A quick note: Head over to the fabulous Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust blog today, where I’m imagining what kind of personals ads the vampires of Penton might publish–which one would you answer? And–here’s a fun one–Will and Randa (together) are participating in The Mating Game over at Dark Faerie Tales!
Now…I’m excited today to be able to welcome Cathy Clamp, who, along with Cie Adams, forms the best-selling writing duo known as Cat Adams. The Eldritch Conspiracy, the newest novel in their terrific Blood Singer series, came out on January 29. At the end I’ll be giving away a copy of the new book (or the first in the series, if this is a new series for you). Read on….
ABOUT THE ELDRITCH CONSPIRACY: Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren.
Not every bride needs a bridesmaid who can double as a bodyguard. But Celia’s cousin Adriana is no ordinary bride: she’s a Siren princess, and she’s marrying the king of a small but politically important European country. She’s getting death threats from fanatics who want to see the whole Siren race wiped out—including Celia herself, who is half Siren.
Luckily, Celia is on duty when a trip to a bridal salon is interrupted by an assassination attempt, so everyone survives. When Adriana returns to the Siren homeland to try to prevent a coup, Celia is free to hunt for the terrorists and the vile mage who is helping them (while keeping her eyes open for the perfect maid-of-honor dress).
Assuming the bride and groom both live to see their wedding day, this will be one royal wedding no one will ever forget.
Welcome to Preternatura! What drew you to write about sirens?
Actually, the series didn’t start with sirens being involved. Early in the creation process, Celia was just a human/vampire blend. But she loved the ocean. Swimming calmed her, and she always liked to stay near the water. It made sense that there might be a reason for it. Since our reality allowed for multiple mythos, the siren race became part of the world.
Your Blood Singer series has a very rich multiverse, what is your worldbuilding process?
Explain what an Abomination is, and how they are treated?
An Abomination is a person who didn’t complete the transition into a vampire. Vampires, in Celia’s reality, are feral. They lose their personality (and their soul) as part of the transformation process. But Celia’s transformation was interrupted, so she still has her soul, her memories and sense of self. She’s neither fish, nor fowl, but has elements of both. So the humans who fear vampires think she should be staked (including many of the police!) And the vampires consider her weak for having emotions. It sort of sucks to be her.
This is the fifth Blood Singer book. What are the challenges of writing a sustained series?
Normally in a series, you have a world arc where the hero(ine) is trying to right some wrong or avert some disaster. Once the world is saved, it can become a challenge to find new things to say. But in Celia’s world, with so many different pantheons of gods, goddesses and villains available, that might not be as much of an issue for sustainability. Only time will tell!
We used to meet to talk all the time, during the world building process. But now, we sort of function with one author writing the whole book, and the other author adding bits and pieces after it’s complete. We aren’t related, but we do work in the same office, so it’s pretty easy to ask questions as they come up.
What are your favorite species to write about? I (Cathy) like the vampires. Cie likes exploring various mythological pantheons. Lots of room for both to exist, so it’s all good.
Do you have a favorite book, among those you’ve written? A favorite character?
I think my favorite is Demon Song, and I love to write Rizzoli, Dawna and Creede. Cie liked Blood Song the best and really enjoys Celia, Dottie, and Minnie the Mouser (Dottie’s cat.)
Does Celia have any favorite, um, recipes?
Actually, since she isn’t a full vampire, she can eat some human food (just not solids.) Probably her favorite recipe is for the Sunset Smoothie, which is a Mexican concoction of liquified cheese, tomato sauce, Mexican spices (cumin, cilantro, garlic, onion) and beef broth. Well, okay, it’s part broth and part blood. Celia tries not to think about the blood, but it tastes really good!
Vamps and shifters are kind of bad guys in your series. How did you decide who was good, who was bad?
I don’t know that we decided, per se, but it made sense if a person died during a vampire attack, then that person’s personality wouldn’t exist anymore. The software of humanity, as such, would be overwritten by the predator software. Predators aren’t good and bad precisely, but those who are prey certainly consider the predators evil. Humans aren’t the top of the food chain in Celia’s world.
Team Bruno or Team Creede – who’s winning?
At the moment, neither one. They’re both having “alpha male” issues that are annoying Celia. But all that could change in the next book. The problem with people is that sometimes they act like jerks. Then they see the error of their ways and apologize. Will it be enough, and soon enough? Hard to say. Stay tuned to find out!
Thanks for letting us drop by. If you want to read more about Celia’s world and the various mythologies, drop by our website, at: http://www.catadams.net to read a sample of any of the books. And please pick up The Eldritch Conspiracy to experience more of Celia’s crazy life!