I'm delighted to welcome the gorgeous and talented Chris Marie Green to the blog! Chris is talking vampires and pop culture, and she's giving away a couple of copies of her books.
Please welcome Chris to the blog everyone!
Thanks so much for letting me visit, Nalini!
Point of fact: I am a pop culture junkie—a pretty huge geek. You can tell by reading my books, my blog, or even chatting with me for about five seconds. And a lot of other romance/urban fantasy writers are like me. (Have you ever gone to an RWA National conference and had an hours-long conversation in a bar about BATTLESTAR GALACTICA with total strangers? Sign of a junkie geek!). Heck, we live in a world that’s saturated by TV, movies, songs, and fifteen-minute celebrities, so it’s hard not to be drawn into the entire black hole of media.
Naturally, my geekiness has opened me to the influence of other works—especially when it comes to my Vampire Babylon books. So I decided that right here, right now, I’d throw some of my biggest influences out there. I’d love to hear from you guys about your greatest pop influences, as well—and how you think certain TV shows, books, and movies have affected your favorite authors.
And here we go, in no certain order….
Let me just say that all my friends know that there will be a STAR WARS reference somewhere in my books, whether it’s a character name or a quip about a lightsaber. More importantly, the original trilogy in particular inspires me in how I structure my stories. I based the trilogy structure of Vampire Babylon on STAR WARS (both the Hollywood trilogy and the London trilogy): there are overriding mythology, character, and mystery arcs that span three books while each novel focuses on a central mystery or problem. And I think you can tell that book 2 (MIDNIGHT REIGN) and book 5 (THE PATH OF RAZORS) are totally THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK of the trilogies. : )
Janet Evanovich and Larry McMurtry
Very strange combination, but I’m a big fan of both authors’ voices because they’re so strong and lively. Evanovich brings the humor, and I guess you could even say that one of my characters, Kiko, would be perfectly at home if he wandered into a Stephanie Plum novel. McMurtry is a master at using sparse dialogue to say quite a bit about his characters, and he can really turn a phrase. I look to him for inspiration in letting dialogue flow and define.
When this TV gem first aired, I was just getting started with Vampire Babylon, and I loved the “bread crumb” method of storytelling that the writers were using. Yes, it’s maddening to some fans, but the story puzzles (and eventual answers) excited me. LOST showed me that there is an audience out there for the “bread crumb” method, and it showed me that even a “gimmicky” show can hold a lot of power in its characters. LOST has provided some of the most emotional moments on TV for me, and I aspire to reach those heights in storytelling.
80s Slasher Movies
Yup. I’m one of those people who love a good, safe adrenaline rush that a slasher movie provides, and I think we will never again have a fabulous run of the sub-genre like we did in the 80s. FRIDAY THE 13th (Parts I and II), HALLOWEEN, the first NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, TERROR TRAIN, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, PROM NIGHT…hey, I’m even going to include a 70s forerunner, BLACK CHRISTMAS, since that influenced everything that came afterward… All these films gave me nightmares to some degree, and they knew how to wield the suspense. Sure, there’s blood and gore, but that’s not the main reason I watch these. They were expert at keeping the Boogie Man in the shadows and making the audience fear opening the closet door. I try to keep this in mind during action scenes, because what works for a Boogie Man can also work for a vampire….
I’ll be giving away signed copies of A DROP OF RED, Vampire Babylon, Book Four, and THE PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book Five, to someone who comments on this blog by 6pm Wednesday 17th March 2010, New Zealand time. Check back tomorrow night for the winner! Also, you can find me on the Net in several places: www.vampirebabylon.com, my blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
Thanks for being here, and Happy Hunting!
Chris Marie Green
DEEP IN THE WOODS, Vampire Babylon, Book Six