s a new ghost who could use a lot of good advice from someone who fights evil. I’d also invite the “mystery girl” from my novelette in KICKING IT. (She wakes up in an unfamiliar room and doesn’t remember her name…but she is wearing an awesome pair of boots that may or may not be magical, and someone is after them.)
Mystery Girl is rather feisty…and she could be a baddie. Dawn would definitely know what’s what, and they would, without a doubt, throw down even before cocktails are served. Jensen would come to the rescue and help Dawn subdue Mystery Girl. Then Jensen would do what she does best—haunt Mystery Girl until they discovered her identity and her intentions. They all may or may not make it to appetizers. Forget the main course and dessert. :)
She tries her best to avoid international incidents whenever she takes a break from her first love, writing, and cheats on it with her other true love--traveling. She has two alter egos--one named Christine Cody, who wrote the dark fantasy Bloodlands trilogy, and Crystal Green, a romance author.
You can find her at chrismariegreen.com or hang out with her online at twitter.com/ChrisMarieGreen and facebook.com/chrismariegreen.