"...a vampire world that is more believable than most of the others on the market. An absolutely fantastic read!" Huntress Reviews
I'm delighted to have Caridad Pineiro, the author of The Calling vampire series, as my guest this week. She's also contributed to bestselling anthologies, such as Moon Fever and Holiday with a Vampire. I interviewed Caridad almost two years ago to find out how she manages her busy career as an attorney and write so prolifically. Since then, we met when she came to San Francisco last year and, you know, it's really fab when someone you've met online is just as smart and warm as you'd hoped.
Caridad will be giving away a copy of her latest release, Fury Calls, to one lucky winner, as well as a Sins of the Flesh t-shirt. Caridad and I, like most authors, stress out about titles. So, to enter the contest, just tell us your favorite vampire or urban fantasy book title -- it can be a real book, or a title you'd like to see. The contest runs through Saturday night, and Caridad will pick the winner.
She'll also be dropping by through the week to answer any questions or comments.
MARTA: Congratulations on the release of both a novella, Honor Calls, and novel, Fury Calls. Tell us a little about you’re The Calling series and these two books.
CARIDAD: I started The Calling series back in 2004 with Darkness Calls. I had been writing contemporary romances and wanted to try something darker and with more suspense. Since I had always loved paranormal things, in particular vampires, I decided I was going to try my hand at writing a paranormal romance. Plus, since I liked suspense novels and had experienced a very positive reaction to the FBI heroine in my first novel, I decided to combine the two.
We’re now up to book #10 in The Calling (if you count the three novellas!). Although The Calling is a series, each book stands alone although those who are following the series will like seeing old characters return in cameo roles.
In Honor Calls, my February Nocturne Bite, I’ve brought back a character who may be familiar to some readers – FBI Assistant Director in Charge Jesus Hernandez. Since Darkness Calls, he’s been in the periphery of the stories, advising Diana and her partner during their assignments. Always calm and reserved and functioning by the letter of the law. Honorably discharging his duties until the day he runs into Michaela, a vampire slayer who’s now challenging what Jesus knows to be the right thing to do. What will win out -- honor or Michaela’s need for vengeance against the vampires who killed her mother and forever changed Michaela’s existence? I’m looking forward to writing a full story around these characters in the future.
Fury Calls (Silhouette Nocturne) is definitely one of my favorites in The Calling series. It features Blake Richards, a hesitant hero if ever there was one, who finds the strength to reveal his true self and redeem himself in the eyes of not only the vampire underworld, but the young woman who he turned four years earlier. The heroine, Meghan Thomas, is a young coed who lost her life thanks to Blake’s actions but has found the strength to build a new one as a vampire. Her anger at Blake is hopelessly entangled with her attraction for him and the love which is slowly growing as Blake proves himself time and time again.
MARTA: Vampire myths came along the Silk Route from China to Europe. Do you explore those myths at all with your Kiang-shi, the Chinese vampire in Fury Calls?
CARIDAD: I loved exploring the different mythologies of the Kiang-shi. It was fascinating to learn about the differences between Chinese and European vampires and also, about how the impact of European vampire mythology changed the nature of the Kiang-shi myths in modern times.
MARTA: The Calling is a paranormal suspense series, but you also write suspense, romantic suspense, romances, women’s fiction… Can you talk a little about genre?
CARIDAD: I do write in a number of genres since I find it refreshing to try my hand at the different requirements of each genre. I find that writing and reading in other genres helps keep my writing fresh. I primarily write cross genre books since The Calling is paranormal romantic suspense and my November release from Grand Central Publishing, Sins of the Flesh, is also paranormal romantic suspense. I think those two genres are my favorites and it’s an added bonus when I can combine the two in one story.
MARTA: How does Sins of the Flesh differ from The Calling series?
