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by petzipellepingo (petzipellepingo)
at September 9th, 2014 (04:06 am)

Interview: Melissa de la Cruz, author of 'Vampires of Manhattan'

Jessie Potts, Special for USA TODAY

Today, Melissa de la Cruz joins HEA to talk about her New Blue Bloods Coven book, Vampires of Manhattan, and where our favorite characters are now. She's also the amazing author of the Blue Bloods series as well as the Witches of East End (Netlifx, anyone?) and Heart of Dread series.

Jessie: Welcome to HEA, Melissa! We're so excited about Vampires of Manhattan. Can you tell us about it?

Melissa: Sure! It picks up 10 years after the events of Gates of Paradise and tells the story of what happened to the vampires who chose to stay on earth after winning the Great War against Lucifer. It follows the story of Ara Scott, a badass venator (vampire cop), tracking down a mortal girl's vampire killer, along with Edon Marrok, a down-on-his-luck wolf. Mimi Martin is back from the underworld and working at a Chelsea art gallery, Kingsley gets wrapped up in his old debauched life, and Oliver Hazard-Perry is the vampire king of New York. I wanted to explore everyone's happily ever after — and show how complicated life after victory can be.

Jessie: Tell us more about Oliver!

Melissa: Oliver is now the head of the Coven and about to celebrate the years of peace and prosperity. He's older now, and the ultimate insider — no longer the sarcastic outsider teen but one of the great men who run New York and the world beyond. He's cut his floppy hair! : )

Jessie: How was writing this in comparison to the Blue Bloods series?

Melissa: It was a bit of a struggle because I'm really taking the characters on a bigger leap than before. They've aged, they're grown-ups now, they're running the show, and no longer the teenagers that no one listens to (wink). They've lost a bit of that youthful idealism, some of them may be a little bitter, a little disillusioned with what life has brought them, some more arrogant than they even realize. All of them so human. : ) It was fun to explore more adult themes with my beloved Blue Bloods.

Jessie: Any fun or interesting things happen while writing VoM?

Melissa: I found it to be a very difficult book to write, just because I've lived with my characters for so long (that was the easy part) but bringing them into more danger, and figuring out how best to tell the story in an interesting way took longer than it usually did. I didn't outline as I usually do, which was fun but also new territory. In the end, like Oliver, I got by with a little help from my friends. It's wonderful to have author friends as critique partners. They calmed me down and were awesome sounding boards. They helped make the book so much better than it was.

Jessie: Do you have a favorite hero or heroine of yours? One that you just connect more with?

Melissa: I've always had a soft spot for Mimi Force. Mimi never gets what she wants, and I so relate to that.

Jessie: Is there any other genre you want to or plan to write in?

Melissa: Yes, I've been drawn to thrillers and mysteries lately. I've been working on one that doesn't have a paranormal angle, so that is fun and new. My favorite books lately are by Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn. I've just been drawn to those dark, twisted psychological stories lately.

I also like the realistic contemporary romance genre, and I'm working on something in that vein as well.

Jessie: What are you working on right now?

Melissa: So many things! Other than those two, which are in very early form, Mike and I just turned in the final copy edits for Stolen, the second book in our Heart of Dread post-apocalyptic fantasy series coming out this November. I'm right in the middle of Descendants: Isle of the Lost, which is the book prequel to the Disney Channel original movie, about the kids of Disney's mightiest villains. And I have outlines and pages done for Vampires of Manhattan 2 and for Ring and Crown 2, along with finished manuscripts for a couple of new series we haven't announced yet. My husband and I have had a very busy summer! But that's OK, we're off to Maui now. : )

Jessie: Now for some rapid-fire questions …

Salty or Sweet? Salty.

Favorite writing snack? Trident gum.

If you were any candy, which one would you be? Toblerone.

Current book you're reading? The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (by Jonas Jonasson) — recommended by a Hudson Booksellers clerk at the Vancouver airport. It's funny and very droll.

Book you're most looking forward to this year? I'm a HUGE HUGE fan of Maggie Stiefvater's Raven cycle, so Blue Lily, Lily Blue! I'm an Adam girl, though. I like the sad, poor boys.

Favorite childhood book? So many. Little Women. Lord of the Rings. Dune.

Favorite book boyfriend? Aragorn from LOTR. Although, in my younger years, I was very taken with Legolas.

Favorite villain? Right now, Maleficent. So much fun writing her daughter, Mal.

Last movie you saw in theaters? Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Caesar lives!

If you were any paranormal creature which one would you be? Obviously a vampire! : )

Epic one-liner?

Melissa: Ladies, if you want to have it all, you have to do it all.

Find out more about Melissa and her books at www.melissa-delacruz.com.

Jessie Potts, also known as Book Taster, adores books in all forms. She also does reviews for RT Book Reviews magazine and works in the submissions department at Dreamspinner Press. You can follow her on Twitter (@BookTaster).