Nancy A. Collins Intro:
Hello everyone! LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are pleased to welcome Nancy A. Collins to our sites today.
Nancy has authored more than 15 novels, numerous short stories, and has worked for DC Comics’ Swam Thing for over two years. She is a recipient of the HWA’s Stoker and British Fantasy Society Awards, and has been nominated for the Eisner, John Campbell Memorial, World Fantasy, and International Horror Guild Awards as well.
Best known for her ground-breaking vampire character Sonja Blue in the same named series, she is also the proud creator of the GOLGOTHAM and VAMPS series.
A native of Arkansas, she has lived everywhere from New Orleans to New York City, but currently resides in the Cape Fear area of North Carolina with her guy and their dog Chopper.
SONJA BLUE has 7 titles currently – “Sunglasses After Dark”, “In the Blood”, “Paint it Black”, “Dozen Black Roses”, “The Darkest Heart”, “Dead Roses for a Blue Lady”, and “Search and Destroy”.
GOLGOTHAM is just beginning with 2 installments – “Right Hand Magic” and “Left Hand Magic”.
VAMPS is a YA Paranormal trilogy currently. Titles include: “Vamps”, “Night Life” and “After Dark”.
For those of you new to Nancy’s work, we thought we’d give you the first and most recent book synopsis for each of the series as well as her newest releases….
“Mammoth Book of Body Horror”
Just released 6/26/12
“Zombies vs. Robots: This Means War”
ZVR: This Means War takes IDW''s splatterific Zombie vs Robots comic book series - created by writer Chris Ryall and artist Ashley Wood - and expands it in ways that will redefine both zombie and robot fiction. A shambling cohort of top horror and fantasy writers from across the globe (okay, Canada, England, Australia, and Bakersfield) have devoted themselves to making evocative word-pictures in your brain of this delicious cult series. Featuring the Brain-Eating Talents of (in alphabetical order) Jesse Bullington (The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart, The Enterprise of Death), Nancy Collins (Sonja Blue, Swamp Thing, Vamps), Lincoln Crisler (Despairs & Delights, Magick & Misery), Brea Grant (Dexter), Robert Hood (Immaterial), Nicholas Kaufmann (Chasing the Dragon), James A. Moore (Vendetta), Norman Prentiss (Invisible Fences), Rachel Swirsky ("The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window"), Steve Rasnic (Bram Stoker Award Winner), Rio Youers (End Times), and Jeff Conner (editor/World Fantasy Award Nominee).
“Sunglasses After Dark”, Book #1
A debut horror novel featuring a vampire, Sonja Blue, who escapes from a mental hospital leaving a trail of corpses in her wake. As we learn about her early life, we are taken on a nightmarish tour of a world inhabited by other types of non-humans - ogres, zombies and, of course, vampires.
“A Dozen Black Roses”, Book #4
In the urban No Man's Land known as Deadtown two equally matched vampires bosses are locked in a cold war: the foppish drug kingpin Lord Sinjon, and the brutal Lord Escher, who traffics in black magic as well as firearms. Things heat up when the punk vampire/vampire-slayer Sonja Blue arrives, and she begins to play the rival factions against each other in order to cleanse Deadtown of its undead inhabitants once and for all.
“Search and Destroy”, Book #7
Sonja Blue is back! In a world full of sparkling vampires, it's time someone finally brought the hurt! Before there was Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake, or even Buffy, there was Sonja Blue, the Stoker Award-winning tough-as-nails, wisecracking vampire/vampire slayer. Just as Iggy Pop set the tone for the Punk Revolution, Sonja Blue blazed the trail for the multitude of urban fantasy heroines that would follow her. And now she's back with a vengeance in Search And Destroy, her first original short story in 10 years. Homeless people are disappearing from the suburban No Man's Land known as The Scrub, and Sonja Blue is there to find out why--and put an end to it as only she can.
“Right Hand Magic”, Book #1
Like most Manhattanites, aspiring artist Tate can't resist a good rental deal-even if it's in the city's strangest neighborhood, Golgotham, where for centuries werewolves, centaurs, and countless other creatures have roamed the streets.
