Sunday, May 11, 2008

Interview - Rachel Caine

Darque Reviews welcomes Rachel Caine!

Hi Ms. Caine, thanks so much for sharing your time with Darque Reviews! We’re looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing, and how many books you’ve had published?

RC - I started writing when I was 14, but I didn’t sell anything until I was nearly 30 – long learning curve, I suppose! I published my first book, Stormriders, in 1992. Since then, I think the total is about 25 novels to date, with three more still to do this year.

We’d love to hear about your Weather Warden series and your upcoming August 2008 ROC release, Gale Force (Weather Warden, Book 7). Can you tell us about Joanne Baldwin and her role with the Wardens?

RC - Joanne started out in trouble with the Wardens – a magical organization that controls all sorts of magical forces – and while her status has definitely risen, her talent for getting into trouble is also going strong. She’s quick with a quip and has a sharp eye for absurdity, but she definitely takes her role as a Weather Warden seriously – she’s prepared to die for others, and in fact, it wouldn’t be the first time. By Book 7, Joanne’s risen to the top of the organization, but she’s gained a lot of enemies along the way. Her love affair with David, the leader of the New Djinn, is still going strong, but now that he’s asked her for a formal vow, it’s putting them both at risk.

There are Djinn that are as beautiful as they are dangerous. How did they develop, and what is their relationship with the Weather Wardens?

RC - The Djinn come from two sources ... the “True Djinn,” who have been around since the dawn of time and were never human, and the “New Djinn,” humans who have been transformed into Djinn by the circumstances of their deaths. Not surprisingly, there’s a pretty big division between the two, at least in terms of internal politics. None of the Djinn are entirely happy with the Wardens, who more or less perverted the trust that the Djinn gave them way back when, and now Djinn and Wardens exist in an uneasy state of truce – but only because they need each other.

Undone is the first book in a new Weather Warden series titled Outcast Season. Can you tell us about the series and when we might see the first release?

RC - Outcast Season follows a True Djinn named Cassiel who has a serious disagreement with her leader Ashan, and gets exiled into human form. She’ll die without help from the Wardens, but the Wardens want something in return for their generosity ... namely, she has to become part of their organization. But looking human and being human are two very different things, and Cassiel has a lot to learn about herself, and the world around her.

Undone is out in February 2009, and there are four books total in the series.

Another fabulous series is your Morganville Vampires young adult series. Feast of Fools is the 4th book in this series, scheduled for a NAL June 2008 release. Can you tell us about Claire Danvers and her Morganville friends?
RC - Claire moved to Morganville for college, but she’s getting a lot more of an education than she ever expected. She’s acquired some great friends, (like Michael, Eve, and her now-boyfriend Shane), and some strong allies (like the most powerful vampire in town, Amelie). But now she’s apprenticed to a crazy, brilliant vampire scientist Myrnin, and neck-deep in town politics ... and Amelie’s evil father has rolled into town to take over. What’s a girl to do? Especially with final exams looming!

What are working on now, and what can we expect to see in new releases over the next few years?

RC - I just turned in the fifth Morganville book, Lord of Misrule, and I’ll be starting on the next Weather Warden novel shortly. In addition, there will be three more Outcast Season books coming in the next couple of years. I plan to also do another Stargate SG-1 book this year, and I have some other irons in the fire that aren’t finalized quite yet – but I’m staying busy!

Oh, I’d also like to put in a good word for a marvelous new charity anthology coming out soon called Tears of the Phoenix ... the profits go to the repair and support of the New Orleans Public Library system, which sustained such horrible damage during Hurricane Katrina. It’s being released in two editions, paperback and hardcover, and in the next few weeks you can preorder copies at the website:

Is it difficult for you to switch gears from writing an adult series to a young adult series?

RC - Actually, not at all ... I really enjoy the change of pace, and the style and characters are very different. I’m very lucky to have so many varied opportunities.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Have any of them been an influence in your writing?

RC - I have so many favorite authors, I don’t think you have enough space for them here! But I’ll give you the short list: Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, P.N. Elrod, Vicki Pettersson, Stephenie Meyer, Laura Anne Gilman, Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, C.J. Cherryh, Roger Zelazny, Tanith Lee, Judith Tarr. I’d probably say that the biggest influence on my writing has been Roger Zelazny, if I had to choose one in particular. I still re-read his Books of Amber just about every year. I also love the classics – the Scarlet Pimpernel series by Baroness Orczy, Men of Iron by Howard Pyle, the Sherlock Holmes stories.

When you’re able to find some free time, what do you enjoy doing?

RC - What is this free time of which you speak? When it rolls around, we have a pretty fierce home theater system and loads of movies and TV shows. Also, I’m trying to get myself back into reasonably good order on playing the clarinet (which I did for a number of years) and learn guitar and harp.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers or aspiring writers before we go?

RC - I’m a reader first, last, and always – I love writing, but there’s just something so magical about reading a new book for me. So hooray for readers!

And for your aspiring writers ... patience is a virtue. It can seem to take forever to get noticed and published, but honestly, there’s no substitute for hard work, dedication and learning the business. And I look forward to shaking hands with you at a book signing someday!

It’s been a pleasure speaking with you Rachel. Thanks so much for joining us!

RC - Thank you for the opportunity. It’s a pleasure!

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

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Robert said...

Nice interview :) "Feast of Fools" will definitely be included in the June 2008 spotlight...

Amberkatze said...

Nice interview! I am happy to hear that the Morganville Vampire series isn't over yet!

Kimberly Swan said...

Thanks Robert! She's an awesome individual so it was a real pleasure. That's wonderful, you know how I love those spotlight posts you do. :)

amberkatze - Thanks! No, not over and there's more excitement than ever. :)

Angiegirl said...

Great interview. I haven't read any Rachel Caine books and have been wondering where to jump in.

Kimberly Swan said...

Angie - They are both wonderful series to read (Weather Wardens & The Morganville Vampires) and you should really read them both. *grin*

jessewave said...

Hi Kimberly

What a wonderful interview. I have never read any of the books in this series but now I really want to.

Kimberly Swan said...

Hey jessewave...glad you enjoyed the interview. :) I know it's the steamier reads you go for, so the Weather Warden series would be the place for you to start.