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Rachel Caine Bibliography

The Morganville Vampires series (in reading order)

Other Works

LoveVampires Interview With Rachel Caine

Interview by Missy

Tell me a little bit about Rachel Caine, other than the standard bio on your Web site.

Rachel Caine PhotoHmmm.
I love chocolate, but can’t really eat it any more.  I love mochas, too.  Ditto.  I have a gigantic book, tv and movie addiction, which has led to our home being nicknamed The Temple of the Television.  That’s probably because we own more movies and tv shows on DVD than are probably featured at my local Blockbuster.  Ouch.

Same problem with my books.  I have rooms full.  My closets are also bookshelves.  And I never have enough space, because I am a voracious reader.

I love art (my husband is a well-known fantasy/science fiction artist) and we collect originals as often as we can. 

I write in a turret with 12 windows.  I swear. 

I have two pet iguanas who’ve been with us since about 1992, and they’re about 6 feet long.  They have their own sunroom, but regularly scratch at the door and ask for treats.

My dad was the “voice of the countdown” at White Sands Missile Range.  My mother worked for actual rocket scientists.  I was born at the missile range, too.

I have a degree in accounting, which is only lightly used should anyone be interested in buying it off of me.

Full-time day job, writer of over 30 novels, short-stories, breast cancer survivor--how do you find the time to do everything?

 Well, I just officially left my day job, so that’s going to help ... :)  After more than 10 years with the company, it finally got to the point where the balancing act was just too difficult, since my job required me to be on call 24/7 availability for crises.  Which happened with great frequency, actually.  But with all the travel and appearances I’m doing now it was no longer feasible for them, or for me.

In the strictest sense, nobody ever finds the time.  Time is never just laying around, waiting.  You have to MAKE the time to do the important stuff – whether that’s taking time with your kids or for yourself or, in my case, writing.  I tended to make that time by carving off pieces of sleep time. 

Not the best long-term survival plan, but it does work. 

You had a brush with mortality when you were diagnosed with breast cancer, do you think it affected your writing in any way?

Well, it definitely made it much tougher to meet THAT deadline, I can tell you.  And in many ways, when I look back on the book I was writing at that time, I can see the struggle in it, although that might just be my own interpretation and emotional memory.  Oddly, I tend to get pretty centered and focused when I’m facing a dire crisis ... failure just doesn’t really enter into it for me.  I have a plan, and I execute the plan.

The thing is that especially during these kinds of events, there are always rich opportunities for absurd humor, I’ve found.  Nothing like having a radiation machine fall on you to put your breast cancer in perspective.  Yes, that actually happened.  And I was pinned half-naked to the table while CROWDS of people came in to try to get it off of me.  Maintenance guys.  For all I know, insurance guys, too.  It was weird and hilarious, and I wasn’t hurt, just ... amused and embarrassed.

I try to find the upside in any challenge, whether it’s in writing or day job or in my own health.  Seems to work for me.

Can you tell us a little bit about your three series, The Morganville Vampire series, The Weather Warden series, and the Outcast Season series?

The Morganville Vampires series is about a gifted teen who moves to town to attend the local university ... only to discover that it’s not just the normal academic challenges and the mean girls that are out to get her.  Morganville is a town controlled by vampires, who own the businesses ... and the people, for the most part.  Claire has to decide whether or not she’s going to get herself a vampire Protector, or go it alone with her new friends in a town where humans are second class citizens, at best.  Right now, book 8 of the series (KISS OF DEATH) is coming out, and book 9 (GHOST TOWN) will be out in November.

 The Weather Warden series is ending at volume 9, TOTAL ECLIPSE, which is coming out in August.  Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden – she can control the weather.  Sounds like fun, right?  Not so much, when the storms and Mother Nature herself are out to get you.  As if that wasn’t challenging enough, Joanne also has to deal with cranky Djinn (genies) and the other Wardens, many of whom don’t like her attitude. Joanne, her Djinn lover David and her old friend Lewis are constantly battling internal politics (both human and supernatural) while trying to prevent the worst natural disaster of all:  the Earth, waking up and getting angry.

The Outcast Season series is four books, and is a spinoff of the Weather Warden universe.  Cassiel is a Djinn who’s been cast out of their supernatural ranks, and must learn to survive in human form.  That’s not easy, as she’s dedicated uncounted thousands of years despising them ... but when an old enemy comes back with a sinister plan, Cassiel may be the only Djinn (or Warden) in the world who can find a way to stop her without destroying humanity as well.  UNKNOWN, the second book, came out in February, and UNSEEN will be out in February 2011.

Is it difficult to switch between writing for young adults to a more mature audience? Which do you prefer?

I don’t really think about the process any differently.  The characters themselves are different ages, and face different challenges, so that shapes the story as it needs to go ... but I don’t deliberately change my style for YA versus the mature readers. 

As far as preference ... I actually usually love whatever I’m currently working on the best, because I have to love it to do justice to it.  I do find the YA books to be hugely fun to do, though – possibly even more than the adult fantasy novels.

Do you have a favorite character to write? Couple?

I have to confess that Shane is fascinating to write (in the Morganville Vampires series), as is Myrnin.  Not that they’re a couple.  STOP TWEETING RIGHT NOW.

How do you find the time to write so many books?

 Like I said above, I squeeze my schedule until time drops out.  :)  I get up very early, usually around 5:30 in the morning, so I can get in a full day of writing before noon.  Then I can have the afternoon to do what I need to do, maybe have some fun, and then do all of my correspondence and email at night.

Weekends are usually the same, only I may skip an evening of email once in a while.

Do you have a favorite vampire character?

I think Myrnin is probably my favorite of my own vampires, but getting outside of my books, there are so many!  I think probably Don Simon Ysidro from Barbara Hambly’s THOSE WHO HUNT THE NIGHT is absolutely my favorite.

Alright, you have written under your maiden and married names.  Why use the pen names Rachel Caine, Ian Hammell and Julie Fortune?

In my defense, Ian Hammell wasn’t my choice.  That was a “house” name that was used for several books in the series.  But it was fun to add it to my collection of pseudonyms.

The others ... I started writing as Roxanne Longstreet, my name at the time.  But after four or five books, I wasn’t exactly starting riots in the bookstores, and my sales were, in a word, meh.  So I started again under my married name, Roxanne Conrad.  And the same thing happened.  When I restarted for the third time, as Rachel Caine, suddenly the sales began to climb. 

Julie Fortune came about because I wanted to do a media tie-in novel with a British publisher, and since it was outside of the bounds of what I was doing as Rachel Caine, it made sense to have a separate name for it.

Do you still find time for your other passions?

Not as much as I’d like, but yes, I make time for fun as well as work.  I’m hoping that maybe this year I can get seriously back into music again.  Time will tell!

 What kind of Urban Fantasy character would you like to be? One you have written or one yet to be explored?

Hmmm, good question ... I don’t think I’d enjoy being a vampire, although I am already averse to sunlight, in general.  It’s the whole liquid diet thing that makes me less than enthused. 

I think I’d love to be a superhero, along the lines of Vicki Pettersson’s characters ... someone with her own comic book.  :)

What are you reading these days?

I’m currently reading an SPQR novel by John Maddox Roberts (set in ancient Rome) and also the latest from Jackie Kessler (called HUNGER).  Be on the lookout for HUNGER, by the way.  It’s amazing.

What authors have influenced you in the past?

I go back to authors I read before I knew I wanted to write – people like Theodore Sturgeon and Roger Zelazny, and Shirley Jackson.  Not that I write remotely like any of those people, but they made me realize what a powerful thing storytelling could be.

You mention you have to have playlists and music when you write, who are your musical inspirations lately?

Joe Bonamassa, always – I’ve known Joe since he was just starting out, and it’s been delightful to see his rise to stardom, especially in Europe.  I’ve also developed a recent love for Photoside Cafe.

Any Recent TV and movie obsessions?

CASTLE.  I love that TV show.  And FRINGE.  And WHITE COLLAR (on USA).  Movies – probably STAR TREK (reboot) and SHERLOCK HOLMES, those were my favorites of last year.

A recent review said that you keep getting better with every novel you write.  With over 30 novels under your belt, how does that make you feel?

 I’d be lying if I didn’t say it made me feel good.  Also, of course, a little nervous.  Meep.  But I do love doing it, and it’s always pleasing to hear that people like what I’m doing.

However, just to put it in perspective, someone at a signing recently told me that I plotted like a Dungeonmaster with one piece of graph paper, so there are always opposing views.  (I don’t actually know what that means, but it really didn’t sound all that good, eh?)

What's next for you?

At the moment, I’m working on rewrites for GHOST TOWN, and getting ready to launch into full writing mode for UNSEEN.  After that, I’ll be working on the first book in a new series, called DEAD SEXY, which will be out in late 2011.

So Kiss of Death comes out in the UK May 3rd, any spoilers you want to give us?

Oh, why not?  Let’s see ... although Oliver is just supposed to escort Michael, Claire, Shane and Eve to Dallas for Michael’s recording gig, he’s got his own agenda as usual, and it will send the gang careening off track into a very dangerous situation in a small town, where they’re accused of murder. 

And that’s not the worst thing that will happen.  :)

A big "thank-you" to Rachel Caine for taking part in the author interview. More information about Rachel's novels can be found on Rachel's website.
30th April 2010

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