Her new landlord is a sorcerer name Hexe, who is determined to build his reputation without using dark, left-hand magic. As Tate is drawn into Hexe's fascinating world, they both find that the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing-and avoiding darkness is no easy trick...
“Left Hand Magic”, Book #2
Located on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Golgotham has been the city's supernatural neighborhood for centuries. Populated by countless creatures from myth and legend, the neighborhood's most prominent citizens are the Kymera, a race of witches who maintain an uneasy truce with New York City's humans...
Tate Eresby has accepted the unusual sights and sounds of Golgotham and made it her home. Unfortunately, a magazine has alerted trendsetting hipsters to its existence and they've descended upon the community-along with an anti-Kymera faction known as The Sons of Adam. The sudden influx of tourists escalates racial tensions to a boiling point when two Kymerans are murdered and rioting fills the streets.
“Vamps”, Book #1
When the sun goes down, New York's true elite all head to one place: Bathory Academy, where the young ladies of the finest vampire families are trained in shapeshifting and luring their prey.
Bathory's reigning queen, Lilith Todd, is the daughter of a powerful vampire businessman, and she knows exactly what she wants from life. She wants to look beautiful for eternity and party till the sun comes up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Jules. And she doesn't want any New Blood upstarts standing in her way.
Enter Cally Monture, an unexpected threat from a trash zip code. When their first meeting leads to tragic results, Lilith is hungry for revenge.
“After Dark”, Book #3
It's the most important event of the season in New York's upper-crust vampire society. The Rauhnacht Grand Ball has everything you need for a night of scandal and intrigue: gala dresses, stolen boyfriends, forbidden love . . .
Then a team of vampire hunters shows up and ruins everything! The surprise attack by Van Helsings is the worst gate-crashing ever.
In the aftermath, half sisters Lilith and Cally scramble to regain their footing at the exclusive Bathory Academy—and in the world of high fashion, where both have star potential. When new suitors turn the romance up a notch, it's almost enough to make the half sisters forget their intense rivalry. Almost. But shared blood between vampires is not easy, and before long Lilith and Cally find themselves face-to-face again.Show More
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Nancy! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to come and chat with us today, and to let our followers and members get to know you and your books a little bit better.
Nancy: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so. I appreciate the interest in my work.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always start by getting to know our guest author a little bit better…
Q1): Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that we can't find out easily on the internet?
Nancy: 1) I’ve recently become a Great Aunt; 2) I’m right-handed, and 3) I used to drive a Gran Torino.
Q2): What are 2 things that always make you smile, and 2 things that never fail to piss you off?
Nancy: My dog, Chopper, is guaranteed to make me smile, even when I’m determined to stay in a bad mood. He’s a Boston Terrier, and therefore is one of Nature’s goofballs. And it might sound corny, but babies make me smile. I’m always amused by their amazement with the world.
Q3): What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing or taking care of other author business?
Nancy: I enjoy bowling. I even have a couple of custom-drilled balls. I also enjoy bike riding and traveling in general. I love getting out and seeing other places.
Q4): What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have something you can’t do without, interesting writing quirks, something you need to get the creative juices flowing, etc?
Nancy: Well, I tend to spend the earlier part of my day tending to the business-end of my writing career—answering email, talking to agents and editors, going to the post office, the bank, etc. Now that I’ve started self-epublishing my back catalog of short stories and novellas, I also spend time revising, reformatting, and uploading ebooks onto the various distributors, like Kindle & Nook. I don’t normally sit down to write until after 8 pm, when I’m reasonably sure I won’t have anyone trying to contact me, and I usually work until 2 am, maybe longer. I drink a lot of Coke Zero.
Q5): If you were to describe yourself in 5 words, what would they be?
Nancy: Owned by a Boston Terrier.
Q6): Are there any specific authors and/or titles that you feel inspired you to become the writer you are today?
