Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guest Author: Chris Marie Green - Vampire Babylon

Winner: Thanks for the great comments everyone, and thank you to Chris for visiting. I've run the random number generator and the winner of the giveaway is: Kylie! Congratulations. Please email me your mailing address at nalinisinghwrites AT gmail DOT com.

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….

Influence #1


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. : )

Influence #2

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.

Influence #3


When t
his 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.

Influence #4

80s Slasher Movies

Yup. I’m one of those people who love a good, safe adrenaline rush that a slasher movie pr
ovides, 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


Abigail said...

The Stephanie Plum comparison is not one I saw coming, but now I'm doubly intrigued. I'd love to try this series.


kylie said...

welcome! you got me at the star wars part. i liberally pepper my daily talk with veiled and not so veiled sw references. my friends and family accept this gift of mine. now i'm really interested in giving your vb series a try....:)

INCiDeNT (Kayleigh) said...

Greatest pop influences? TV shows: Supernatural, Blood Ties, Dollhouse, Dark Angel. I love how emotionally wrought, gritty and complex these shows are and that if these can be imagined, anything can.

Slasher movies too. I loved Nightmare on Elm Street along with Halloween for their darkness and depth, nerve-racking and sometimes survival techniques.

I've heard that the TV show Angel had an influence on Larissa Ione's Demonica series. I love how she came up with one whole idea from one thought from that show.

Ducky said...

Hey Chris. Well you got my attention. I'm a GEEK to the core. Stargate SG-1, OH that Michael Shanks who played Daniel Jackson I just LOVE HIM!!!I know that there are a few authors whose judgement I trust totally to recommend a new author (that I haven't read) and Ms. Nalini is sure one of them!! So I guess I'll be hunting for your books to add to my ginormous "to be read pile or I may change that to mountain! LOL)I guess it's a good thing I read fast!!I'll let you know what I think..........they are great cause Ms.Nalini says so! Hee Hee

Tawania said...

I have been hearing alot of good things about this series. I can't wait to read it. I'm an Star Wars fan myself, I digg the sci-fi! I am wishing you much continued success on this series. :)


Diane said...

Great I haven't read #4 or #5 as of yet

Erika said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

Vero H. said...

I like what I read a lot and would like to try this series.

Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green said...

Hey, all! Thank you for being so welcoming. : )
LOL, Stephanie. Yeah, Kiko just kind of walked into my mind fully formed, and I'm pretty sure he had been having conversations with people like Lula....

Kylie and Tawania, fellow SW fans! Maybe I'll see you at a SW Celebration one day. : )

INCiDeNT! You know I love SUPERNATURAL, too. (When it's on, I do a little recap on my blog. But it's taking FOREVER for the new episodes to air. Gah!)

Ducky, so glad you trust Nalini! I would trust her with recommendations, too, since she's so amazing. Just think--I can say I knew her when she was "just" an up-and-coming author! ; )

Diane, thanks for reading the other VB books!

Erika, no problem. I love these giveaways.

Vero, thank you!

See you guys later, and thank you for commenting....

Jason said...

Wow! I love Janet Evanovich so you sold me. :D I would love to win one of your books.


Lisa Kessler said...

Hi Chris -

My biggest Pop Culture influence is definitely my kids! :) My two teens do their best to at least keep me marginally hip! LOL

Every one of my books has somewhere in it a little secret shout out to my kids. Most recently I had my shapeshifters end up staying at the host hotel for Anime Expo in Los Angeles! LOL

This was a fun blog!!! :-)

Thanks for sharing!


Linda Wisdom said...

Totally fun, Chris!

Nice to know I'm not the only one to discuss the fun stuff.

Babylon 5, Special Unit 2, Michael Landes' character is a big influence on some of my guys. Supernatural, Fringe, Star Wars, you name it.


Bookie said...

Cool giveaway! My family is a huge fan of star wars. I love Stephanie Plum and wouldn't have guessed you drew inspiration from her. I can envision you branching out and writing a mystery/comedy book. :)

Shannon said...

