30 Days of Vampires, Interview urban fantasy author, Chris Marie Green & Prize!

December 2, 2008 | Author Interviews | 33 comments

30 Days of Vampires Schedule

Today Chris Marie Green is stopping by to answer a few questions, and she’s kicking in a copy of First Blood, an anthology with a Vampire Babylon novella by Chris, plus stories by Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy and Meljean Brooks! Leave a comment on this post to be entered. U.S. addresses for shipping only. Contest ends midnight December 11th.–Lori

Author of: Vampire Babylon series (Night Rising, Midnight Reign, Break of Dawn, A Drop of Red)
Favorite Candy: s’mores
Favorite Cartoon Character: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty
Super Power Most Covets: Batman’s smarts (although that’s not really a superpower, I suppose)
Favorite Vampire: Dracula’s brides

Q.) First can you tell us about the Vampire Babylon series?

C.M.G.) Sure, thanks! The series centers around Dawn Madison, an ex-stuntwoman who returns to Hollywood when she discovers that her father has gone missing. She finds that he was involved with a strange firm of vampire hunters, and that leads her to delve into a lot of things about her past that she was trying to outrun. The series itself is told in trilogy arcs, which basically means that there are mythology/character arcs that are tied up in the 3rd books of each trilogy while each individual novel solves its own basic mystery. The second trilogy starts in March and it continues the adventures of Dawn and the team.

Q.) What about your take on vampires, do you stick with tradition or tweak it a bit?

C.M.G.) It depends on which book I’m writing, LOL. I’ve used more traditional vampires in a couple of Harlequin Blaze books, but otherwise, I do some tweaking. I’m a fan of the wilder vampire whose loss of a soul equates to death, and with Vampire Babylon, an individual’s strengths come out when a person sacrifices that soul to become a vampire. They can use their talents any way they see fit to survive in a world that would hunt them down if they knew of their existence.

Q.) You also write contemporaries for Harlequin, and I discovered you when you wrote for Bombshell (a great vamp book by the way). What if anything do you think the books have in common?

C.M.G.) Thank you, Lori! THE HUNTRESS (Bombshell) had some fun vampires for me—I based the feral female tribe of bloodsuckers on Dracula’s brides, my favorite vamps of all time. But vampirism itself was the villain in that story. I think most of my vamp books—one of the Blazes, the Bombshell, and Vampire Babylon—focus on how vampirism affects the hunters most of all. Why do these people dedicate their lives to this cause, and how does it make them into something more powerful—and maybe more dangerous—than what they were before?

Q.) Why vampires?

C.M.G.) I used to love the old Hammer films because they were really evocative. And long ago, I saw a clip of NOSTERATU on that program, IN SEARCH OF… It scared the tar out of me, so I developed a combination of fascination and fear for vamps.

Q.) What would you do if you met a “real” vampire? Would you be a vamp groupie or would you dash for the nearest stake?

C.M.G.) I think I’m really into blood imagery—how artful and symbolic it can be. I like the adrenaline rush you get from being scared, too. So depending on the vampire, I wouldn’t rule groupiness out (although there’d have to be a distinct lack of dead-flesh smell from that vampire!). But, truthfully, my instincts would be to grab that stake.

Q.) Who makes the best hero–slayer or vamp?

C.M.G.) I’d lean toward slayer. There’s something so interesting about someone with a crusade, and let’s face it—vamps can be great villains. I look at slayers as gunslingers of a sort, and I’m hoping to build toward that with my Dawn Madison character in Vampire Babylon. How does a gunslinger get made?

Q.) Ultimate fighting challenge, you have a choice of a vampire, a werewolf or a witch/wizard as an opponent. Who do you choose?

C.M.G.) If I had to fight anyone, it wouldn’t be a witch/wizard (unless they’re in their first year at Hogwarts). Way too many talents and powers there. Same with a vampire; depending on whose vamp you’re fighting, they can have some serious magical-based powers and they can probably mind screw you. That leaves the werewolf, who’d probably rip me apart unless I had those silver bullets handy. Yeah, the werewolf increases my chances of survival, I think.

Q.) Are you a plotter or a pantser? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?

C.M.G.) Plotter. Definitely a plotter. And I’ve had books that started with a character and some that have started with a plot, so I’d have to chalk up both for that. Depending on the book, I do try different ways of working my way through it—whatever feels good and whatever I need to do in order to sell it. For instance, if I don’t have to write a synopsis in order to get an advance check, I’ll use a “stickie method,” where I arrange scenes on my closet door and write detailed scene sheets as I go along. This way I have the big plot/character elements set up but there’s a lot of freedom to move around. However, even with a synopsis, I feel that there’s still freedom, a lot to flesh out and discover.

To plot, I use the “Goal, Motivation, Conflict” chart from Debra Dixon. Then I “interview” my characters. Lastly, I use the Hero’s Journey.

Q.) What is the smartest thing you’ve done so far as advancing either your writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?

