Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls of Vamp Life
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!
2. Free. Designer. Clothes.
3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.
4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.
5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me.
I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.
Hello Lucienne, it is so great to have you with us! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?
Lucienne: I wrote my first novel in fifth grade for a class assignment. It was supposed to be a short story, but came out to over a hundred pages. That was my first inkling that I might want to be a writer. My very first sale was a short story called “The Problem with Piskies.” Quantum Barbarian Magazine was having a contest and my story came in third. There was a contract and a check, publication and everything. Sadly, the issue “The Problem with Piskies” appeared in was also the last. I swear there’s no connection. It wasn’t long after that my first novel sold, PLAYING NICE, a romantic comedy written under my pseudonym Kit Daniels. Unfortunately, no one was looking for rom com at the time and it ended up selling to a small press, Five Star, for their Expressions line, which is still going strong, proving that I’m not the kiss of death, after all!
Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.
Lucienne: I wake up at 5:30 a.m. (before my inner editor) so that I can just channel my characters, which sounds strange, I know but if I wait until my brain is fully engaged, I’m thinking about all the letters I have to write that day, the checks I have to chase, the contract language I have to haggle…. It’s all too distracting. Another oddity – I can’t write creatively in front of a computer. Instead, I write everything out in freehand first and then type it in and save. In the process of typing, I revise so that what makes it into my Word doc is more of a second draft. Of course, there are still third, fourth, fifth and sometimes more drafts, where I then have to wrest the story back from my run-away characters!
Please tell us about your novel VAMPED and what we can expect from your characters.
Lucienne: Vamped (Flux, May 1, 2009) is my very first young adult novel. I’m really in love with this one. Gina, my heroine, just started talking in my head one day, and it was either writer her out or go insane. Gina is a teen fashionista who goes from chic to eek when she’s turned to the dark side by the class chess champ turned vampire hottie she ended up necking with at the after-prom party. Now she’s left to claw her way out of the grave only to find herself cursed with eternal life without tanning options and no way to fix her make-up! As if all that’s not bad enough, her new boyfriend’s siress, vampire vixen Mellisande, wants him for herself to fulfill some kind of prophecy. She’s also been collecting Gina’s former classmates to form her own undead army. Well, if anyone’s going to have minions, it’s Gina! In order to climb her way back up the social ladder, all she has to do is win the guy, defeat the gal and save her friends from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.
Sounds awesome! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Lucienne: I’m working on a middle grade idea set in New York City right now, featuring a latch-key kid who gets involved with some strange goings-on. I have this weird not-wanting-to-jinx myself thing about saying any more.
Thanks again for sharing with us, Lucienne! I wish you the best with your writing career! Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Lucienne: Everyone’s path to publication is different, and you’ll make yourself crazy doing constant comparisons. In college, I had the Desiderata posted on my wall. It truly has words to live by, including, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.” Incredibly relevant today. Focus on what you can do and how you can do it better. The rest is wasted energy.
Lucienne Diver is a long-time book addict who went to work for NYC’s Spectrum Literary Agency fifteen years ago to feed her habit. Recently, she traded in her high-rise for a lake view. She now lives in Florida and works for The Knight Agency . Through various play-dates and in various coffee bars, on the backs of envelopes, carry-out bags and anything else within reach, including, sometimes, her checkbook, she’s penned the serio-comic tale of what happens when a young fashionista goes from chic to eek. Visit her website, www.luciennediver.com.