Hello and Welcome Chris!

I have yet to read any of your books, but they are definitely going on my TBR pile as we speak, LOL!

I totally love sci-fi, and 80 slasher flics. Actually, I love anything horror related!

Include me in the giveaway as well!

Ang from Oz said...

Welcome Chris Marie!!

I have been wanting to read the Vampire Babylon for ages.

I am a huge Supernatural fan, and well anything a little spooky I am sure to love!

donnas said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing. You really just never know where an influence is going to come from, sometimes they show up from what seems to be the oddest places.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Barb P said...

Hi Chris! Love your books but I haven't read the last 2 yet. I know that this is showing my age, but one of my earliest influences was Dark Shadows. I was a huge Barnabas Collins fan. I watched Creature Features, the original Battle Star Galactica and The Star Wars movies, and so it began. Count me in on the contest.

Kate said...

It's always fascinating to see how different people blend the same types of influences into such diverse stories - I loved the starwars trilogy and am always on the lookout for good authors to add to my reading list - I would be delighted to be lucky enough to win and try your work.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Chris. Great post. It is interesting where our influences come from. Your books sound amazing. :)

fallenkitsune said...

Hello and welcome. Slasher movies are awesome and the nightmares can sometimes be turned into material for other things. I also love Star Trek and watch Lost though i'm a little sad about it coming to an end soon.
*sheepish* I havent read any of your books and i'm hoping to get a chance to do so soon. Thanks for the contest.

PeppyPilotGirl said...

As a geek, anybody who cites those kinds of influences has got to be an author I check out! Adding the Vampire Babylon series to the TBR list...

P.S. And, Ducky, so with you on SG1 but I'm a Jack O'Neill devotee all the way. ;)

Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green said...

Hello, again! Thank you to everyone for your interest and enthusiasm. This is such fun. : )

Jase, Ang, donnas, Kate, CrystalGB, PeppyPilotGirl (OMG, I love your name.)--you're in! I appreciate it. : )

Lisa! The kid shout outs are awesome. Can't wait to see your work out there!

Linda, thank you so much for coming, too. FRINGE is getting sooooo good. I especially like "Hello, this is your father, Walter Bishop."

Bookie, a mystery/comedy book, eh? Hmmm. You just never know. :) I'd love to write another atmospheric thriller--I did one for the defunct Bombshell line a few years ago called BAITED, but it wasn't Kiko-funny. : )

Shannon, thanks--and another horror fan! Every Halloween I try to find scary movies that I haven't watched (It ain't easy.) and I blog about them. It's a highlight of my year, LOL.

Barb P., thank you for reading the first trilogy! ; )

Fallenkitsune, I hear you about LOST. I have a feeling I'm going to cry during the last episode. LOST has a way of making me weep during most of their finales (especially season 3. SOB!).

Be back later....

The.Girl.In.Question said...

I like how you brought up the Stephenie Plum series.. I can just imagine Kiko joining in with Stephenie and Lula to catch some bad guys. It's playing out rather funny in my head. I love the vampire babylon series and am anxiously awaiting more books :)


YzhaBella's BookShelf said...


Hi Everyone!
I'm reading Deep in The Woods now! I've just finished reading the fight scene in the Underground with between the gang and Mihas and the girls. WOW. It was intense! I really liked how Della decided to stand up for herself and stop being a follower!

Now, off the continue the search for the Dragon!

Absolutely wonderful series Chris! Thanks for creating it!

Kate aka YzhaBella


tetewa said...

You have many of the same influences as me! Me and a friend get together every week and watch Lost. I also enjoy 80's slasher movies and love the Stephanie Plum series! Enjoyed the post today. tWarner419@aol.com

becky Jean said...

these books look great! congrats on your May release - I will have to add it to my preorder list :)

Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green said...

Hey, again!