C.M.G.) Back in the day, I was a teacher, and I wrote while doing that. I promised myself that, if I ever sold three books in a year, I’d have to quit and pursue writing full-time, no whining, no excuses. So I did. I figured time was an investment—a risk—I had to take in order to further my career. As for doing something differently? I’m actually pretty happy with everything, but I could change my mind. You never know!

Q.) Can you describe three things in your writing area that tell us something about you?

C.M.G.) My writing area is spread out all over my house, LOL. I write my chapters on a laptop while sitting in bed (Yes, I can do my work in my PJs—how cool!). So I would name my bed as one of those three items. It’s really cozy with one of those pillow-top mattresses. I do revision work and business in a study with a big old desk that has every sort of paper sticking to it. This is “organization” in my world—deadlines, schedules, ISBN numbers. That’s my desk, and that would be item number two. Item number three is a little Japanese Pullip doll I keep nearby just because it’s super cute. She’s a goth girl with platinum hair, purple lipstick and eyes like one of the characters from a Tim Burton stop-motion movie.

Q.) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next? And where can readers find you on the web?

C.M.G.) There’s something very cool happening that I can’t really talk about now…. Let’s just say that it has to do with the gunslinger thing, LOL. I talk about my projects on my blog and in my newsletters, so maybe I’ll have something to shout about soon!

Note from Lori: I stole the following from Chris’ blog, I hope she doesn’t mind. You can still drop by her blog and check out her newest, rocking cover. :) (Congrats, Chris!!)

Penguin has contracted me for another series in addition to the Vampire Babylon books!

I haven’t written the novels yet, but the series is tentatively entitled BLOODLANDS, and my pitch (which was announced in Publisher’s Marketplace) said that it’s a paranormal “Shane meets Mad Max.” I’m really excited about this, and even though I don’t have a release date just yet, I’m eager to get started….


Thank you so much!!!

Order Chris’ books:
Night Rising
Break of Dawn


  1. crystal adkins

    Awesome interview ladies! The little doll sounds so cool! I think it is kind of neat to see what authors have on their desks :) I mean I know you all are real normal people but it’s still cool lol!

  2. Deidre

    Congratulations on the new series Chris. I see that you like Dracula’s brides. What did you think of the ones in the movie Van Helsing?


  3. Lou Gagliardi

    Okay, this series looks awesome!

  4. Mel K.

    Hi Chris!
    Your books are excellent! Nice to “see” you here in Lori’s blog. The Voice! I hear the Voice! :wink:

  5. flip

    I love hearing about the stickie method of plot development.

  6. Chris Marie Green

    Hey, all!
    Lori–you are awesome. Thank you so much for inviting me here and providing such a fun interview. You also went the extra mile in using my most recent blog announcements! :!:
    I can’t wait to read your Nocturnes…. They’re in my TBR pile!!!

    Thank you for the comments so far, everyone!

    Crystal, I actually have more than one Pullip doll, just not by my desk. Every year at Comic-Con, San Diego, there’s a little booth that sells them and I can never resist. :eek:

    Thank you, Deidre! :wink: the brides in Van Helsing are actually my favorite part of that movie; I considered them way more interesting than Dracula, himself, LOL. There’s just something regal, wild, and ancient about them that I love….

    Lou, I appreciate that! Hope you get to enjoy the VB books. :D

    Mel K., a thousand thank yous! LOL about The Voice. He’s a fun one to write, and in the second trilogy, he’s got a *lot* to do–especially after what happened at the end of BREAK OF DAWN. (Heehee.)

    Flip, one of the best parts of the stickie method is that I get to pluck each one off my closet door when I finish that chapter. It offers a great reward system. :idea:

    Be back later, and thank you again for coming!

  7. Colleen

    Hello Chris, I have had the pleasure of reading your Crystal Green books and just started dipping into your Vampire series… both genres are terrific reads and I enjoy them greatly! Look forward to more of your work!!! :D

  8. Jackie B

    I picked up the third book in your series thinking it was the first, but I really enjoyed it!

    Have you stated how many books you plan on having in the series?

  9. Selena Illyria

    I love this interview! :mrgreen: Although I will have to say, don’t count out Hogwarts first years jus yet, you could end up against a Hermione type. LOL

    Big Hugs.

  10. Chris Marie Green

    Colleen, how sweet of you! Thank you so much. I’m always surprised to hear that there’s a crossover between my Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green work, and it’s good to know that readers like you are interested in both! :D

    Jackie, how funny! Glad to hear that the third book worked even though you didn’t read the previous two, LOL. Thank you for reading it! As of this time, there will be six books in the Vampire Babylon series; they’re split into two trilogies that chronicle the adventures of Dawn Madison and the team. The second trilogy (or new story/character/mythology arc) starts in March, 2009, with A DROP OF RED. We’ll see about a third trilogy, but I’m very open to writing it!

    Selena–great to see you here! Good points about Hermione. I really wouldn’t want to face her during her first year or last, LOL.

  11. Brooke

    Congrats on the new series! :D

  12. MsValerie

    Chris…thanks for taking the time today!

    I love this series…looking forward to more.

