Again, I'm super late touring one of my GCC members and I am so sorry. But I encourage everyone to go out and buy multiple copies of VAMPED, a fun, fast read from Lucienne Diver--it's sure to suck you in! :) (pun fully intended!)
From “Valley Vamp Rules for Surviving Your Senior Prom” by fashionista Gina Covello
1) Do not get so loaded at the after prom party that you accidentally-on-purpose end up in the broom closet with the surprise hottie of the evening, say the class chess champ who’s somewhere lost his bottle-cap lenses and undergone an extreme makeover, especially if that makeover has anything to do with becoming one of the undead.
Gina Covello has a problem. Waking up a dead is just the beginning.
There's very little she can't put up with for the sake of eternal youth and beauty. Blood-sucking and pointy stick phobias seem a small price to pay. But she draws the line when local vampire vixen Mellisande gets designs on her hot new boyfriend with his prophecied powers and hatches a plot to turn all of Gina’s fellow students into an undead army to be used to overthrow the vampire council.
Hey, if anyone's going to create an undead entourage, it should be Gina! Now she must unselfishly save her classmates from fashion disaster and her own fanged fate.
Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it’s completed?
I had a wonderful writers group in NY, made up of authors, editors and former editors – talk about tough! When I moved, we tried for awhile to do virtual meetings, but it didn’t work out so well. I now have a critique partner and a few first readers I trust to tell me whether or not something sucks and to cheer me on if it doesn’t. When I go through those periods of self-doubt all authors experience, my cheerleaders are vitally important!
What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?
I started and stopped typing on this question at least three times because it’s a tough one. I’ve been writing for years but have only just recently started doing it under my own name. Before that I had a pseudonym because I’m also a literary agent and very dedicated to my job. I didn’t want anyone to think that I might leave to become a full time writer or worry that I’d spend my business hours on my own career. The latter is why I have an agent who isn’t me…so that during business hours, I’m focused on my authors and leave my career management up to her. Also, she has a great editorial eye and makes me a better writer. All this is to say that until recently, I kept that whole creative side of myself hidden, and it was very hard for me, almost as though I were living a double life. I’m so glad that with Vamped I’ve decided to write under my own name. I feel that I can be more myself, though, oddly, I’m more comfortable in my agent roll – less exposed. I’m so pleased now to be able to talk shop with so many fabulous writers.
Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?
Well, let’s see, my heroine has been compared to Cordelia from Buffy and to Betsy Taylor from Mary Janice Davidson’s wonderful Undead and Unwed series, which tickles me! When I look at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, they put my books together with those of Rachel Caine, Nancy Collins, P.C. and Kristin Cast, Richelle Mead, Chloe Neill. Good company!
What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg , Stephen King and Joan Didion).
Christopher Moore, Janet Evanovich, Sarah Strohmeyer, Meg Cabot, Sharyn McCrumb, Joshilyn Jackson.
If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a “must read” in order to join?
I’m a huge fan of voice. Joshilyn Jackson, who I mentioned above, is a fantastic example, her Gods of Alabama, particularly. In that novel, she alternates fun chapters from the present with darker chapters from the past and manages to make it all work amazingly well. Sharyn McCrumb is amazing because she writes such wonderfully literary novels with her Ballad series and such laugh-out-loud funny books with her Elizabeth MacPherson mysteries…I’m just in awe of anything she does.
What was your “initiation” to writing?
My fifth grade teacher, Mr. Hart was awesome. I think that English was where his heart really lay, because he divided the whole class into writing groups that we sat in full time. Every day he gave us a free writing assignment, and for fifteen minutes our pens were not allowed to stop moving, even if all we had to say was, “Nothing at all.” Then he’d often randomly chose stories to be read aloud or break us into our groups to read and critique. It was fascinating to see how differently each of us would spin off from the first line or topic he’d given us. It was also really good training for a future writer, because you learned how to both take and offer advice and how to revise.
When did you first feel that you’d officially joined the “published writers’ club”?
I worked on our high school literary magazine and had some pieces published in there, but that never felt truly real to me. It wasn’t until I sold my first short story and actually held a check in my hand (only $25, but still) that I felt like an official, published writer.
What was your best/worst memory of high school?
You know, junior high was way worse for me. I think that by high school I kind of had the hang of things. Oh, wait…moment of self-delusion has passed. There was the time that my Shakespeare class was doing a performance and despite the fact that I had a big role I forgot to show up because I was too busy mooning over a guy who didn’t like me nearly as much as I liked him. The teacher ended up reading my lines straight out of the book. She wasn’t amused. The aftermath was way worse than those running after the bus in your skivvies dreams.
In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?
The Galapagos Islands with environmentally safe insect repellent, my husband, my son, a huge sack of books. Oh yeah, and we’d probably need a tent and food and all that, but I’d let my guys (boy scouts both) take care of the packing!
Why should we pick this as a book club read?
I’ll admit right off the bat that this is a popcorn read. I was aiming for fun, though the book does, I hope, have hidden depths. Mainly, I hope that it will make people laugh and fall deeply in love with the characters, as I did. I’m not sure there will be any scholarly discussion over Vamped, but that’s okay. Sometimes, girls just want to have fun.
About Lucienne Diver
What people are saying:
"VAMPED is a total delight! Diver delivers a delightful cast of undead characters and a fresh, fast take on the vampire mythos. Next installment, please!" —
"I really sunk my teeth into Lucienne Diver's VAMPED. A fun, frothy, teenage romp with lots of action, a little shopping, and a cute vampire guy. Who could ask for more?" — Marley Gibson, author of GHOST HUNTRESS: The Awakening
“This book rollicked along, full of humor, romance, and action. Gina is a smart-aleck heroine worth reading about, a sort of teenage Besty Taylor (Undead and Unwed) with a lot of Cher Horowitz (Clueless) thrown in. Fans of Katie Maxwell will devour "Vamped." — Rosemary Clement-Moore, author of the Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series
"Move over Buffy! Lucienne Diver transfuses some fresh blood into the vampire genre. Feisty, fashionable and fun--Vamped is a story readers will sink their teeth into and finish thirsty for more." —Mari Mancusi, author of The Blood Coven Vampires series
Author blog: http://varkat.livejournal.com