Can a fanged fashionista take out a deadly Salem spirit?
Being on the lam from the Feds and the vampire council with no money is not as glamorous as it sounds, especially when I, Gina Covello, fashion queen of the undead, am forced to abandon my wardrobe. Salem, Massachusetts, seems like a great place to hide our supernatural gang. But who knew the city would be crawling with ghosts? The nasty spirit of George Corwin, infamous sheriff from the witch trial days, is on a killing spree. It’s up to us to take down the breath-stealing phantom—without blowing our cover.
Great to have you with us again, Lucienne! Please share with our readers at YA Fresh what your latest release Fangtabulous is about:
Lucienne: In a nutshell, my heroine Gina Covello and her fanged gang are on the run from the Feds, their former employers, who they discovered were experimenting on their fellow hemo-sapiens for fun and profit. Strapped without cash or credit cards—a fate worse than death for Gina—the rebels must find a place to lay low. They roll into Salem, Massachusetts, the most haunted town in America and the only place they have friends flying under the radar. But within a day, Gina and her gang are embroiled in a murder mystery of the supernatural kind.
Someone—or something—is strangling young women, and it's rumored to be the ghost of Sheriff Corwin, late of the Salem Witch trials. Is it the ghostly Sheriff or is someone on this side of the veil using the famous story as a cover up? Gina is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, and she needs to do it before a paranormal reporter on the scene exposes them for what they are...fanged federal fugitives.
What’s the weirdest thing you were doing or the weirdest place you were when you came up with part of this book?
Lucienne: For Fangtabulous I was shown around Salem by an actual vampire…or at least a friend of mine who’s part of the vampire community (which you get a glimpse of in the previous book, Fangtastic). He also runs a gothic magic show, much like Donato, a character in the new book. It was wonderful, because I really got a behind the scenes look at the town. I visited Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery, the Witch Dungeon Museum, The House of the Seven Gables (Nathanial Hawthorne’s house), The Old Burying Point Cemetery and a host of the other places mentioned in Fangtabulous.
Is there a character you thought would be in the book, but who landed on the cutting room floor? Conversely, is there a character you never expected to appear, but turned out to be intrinsic to the story?
Lucienne: I think it would break my heart to have a character end up on the cutting room floor. That’s never happened to me, but characters taking over…I’m all about that. Actually, my protagonist for the Vamped series (Gina Covello, fashionista of the fanged) was only supposed to have a short story…a vignette really. But she just wouldn’t shut up, and eventually I had to give her a whole novel, then a series! Once the series got underway, the two characters who really surprised me were Alistaire, the creepy “bad” guy from Vamped and Revamped and Ulric, the cocky goth guy who appears in Revamped and makes a triumphant return in Fangtabulous, the latest book. (Don’t know why I put Alistaire’s “bad” in parentheses. He’s definitely that, but there’s just something about him…readers and my editor wanted him back for an encore and he insisted.) Some characters simply refuse their cues to leave the stage. They’re the most fun.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
Lucienne: Experience overwhelming guilt because I should be writing. Oh, you mean for fun! For fun, I like the beach, amusement parks with my family, parties, scrapbooking, beading, doing puzzles and watching forensic shows. (Or, as my husband calls them, my “dead people” shows.)
Thanks again, Lucienne! What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Lucienne: Writing is work as much as it’s fun, enervating as much as energizing. Don’t let the self-doubt demons get to you. Difficult doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Some things will come more easily to you than others, but you have to master all aspects of the craft, which means that other things you’ll wrestle like your hero or heroine does the villain of your piece. It will get easier with practice.
Lucienne Diver writes the humorous, suspenseful Vamped series of young adult vampire novels for Flux Books, including Vamped, Revamped, Fangtastic and the most recent, Fangtabulous. Her short stories have been included in the Strip-Mauled and Fangs for the Mammaries anthologies edited by Esther Friesner (Baen Books), and her essay on abuse is included in the anthology Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperTeen). She also writes the Latter-Day Olympians urban fantasy series for Samhain (Bad Blood, Crazy in the Blood and the forthcoming Rise of the Blood).