Vicki Pettersson Interview Intro:
Hello everyone! LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are incredibly proud to welcome the beautiful and talented Vicki Pettersson to our sites today.
Vicki is the author of the New York Times bestselling SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC series – a six (6) book Urban Fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas, NV.
She holds a BA in English and worked for 10 years as a showgirl in the now-retired Folies Bergere.
She’s good with that though; she considers herself retired as well and passes the time as a scribbler waiting until she’s old enough to join the cast of the Palm Springs Folies (a 55 and over troupe). Once that happens, she hopes to once again fritter away her nights with sequins, eyelash glue, and her best gal pals. As she always says… everyone needs a dream! After all, you can take the girl out of the show, but you can’t take the show out of the girl.
Since she has a few years yet until she can un-retire and join the PSF, she’s now writing a new supernatural noir trilogy, also set in Vegas, but with an entirely new world and cast of characters. It features a supernatural private-eye and a rockabilly reporter with a nose for trouble. The CELESTIAL BLUES series debuted with “The Taken”, on 7/12/12.
Vicki divides her time between her family in Vegas and Dallas.
For those of you not yet familiar with Vicki’s amazing books, we thought we’d give you a rundown of the SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC series and of course the new release, “The Taken”, CELESTIAL BLUES Book #1.
“The Scent of Shadows”
SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC Book #1:
The First Sign of the Zodiac
When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert.
By rights, she should be dead.
Now a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset – a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow – seeking answers to whom or what she really is … and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure.
But the nightmare is just beginning – for the demons are hunting Joanna, and the powerful Shadows want her for their own…
“The Taste of Night”
SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC Book #2:
The Second Sign of the Zodiac
Being mortal isn’t easy. Being a superhero is even harder.
Even mortal, Joanna Archer was nobody’s idea of a victim. But now, infused with the supernatural power to alter the battle between Shadow and Light forever, what she’s become is a target. And when a toxic virus invades the valley, her allies are targets are well. To find the cure that will save them, Joanna must embrace her Shadow side … even if it leads her into an all-out battle with the demons of her past.
“The Touch of Twilight”
SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC Book #3:
The Third Sign of the Zodiac
Joanna Archer has reluctantly accepted the roles destiny assigned her: Avenger, Savior … Destroyer.
On the surface she’s a sexy, sophisticated socialite, at home among the beautiful people of the Las Vegas upper crust. But Joanna Archer inhabits another world: a place ordinary humans can’t see and could never enter … a dangerous dimension where an eternal battle rages between the agents of Light and Shadow. And Joanna is both.
She never asked for the mantle that’s been thrust upon her, but she will not abandon it now that it’s hers. Stalked by an enigmatic doppleganger from a preternatural realm, Joanna can feel the Light failing – which is propelling her toward a terrifying confrontation with the ultimate master of evil, the dark lord of Shadow: her father.
Vegas is all about winning big – or losing everything. To save her friends, her future, her worlds, Joanna Archer will now have to gamble it all by fully embracing the darkness inside her.
“City of Souls”
SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC Book #4:
The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac
Joanna Archer, Agent of Light, has survived a violent initiation into the paranormal world lurking behind the seedy seams of Las Vegas. She’s found a home, friends, and even the chance for a new life and love.
But evil never rests, and to save her beloved city, and herself, Joanna must venture into a new world hidden among the shadows, one where the line between good and evil is barely visible, every agent is a rogue … and each breath could be her last.
“Cheat the Grave”
SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC Book #5:
Joanna Archer is working hard to put the painful events of her recent past behind, doing her best to embrace mortality after being superhuman.
But when she is stalked by a madman, she is forced to dive back into Vegas’ underworld to piece together shocking discoveries about the mother who abandoned her, the lover who betrayed her, and the daughter who will follow in her footsteps.
But in order to win back all those things, she must face off against a death-dealer who carries his soul in a blade… one that’s screaming her name.
“The Neon Graveyard”
SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC Book #6:
The Final Sign of the Zodiac
Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging in the dark corners of her glittering hometown.