CARIDAD: I was a science major in college and was always fascinated by genetics and immunology – two of my favorite classes. I decided to use some of that learning and create a series around a group of patients who had been the subject of illegal genetic experimentation. Sins of the Flesh is the first book in this exciting new series. Sins is the story of Mick Carrera, a mercenary hired to find and bring in a ruthless killer–no matter what. But when his target turns out to be Caterina Shaw, a celebrated cellist suffering from a terminal illness, the lines between innocent and guilty blur. Instead of a violent criminal Mick finds an injured woman who, having undergone what she believed to be experimental gene therapy treatments, possesses some unusual powers…. Mick soon realizes that Caterina was just a pawn in a terrible game–one that will claim more victims unless they can clear her name and capture the true criminal.
MARTA: Why vampires? What do they represent for you?
CARIDAD: I think many people are fascinated with the idea of being immortal and certainly vampires touch on that fascination. There’s also something very sensual about the exchange of life’s blood that people also find intriguing. I wanted to explore those two facets of vampires, but in addition, make people think about what it’s like to live forever and lose everything around you that is dear and familiar – especially your loved ones.
I also wanted to explore the backgrounds of each of the vampires to discover how it was that they were turned – Was it voluntary? Did they make a sacrifice to become vamps? Each of the vampires in the world of The Calling have become vampires in different ways – some by choice, others via violence. I love exploring those backgrounds and how they have changed the person in their undead life.
MARTA: I really like the role that location plays in your writing. How does your work as a professional in New York influence your characters and stories?
CARIDAD: I had no doubt that when I wrote the first book in The Calling that the stories would be set in Manhattan. The city’s very nature, its size and population, create a natural anonymity allows for people who are different – namely vampires – to live on the edge without discovery. In addition, there are so many different areas to New York City that it would allow me to give people a flavor of all those different places, so the stories have moved from Tribeca and the Lower East Side to Spanish Harlem and the upscale sixties. Each one has its own vibe, allowing me to show the different facets of New York City.
But I will be moving The Calling to Miami for one story – Ardor Calls – which will be out in 2010. Why Miami? I wanted to show Diana Reyes’s roots since she has been the foundation of the series since the first book and also because the heroine in Ardor Calls – Stacia – is an outrageous and intriguing vampire elder and deserved a different and unique locale for her story.
MARTA: Would you care to theorize on the popularity of paranormal and urban fantasy fiction, shows, and movies? What if anything does it say about us as a society?
CARIDAD: I think that the current trends in these movies and shows reflects a number of changing facets of our society. For starters, the women in these novels have a tendency to be more empowered and that is very satisfying to both men and women. Gone are the days of wilting heroines. Men and women want heroines who can stand up for themselves and these two genres provide that.
In addition, these two genres are also pushing the envelope sexually in a variety of ways which also appeals to quite a number of people. Finally, these two genres are creating new worlds and challenging our concept of our existing world and I think that novelty and challenge interests many readers who are looking for something new to read.
MARTA: My brother and I traded books of ghost stories when we were kids. What is the earliest paranormal story you remember liking?
CARIDAD: LOL! I remember watching Saturday afternoon horror movies with my mom and sis, but I have to say my earliest favorites were the superheroes – Superman and Batman. I love comics and still do! I think part of the appeal of Sins of the Flesh for me is that Caterina and the other gene therapy patients have certain aspects of super heroes by virtue of the powers they come to possess by virtue of the illegal experimentation done to them.
MARTA: How can readers keep up with all your books and activities?
CARIDAD: I love to hear from readers and they can find me on my website or The Calling.
Thanks for visiting Vampire Wire, Caridad!
You can watch Caridad's book trailers, and read an excerpt from her first book in the series, Darkness Calls.
To enter the contest for a Sins of the Flesh t-shirt and copy of Fury Calls, leave a comment telling us your favorite book title or a title you'd like to see on a book.
GRATUITOUS VIDEO OF THE DAY
This week GVDs will feature nominees of for the Ultimate Hawtest Vampire List Contest-ish thing, which has been extended through this week. Henry Fitzroy as played by Kyle Schmid on "Blood Ties" was named by more than one reader. Here's a new video from Moonsault89.