  13. Jana Stocks

    Heh. I’ve picked your books up about six time and ended up not getting them. After this I added them to the list for the husband to search for. yay Christmas, and grats on the new series.


  14. tami

    ive been wanting to read your books for a while, they look wonderful and sound vrey interesting

  15. Chris Marie Green

    Hi, again!

    Hey, Brooke, and thank you! BLOODLANDS is in a different world than that of Vampire Babylon’s, so two continuing series will be a challenge….

    Ms. Valerie, I’m having a great time being here! I appreciate your compliment so very much. :D

    LOL, Jana–viva Christmas shopping! Thank you. :wink:

    Tami, cool! That’s nice of you to say. The Ace marketing department is doing their job with such amazing covers–truthfully, if I saw them on a shelf, I’d grab those books, LOL.

  16. Carmen R

    Congrats on the new series. i haven’t read any of you books yet but I’ll get my hands on them soon.

  17. Danielle

    ok so I have some new books to add to my wishlist!!! The covers are just awesome! :)


  18. Shari C

    Thank you for the interview. I have had the pleasure of reading the Vampire Babylon series and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am definitely looking forward to your future books and the new series.

  19. Kimberly B.

    Hey, great interview! Totally cemented your series’ place on my virtual TBR list.
    I was interested that you liked Dracula’s brides, because I always wished we had gotten more of them in the book.

  20. Chris Marie Green

    Carmen, Donna, and Danielle, I’m so happy you’d like to read the VB books! The story I wrote for FIRST BLOOD takes place in the Vampire Babylon world, and just for the record (for anyone who wants to read the series), I’d suggest reading FIRST BLOOD/”Double the Bite” right after the third book, BREAK OF DAWN. There’s something that happens in BREAK that affects the ending of “Double the Bite”–a big tie-in. :oohh:

    Shari–awesome! Thanks! You, too, Kimberly. And as for Dracula’s brides, I was especially intrigued by how they were represented in BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA. Before that movie came out, I collected advance magazine pictures of them because they looked so cool (especially Monica Bellucci).

    See you all tomorrow!

  21. Caffey

    Hi Chris!!!! Love this series!!!! So thrilled about your new contract for more of the Babylon’s!! I got to go see the newest cover! This is exciting, happy for you! It was neat reading your interview. I’ve read your Blaze ones too. Is it hard going back and forth between the two ways with the writing of these? With the Babylon’s continuing, will you too be for the Blaze’s?

    You know, I don’t think I ever read Dracula nor saw the movies! There’s alot of that out so I should pick up one day and read, even tho I don’t read towards the full horror books, but I do want to know more about this book that many speak of.

    Too, I’d love to be in the contest for the anth!! Thanks!

  22. Karin

    Congratulations on the new contract!

    The books all sound fantastic and I look forward to reading them.

  23. Pam P

    I’m going to have to catch up with this series I see, Chris. Don’t need to be entered for the anthology, I’m just getting ready to read it over the next couple days. Good post.

  24. Lindsey Ekland

    I liked the First Blood Anthology which I origianlly bought for Meljean Brooks but found all the stories interesting.

  25. Chris Marie Green

    Caffey!!! Great to see you here, too. I haven’t gotten a contract for more VBs at this point (just the six books)–this newest contract is for a new series, but I’ll be doing both that and VB at the same time. :eek: It’ll be a fun challenge. I have another Blaze coming out next year, and it’s not vampire related. We’ll see how things progress! And I highly suggest watching BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA. It’s gorgeous and so romantic. :wink:

    Karin, thank you, thank you! :D

    Pam, that’s great! I hope you like the anthology. I was so relieved when I saw the gorgeous cover (but then again, I’m always relieved. The cover gods smile on me 99% of the time!).

    Lindsey–excellent! I really liked Meljean’s story. Lots of emotion. I have to read her core books, so I look forward to that!

  26. Debby

    What a great series. Excellent job!

  27. Pan Zareta

    Great interview! Congrats on your new series! It sounds exciting!

  28. Chris Marie Green

    Hey, all!

    Debby and Pan, thank you! :D Hope you’re having a great week so far.

    BTW, just wondering–why does it feel like there’s a black hole where time disappears between Thanksgiving and Christmas…?

  29. Margie

    Congratulations on the new series! The books sounds great. I’m looking forward to reading them!

  30. Debbie

    Wow, sounds like a fabulous series! I can’t wait to read them!

  31. Lori T

    Congrats on the new series! I think that it is great that you followed through on your plan to focus on your writing if you sold three books in one year. I bet it was a bit scary to quit your teaching job…what grade and subject did you teach?

  32. Chris Marie Green

    Margie and Debbie, thank you, and thanks so much for stopping by to say that!

    And a thank you to you, too, Lori. :D It was *very* scary to quit that secure teaching job. I really didn’t appreciate that access to insurance until I became self-employed! I used to teach 8th grade, reading, writing, and social studies.

    Have a great weekend, you all!

  33. Michelle B.

    I’m familiar with 2 authors in this anthology & the others definitely peak my interest… :D