As part of Claudia Gray's Blog Tour, she has graciously answered some questions, even though she is tremendously busy with a real life tour as well!
Ms. Yingling: Were you a big reader as a teen? What kinds of books or what
authors did you like?
Ms. Gray: I was an avid reader from very, very early on. There was less
specifically YA literature out at that point, though of course I
devoured mostly everything by . The rest of what I read was a
truly mixed bag: I would go from reading adult literature (everything
from Steinbeck to GONE WITH THE WIND) to SWEET DREAMS romances, which
was a romance series specifically for teen girls. The romances were
pretty tame, and for the most part, the issues they dealt with were
kind of lame. (True plot of COVER GIRL: The heroine spent her summer
doing modeling work. But the new guy she's going out with hates girls
who wear makeup and fancy clothes. Will he still like her when he
learns she's -- gasp -- a model?? I WONDER.) But I devoured them.
Ms. Yingling: All writers come up with their own "rules" for vampires. What is
your favorite "rule" from traditional vampire lore? Least favorite?
Ms. Gray: My all time favorite is a Romanian legend, which says that if you
leave melons on the vine too long, they will eventually become vampire
melons. You don't have to worry too much about them -- they can only
roll after you, and they have no mouths -- but still, vampires.
Strangely enough, this has not made its way into the .
My least favorite is the traditional legend that vampires have stinky,
stinky corpse breath. You just know Balthazar does not have that
Ms. Yingling: You write a fair number of convincing action scenes. Do you have
any tips for writing action, which is sometimes hard to do?
Ms. Gray: I feel like I am still figuring them out, honestly -- writing an
action scene always takes me two or three times longer than any other
sort of scene of a similar length. The main things I try to keep in
mind are (a) make sure there's an emotional hook to the action that
drives things on, (b) focus on a couple of vivid visual images instead
of describing every single thing, which will only slow you down, and
(c) keep it coherent. This last one is the hardest, I think.
Ms. Yingling: If you could have lunch with three fictional characters, who would
they be? In what fictional place might the lunch take place?
, Melanie Wilkes and Han Solo. I have absolutely no
idea what we'd all discuss in common but it would be a thrill to meet
them! I'm assuming this is going to have to take place in the TARDIS,
so maybe I get the Doctor as a special bonus guest. Or as our waiter.
Ms. Yingling: Will we be seeing more work from you? Any idea what types of books
you will write next?
My next book, FATEFUL, is the one about the werewolves on the Titanic
-- aka, "Yes, Actually, The Situation Can Get Worse." It's the story
of a young servant girl, Tess, who is ready to leave behind the heavy
drama of the cruel, over privileged, wealthy family she serves and
start a new life in America. On the voyage over, though, she meets
Alec -- who is mysterious, dangerous and on the run from a
supernatural secret destined to catch up with them both. It was
tremendous fun to write, and I hope you guys will enjoy -- it's
arriving in U.S. bookstores . After that is BALTHAZAR, about
the life, death and subsequent adventures of the title vampire; you
can expect that in . And I'm about to get started on the
SPELLCASTER trilogy, which is about witchcraft, demons,
fortune-telling and the intersection between love and sacrifice.
Thanks for stopping by, Ms. Gray, and I'm sure your readers are definitely looking forward to all of your new work. I'd love to be at that lunch-- what a mix of characters!