Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Talking Vampires With Jeanie Grey

TODAY’S BREW: All the goddamn coffee my heart can handle.

By Julie

Jeanie Grey was one of the first writers we met on Twitter.  She’s stopped by Deadly Ever After before.  Her Lilly Frank series has certain fanged supernatural creatures in it, so this was the perfect time to ask her about vampires, and introduce you to her new book, Awakening 2.  Hungry for more?  Visit her blog.

Awakening 2~Small Jeanie Grey Deadly Ever After Interview

Interview
Julie: Why vampires in your work? Are you a classic or new-fangled vampire fan?
Jeanie: New-fangled in the sense that I don’t ascribe to the vampires-as-monsters-devoid-of-humanity mythologies. But I’m anti-sparkle. Not anti-Twilight (I loved those books), just anti-sparkle
 Julie: Would you want to be a vampire if given the choice?
Jeanie: You know, it’s interesting. I’ve wanted to be a vampire since I was a teenager. There are so many things I want to do and see, one lifetime is not enough for me. And I’m also attracted to the idea of being faster, stronger, having less to fear. (You can see this part of me reflected in Lilly in the excerpt from Awakening 2 that’s in this post.) But Lilly and Torren have been teaching me that, even if you can go out in daylight and don’t have to kill people to survive, being a vampire is actually really damned hard. So now I’m not so sure whether I’d want to be one.
Julie: Tell us about your writing process. What do you need to have, what throws you off? Is there a place in particular you like to write?
Jeanie: Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy for me to get thrown off or psych myself out and get writer’s block, so I try to create a physical and emotional environment for myself that feels safe, comfortable and relatively free from pressure to perform. The best place for me to write is in bed. I think it’s because I’m familiar with my room and there are fewer distractions, but also because it’s a comfortable and safe place, which is essential for letting my Muse take over. I also like to write while listening to music through headphones, usually something without lyrics. It helps drown out whatever other distractions may be around, e.g. a housemate, noise from neighbors, my dog staring at me. Little-known fact: I wrote most of Awakening and Awakening 2 while listening to “The Planets, Op. 32: Neptune” on repeat.

Julie: Travel is important to you. How does it affect your writing?

Jeanie: I LOVE TO TRAVEL. I actually started writing The Lilly Frank series while I was in Madrid, Spain (though the book looked very different then). You might think that I’ve been to Italy, since that’s where Awakening 2 takes place, but sadly I have not. Not yet, anyway. Nor have I spent much time in NYC, where Book 1 takes place. Lilly and Torren’s story has been challenging me, for sure. (And thank God for Google maps and travel websites to give me a sense of these places!) But to answer your question more directly: I’m not sure how travel has affected my writing. It’s a good question. I do know that my longer-term plan is to use research for books as a legit excuse to do more traveling and write some of it off as a business expense. 😉
5. Tell us the coolest thing you’ve ever done.
Hm. I don’t really think of the things I do as being “cool.” I don’t have that perception of myself. I know that other people think it’s cool that I lived abroad for a year, that I quit my job to pursue my dream of being a writer, and that I’ve self-published two vampire romance novellas. Do those count?
Synopsis of Awakening 2
A newly made vampire requires a certain amount of time to get used to her new body and heightened senses. But Torren’s worried that if Lilly doesn’t hurry up, she’ll be dead before she ever gets the chance to adjust to life as a vampire.

Word among vampires is that someone’s hunting their kind, and it’s not a quick death if you’re caught. This killer likes to torture the victims first, and all signs indicate that he or she is circling ever-closer to Torren and Lilly.

Torren needs Lilly to stop fighting him and start trusting him. Maybe he shouldn’t have deceived her…
Exclusive excerpt
She stretched out alongside him in the bed and rested her head in the cradle of his shoulder. They lay still together for many minutes, and he listened to her breathing, to her heartbeat. Felt her skin against his. His neck wounds had healed almost as soon as she’d stopped sucking, but the skin there tingled, remembering her touch. He could not imagine a more perfect moment than this one.
“What are we going to do?” Lilly asked, her fingers tracing slow, light circles on his chest. “Later, I mean.”
“Later tonight?”
“No, I mean…after I’ve adjusted. Are we staying here? Should I start to think about eternity in this castle? Or is this just a stopping place on the way to somewhere else?”
“We can do whatever you want,” Torren said. It excited him to hear Lilly say “we” when talking about the future. It meant she didn’t imagine leaving him. “We can go wherever you want. What do you want to do? We have all the time in the world.”
“But what about money? Do we have all the money in the world?”
“I’ve been around for a very long time, Lilly. We have more money than we could spend, and it’s only going to accumulate. So no need to worry about being limited by funds.”
Lilly paused, considering. He looked down through his lashes at her. She was worrying her lower lip between her teeth—a habit left over from her human days—but stopped when she realized she’d drawn blood. The smell of it called to him. Her pink tongue emerged to lick the blood off her lower lip, then retreated again. She seemed oblivious to his arousal.
“All the time in the world, unlimited financial resources, and a body that’s super strong and resilient.”
“Yes,” Torren said it to bring his mind back to the conversation, even though he was fairly certain she needed no answer.
“We could climb Mt. Everest to the very top?”
“Yes.”
“Without bringing oxygen tanks?”
“I’ve never attempted it, but I think our bodies could endure it.”
“We could wade into the interior of Papua New Guinea, where no one has ever been before?”
“No human, anyway. And yes.”
“We could roam the wilds of Australia, wrestling alligators and not needing to fear poisonous snakes or spiders?”
“We could still get bitten, and it would hurt, but so long as a crocodile doesn’t take our heads off, we’d be fine.”
Lilly’s eyes seemed brighter as she continued to consider the possibilities.
“We could spend an entire year reading every book I’ve ever meant to read?”
Torren laughed softly. “Yes, we could spend a year reading. We could spend a hundred years reading and still have time for everything else.”
“Could we travel to every continent—no, every country—and spend time learning all the languages and tasting the food?”
Torren sobered a little at the mention of food. She hadn’t yet discovered that human food wasn’t as pleasurable an experience as it might have been when she was human. “Yes,” he said finally. “And you might find that you pick up languages more quickly than you did as a human. Though I’m not sure you’d like food very much now.” It was the best way he could think to put it for now.
“Oh, I don’t care about that,” she said, raising her head for a moment to look into his eyes. “It’s just for the experience.”


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6 thoughts on “Talking Vampires With Jeanie Grey

  1. Awakening and Awakening 2 are great. Looking forward to 3! 🙂

  2. I’m so looking forward to 3 too. Please Jeanie, Lilly, and Torren. You guys left us at such a bad spot!

  3. WOOHOO! Jeanie Grey=Awesomesauce!
    Loved the first two.. Can’t wait.

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