Nancy: I’ve been influenced by different authors and books at different times of my life. When I was very young, meaning from the ages of 4-11, my biggest influences were Dr. Seuss, E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web & Stuart Little), Roald Dahl (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory), Frank L. Baum (The OZ series) and Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle In Time). From the age of 12-17 I was influenced heavily by Robert E. Howard (Conan & Solomon Kane), Edgar Rice Burroughs (The Barsoom series) Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury(Something Wicked This Way Comes & The Illustrated Man, in particular), Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson (Hell House & I Am Legend), H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker (Dracula), Edgar Allan Poe, JRR Tolkien (The Hobbit), and Michael Moorcock (the Elric & Jerry Cornelius series). Once I got into college, my tastes continued to mature and I began to read a great deal of Ramsey Campbell, Philip Jose Farmer (The Wold Newton Family Saga), Roger Zelazny (The Amber series), William S. Burroughs, Robert Anton Wilson (The Illuminatus! trilogy),Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Mervyn Peake (The Gormenghast trilogy) John Shirley, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived In the Castle), Tom Robbins (Still Life With Woodpecker), William Kotzwinkle (Jack In The Box, The Fan Man), Kurt Vonnegut (Breakfast of Champions) and Richard Brautigan (The Hawkline Monster).Currently, some of my favorite writers include Cormac McCarthy (The Road, No Country For Old Men) JG Ballard (Crash),and Michael McDowell (the Blackwater Series).
Q7): What are the best and worst parts of writing for you?
Nancy: The best part is when the words come flying out and it just feels right. I know then that I’m plugged into something real. I also enjoy hearing from my readers, and knowing that I’ve managed to give them something they’ve enjoyed. The worst parts are the bouts of writer’s block, where I have for force myself to slog through the pages; in those cases, it’s like being forced to eat, even though you’re not hungry. The writer’s cramp, carpal tunnel syndrome and secretary’s back from 20+ years at a keyboard are also big problems. I can not underscore the importance of a good massage therapist is for a professional writer.
Q8): Was there any specific inspiration behind the creation of SONJA BLUE?
Nancy: Like all things, she evolved over time. She was essentially born from my dissatisfaction with the role models provided for me as a young girl. There were precious few smart, witty, competent, kick-ass women on the pop culture scene in the 1960s, outside of the very obvious exception of Diana Rigg's Mrs. Emma Peel, on the British spy-adventure show THE AVENGERS. Marvel Comic’s Tomb of Dracula was one of my favorites, back the, and the character of Blade made a huge impression on me at the time. This was the funky-jive-soul-brother Blade, by the way, not the Wesley Snipes version. Millionaire socialites & kidnapping victims Patty Hearst and John Paul Getty III were also instrumental influences. The true-life stories of these two scions of America's super-class—only slightly older than myself, at the time of their disappearances--who were snatched off the street and subjected to torture, rape and mutilation before being returned to their families forever changed--had a deep impact on me. The fact Getty's family refused to negotiate for his release until the kidnappers sent them his ear was particularly shocking, as it was the first time I realized that some families place more value on their money than their children. Even more disgusting was how the boy's grandfather, billionaire J. Paul Getty, shunned him following his release and blamed him for what happened. You can easily see the parallels between the real-life Getty clan, and Denise Thorne's family in Sunglasses After Dark.
Q9): What about GOLGOTHAM or VAMPS?
Nancy: Golgotham was influenced by my walking to the post office in NYC, back in 1992. My mother had sent me a package, and since I wasn’t home when the mailman made his deliveries, I had to go pick it up at the Chinatown office. As I crossed Canal Street, I discovered that it was Chinese New Year, as I found myself surrounded by paper lanterns, fire crackers, Chinese dragons and acrobatic Fu dogs. It was as if I had rounded a corner and entered this amazing, exotic world. Then when I reached the post office there were three service lines: Mandarin, Cantonese and English. English was the shortest line. Still took forever to get waited on, though. The post office is still the post office, no matter where you are.
The Vamps series has its origins in a graphic novel I wrote for Vertigo, back in the 1990s, called Dhampire. Dhampire was supposed to be a monthly series, but ended up being cancelled when the editor I was working with, Lou Stathis, developed terminal brain cancer. The vampire society on display in Vamps, with its New Bloods and Old Bloods, and the Synod that reigned over them, as well as the half-vampire protagonist born of a human mother and being forced to deny her human heritage in order to fit in with vampire society, was lifted, in part, from Dhampire. As for the YA elements, that was a result of HarperCollins specifically requesting a series that would combine Gossip Girl with Twilight.
