Thursday, June 17, 2010

Interview with Chloe Neill - author of Chicagoland Vampires series and a Giveaway

Today we have Chloe Neill the author of the Chicagoland Vampires series (see my review for Some Girls Bite here and my review of Friday Nights Bite is coming up tomorrow). As you can tell from my review I am a big fan of the series and recommend everyone to check it out! So please read Chloe's interview and answer the question below to be entered to win some Twice Bitten swag (open to US/Canada). And don't forget Twice Bitten comes out July 6th!

Chloe: Hi, everyone! *waves*

Darkly Reading: In the Chicagoland Vampires series, the vampires are part of society's elite, they even have paparazzi that follow them - why did you decide to make your vampires part of the elite rather than have them part of the dark underbelly of society?

Because I thought the elite and celebrity aspects were more in keeping with what the reality might look like. If vampires really existed under the radar for so many years, I think they would have slowly worked their way into the political system and the financial system in order to protect themselves from humans. Whereas, if they were part of the dark underbelly, the police and such would be more apt to look at them. And in our society, the new and different often becomes celebrities, so it made sense to me that (after some initial panic) vampires would, as well.

I love the idea of the vampire houses in the series. Besides the house emblems and fancy Armani "uniform" do the houses have any other traditions, secret handshakes, or special dances we'll learn about in future books? Do we get to read about Merit's adventures as the social chair in Twice Bitten?

Actually, crises keep Merit from truly diving into the social chair aspects, but we definitely see her becoming more involved with the other House vampires. We also learn about an important Cadogan House tradition in Twice Bitten, and we discover what the "RG" cards in Friday Night Bites referred to. So, yes, some House secrets will be revealed!

Talking about Merit, I admire a girl, or vampire, with a whole drawer in her kitchen devoted to chocolate. What's up with Merit's chocolate stash? What are her favorite and chocolate non grata for the drawer? Do you have a similar drawer as well (I have a chocolate shelf in my kitchen cabinet)?

Thanks!! Merit loves chocolate, and collects it a bit obsessively, I suppose. :) She loves dark chocolate, and I think she'd be all about the chocolate-and-bacon fad. She'd probably have four or five of those bars.

I don't have a chocolate shelf of my own right now, although I do have a few favorites in my snack bowl- including the dark chocolate Moose Munch bars from Harry & David. And I always have a bag of snack size Kit Kats in the freezer. (They're even better cold!)

One of my favorite parts of the Chicagoland Vampire series is the men! Ahh Catcher, Morgan, and Ethan (sometimes) are equal parts deliciously sexy and infuriating (especially Ethan). Did you realize when you wrote the books that your readers would form "Teams" for your characters and on-line battles would ensue? Do you have a favorite or do you find it changes as the series goes on?

I actually figured readers would form teams around the Houses--which are teams in and of themselves. But I guess we don't see too much of the other Houses initially, so it makes sense there's a Team Ethan and a Team Morgan. I even made T-shirts in my Cafepress store! I love all my leading men in different ways, although I'm definitely rooting for one to ultimately win Merit's heart. But we'll have to see if he can rise to the challenge!

Since I mentioned my favorite - mmmhh Catcher - I'm wondering if you have any plans to write any books or short stories based on some of the side characters in the books?

I would love to write some short stories--and I think Catcher, Mallory and Jeff would be perfect for that. It's just a matter of having the time to do it! :)

Are we going to need any new "Team" jerseys after reading Twice Bitten?  With the shifters coming to town I can already see Gabriel becoming a favorite!

I suppose you "Team Jonah" t-shirts might be popular. :) And that's all I'll say about that. Gabriel is definitely a fun character; I have a lot of fun writing about him.

I love Chicago and was wondering how you decided on setting your series there? Do you ever find yourself somewhere in the city and think "Merit would love this store!" or "Ethan wouldn't be caught undead here"? Any late night Cubs games in the future for the series?

I also love Chicago--the history, architecture, politics and food. I thought all of those things created a fabulous--well, I almost said "background," but the city really is its own character in the novels. (I think someone said that about NYC in Sex and the City, and I feel the same way about Chitown.)

