Monday, February 28, 2011

Author Spotlight - Katie MacAlister

Meet Katie

As found on her official website -

For as long as she can remember, Katie MacAlister has loved reading. Growing up in a family where a weekly visit to the library was a given, Katie spent much of her time with her nose buried in a book. Despite her love for novels, she didn’t think of writing them until she was contracted to write a non-fiction book about software. Since her editor refused to allow her to include either witty dialogue or love scenes in the software book, Katie swiftly resolved to switch to fiction, where she could indulge in world building, tormenting characters, and falling madly in love with all her heroes.


Two years after she started writing novels, Katie sold her first romance, Noble Intentions. More than thirty books later, her novels have been translated into numerous languages, been recorded as audiobooks, received several awards, and are regulars on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She also writes for the young adult audience as Katie Maxwell.

Katie lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dogs, and can often be found lurking around online.

My gosh, I love how this author writes. Katie has a wicked sense of humor and her books are filled with scenes that have tears streaming down my cheeks as I'm snorting out loud. Case in point - I recently read IN THE COMPANY OF VAMPIRES and there were moments were I seriously had to stop for long chunks of time because I couldn't breathe for laughing. The scenes she wrote with the Viking warrior ghosts are the funniest I've ever read and don't get me started on the love scenes. When I read the book, I reviewed it for The Romance Reviews and wrote the interview for Katie. Here it is for you to enjoy :)


Q: Who are the Dark Ones and why is it important for them to find that woman who is their Beloved?

Dark Ones are my take on vampires: dark, tormented men who can be redeemed only by one woman. They came about after I was possessed with a need to write my own version of vampires—I picked some of the aspects of typical vampire lore that I liked, such as the need to drink blood to survive, an aversion to the sun, and a dark nature, and then twisted it around and added a few other elements, such as the ability for a woman to redeem the vampire's soul and make him whole again. They also all have a pretty good sense of humor, something I found lacking in a lot of darker vamp books.

Q: What was your inspiration behind the series?


When I was a brand new baby author at Dorchester, one of the ladies who took me under her wing was Christine Feehan. I adore Christine, and loved her vampire books, and one day, I told her I wanted to write my own version of vamps, and duly tottered off to do just that. There are lots of subtle Christine references in the books, in gratitude for not only her friendship, but her Carpathian stories that got me writing my own paranormal books.

Q: What is IN THE COMPANY OF VAMPIRES about?


ITCV is a bit of a reunion book in that it brings into the adult world characters from two Young Adult Dark Ones books that were published five years ago. It also picks up the dangling story threads from the previous two vamp books, and sets up a new spinoff series that has some roots in the Dark One books, but will focus on a new group of folks.

Story-wise, it's the story of Fran, a woman who know she's meant to be with a vampire named Ben, but has fought everyone telling her for years she has to be with him. She finally has to confront him in the process of finding out why Loki, a Norse god, has kidnapped her mother, and the resulting adventures—both Fran's, and those of her Viking ghost buddies sent to help her take down Loki—aren't nearly as devastating as finding her ex-boyfriend Ben apparently has a new girlfriend.

I did love tormenting poor Fran with that. :)

Q: The book is dedicated to Ben and Fran. What made you decide to write their story the way you did? What had you thinking they would make the perfect couple?


Oh, I knew from the moment they both were together in GOT FANGS? that one day I was going to have to write an adult book with them, just so readers could see Fran all grown up and ready for a mature relationship.

The problem was coming up with a reason to keep them apart while Fran was becoming an adult. I settled on something that stemmed from her own personality—she really hates being told what to do, and was insecure about her appearance, two elements that blended into, for her at least, a reason that she would separate herself from Ben and go off to find herself.

I think they were so perfect together because Fran kept Ben from being too domineering and set in his ways, and he brought some much needed spontaneity and freedom to her. They also drive each other nuts at times, but they appreciate that fact, and can find the humor in it rather than letting it push them apart.

Q: What kind of insight would you want readers to know about Ben and Fran that would help them fall in love with them?


Ben is very much a protector—he has a warrior mentality despite the modern setting. He wants to keep all of his loved ones safe and happy. His circle of family includes his blood brother David, which is why he feels it necessary to help David out even at a lot of personal cost.

Fran is a very grounded person who doesn't take crap from anyone, but at the same time, she's grown into a nurturing woman who finds she isn't happy being insular and solitary after all. She really blooms when she becomes involved with Ben again, especially since she feels he really needs her, not just a Beloved.

Q: You have such an incredible sense of humor that made reading the book a fun experience. Why did you take a humorous approach when writing the romance in the story?


I think life is too short to spend it without a robust sense of humor, and I hope that comes through in my writing. I write books that I want to read, and since I have a warped sense of what's funny, that's how my books end up. The humor in them varies from somewhat slapstick to more of a black humor in the paranormals, but all of them have absurd moments that make me giggle. And I figure if I'm giggling, other people must be giggling as well, and that's my whole purpose in writing—to entertain and bring a few laughs in a world that can sometimes be quite grim.

Q: One of the highlights in the story was the three Viking ghosts sent to help Fran. What was going through your mind as you developed their personalities?


Honestly? I didn't do anything; I swear I just channeled them. The Viking ghosts are part of a handful of characters who are so clear in my brain, and have such distinct voices and personalities, that I could put them in any book and they'd hold their own. I just love them to death, and although I'm aware that they tried their best to take over the book, I'm pleased that I did, in the end, managed to rope them back and let the hero and heroine have a little "screen time."

It wasn't easy, though. There were a few scenes where I had to forcibly shove them out just so other people could talk.

Q: What does the future hold for any Dark Ones to come?


The characters from ITCV are going to be herded down two different paths. Ben and Fran (and the Vikings) will go with Petra and David to start a new series that concerns the therion/necromancer storyline. Ulfur is in the next Dark Ones book, MUCH ADO ABOUT VAMPIRES, which will feature Alec from CROUCHING VAMPIRE, HIDDEN FANG, and will continue that part of the storyline. I'm just about to finish that book, so the future after that is a bit muddled in my brain until I can think more about the next book to follow.

Q: Please share with us a unique and fun behind the scenes experience or fact in writing IN THE COMPANY OF VAMPIRES.


As I mentioned above, I had a hard time keeping the Vikings reined in. I think my Twitters at the time of writing this book reflected the fact that whenever they were in a scene, they would just run away with it.

One thing I did promise I was going to do when writing the book was to include an updated, more grown up shower scene. The shower scene in one of the YA books remained a high point in my memory of Ben, and received lots and lots of mentions from readers in e-mails, so I knew they'd like a new version as well.

I think it says something when the most requested items for a book are Viking ghosts and shower scenes. :)


To read my review, click HERE


To visit The Romance Reviews for great recommendations of your next romance read, click HERE

2 comments:

V.K. Tremain said...

I adore her books! She write some very funny scenes, and some pretty yummy ones too!

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