Thursday, August 13, 2009

Emma Holly--Special Guest Interview & Giveaway

Welcome, Emma! Thanks for talking to us today on the Chatelaines! Readers: Emma will be giving away two copies of her book, Kissing Midnight, to two lucky winners!

August sees the release of Saving Midnight, the last of Emma's trilogy begun in June with Kissing Midnight (followed by Breaking Midnight in July).

JA: Emma, please set up the trilogy a little for us. Tell us about the Fitz Clares and how this adventure begins.

EH: The “Fitz Clare Chronicles” follow the adventures of powerful vampire Edmund Fitz Clare and his adopted human family, all of whom were orphaned during World War I. All grown up now, they’re just beginning to realize that the father they adore is a bit more than eccentric . . . and that he has some dangerous supernatural enemies.

The settings range from 1930s London to Switzerland to the dustbowl in America. All the story “color” was wonderfully fun to research – sometimes surprisingly fun. The cars, the clothes, the fabulous Art Deco furnishings truly sucked me in. It was great to have the glamour of that period as a backdrop for my drama, and I’m not-so-secretly tickled with how action-y the trilogy turned out. My editor commented that this is my “biggest” story to date.

In addition to that, the series also gave me a chance to explore what makes a family a family – certainly more than blood. The Fitz Clares’ devotion to each other is larger than life, and I had a blast showing how heroic each would become in defense of the others. They really had to grow in order to make it through this trilogy alive! I also loved having Edmund face how hard it can be to let children leave the nest, especially when you’re immortal and they’re not. Plus, I had to include my usual generous amounts of kinky-romantic steam - which may explain why this family’s tale took me three books to tell.

JA: I love this time period, for some of the reasons you mention: Art Deco, the cars, and Agatha Christie. :-)

JA: What are Upyr, and how are they different from typical vampires?

EH: These days, there are so many different takes on the vampire myth that I’m not sure what’s typical any more. My upyr are somewhat traditional vampires. I chose a Slavic word to refer to them, because my first Midnight book was a Medieval, and the term “vampire” didn’t exist yet. Upyr share a number of traits with Bram Stoker’s originals. They can go out during the day, albeit briefly. They can assume an animal’s form (mine are usually wolves). Most importantly, they survive by drinking blood and not cappuccinos. In that sense, I’m a purist. I think vampires should have real fangs – and they shouldn’t just be for show!

JA: LOL, I love vampires with real fangs! How are these three books connected to previous books in the series?

EH: Edmund Fitz Clare was introduced in Catching Midnight as the older brother of the hero, Aimery Fitz Clare. He was a troubled soul but an interesting one, and I found I couldn’t let him go. He showed up again in Courting Midnight as Lucius White’s friend, still troubled and still fascinating me. In the process of figuring out how Edmund might redeem himself, the situation of the adopted orphans came to me. I loved the concept that they wouldn’t realize their own father was a vampire, and the lengths to which he’d go to hide his secret while also giving them the best childhood experience he could. Part of what drives Edmund is his need to make peace with people he thinks he’s wronged in the past, but most of all with himself. That’s kind of a theme for me in my books: that until you forgive yourself, no one else’s forgiveness really sinks in.

You don’t have to read the earlier books in the series to enjoy the Fitz Clares, but if you’d like to see where it all began, of course you should feel free *g*. Though the first three stand alone more easily than the Fitz Clare Chronicles, their order is: Catching Midnight, Hunting Midnight and Courting Midnight.

JA: I very much enjoyed Courting Midnight (and Lucien). I was excited to see more of the Fitz Clares, and I became very fond of Graham, Sally, and Ben, who made good foils for Edmund and Estelle.

JA: Will there be more in the series? What’s next for you?

EH: I’ve got two more upyr books in the works, currently titled Devil at Midnight/Angel at Noon. The story is a two-parter, involving Christian Durand, whom I introduced in Breaking Midnight. I hadn’t written a serious bad boy in a little while, so of course I wanted to do him.

JA: Emma, I love your writing—when I read one of your Black Lace books a few years ago (Cooking up a Storm), I was hooked. You have everything I love—humor; atypical characters; lots of spice; emotional development. I enjoyed the story I just read in the Beyond the Dark anthology—very cool alternate Egypt concept.

EH: Thank you! It means a lot to hear that fellow authors enjoy my work.

JA: That leads me to ask: You write several different subgenres: paranormal, contemporary, erotic. I personally like writing across subgenres because it helps keep my writing fresh, but I’m interested in why other authors do it. What do you find appealing (or unappealing) about writing several subgenres? Will you continue to do so?

EH: I love variety - learning new things for each story, tackling fresh challenges. It keeps me excited about what I do. No matter where my career leads me, I can’t imagine writing the same book or even the same kind of book over and over. My imagination just doesn’t work that way!

JA: Thanks again for joining us, and best of luck with the series! It’s intriguing, different, and well done.

EH: Thank you for having me to your blog!

JA: We'll be giving away a couple copies of Kissing Midnight, first of the trilogy to two lucky winners! Post a comment to say hi and enter the drawing. :-)


CrystalGB August 13, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

Great interview. Emma's trilogy sounds good. Love the covers.

EmilyBryan August 13, 2009 at 8:15 AM  

Fascinating, Emma. Love troubled heroes. Love the redemptive theme in your stories. And so true, forgiveness has to start with forgiving yourself.