Now Joanna Archer is just another mortal – still born of an impossible union of Shadow and Light … still hunted by both – and carrying the unborn child of a lover held captive by a depraved demon goddess. Joining forced with a band of rogue Shadow agents, Joanna’s ready to storm the stronghold of her demonic foe, risking everything to enter this ghastly, godforsaken realm. Because in a world that has stripped her of her power, identity, and fortune, Joanna has nothing left to lose – except her baby, her future, and the epic war poised to consume the city.
CELESTIAL BLUES Book #1:
Just released 7/17/12
He’s a fallen angel. She’s a rockabilly reporter. Together they must solve a deadly string of murders plaguing the mortal and the immortal worlds.
Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was over fifty years ago when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Now he’s a Centurion, an angel who assists other murdered souls through their journey to the afterlife. But while Shaw might be an angel … he’s no saint. Haunted by the mysterious events surrounding his own death, he seizes a chance to wreak some vengeance when he witnesses a deadly attack on journalist Katherine “Kit” Craig.
Joining forces, the unlikely avengers take to the streets, hunting a killer whose trail of bodies stretches across Las Vegas and into an immortal netherworld. It is a dangerous trek that lead them into the darkest corners of Sin City and into the heart of an evil conspiracy extending beyond the lights of the Strip that could destory them both.
But destruction isn’t the only threat Griffin faces. The closer he gets to Kit, the more he finds himself bewitched by her mortal charms. Can he resist falling under her spell? And does he want to?
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Vicki! We’re very happy to have you here today. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us a bit.
VICKI: It’s absolutely my pleasure.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always like to start by getting to know our guest authors a little bit better…
Q1): Can you tell us 3 things about yourself (no matter how random) that we couldn’t find out easily on the Internet?
VICKI: Oh, dear. You’ve given me carte blanche on randomness? That’s asking for trouble… Lessee…1) I have to eat blueberries everyday. Frozen, not fresh. I’m addicted. 2) I hate putting my hand into bags – grocery, potato chips, whatever. There might be something with teeth in there. And 3) I’m addicted to home decorating blogs. It feeds the voyeur in me. I don’t even read writer blogs anymore. I just go straight to the pretty pictures.
Q2): What are 2 things that always make you smile and 2 things that never fail to piss you off?
VICKI: Morning cuddles with my child, and the family of quail that live in my backyard always make so smile. People with entitlement issues piss me off – and I think that covers far more than merely two things. *Shudder*
Q3): What are some of your hobbies and/or things that you enjoy doing when you’re not writing or taking care of other author business?
VICKI: Reading, running, home decorating blogs, play dates, and hanging with my girlfriends.
Q4): Are there any TV Shows that you’re absolutely hooked on? Any new release movies that you had to/plan to see in the theater?
VICKI: I love the BBC’s Sherlock, and DirectTV’s Damages. I saw THE AVENGERS in the theater, and plan on seeing it again, and I had to hit the midnight showing of THE HUNGER GAMES, too.
Q5): Are there any specific authors and/or titles that you feel inspired you to become the writer you are today?
VICKI: I’m continually inspired by those I read, and I feel my writing continues to evolve because of that, but early on I was inspired by JD Robb, Diana Gabaldon, and Dennis Lehane … none of whom are clearly evident in my work, but their influence is there all the same.
Q6): With Fantasy being such a popular genre these days, what made you choose it, and what about it fascinates you personally?
VICKI: I didn’t choose it. It chose me when a character popped up in the third chapter of my first book and claimed he was a superhero. I wasn’t as interested in the fantastical element as much as the person, and that’s who I followed into fantasy. I’ve since found that addressing real life issues via a supernatural remove is a wonderful way to comment on the human condition without being didactic. It’s one of the most powerful aspects of fantasy fiction.
Q7): What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have a routine that you follow? Are there specific things that you have to have with you to get the creative juices flowing, do you have any interesting writing quirks, etc?
VICKI: Ideally, I wake early and read the news/blogs/feeds while having my first cup of coffee. Then I do morning school shuffle, hit the gym, and return home for four solid hours – or five, if I’m lucky – of uninterrupted writing time. I’ve been having trouble with the internet lately, though, so I have to enable the Freedom for Mac software, which disables the internet from your computer for a specified amount of time. I also have a working journal where I scribble a quick line or two about what’s going on that day before I start riffing on the work. Often I’ll segue right into the writing from that journal. It’s one of my most powerful, reliable writing tools, and it’s so simple.
