Author Interview with Rachel Caine


Rachel Caine is the author of the popular Morganville Vampire series. The sixth book, Carpe Corpus, was released this week. Being the huge supporters of the Morganville books that we are, yaReads couldn’t pass up an opportunity to sit down and pick Rachel’s brains… enjoy!

For those that might not understand, can you please explain the title ‘Carpe Corpus

Seize the Body?  ☺  Well, it refers to a couple of things … first, Bishop’s struggle to take over Morganville, and the fighting that goes on around it.  Second, the relationship between Claire and Shane.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

For Latin purists:  Yes, technically it should be Carpe Corpum.  But that just didn’t look nearly as cool.

The cover is spectacular – did you have any input into the design?

No, I didn’t, my wonderful publisher deserves all the credit!  I honestly wouldn’t have had any idea what kind of image to go with for this one.

Which Morganville cover is your fave?

In terms of the US covers, I’d have to say Feast of Fools, just because Michael looks so *gorgeous* on it.  In terms of British covers, the new, awesome design for Lord of Misrule is just spectacular and luscious.

This is book six in the Morganville series – do you feel like you know your characters a lot more these days? Do you have trouble (still) writing any of them?

Oddly enough, the Morganville books have never presented that much trouble for me.  The characters, town and situations seem very clear, and it’s a great experience writing them.  Certainly I’m delving deeper and deeper, both into the characters and into the town itself.  So it continues to be fun and fascinating work!

Do you have a fave Morganville character?

I always feel so guilty when I say this, but … Shane.  Yes.  It’s Shane.  Although I truly enjoy writing ALL of them, from Oliver to Eve to Amelie to Myrnin.  And Michael is just adorably fun, like the big brother I never had.

Have you always known exactly how the Morganville books are going to end, or are you writing it as it comes to you?

A mixture of both.  I knew my ending, but I didn’t know all the twists and turns it would take to get there.  The thing is, after book 6, I’m on my own.  No more roadmaps.  Although I think FADE OUT (the next book) really is a true stand-alone story.

What life lessons do you want your readers to take from Morganville (if any at all)?

I don’t know if I’m a “lesson” writer, but if I am, it’s all about friendship and sacrifice.  About keeping a good heart in the face of bad things.  I’m an optimist, and I think the stories reflect that, as dark as they get.

Why do you think teen vampire novels are so popular right now?

Vampires are, and always have been both cool and outside the mainstream … which is extraordinarily attractive when you’re a teen.  Party all night.  Sleep all day.  Never grow old.  It’s the Lost Boys mantra, and it completely describes what’s so great about the idea of being a vampire.  (The liquid diet part, not so much.)

Having said that, though … there’s a lot of variation in the way writers are approaching the theme, which is great!  There are relationship-driven vampire books.  There are dark suspense books.  There are adventure books (which is probably where mine fall).  Funny vampire books.  So there’s room for everything.

What was the last book you read?

I’m currently reading Lee Child’s ENEMY, which is a Jack Reacher novel.  I’m about to start CEMETERY DANCE by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.  Prior to that, I read John Maddox Roberts’ SPQR book THE PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE.

*********SPOILERS AHEAD************

You’ve been teasing fans with Shane and Claire for four entire books now – how does it feel to finally give us what we want?

Honestly?  Terrifying.  I really felt the weight of responsibility in trying to make that moment seem real and right, but also have lasting impact and consequences to their lives.

You wrote the “Shane and Claire” scene perfectly. Did it come easily or did you write and rewrite it a lot before you were happy with it?

I am so relieved you think it came out well!  I worried a lot about it.  I think it came out as I wanted it on the first draft, and then I worried about whether or not what I wanted out of it was the right thing.  So … yes and no.  I fiddled with it a lot, but it was mainly just nerves rather than real rewriting.

Although one of my fabulous beta readers did point out that Shane’s been in prison for a long time.  He WILL want to take a shower.  And we WILL want o him to.

Are you worried about parental pushback about the sex issue in this instalment?

Yes, of course.  It was an issue that I really had to think about and talk over with my publisher, and we are prepared for some negative comments about it.  But I did take the step of asking for blind readers who self-identified as conservatives, with children, and sent them the book for pre-read to see whether or not they would find it appropriate.  9 out of 10 thought it was a positive approach, so I feel fairly confident that I was in the right place with it.

Are we going to be seeing more of Dean? Something tells me that we might…

You might.  ☺  And not in a good way.

The Morganville books are famous for their nail biting cliffhanger endings. Carpe Corpus does not have a cliffhanger. What made you decide to do this?

I really had planned to finish the series in Book 6 – that was my original contract length with the publisher.  So I had planned the story arc to finish there, which is why there isn’t a cliffhanger.

Also, I was tired of being pelted with tomatoes.  ☺  No, seriously, I never intended it to become such a thing … it just did.  And I was kind of relieved to stop doing it.

I was truly overjoyed that my publisher wanted to continue to explore Morganville for another 3 books!

Can you give us any hints about what is coming in Fade Out?

Sure!  You’ll find out that the town of Morganville puts on an annual play, and Eve gets a prominent role, which is a life-long dream for her.  She also becomes instafriends with a fellow Goth girl named Kim, who is kind of Morganville’s resident Rebel Without A Cause.  But Kim delivers loads of complications between our heroes … Claire can’t stand her, Shane might have had a history with her, Eve loves her, Michael just wishes it all would go away, which leads to all kinds of distress.  Oh, and there’s trouble from an unexpected quarter.  Of course!

Thank you so much for letting me talk to you today!  It’s been a treat!

Actually, Rachel, the treat was all ours!

Click here if you want to read our review of Carpe Corpus

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