I'm always amazed when non-romance readers think our books are only about sex. Other than inspirationals, what other genre deals with the deep psychological and moral issues of forgiveness and the need for it?

Emma Holly August 13, 2009 at 8:33 AM  

Thanks for coming by, Crystal! I was pleased with the covers, too.

LOL, Emily. Those other genres might be dealing with deep issues, too, but I wouldn't know because I'm mostly not reading them. *g*

SandyF August 13, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

I have read KISSING MIDNIGHT and just finished BREAKING MIDNIGHT. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series so far and I can't put these books down once I begin reading! I enjoy how the characters have evolved. I also enjoy the struggles all of the characters have to work through.

I absolutely love reading Emma's books, but I think this may be her best works yet! I can't wait to start reading SAVING MIDNIGHT, which I plan to do as soon as I finish up here!

Penelope August 13, 2009 at 9:59 AM  

Hi Emma! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your novella in Hot Blooded. The Night Owl is my favorite novella ever, and my first introduction to your vampires, which then of course inspired me to buy more of your rocking books. In fact I just recently recommended that story on a romance thread discussing food and romance. The seduction scene in the bakery is to-die-for. Can't wait to read more of your books!
Penelope, Penelope's Romance Reviews

Emma Holly August 13, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

SandyF - Thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying the trilogy so far.

Penelope - Thanks for the support! It's much appreciated. "The Night Owl" was fun for me, too. Baked goods and sex. It just seemed a natural combination *g*.

Penelope August 13, 2009 at 11:08 AM  

A "super-natural" combination. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself!) :)

Anonymous August 13, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

Great interview and I love the covers.

Terri W.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) August 13, 2009 at 1:44 PM  

Enjoyed the interview! I like the sound your vamps and I agree they should have fangs. ;)

I've not read any of your books but both vampire trilogy look good. I like the setting of Fitz Clares Chronicles being during WWI.

Emma Holly August 13, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

Thanks, Terri! I think the covers are a hit all around.

Donna, I hope you enjoy them if you get a chance to try them out!

Cecile August 13, 2009 at 4:11 PM  

Oh, this was an awesome interview!!! Nice job ladies!!!
You both are wonderful authors!!
Oh... troubled, tortured hero's... what other kind are there?!?!
I am here to throw my name in the ring for this one!!!
I hope everyone has a great evening and wonderful tomorrow!

Mari August 13, 2009 at 6:49 PM  

Hello Emma, I love your books. Any plans in the future for contemps or a historical (loved your Beyond books BTW)

Emma Holly August 13, 2009 at 7:08 PM  

Thanks, Cecile!

Mari - I don't plan to do any non-paranormal historicals, though I'm glad you liked the Beyond Books! Right now, I'm working on a historical-set vampire. After that, I don't know . . .

Thanks for coming to chat, everyone. This was fun!

Jennifer/Allyson/Ashley - thanks for inviting me to your blog! Would you be kind enough to pick two winners for the books and let me know who they were?

Night, Chatelaines!

Mystery August 13, 2009 at 7:31 PM  

Emma, I've read the trilogy. Each book was fantastic out doing the last. Great romance and paranormal. The locations for the scenes was excellent. I could actually picture the characters in the locations.

Amy Kathryn August 13, 2009 at 7:38 PM  

I enjoyed the first 3 midnight books and was pleasantly surprised to hear about 3 more coming so quickly together. I am looking forward to reading them and catching up with the upyr.

RachieG August 13, 2009 at 8:58 PM  

Emma Holly's books are awesome. :) I havn't read the series but the "Beyond the Dark" short story knocked my socks off.

Happy to see you Emma!!!! Congratulations on your success and may you have much much more.

rachie2004 @ yahoo (dot) com

Lyoness2009 August 13, 2009 at 9:08 PM  

Congratulations on your new releases.

Glad to see you out and about Emma. You create such great worlds that are almost completely self-contained. They are believable too which is pretty hard to pull off.

lyoness2009 AT hotMAIL *dot* cOm

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner August 13, 2009 at 10:20 PM  

Thanks for all the comments! Feel free to keep them coming--I'll draw two names tomorrow and post them here.

Emma is one of my all-time favorite authors. I'm thrilled she could stop by.

Virginia August 13, 2009 at 10:29 PM  

Great interview! Love the covers of these books. I think I would love this series. Thanks for sharing with us.

Carol L. August 14, 2009 at 5:22 AM  

Hi Emma,
Great interview. Love your work and you gotta love those vamps.
Carol L.

Maija P. August 14, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

I don't need to be entered in the drawing. I already have your series. I should begin reading the third part, Saving Midnight, during the weekend. Kissing Midnight was my first book by you and I loved it. Now after reading it and Breaking Midnight too, I'll definitely read you other books in the future. Keep up the good work!

etirv August 14, 2009 at 4:05 PM  

Hi Emma, you're still one author that shocks me, always something different, thanks!


Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner August 14, 2009 at 6:04 PM  

OK I have two winners! Each for a copy of KISSING MIDNIGHT

1. Cecile
2. Virginia

Please contact me at and I'll get your details for Emma.

A reminder--CrystalGB, you won my other drawing for Erin Quinn's book, so give me a holler too.

Thanks everyone! And Emma!! I just love her books. I have an "Emma Holly collection" shelf. :-)

Next month I will host the wonderful NALINI SINGH! I'm so excited.

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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