Continuing my interview series called THE SEVEN, in which I invite some of my favorite authors to answer seven questions about their most recent projects, today’s guest is the wonderful Nancy Collins, author of the beloved Sonja Blue series of non-sparkly vampire novels. Sunglasses After Dark, the first of the Blue novels, is a rip-roaring good time, and her collection, Knuckles & Tales, released some years ago via Cemetery Dance Publications, and currently available via digital, remains one of my favorite single-author collections of all time.
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A. My most recent release of new material is ABSALOM’S WAKE: A Serial Adventure On The High Seas. The first two installments are now available from Biting Dog Publications in ebook format on all platforms. It’s a dark fantasy set about a whaling vessel in the 1840s.
Q. What inspired the project?
A. I’ve been doing genre mash-ups since before they became popular. I wanted to combine horror/dark fantasy tropes with various ‘defunct’ adventure genres, such as westerns, Jack London style Yukon stories, swashbucklers etc. Absalom’s Wake is my tribute to the maritime novels of the 19th century, such as Melville’s Typee, Billy Budd and, of course, Moby Dick.
Q. What is the primary theme you’ve chosen to explore with this project?
The primary theme in Absalom’s Wake is the danger of ignorance, superstition, and hubris, especially when you’re trapped on a boat in the middle of the ocean.
Q. Of everything you’ve written to date, which project has been the most difficult for you?
I would have to say that was the Young Adult vampire series I wrote for HarperCollins, which came out in 2008-2009. It was called VAMPS, which stood for Vampire American Princesses, and can best be described as a cross between Gossip Girls and Twilight. I had to learn a completely new way of story-telling (at least for me). I learned a lot, but it was a rough education. I rewrote the first book in the series six times, from scratch.
Q. Which title would you suggest as a good introduction for newcomers to your work, and why?
I would recommend Sunglasses After Dark, simply because that is my first novel, and it is the book that introduces my signature series character, Sonja Blue. It also won the HWA’s Bram Stoker Award and the British Fantasy Society’s Icarus Award.
Well, I’m invested enough in its expansion to have my own epublishing imprint: Hopedale Press. I think the digital market has a great deal of potential, especially now that Big Publishing is essentially turning its backs on genre writers who don’t sell like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. If the Big 4 want to ignore entire genres in favor of mass market Best Sellers, it’s up to writers and the small press to take up the slack.
Q. What’s next for you?
Well, I’m finishing up MAGIC AND LOSS, the 3rd book in my Golgotham urban fantasy series. After that I’ll be tackling KILL CITY–the first Sonja Blue novel in 10 years. I’m currently holding an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to finish the book and make it available in both physical and digital editions. The campaign ends 11:59pm PT on Wednesday, January 16th.
Remember: Only YOU Can Prevent Sparkling Vampires.
Check out Ms. Collins’ ongoing e-serial Absalom’s Wake at the Biting Dog Press website, and click here to learn more about how you can contribute to the Indiegogo campaign for Kill City, the new Sonja Blue novel.
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