This interview came about because of a single tweet from last month’s #BHPChat! The question was “What author would you love to have featured on your blog for a guest post or interview?” and I tweeted:
— Emily (@Emren) February 1, 2017
Rachel Caine contacted me the next day about being interviewed. I can’t express how excited I was to see it. While she is probably most well known for the Morganville Vanpires series, her Weather Warden series has a special place in my heart. I also am eagerly awaiting the release of Ash and Quill, the final installment of The Great Library series that’s due out later this year.
You recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund Red Hot Rain, a return to your Weather Wardens series. I can’t wait! Are there any other series you would return to if you had the chance?
Absolutely! I really loved the Morganville Vampires series, and I’d love to do some stand-alone books about the older vampires one day. Also, I have an obscure 2-book series called Red Letter Days … would love to get back into that universe! And my Holly and Andrew short stories (I did three of them) really deserve to be expanded into a book.
Out of all your books, is there one, series or standalone, that is just a little more special to you than the rest? Why do you have that special connection?
Hmmm. I don’t know that I can pick one. Many of them feel special to me, but in different ways. I don’t think I could single one out, honestly. Some I like less well, but I wouldn’t trade for the experience that I’ve gained.
You have had long running adult series (Weather Wardens) and Young Adult Series (Morganville Vampires) and shorter series in adult (Revitalist) and YA (Great Library). What format and genre do you like writing in best and why? Are there benefits/drawbacks to each?
I think the trick to a long series is to have really fun, enjoyable characters to write … people you want to hang out with on a long-term basis. Sometimes, with grittier series, that isn’t as easy; it’s still a rewarding story, but in a very different way. I don’t like one over the other, really. I think they accomplish different things for different types of readers.
Out of all your characters, I’ve always loved David. He’s all powerful and yet the perfect foil to Joanne’s hot headed personality. I met him first and love him most. What character have you written that is most like you and why?
I adore David, too. I’m really loving getting back into the Weather Warden world again! As far as which character is most like me … I think all of my characters have some little glimmer of myself in them, for different reasons. The closest is probably either Claire Danvers (from Morganville) or Eve Rosser (also from Morganville) … if you blend those two, you probably come pretty close to where I live inside.
You have an adult thriller coming out soon and an upcoming project with Ann Aguirre. Is there anything you are allowed to tell us about those?
Sure! The thriller is a 2-book story about the ex-wife of a serial killer, who has been on the run from the vengeful mob of the Internet, and the relatives of his victims, for a few years. Her main–only!–priority is to create a safe life for her kids, and when she settles at Stillhouse Lake, it seems like she’s finally done it. But when bodies start dropping, and her old identity surfaces, all her hard-won safety and freedom is at risk. I think of it as Terminator meets The Silence of the Lambs. The first book is titled Stillhouse Lake, and it’s out in July.
The Honors is a new YA space series with Ann Aguirre, and we’re super excited about it–it’s full of all the space opera goodness we love, plus kick-ass tough girls, intelligent ships, terrifying enemies … what’s not to love? We think Zara and Nadim are going to be as much fun for readers as they are for us to write them. The first book is called Honor Among Thieves, and it’s out this winter, but we don’t have a date yet.
If you can’t give us details, I know you write every book with a playlist. Could you possibly share a few songs off your current playlist with us so we can get an idea of the tone of your current project?
Tricky! Okay, see if you can figure this one out: “Storm Comin’” by the Wailin’ Jennys, “Rags and Bones” by Thea Gilmore, “Bandida” by Audra Mae, “Scarlet Town” by Gillian Welch, “Better Dig Two” by The Band Perry. That’s one project.
The second project has these songs: “Legendary” by Welshly Arms, “Don’t Look Down” by Plaid Brixx, “Mas Ne Nada” by Elza Soares, and “Bloodline” by White Sea.
What was it like to tackle a thriller when you have written so many paranormal and fantasy stories? Did you find it hard not to add magic and monsters?
In this case, I didn’t! I really had a very definite idea in mind, and I’m a huge thriller and true crime reader, so I found that transition pretty easy to make. It’s a dark, scary place in that corner of my brain, and I really liked delving into it for a change.
You are an incredibly prolific writer and have published more than a book a year for the last 15 years. In 2009, you published 5! It doesn’t seem like it has cooled in recent years, with 3 books (Ash and Quill, Stillhouse Lake, and Red Hot Rain) due out in 2017. How do you keep up with such a demanding schedule?
It’s not easy, and it’s cost me from a physical standpoint; I’ve had to deal with some inflamed discs in my back and neck from all the laptop use, so I’ve had to switch it up and change my work habits. Instead of writing constantly on the road, I now devote more time to my desk and my ergonomic office chair, where I can better control the stress on my body. But you’re right, it hasn’t slowed down! I have a bunch of projects due this year as well. The only way I can function is to have a very aggressive schedule, every day, and keep regular working hours. It’s not magic (don’t I wish!) but it works for me. PSA for you heavy computer users: make sure you keep your screen at eye level. It was my critical failing.
What should we be looking forward to in 2018 and beyond?
I would love to answer that question but I’m coming to a point where … I can’t! Because I’m waiting on some announcements from publishers. So all I can say right now is that 2018 will bring the 2nd book of the Stillhouse thriller series, and Ann Aguirre and I will be continuing The Honors series with the next book. There are two other projects in the pot bubbling over, but I can’t tell you about them yet.
Thank you so much for answering my questions! It was an honor to have the chance to interview you!
Thank YOU! It’s a delight, and I hope you enjoy the books that are coming up!