The Girl In Question (another great name!), LOL. Somewhere out there, I see some fan fiction with Kiko and Stephanie's gang. I don't know if I like it or if that scares the heck out of me. :) Thanks for reading!

Kate--sweet! Thank you, too, for reading. And I hope you like the end of DEEP IN THE WOODS.... (Mwa-hah-hah). Just FYI, you can check my sites/Twitter/Facebook for updates on a Vampire Babylon short story that's going to come out in a horror anthology later this year. I don't have the release date yet, but I think the book is called WE WHO FIGHT MONSTERS.

tetewa! Maybe you're my mental twin.... : )

Much thanks, BeckyJean! All six books are out now, and we'll see if there'll be more besides that short story.


Mary A said...

Wow Chris! You made me start thinking of influences:) My#1 influence had to be the Doc Savage series when I was a kid. An over the top super hero with looks, money and intelligence.
Loved Star wars,Dark Angel and Firefly.
truly now its anything magical. Haven't read your books yet but I will now.
Thanks for sending the invite.
Mary A

Unknown said...

This is an awesome series! Great picks for inspiration, very cool to see how they influenced the series. :-)

Nat said...

I've been wanting to read your books for a while, they sound really great!

Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green said...

Mary A, thank you--and I should look up some Doc Savage....

Selena! ; )

Nat, I appreciate it. :)

My blog post was getting a little long, but I was also going to mention how ALIENS influenced some action scenes and how Quentin Tarantino uses violence. I know that last one sounds weird, but some of his scenes are brutal, yet effectively so, IMHO....

Ina said...

*makingnotes* a new author for me and there are already 3 books to buy and read *hehe* thanks for sharing - can't wait to start reading :)
the greatest influence? might come from Buffy and Dark Angel, because my fascination started with them...
wish you all the best,

YzhaBella's BookShelf said...

Ooooh! Thanks for the info on the short! I'll definitely be watching for that!

Barbarita V said...

Welcome! Love the covers! I like to try new authors and if they are recomended by Nalini is a must.

Jen said...

I haven't tried this series. Would love the chance to win.

Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green said...

Ina, I can't wait for you to start the series, either! ; )

Kate--great. I'll be posting more about the anthology to come....

Barbarita, I love my covers, too! I get mail from guys, especially, who want to know more about the model, LOL.

Jen, thank you!

chey said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

chey127 at hotmail dot com

cait045 said...

I agree with LOST being an awesome show with its bread crumb method. I think it makes it original.


CatsMeow said...

What a wonderful eclectic group of influences. You can't go wrong with any of them. Please enter me in your contest.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm sad to say I havne't gotten the chance to read anything from Chris but I'm so intrigued! I'll be on the lookout.


mariska said...

hi Chris..wow. some of the great influences that you have..and i love LOST too :)

A new for me Author books for free ? please please, pick ME

uniquas at ymail dot com

Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green said...

Hey, Chey, Cait, Catsmeow, ChiChai Hana, and mariska! The drawing should occur pretty soon.

Good luck to everyone, and thank you so much for commenting and "playing." : )

throuthehaze said...

I love all the book covers :)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

heatwave16 said...

Great blog. I love hearing about your influences, and Star Wars is just great. :)


Unknown said...

Great blog!! I love finding references to other movies, tv shows, characters in books! It definately makes it fun.

Jackie said...

Have all books but #4&5 so this is perfect timing except my timing is probably off coming in on the 17th in the late afternoon... Oh well at least got to comment anyway even if too late.... I too love strange influences for books and am so interested to read about some of the ones that you used to fuel your imagination in creating Vampire Babylon series....

jackie b central texas

Nalini Singh said...

Thanks for the great comments everyone, and thank you to Chris for visiting.

I've run the random number generator and the winner of the giveaway is: KYLIE!

Congratulations. Please email me your mailing address at nalinisinghwrites AT gmail DOT com.

Jackie said...

Congratulatiions to Kylie!!!!!