There are definitely places the characters would love--Merit would adore Greer and Lou Mitchell's (which I also love). Ethan, not so much Lou's. He's more of a prix fixe kind of guy.

Will we be seeing a published version of Canon of the North American Vampires - I thought that chapter 2 about servicing your lord looked particularly intriguing?

I would LOVE to write a Canon. I have an outline, and there are a couple of snippets online. Again, it's a matter of finding the time, as I have a dayjob that I very much love. There just aren't enough hours in the day!

Lastly are there any hints you can give us about what's coming up in Twice Bitten? How many books are you hoping to publish in the Chicagoland Vampire series?

I'll keep writing as long as folks keep reading them. I'd originally planned eight, but things escalate somewhat in TB, so I'm currently reimagining the timeline. :) (Does that count as a hint??)

Thanks for visiting Darkly Reading Chloe!

Thanks so much for having me! It was an absolute pleasure.

Places you can find Chloe Neill:
Her blog: Daily Snark
Twitter: @ChloeNeill

(note: images from (Cadogan House & Cadogan emblem or Lou Mitchell's website)

Now onto the Giveaway: How important is location to you in your books? Do you like the location being a city that exists or a fictional town?

To Enter: Answer the question above and leave your e-mail address in the response. Please remember that this is a US/Canada giveaway only for Twice Bitten Swag. You have a week to enter. And since you're stopping by please feel free to follow me and Chloe's blogs or twitter accounts!


tori aka ggs_closet said...

Wonderful interview! I'm just starting this series and cannot wait.

Smash Attack Ash said...

Nice interview - series is very intriguing!

Location in books is important. I like old, eerie settings like New Orleans, Salem, Portland, Key West, Chicago! I also like
big cities like NYC and LA where the character's world is invisible to humans (Wicked Lovely, Mortal Instruments).

a.hoffenberg at gmail dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I think a good location is important. I'm not particular about whether or not it's real or not. If it's a real place then I want it to be authentic, especially if I've been there. I want it to be described like it is. If it is a make believe place then the sky is the limit for descriptions, we wouldn't know the difference.

I follow both the blogs.

seriousreader at live dot com

Heidi V said...

It's not that important but I do seem to enjoy the story more if they are written about a city that exist.

heidivargas [at] live dot com

Anonymous said...

Location is important. Although I don't care if the location is an actual city or a made up one. As long as it seems realistic it's good enough for me.

ParaJunkee said...

Oh gawd, I am such a Chloe Neill fan girl. This interview was great, had to be some of the best questions I've read in an interview. I'm sure it helps much to be a fan of the series.

I think city location can play a big role in books. I love reading books based in New Orleans. Infinity by Sherilyn Kenyon was a wonderful example of that...and it just made the book for me. I've never been to Chicago, even though I do want to visit...and Neill's obvious love of the city makes me want to visit it even more.

But even a fictional city can become a reality and I can sometimes wish that it existed. I mean really don't you want to visit Diagon Alley sooo much?? Much love again.

Thanks for the contest.

parajunkee at

Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

Love this series! I'm going to re-read the first to in anticipation of Twice Bitten!

I do like it when books are set in a real town vs a fictional town. Not sure why though.

Steve Capell said...

I like historical fiction, so location becomes important. I have traveled a fair bit so I can realate too locations very easily and it adds to the story plot. I found your review to be intriguing and one that I think I would take pleasure in reading.

Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway.

steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com said...

I was not aware of this series...cannot wait to read it...

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

It depends on the series. One's like Anne Rice's vampire series... NOLA is so important to the books even though some of it takes place elsewhere. I am so interested in this series and I'll have to check out the cafépress store! :D I already follow Chloe's blog (love the name).

books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

Bethany C. said...

I don't think the actual place is that important. To me, what's important is that the setting, real or imaginary, is written so as to convey it in a vivid and interesting way.

b dot cardone at hot mail

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. For setting I am not particular about whether it is real or ficitonal. As long as the story is good, I am happy.


Smokinhotbooks said...

.."but things escalate somewhat in TB" --> whimpers

I'm in love with this series and am practically foaming at the mouth for Twice Bitten.

Rachel498 said...