Q8): What was the driving force behind the SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC series - what made you feel that you had to tell the story?
VICKI: It was the question that only now – upon writing other strong female characters - I realize drives all my fiction: how does one move about as a woman in a man’s world? What does it mean to be strong, and what is a woman’s greatest strength? I’ve found that different women, even fictional, answer that question in different ways, but the ways they answer that are still fascinating to me. Frex, Joanna (from Zodiac) and Kit (from Celestial Blues) are strong in very disparate ways, but each woman’s strength compliments them.
Q9): Was there any specific inspiration that led to the creation of the CELESTIAL BLUES series?
VICKI: I’d written a (very) short story in order to win a contest (which I lost, by the way) and the core of the short story – an angel who’s job is to assist the newly, and violently, deceased into the afterlife – stayed with me. It was just a kernel, and it evolved greatly from that original idea, but the inherent drama in that situation haunted me. Also, how could I not write about a man trying to solve his own murder?
Q10): How many books do you have planned for the series?
VICKI: It’s a trilogy. Each book possesses a modern-day mystery, but the overarching question of the trilogy – and the issue that is pushed along in each book – is the old mystery of who killed my male protag fifty years ago.
Q11): What were some of the challenges (research, literary, psychological, logistical, etc) in bringing the THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC series to life?
VICKI: Wow, it’s hard to know even where to begin with that. The challenges changed with each book, evolving as Joanna Archer’s character, and circumstances, did. The greatest challenge was that I created such a complex, involved world from the first that I had to be careful not to write myself into corners. It was an incredibly challenging series to write, but I learned a lot from the process. And, of course, I loved watching Joanna grow into the woman she was ultimately meant to be.
Q12): What about your career thus far are you the most proud of?
VICKI: That I’m not an asshole. See the above answer about being entitled. I don’t refer to myself in the third person. I don’t call my readers “fans.” I don’t think of the author-reader relationship as being vertical. I write because I want to connect with others, and when my readers open their minds and hearts to my work, it’s a gift.
Q13): What are the best and worst parts about writing for you?
VICKI: The best is when I’m immersed in the work and I’m in the zone and a sentence emerges that I didn’t even know lived inside of me. The worst is trying to get to that place of immersion. I can have laser-like focus once the machine is warm and primed and all gassed up, but before that my brain waves are like fractured light: pretty, but scattered and kinda useless.
Q14): What’s next for Vicki Pettersson? What do you have happening in the upcoming months that your readers and fans can look forward to?
VICKI: I’m finishing up the second book in the Celestial Blues series, called THE LOST, and will then be starting the third. THE LOST will be out in March 2013, and the third book will follow quickly, so I’m really focused the question driving the whole of the trilogy: Who Killed Griffin Shaw? (And, yes, I know – but I still need to get there.)
Q15): Would you like to say anything special to your readers while we have you here today?
VICKI: I want to offer up my sincerest thanks to those of you who’ve been so invested in the Signs of the Zodiac series, and Joanna Archer’s story. My readers tend to be a passionate group, and I want you to know I share that passion. I also want to point out that while Celestial Blues is very different than Zodiac – more supernatural noir than straight UF – I still worked hard to develop another unique world, and I really love these characters. I hope you will, too.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Vicki, thank you so very much for being with us. We really hope that we’ve introduced some new readers to your amazing books and we’d absolutely love to have you back for the next CELESTIAL BLUES release if you’re interested. We know that our readers would love to chat with live if you’re free. J
VICKI: I’m very interested! I’m sorry I couldn’t chat live this time, but maybe by the time THE LOST comes out your readers will have had a chance to dip into the Celestial Blues world. If they have questions, I’ll have answers!
If you want to keep up with Vicki, you can find her at her Website, on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Vicki is giving away as signed copy of “The Taken” to a winner from Book Monster Reviews and another winner over at the
LITERAL ADDICTION website.
Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter