author websiteRachel Caine is the author of about eleventy-million books since 1991 (okay, it’s more than twenty-five, anyway), most recently the Morganville Vampires series and the Weather Warden series. She loves writing for the YA world. Visit her Web site, MySpace, and Livejournal, and look for her on Facebook, too.
Q. The seventh Morganville Vampires book, Fade Out, was action-packed and tumultuous for your characters. After everything that had happened, how did it feel to start on your latest book and the eighth in the Morganville Vampires series, Kiss of Death?
A. Every time I start a Morganville book, there is this sense of the unknown . . . how much I still don’t know about the town and the characters. And the unknown is both terrifying (the blank page is always terrifying!) and tremendously exciting. I always have a lot of creative energy going into a new book, and Kiss of Death was the same . . . although I was late getting it started, which added that panicked feeling, of course.
Q. Why do you set Kiss of Death outside of Morganville?
A. This one, in particular, was an interesting challenge, because I needed to take them (and myself) outside of my comfort zone, and tell a story that didn’t involve a lot of the characters I’d come to depend on in earlier books. It was, in a sense, a “back to the basics” kind of story, and that was challenging and exciting to me.
Q. How do you think the relationships between Claire and Shane, and Eve and Michael change in this new installment?
A. I think the relationship between Claire and Shane is strengthening, and really setting itself as an adult, caring relationship. Eve and Michael, on the other hand, are still fighting to figure out what their relationship is, exactly. . . and I don’t think that will change any time soon. Michael’s still figuring himself out, much less Eve!
Q. Like much of your other writing (including your A New Dawn essay, “The Great Debate”) Kiss of Death has some wonderfully humorous moments. Does humor naturally work its way into your writing?
A. It does. Humor is a way of coping, for a lot of people, and it certainly is for me. My characters seem to see the absurd and the funny in just about every situation, and that helps me paint the darkness just a bit darker than I would, otherwise, for contrast.
Q. We already know that you stand in the Edward Cullen camp. But from the Morganville Vampires, would your teen self rather have dated Shane or Michael?
A. Oh my, tough question! I was a tremendously enthusiastic classical musician in my teen years, so Michael would be the obvious choice . . . but then, he also plays rock, which my teen self would have not thought cool. (I know, I was weird.) And I actually DID date a boy who reminds me a bit of Shane, although he had considerably less baggage in his life and, as far as I know, didn’t fight nearly as much. So probably Shane.
Q. Ghost Town, the ninth Morganville Vampires book, comes out in November. Can you give us any hints as to what might happen?
A. Well, Claire and Myrnin are under a lot of pressure to repair the damage that was done to the Morganville “systems” when the old computer (Ada) expired–so much pressure, in fact, that when Claire gets herself into trouble defending her friends, she’s put under a sentence to fix things, or else. And she does, apparently. But when people inside Morganville start losing time and forgetting entire years of experience, Claire may be the only hope to put things right . . . before she loses all her friends, and Shane, forever.
Q. Which Morganville book is your current favorite?
A. It’s so hard to judge, for me, because it’s more about the amount of work I put in versus the experience readers take from it! But from my perspective, I am pretty excited about Ghost Town, because I got to write some things that particularly challenged me.
Q. There are so many YA vampire series out now, are there any that you particularly enjoy or think stand out from the pack?
A. I really adore Heather Brewer’s Vladimir Tod books, and Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, but I’m also just now getting into Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods as well!
Q. What are you working on now?
A. I’m finishing up three Morganville short stories–one for Britain, one for Germany, and one for the website! And then I’m diving deep into Unseen, the next Outcast Season book.
Q. When we interviewed you about two years ago we asked what book you would recommend that we read that year (you said Those Who Hunt the Night and The Great Book of Amber). Do you have any new favorites that you’d like to recommend?
A. I’m reading Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, and I have to say, it’s breathtaking. I just love it!