Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Free, free, set them free

Happy Independence Day Alexandra Sabian and Hannah Vogel!

Today is July 5. I’m calling it “Independence Day” for Jeannie Holmes and me because today we release our latest novels into the wild. In honor of that, I’m totally blowing off this week’s question and instead Jeannie and I will be interviewing each other about our brand new books.

Jeannie: “A Game of Lies” is the third book in the Hannah Vogel series. What is Hannah up to in her latest adventure?

Rebecca: Hannah is in trouble, as always. Ever since “A Night of Long Knives,” Hannah has been smuggling out secret documents to British intelligence. She’s back to pick up another batch and report on the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Her mentor dies in her arms after telling her she needs to take out a package, and she spends the rest of the book looking for his killer and his secret.

Now, can you share a bit of what Alexandra Sabian gets up to in “Blood Secrets,” the sequel to the well-received “Blood Law?”

Jeannie: Alexandra Sabian is dealing with the fallout of turning rogue in the first book, Blood Law, and has been suspended from the FBPI. When a local college student disappears, she's given a chance to prove the Bureau Tribunal that she's not a risk to the vampire community. She takes the assignment even thought it means working with Varik Baudelaire again. However, neither of them knows the extent of the danger they're facing when a killer known as the Dollmaker takes an unnatural interest in Alex.

It’s a tough world out there, but at least I got to make a lot of it up. But Hannah’s stories are centered around the Nazi party’s real life rise to power in Germany during the 1930s. How much research do you conduct for each book?

Rebecca: I spend months researching before I start, research the whole time I’m writing, and then uncover even more new stuff when I start to rewrite. It was a fascinating moment in history, and I want to make very sure that Hannah’s world is a true to life as I can make it.

But Alex’s world rings true to me too. She is a vampire cop, but she works with human police officers who use very modern research methods. How much research do you do?

Jeannie: I've done a ton of research on forensics and spoken to law enforcement officers so I can make much of what Alex does as realistic as possible. The wildest bit of research I've ever done was to spend a twelve hour shift riding shotgun with a patrol officer on a Saturday night. It's an experience I will never forget, and I have a deeper level of respect for all law enforcement.

But you can’t really do a ride along. What challenges do you find are the most difficult in writing historical mysteries?

Rebecca: For me it’s knowing that the events I research are real. Real people died. Millions of them. I want to do all I can to take that seriously and do the best I can to show people that world, while also giving Hannah a little bit of peace to fall in love, tell a joke, and raise her son.

Enough talk about challenges. Let’s talk about something fun. What’s your favorite scene in “Blood Secrets?”

Jeannie: I have a few favorite scene, but one scene I particularly loved writing is Alex and Varik. It's about midway through the book. Varik is trying to make a point and uses some rather unconventional means to make it.

Do you see the series continuing forever or do you have a clear end in mind?

Rebecca: Varik is a rather unconventional guy. I do have an arc planned for Hannah. I’d like to write nine books about her adventures: the pre-war trilogy that “A Game of Lies” completes; a war trilogy starting with next year’s “A City of Broken Glass;” and a post-war trilogy where she deals with the aftermath of war.

How about you? How many books do you think you might have for the series?

Jeannie: I have a total of six planned, and hopefully will get the opportunity to write them all. I never meant for the series to drag out to infinity. I think Alex and Varik would eventually like for me to go away and leave them alone since I have a tendency to torture them unmercifully.

What else are you working on? Any hints about “A City of Broken Glass?”

Rebecca: I’m just starting my first round of rewrites on it. “A City of Broken Glass” is set during November 1938—Kristallnacht. Hannah is dragged back to Germany and searches for a lost little girl while trying desperately to get herself and Anton back to Switzerland. It was by far the toughest book I’ve written.

How about you? Is there more Alex in store?

Jeannie: I'm working on the third Alex book, which doesn't have a title or release date yet, and I also have a couple of other works in progress.

Rebecca: Thanks, Jeannie, for taking time to chat with me about your new book! Have a great time at Thrillerfest! Best of luck on your release day, Book Buddy!

Before I return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast, I'd like to clink glasses with Jeannie in a cyber toast! I giddily invite you all to join us. The cyber Champagne is on me!


Lois Winston said...

Congrats to both of you! May you have many sales and make bestseller lists.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Thanks, Lois!

Fingers crossed for us both!

Michael Wiley said...

Congratulations on Independence Day or the birthdays . . . or both!

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Thanks, Michael! Both, I think!

Meredith Cole said...

Congratulations!!! Loved the interview, and look forward to reading both books.

Kelli Stanley said...

Congratulations to two of my favorite writers!!! :)

May both series fly off the shelves with the speed of Michael Flatley's feet!! :)