Feb 3, 2011

Melissa de la Cruz - Guest Blog and Contest

PVN is delighted to have New York Times best-selling author Melissa de la Cruz as today's guest blogger. Melissa's most recent book is Bloody Valentine, three short stories featuring characters from her young adult Blue Bloods saga.

"Might a witchy new girl help cure Oliver’s broken heart? How did Allegra fall in love with a human? Will Schuyler and Jack finally be bonded? Romantic and sensual, BLOODY VALENTINE illustrates that in matters of the heart, even vampires are prey…"
[Three lucky commenters will win a copy of Bloody Valentine See details at the end of the post.]

Since my favorite story in Bloody Valentine is Just Another Night in Suck City featuring a new character, the witch Freya, I asked Melissa the following question: How do Freya and the witches view the Blue Bloods?

Melissa answers:

I feel I can't answer this question without spoiling the book, since the part where the Blue Bloods characters appear in Witches is a really fun part of Witches of East End for Blue Bloods fans, and this question is answered there. Instead I'll talk about the process of writing Witches.

The idea came from the title. Blue Bloods came from the title as well, (Blue Bloods=American vampire elite) so I thought it was a good sign of things to come that I liked the title so much. Yes, it's a play on Witches of Eastwick, and I think all books are in conversation with each other, so I like the playful part of it, but I also like the whole idea of the "East End."

My husband and I used to rent a house on Shelter Island, so I am a bit familiar with the Hamptons, and in fact, set my first YA book there—The Au Pairs. So having the Witches set in that part of the world, a paranormal in the Hamptons—felt like "going back home" in a way.

So I had a title. Witches of East End. But who were these Witches? And what was so special about the Hamptons? How do I make the Hamptons paranormal? I started doing a little digging, and discovered the history of Gardiners Island, one of the oldest privately-owned islands in the country. So that became one part of it. I also find a lot of my books come from images, just cool stuff that I want to write about. I loved the images from that documentary Grey Gardens, this idea of these sort of kooky, useless women—or I should say, utterly useless in productivity and housekeeping, but totally useful for a life they don't lead anymore. These women could never hold down a job or keep house, but they were the kind of women who could throw parties, host salons and be charming and witty.

So I wanted to write about that, and I also wanted to write about a family of women. I have a very close relationship with my mom and my sister, and I wanted to write about what that is like, two sisters dealing with a strong mother. And I knew I wanted to write about Norse mythology, which is incredibly tragic and has all these super-sad love stories, and one of the hardest parts of writing the book ended up being how much of the mythology I would use, and how much I could change.

I wanted to write about a small town, so I decided I wanted to write about the Hamptons, but not the "Hamptons-Hamptons" per se. So I decided I would make the town a fictional one, and made up the town of "North Hampton." In New York, there is East Hampton, Westhampton and Southampton, but no North Hampton.

When we used to live on Shelter Island, we went to the Ram's Head Inn all the time, and some of our friends dated fishermen whose families had lived on the island for generations. These boys (who were always very cute) made all their money in the summer, catching big-eye tuna to sell to Japanese buyers, and then in the winter, they just sort of hung out at the bar. So I had this idea of setting it at the Ram's Head, (and I was very gratified when one of the sales reps who had lived on Shelter Island said – "is the North Inn Bar based on the Ram's Head – because that's what I thought when I read it?" Yes! Yes it is.)

So that's where the book comes from: sisters, strong mom, Hamptons, Ram's Head, Gardiners Island, Norse mythology, magic, tragic romance, hot boys.
Witches of East End comes out June 21st. Hope you all enjoy it!


*Melissa is offering a copy of Bloody Valentine to three lucky readers.

*Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. 

*Contest is limited to US and Canadian residents.

*Contest ends Feb. 17, 2011 at 11:59pm EST

Read PVN's review of Bloody Valentine


Danielle Gorman said...

I would love to read this. It looks so good and I have it on my wishlist for sometime now.


Keta Diablo said...

Blue Blood Vampires, the Hamptons, The Ram's Inn -- all so sound perfect for the setting of the books.

Looking forward to reading them, and wishing you much success with the series,

Nice job, Patricia, on the interview,


van_pham said...

would love to read this, please count me in :)


SoLi said...

Wow, Melissa de la Cruz looks like an author I have get into now... Very interesting, I would love to read this soon.

US resident,

debbie said...

I haven't read a story with witches in it, for awhile. This one sounds really good.

tina werner said...

love this series!!
thanks for a chance to win!!

stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

SandyG265 said...

Sounds good. I like that you made up a fictional addition to the Hamptons.

sgiden at verizon.net

Tore said...

Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Tanya1224 said...

this sounds really good. I just recently bought the books for this series but have not started reading them yet. I like to have all the books on hand before I start a series. Less frustrating ;)I would love a chance to win this book. Please count me in.

Julie S said...

Bloody Valentine sounds like a good book. I love the cover.


hense1kk said...

Fabulous series! I love the cover of Bloody Valentine! very striking. And thanks for the contest!
hense1kk @ cmich dot edu

Britta said...

I can't wait for this book to come out! I love your Blue Bloods series and I'm sure this new series will be just as (if not more) amazing :)


Ilikethesebooksblog at gmail dot com

twimom101 said...

would love to read this..I love the Blueblood series!!
twimom101 at yahoo dot com

tetewa said...

I've been hearing alot about this one, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

Bethie said...

I would love to win this. Thanks for the giveaway. Please count me in.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

donnas said...

Great series. Looking forward to this one. Thanks for the chance!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Robin K said...

Sounds like a great read. Thank you for the post.

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Amazing cover! i love all her books! Nice interview!
Thanks for the contest!
Jamad Artan

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

Looks like another winner to me! Can't wait to read it.

I follow on GFC.


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

angie said...

I would love to be entered! Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

hmmm...I might just buy a Melissa de la Cruz book. My sis has two of them already though so I think I'll just borrow.

Nice blog, Pat. I love vampires myself. Check out my tribute to Akasha in http://mostevilwomen.blogspot.com/2011/02/akasha-queen-of-damned.html

KMichelleC87 said...

i would love to be entered for a chance to win a copy of this book

thank you


Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

thecozyreader @ gmail.com

throuthehaze said...

I love this series! Thanks for the giveaway
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

catslady said...

I haven't read a book on vampires since Twilight but this does sound good!


Ladytink_534 said...

Melissa de la Cruz's books have been on my wishlist for awhile now. I'd love to try this!


Alice Smith said...

Oh man, what a great giveaway. I would love to read this, and Melissa is so much fun! I've been following her blog tour all around the internets.


AliciaNicole said...

What a great giveaway, this book sounds sooo awesome!


Meredith said...

I like that the author used places familiar to her in her story! Thanks for the giveaway!

meredithfl at gmail dot com