I like reading about cool locations, but as long as the story is good, it doesn't matter much to me. But I would prefer to read about places that actually exist :)

Rachel- Res498(AT)

Unknown said...

Location isnt that important as long as the characters are good

tenshinohanran said...

Location is not that important to me, as long as the characters are intriguing it doesn't really matter. I prefer the cities to be real though. Just so I can walk around, and see places the characters have seen. :)


Tara SG (25 Hour Books) said...

I like both. Sometimes I love a book written in a place I know (like Chicago) and other times I want to be swept away to a unknown mystical land :)

Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!!

Tara SG -

jeanette8042 said...

To me the location isn't as important unless it plays a big role in the character's story.

lilazncutie1215 @

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm crazy about this series! Thanks for the giveaway and the great interview :)

Location is never really all that important to me. I love it when I've been to places in stories and I love visiting places I've never been in stories. I especially love it when an author builds their own world (as long as it's well depicted) but I don't really prefer it over any other.


jellybelly82158 said...

It depends on the series. Usually it doesn't matter. If it is a fictional city I like the author to describe the city

jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

SandyG265 said...

I prefer stories set in a real city as long as the author is familiar enough with the city to write about it. Otherwise I would rather read a story set in a fictional city.

sgiden AT verizon DOT net

Jennzah said...

i like real places in books! especially London, which features highly in what im writing! i love that Chloe's vampires are from Chicago cos that's my home town! :)

Just_Me37 said...

I don't really care about location. As long as the author uses enough imagery that I can imagine the surroundings I am good. :) I do like when an author uses the same city for all of their books, it makes me feel like the different characters can run into each other

crazy_canadian_chick37 at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Location is improtant, because it lends ambiance to the story. I like England, Scotland, New Orleans, Texas, and fictional places, as long as the world is well-built.

throuthehaze said...

I think that at times location is important. I prefer real locations than fake ones.

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Tori [Book Faery] said...

You know, I don't think that much of location. I enjoy, however, reading about places in NY that I am familiar with.

I also tend to enjoy city stories moreso than random backwoods towns. That's just me, though, and it really depends on the plot of the story.


Rose G. said...

Location is not as important as characters, and I prefer real locations. :)


Dovile said...

Location isn't very important to me, unless the book is set in the past. It's the characters that make the story for me.

Don't enter me for the giveaway, I'm international.

Christine said...

For me, location is important for the story (but not as important as characters of course), but I don´t care much whether it´s real or fictional, as long as fits and is well written. but when it´s real, it´s kind of fun, because I sometimes feel like a tourist getting to know a city. :) I´m from Germany and I haven´t been to America, but I´ve read so many book whose setting is New Orleans so that now I feel like I´ve been there. :)
Don´t enter me I´m international! :)

Erika Powell said...

Location can add alot, like in Harry Potter or even the Gallagher Girls books but I dont think I have a preferance for real or made up.

Anonymous said...

For me, locations are huge. I prefer larger, more well known cities, but if the writing and descriptions are good, fictional cities or towns are good too.

-Lisa B.
angel28140 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

YzhaBella's BookShelf said...

For me, locations are extremely important to the overall experience of a story. When I read, it's like my brain converts the words into a filmstrip. So, if the location whether real or fictional is not very well conveyed by the author, it detracts from my overall enjoyment!

Have a great day every one!
Kate (aka YzhaBella's BookShelf)

Kiara said...

I prefer the location to be an actual place. Honestly, the only reason i picked up this series is because I LIVE in Chicago, so when I saw "Chicagoland Vampires" I got kinda giddy and immediately checked it out. The fact that this series is set in Chicago makes it special to me (and kinda makes me feel cool!).Chloe Neill did a great job portraying Chicago. Including some info on Oak Park and Hyde Park and even Franklin Wright made it seem even more real to me. I hope this series never ends!

Anonymous said...

I actually prefer the location to be a place. If I've been to that place it helps me visualize where things have been happening.I also like it when some of the authors have posted pictures on their website of some of their locations where books take place.


Anonymous said...

Location does not matter. As long as it is a good book that keeps me intrigued. Please enter me in contest.

Aik said...

As long as the book has a great plot and good writing, I usually don't mind about the location.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

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