Q10): Is SONJA BLUE finalized? Do you have any spin-offs planned?
Nancy: Biting Dog Publications has been releasing revised and updated ebook editions of my existing Sonja Blue short fiction. All of them have original covers by artists who were fans of the character, and who I found on Deviant Art. So far Cold Turkey, Some Velvet Morning and Vampire King of the Goth Chicks have been released. Premier Digital Publishing (PDP) has released an updated & revised edition of Sunglasses After Dark, with a new cover by acclaimed graphic artist Sean Hartter, and will be releasing revised versions of In The Blood and Paint It Black later this year (also with covers by Sean). There are also plans for a new Sonja Blue novel called Kill City, although I do not have a publisher lined up for it just yet. And comics artist Stan Shaw and I are working on a revised/recolored/relettered graphic novel complication of the original Sunglasses After Dark comic book series, originally published by Glenn Danzig’s Verotik Publications in the 1990s. We’re calling it the Full-Blooded Edition, and hope to have it ready soon. IDW will be publishing it.
Q11): What about the other 2 series, how many books planned for GOLGOTHAM and VAMPS?
Nancy: There are three books planned in the Golgotham series: Right Hand Magic (2010), Left Hand Magic (2011), and Magic And Loss (scheduled for 2013). The Vamps series was originally intended to be at least 6 books—Vamps (2008), Late Night (2009) & After Dark (2009)-- but the recession brought it to a screeching halt at Volume 3.
Q12): What can we expect as each of the series progress?
Nancy: Well, in the Golgotham series the romance between the warlock Hexe and the human artist, Tate, is really put to the test. I don’t want to give too much away, but they find themselves wrestling with some things that can really destroy a relationship: financial hardship, stress, family conflict, and lack of communication. Also demonic revenge from beyond the grave. As for Vamps— I have a proposal for a 4th novel—called Thicker Than Water—that would resolve the various story arcs and tie up the dangling plot threads, but as yet have not found a publisher willing to pay me to write it. It may have to wait until I can afford to take the time off from other, paying projects. I am free to continue the series if I want to, so I may end up self-publishing it. It’s just a matter of money and time.
Q13): We know you’re always busy. J What else do you have in the works outside of these 3 series that you can share with us?
Nancy: I’ve recently started self-publishing—or should I say self-epublishing? So far I’ve released 13 titles under my Hopedale Press imprint. As I write this there are 8 short stories (Aphra, Calaverada, Demonlover, Furies In Black Leather, The Ice Wedding, Raymond, The Reflected Ones & The Tortuga Hill Gang’s Last Ride,), 4 novelettes/novellas (Easy’s Last Stand, Hell Come Sundown, Judgment Night & The Thing From Lover’s Lane), and 1 novel(Walking Wolf). They are all currently available on Kindle, Nook, Apple, Smashwords, Kobo, Diesel, Sony eReader, Google Play, and Page Foundry. I plan to be releasing my novella Lynch: A Gothik Western sometime later this summer.
Q14): Is there a question that you thought it would be great to be asked in an interview but have never been asked? How would you answer it if you were asked?
Nancy: No one’s ever asked me who was the first author I ever met face-to-face. Answer: It was Roger Zelazny. I met him in 1977, at a sci-fi convention in Little Rock, Arkansas, called RocKon. He was the Guest of Honor. I was 17 years old at the time and a senior in high school.
Q15): Would you like to say anything special to your readers and fans while we have you here today?
Nancy: I would like to thank my fans and readers for sticking with me over the years, and for their continued interest and support in my work. It is greatly appreciated, not just by me, but by my entire family.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Nancy, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed having you with us today and are excited to turn some new readers on to your work. We would love to have you back again for your next big release if you’re interested!
Nancy: Thank you for having me. I’ll definitely keep you up-to-date on my new releases.
Nancy is graciously offering up signed copies of Right Hand Magic or Left Hand Magic (winner’s choice) to a winner from Book Monster Reviews and another winner over at LITERAL ADDICTION.
Fill out the Rafflecopter widget for Nancy’s Event below, follow the directions, take action, and mark as ‘Done’.a Rafflecopter giveaway